Name: Pamela Sookram
Year: Senior, 2013
School: Faculty of Arts and Science
Major: Global Liberal Studies and Spanish, Minor in Anthropology
Just a few months ago (November to be exact) I secured a dream job with one of the biggest companies in the Retail industry. After an on-campus presentation, an OCR interview and a second-round “Super-day” at the HR offices, I received an offer to become part of the Bloomingdale’s family! Reflecting on the last several months, the Recruitment and interviewing process seems to have flown by, but I did learn a few invaluable tricks of the trade. If you’re interested in learning a few useful tips, keep on reading.
The Power of “Hello”
I’ve never really been a shy person, but the thought of meeting someone who might be my future employer was a bit daunting. I decided to bite the bullet and put my best foot forward by attending an information sessions that Macy’s Inc. (the “umbrella” that covers Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s) was holding on campus. Unfortunately, as the date inched closer, I realized that I had a school conflict during the presentation time. I decided that no matter what, I’d meet with someone from the company and showed up to the presentation 15 minutes early. There, I had the chance to speak with the Bloomies recruiter. I introduced myself and although we only chatted for 5 minutes or so, I made a connection that ultimately landed me an interview (and a job offer!). Some might say it sounds cliché, but the skill of networking is a skill for a reason; start developing it today! It never hurts for people to know your name, especially in the world of recruiting where employers interview thousands of students for only a few positions.
Know Your Company…and Show It!
After Bloomies invited me for a first-round OCR interview, I secured a time slot and started prepping a week in advance. I researched the company’s website, any posts specifically about campus recruiting, any news articles about current events in the company, basically anything I could get my hands on that would tell me more about Bloomingdale’s. During my interview, I tied key points (the slogan, core values, and points from the job description) into my responses to really drive home my examples and let the interviewers know that I had done my research. It also didn’t hurt that I wore a red shirt (one of the Macy’s colors!); one of my interviewers noted that the pop of color was a nice touch. Doing your research and sprinkling bits of the company—whether it’s the slogan or the company’s colors—into your responses on the interview day shows that you’d be willing to commit 110% and can only make you look like an even better candidate. I mean, hey, it must be a good thing if it got me a Super-day invitation!
Smile and Be Genuine
The more nervous I am, the more I smile. Needless to say, my face was stuck in smile formation during the days leading up to my Super-day. Thankfully, smiles often convey confidence and a welcoming personality, traits that speak volumes in the Retail industry. I had a month to prepare, so I reviewed all of the information that I’d studied for my first-round and formulated new questions that I planned to ask each of my 3 interviewers. Despite all of my preparation, I was still caught off-guard when my second interviewer asked me, “What has your favorite assignment been and what did you learn from it?” I had to think on my feet, and said the first and most memorable project that came to mind: an ethnography on Hooters girls. Yes, it seems a bit unorthodox to bring up Hooters in an interview, but the interviewer chuckled and asked to hear more about it. I took a risky chance, but in the end, he appreciated my honesty and my story about Hooters girls’ culture left a lasting impression.
So after all of the interviews, networking and nervous smiling, I’ve excitedly accepted a job offer for the Executive Development Program. I’m excited to start in August, less than a year after I started job hunting! And to think…It all started with a simple introduction. I wish you nothing but the best in the interviewing process and a successful, offer-filled recruitment season!
Join Macy’s tomorrow at 7:00 PM at the Wasserman Center to learn more about Macy’s and the different functions across Macy’s and Bloomingdales. This is a great opportunity to network with potential employers and to learn more about the industry in an interactive setting.
RSVP through NYU CareerNet!