Sound Harley Advice
A few of Harley Davidson's Human Resources department rode in to give some advice on interviewing and resumes. These individual's are in charge of hiring for their specific fields within their department. Each gave great advice for any one who is looking to be hired, whether it is part-time or full-time.
This is a team who are always looking at resumes and conducting interviews almost on a daily basis. Most interviews today deal with a behavioral component, "Explain a situation when…" It can be hard to come up with a story right on the spot but the acronym to remember is STAR.
Situation: Set the scene for your example. Explain it, and connect it to their questions.
Task: What was it exactly that you did?
Action: How did you go about the task? How did you do the task?
Result: What happened because of what you put in to place?
Use "I" statements. The company wants to hire you, not everyone you worked with.
Resume and Cover Letter Tips
- Always spell check and proof read. "If you cannot take the time to fix any mistakes, why would we take the time to hire you?"
- Remember that you are bridging the gap between paper and the person. You want a conversation to happen because of what has been written.
- Know to whom you are talking to. Ask for names and titles, do your best to remember them.
- Slow down there is no rush in an interview. The employer wants a sense of who you are, and how you would fit in their company.
- Take time to listen and formulate honest answers to their questions. Make sure that you are actually answering what they are asking. If you need them to repeat it or need clarification ask.
- Know your strengths and be able to truthfully talk about them.
- Have three questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview. It shows you have done your research and you are still interested in what they have to offer. One question might be, "What are the next steps?" It gives you an idea of how long it will be until you hear something back.
After the Interview
- Send thank you notes within 48 hours of the interview. It gives you the extra edge over any competition.
- Hand written or email.
- Keep them short and simple.
- Follow up within 7-10 days of the interview, unless you have been told something else.
One of biggest pieces of advice repeated to this class of students was, remember that life is an interview. No one can ever be sure who is watching or who people know. Nothing is a secret, especially social media and the internet. There is no way to actually get back what has been put "out there." All of the interactions that happen are about making connections and building relationships. Again, life is always an interview and everybody knows somebody. Taking a deep breath and preparing can almost ensure you will walk away employed.