Lorraine Beaman is an expert at converting interview opportunities into job offers. She has guided new graduates through interview preparation, salary negotiation, and adapting to a new job. As the founder and CEO of Interview2Work Lorraine has helped new graduates secure positions with large businesses and local governmental agencies. In this exclusive interview she offers essential advice for candidates starting their career and reveals this year’s most innovative job search strategies for applicants…
Please could you give our readers a quick recap of how you came to be a Career Coach…
Never have I read a job description I did’t find fascinating, but often I have met people who were bored with their job. Early in my career, it became a passion of mine to help people find the job that was right for them. And I do believe there is a ‘right job’ for each person; a role that will be challenging or rewarding.
Speaking of being rewarded, please could you tell us more about your time as a Director of Career Services for a regional business college…
Well, this role was perhaps the most rewarding I’ve ever had! I was able to start working with students to develop their job search strategy and career goal on their first day on campus. By the time they graduated, they were prepared not only to secure their first job, but to advance quickly in their chosen career. I still hear from alumni who share their career successes. Knowing that I helped students launch their successful career is the greatest reward I have ever received.
What would you say are this year’s most innovative job search strategies for applicants?
Capitalise on your social media skills. Never before has it been so easy to connect with people who are in a position to help you achieve your career goals. The challenge is developing your job search message and delivering it consistently across all platforms. Make sure you are able to share your career goal, degree, and strengths in 240 characters. Your goal is not to share your life story, but, instead, to get hiring managers to connect with you.
You blogged for Careers Directors International. What recruiting topics do you enjoy writing about the most?
I most enjoy blogging about interview challenges ranging from how to answer questions about terminations, salary, weaknesses, reasons for seeking a new job, and breaks in employment to questions about what type of tree you would be; questions that really have nothing to do with your availability to do a job, but questions that, if not handled correctly, could derail an interview.
What are your top tips for how graduates can deliver on their potential and get the job they deserve?
Think like an employer. You have a vast range of experiences and knowledge; filter what you share with potential employers so you only provide the information they need to determine if you are the right person for the position they are trying to fill. If you respond to the request to ‘Tell me about yourself’ with your entire life story, you may take all of the time allotted for the interview and you will overwhelm interviewers with so much information, they might not be able to figure out what you can do for their company. You are the expert on you; you are in a better position to determine the information an employer needs to decide if you are the top candidate for the position.
Please could you give our readers a quick breakdown of why Interview2Work should be every graduate’s go-to resource…
I started Interview2Work because I kept meeting recent graduates working at survival jobs who told me they just couldn’t find a job in their field. Within a few minutes of asking questions about their academic experience and job search, I realised these graduates were underemployed not because they lacked the education, drive and skills to launch a career in their field of study, but because they lacked job search skills. As the new graduates I worked with began to get job offers, I expanded the practice to include support for negotiating job offers and transitioning into a new job. Currently, we publish free job search-related tip sheets and offer individual coaching for all aspects of job search; our mission is to empower new graduates and first-time professionals in conducting a successful job search.
What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence and how it will affect graduates’ careers going forward?
I think artificial intelligence (AI) will play a greater role in all aspects of work and leisure in the future. Currently, there are efforts underway to create an ‘interview robot’ to replace human interviewers. I encourage new graduates, whatever their field, to understand the role of AI in their industry.
What’s your proudest working accomplishment?
Helping start the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC). The program has since grown to include schools throughout the United States.
What was the best piece of advice you were ever given?
When I started my first professional position, long before work / life balance was an acceptable concept, I became so engaged, I was not taking any time for myself. I felt I was indispensable and if I was not spending every waking hour thinking about my work, I was a failure. My father told me that if I dropped dead in my office, someone would walk over my body to get to my desk to handle my assignments. From that point on, I made sure work was balanced with fun.
Finally, what is your life motto?
‘Be of some service each day.’ At the end of each day, I want to know I have helped someone achieve a personal or professional goal.
Lorraine can be reached at Lorraine@interview2work.com. The tip sheets in this article can be found here.