Tag Archives: rewarding career

7 Things Students Need to Get a Job at Chick-fil-A

Why Should We Hire You by Brooks HarperRecently I had the occasion to hear an owner/operator of Chick-fil-A speak about customer service and what separates them from all other fast food restaurants.  “Our people make the difference!”  Because Chick-fil-A places tremendous emphasis on making customers “feel like family,” they are extremely careful and meticulous about what they look for in potential customer service associates.  It doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 80 years of age, there are 7 characteristics you must possess in order to be considered for hire:

1.  A SMILE on your face.

A smile on your face indicates that you have a “serving spirit” and a love for helping others.  When a customer walks in the door of Chick-fil-A, it is understood that this could very well be the first time that customer has ever been into their restaurant.  They want that customer to be greeted with a warm smile that makes them feel at home.

2.  Enthusiasm

Chick-fil-A believes that having a positive attitude is a choice that all of its associates must make.  Enthusiasm is contagious and employees feed off of each other creating an exciting atmosphere to work in.  Their team’s energy creates an unforgettable experience for the customer.

3.  Eye Contact

When you look someone in the eye it shows you have a high level of attentiveness to their needs.   One of Chick-fil-A’s priorities is to make emotional connections with its customers, and eye contact is necessary to make this happen.  When you ask for the application and meet with the manager, make sure you make appropriate, tasteful eye contact.  If you can make an emotional connection with the manager, then you are one step closer to hearing, “You’re hired!”

4.  Good Grades and Decisions

Chick-fil-A expects their employees to work hard and grades are reflection of the effort you are willing to put in when you are on the clock.  Making good choices shows you are interested in protecting your personal brand and implies you will protect Chick-fil-A’s brand as well.

5.  “Coachability”

Your ability to accept and apply the training and instruction provided will be critical to your success.  Student applicants are often asked, “What is
some of the best criticism you have received?”  Be prepared to share feedback you have received and how you implemented it to make improvements.

6.  Personal Development

“What do you do in your free time?” is a common question asked of students who apply at Chick-fil-A.  They want to know you are goal oriented and interested in developing as a person and employee.   It is important that your free time activities are closely tied to the goals you have set for yourself.

7.  Community Involvement

Your level of involvement in your neighborhood and community shows you are concerned about others and want to make a difference.   “Tell me about a time when you helped someone else?”  Your ability to effectively answer this question will display your compassion for others and indicate how you will potentially treat and serve customers.

If you possess these 7 characteristics then you are well on your way to gainful employment at Chick-fil-A or any company that prides itself in providing exemplary customer service.  Learn more about setting yourself apart, CLICK HERE!

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5 Questions To Ask The Company Interviewing You

The questions you ask during your interview can be as important as the answers you give to their questions.

Typically when interviewers are through with their questions, you will be given an opportunity to ask questions of your own.  This is a pivotal junction in the interview.  It is an opportunity for you to shine, and it allows them a chance to see how you perform when the roles are reversed.  You now are able to showcase your level of interest in the position and force them to sell you on why you should come to work for them.

Asking genuine, compelling questions, can plant a seed in interviewers’ minds that they must convince you their company should be your employer of choice.  Psychologically their role changes from interviewers to recruiters.  Being recruited is much more fun than being a job seeker.  Once this transformation takes place, it is common for your interviewers to begin telling and selling all the other decision makers on why they think you would be the best “fit” for the position.  Conducted properly, this portion of the interview can close the deal and position you as the top candidate of choice.

Here are 5 questions to consider asking in your next interview:

What do you enjoy about working here?

This gives your interviewer a chance to highlight the positive things about their company.  They may even open up a little more about themselves and discuss their personal successes with the company.  Receive what they say with equal    enthusiasm and you may want to follow up with a statement like this:  “I hope to enjoy that same type of success here!”

How soon are you planning to fill this position?

If you are interviewing with multiple companies, this will help you manage when potential offers may come.  Knowing when the position is to be filled also gives you an indication as to how far along you are in the decision process.  Sometimes the answers you get are vague, and sometimes estimated hire dates are moved based on budgets or a variety of factors.  If you detect a sense of urgency about filling the open position, this could be a good sign for you.

If I am hired, to whom would I be reporting?

It is important to know who you will be working for and whether or not you are professionally compatible with that person.  During your interview with a hiring manager, try to envision yourself working for that person and enjoying it.  Sometimes the hiring manager will be excited about you, but you aren’t getting the same warm and fuzzy feeling.  If this is the case, think long and hard before you accept the position.  It can be better to wait for the right boss to come along.

Do you have any concerns about hiring me?

You may get a textbook corporate/politically correct answer here. Hopefully if they do have some reservations about hiring you, then they are open enough to share them.  This gives you an opportunity to respond to their concerns.  Once you’re out the door and the interview is over, then it is too late to overcome their concerns.  If you don’t ask then that one thing in the back of their minds that bothered them about your candidacy can cost you the position.

If they share concerns, DO NOT BE DEFENSIVE!  Receive the feedback openly and with empathy.  Thank them for their openness and candor, then make your attempt to overcome their concern. 

Whatis the next step in the interview process?

