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Ellyn Enisman is an expert in helping college students and new grads successfully navigate one of the most challenging times of their life….interviewing for their first job after graduation.

photo of Ellyn EnismanIn my 25 years in both the recruiting industry and corporate recruiting, I have recruited, interviewed, hired, and helped to find jobs for, thousands of college students and new grads. I have seen the most qualified candidates lose out to those who interviewed better. Too many times I agonized over making a decision between several candidates for the same position when each of them was equal to the other. Too many times I would post an ad on a job board and receive more than 125 responses within 20 minutes. The competition is fierce!

However, every now and then, I would interview a new grad who would outshine the rest by far. I hired many that didn’t meet all of the qualifications and many that had a G.P.A. lower than what I originally wanted. Every time that this occurred it was for the same reason. This candidate answered questions based on their own experiences, with specific examples, and highlights from their internships, paid employment, community service, and life experiences. They were prepared and spoke with confidence. They fearlessly asked very specific questions and knew their strengths and weaknesses. They answered my questions with stories of their experiences that supported what they said. I remembered them long after they left my office.

Each time I interviewed a new grad, I found myself wanting to spend more time with them to uncover the strengths and skills I knew were there. However, when you are hiring for as many positions as I was, it was impossible. I could tell that many of these grads did not know what they had to offer. They lacked confidence, were not as prepared as they should have been, and they were often nervous and jittery. I didn’t get to know the real person.

Ten years ago, as members of my own family were graduating from college, many of their friends called on me for advice and help. I found myself helping them understand how their experiences and education shaped who they are today, and together we defined their knowledge, skills, abilities, and strengths. Out of this work I developed a proprietary assessment and discovery process that enabled students to create answers to the most typical interview questions as well as the most difficult questions. These answers came out of their personal experiences, and, in reality, we created their personal brand. We practiced the different types of interviews and we had success over and over. They interviewed with confidence. They got jobs and the jobs they wanted.

I found this work so rewarding. Every time I got the phone call and heard “I got the job!” I got chills. I can’t call this work because I love every minute of working side by side with my students. In 1998, I decided to do what I loved and College to Career Coaching was born. Now in 2009, with the launch of my blog site and the soon to arrive membership site, every student will be able to take advantage of the method and formula that I have personally created. There are many ways to participate. Students can utilize the site for coaching in career exploration, resume preparation, interview coaching, and job search strategies. I am looking forward to hearing about all the new successes!

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