This question lets you know if there are other steps in the process and how many other decision makers there may be.  As long as you’re in the interview you have an opportunity to convince them why you are the best candidate.  Don’t save your best stuff for the interview you give in the car on the ride home.  Once you know what their next move is:  BE SURE TO ASK TO MOVE FORWARD in the interview process!!!!  Some companies eliminate candidates if they don’t ask to participate in the next phase.

When interviewing for a position, remember that it is your responsibility to interview the company and hiring manager as well.  Done properly it will enhance your candidacy and give you the information you need to make your decision.  For more information on how to knock your next interview out of the park check out Brooks Harper’s Book, Why Should We Hire You? by clicking here!

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Why Should We Hire YOU?

Why Should We Hire You by Brooks HarperWhy should we hire you?

The Grand Daddy of all interview questions!  The next few words that come out of your mouth are going to determine whether or not you are negotiating salary or sending out more resumes.

Let’s assume for a moment that up to this point in the interview you have been knocking every question they throw you out of the park. You have been precise, succinct, articulate and compelling. If you blow this question then nothing else may matter. Don’t forget that you are not the only one interviewing. The competition is fierce. Assume that they have already interviewed 10 other people with similar education and experience, and they were precise, succinct, articulate and compelling as well. It all comes down to: “Why should we hire you?”

At this point, most people begin to relist their attributes that they just spent the last 30 to 60 minutes talking about like: I’m an ethical, hard-working, team oriented, do-what-it takes, individual with an entrepreneurial spirit….blah…blah…blah. They’ve heard it. They asked you, “Why should we hire you?” They didn’t ask you to summarize everything all over again. Most people remember you by what you say or do last. This is your chance to culminate everything that is great about you into one final closing statement. It would be similar to the closing arguments in a court case. All the facts have been presented. The evidence has been thoroughly examined. Now the attorney stands and delivers his final remarks to the judge and jury, whose verdict will determine the fate of their client. This is your closing argument and the content and strength of your delivery will determine wheCareer_Week_focuses_students_on_future1_1366983631ther or not they hire you or someone else.

Personally, I live for this moment. I consider myself a closer. Not everyone is. I have used multiple closing statements in interviews, the most memorable being my Michael Jordan story, to close the deal. As I have progressed in my career and interviewed for higher level positions the expectation for this moment has increased. The Michael Jordan story was extremely effective coming from a 21 year old recent college graduate, but it may seem a little elementary coming from a seasoned professional. I have developed what has proven to be one the strongest closes that I have ever heard. This may seem biased, but the fact is I have received a job offer every time that I have used it. If it works for me it may work for you, at least in some variation. You may need to adjust it a little to fit your situation.

To find out more about the Michael Jordan close and how I answer the question: “Why Should We Hire You?” check out my book with the same title at the store page of my website: Click Here

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Career Development Expert, Brooks Harper, Featured in Clarendon Citizen

“There are three types of students: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who say ‘what happened?‘,” Brooks Harper told an audience of freshmen and sophomores at Manning High School on Thursday, Dec.15…… CLICK HERE  to read article.

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Turn Your Passion into Your Paycheck

Mark Twain said, “I do not regret the things I have done, but the things I did not do.”

I was in an industry for 10 years in which I made a comfortable living and gleaned invaluable experience, but I was miserable. Every Sunday evening around 4:00 pm I would begin to get a sick feeling in my stomach. That feeling was the angst from having to go to a job the next day that I couldn’t stand. I worked in a cut throat environment where you were only as good as the current day’s performance. I gave ten years of my career only to hear, “What have you done for me lately?” It seemed I was always one lost account or wrong decision away from losing my job. It kept me on my toes, but it was no way to live my life. My manager used to tell me, “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger!” but it began to feel like a slow death. When I would go on vacation it would take about four days for me to finally turn the job off and start enjoying it. I knew something had to change.

Then someone asked me a simple question that I had never thought of. This question was the catalyst that helped me plot a new course in my career: “If you could write your own job description, what would it be?” I couldn’t answer that question. I had never really taken the time to consider what I would really enjoy. If I was given a pen and a piece of paper and told to write my own job description and that’s what I would be doing what would it be? This questioned helped me realize that I had been going about my career all wrong. I was like many people that decide what they want to do by looking at help wanted ads. Instead of writing my own job description I was settling for the job descriptions that other people had written and I am not alone. Since that day I have asked many people the same question only to get confused, blank faced responses. It rarely occurs to people that they can write their own job description.

I came to the realization that if I work 40 hours a week for 35 years, I will have spent 72800 hours at work. If I’m going to put that much of my life and energy into something, then I mind as well enjoy what I am doing. I have always wanted to labor with a sense of purpose. Sure, I am as interested in making a good living as anyone else, but I want to be passionate about what I am doing. I decided to turn my passion of helping others into my paycheck.

For some of you, it may be that you’re just sick and tired of that feeling you get at 4:00 p.m. every Sunday afternoon as the reality of another week of working at a company, doing a job that you cannot stand, answering to someone who does not appreciate you, and collecting a wage at the end of the week that barely pays the bills sets in. For others it’s not about money, you’re just ready to do something you truly enjoy and are passionate about.

Sit down with a pen and a piece of paper and write your job description. Think about the things you are good at and the things you are passionate about and merge them into a rewarding career. Once you have your job description in writing it’s time to put a plan together. Find people who are successful doing what you want to do and learn from them. Put a step by step plan together to achieve your dream job. You are not as far away as you think. Don’t live another day in regret!

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