Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hoffman York Interview

Hey Everyone! As you may know I head to Chicago this week to continue the Job Safari. I was making my rounds and calling different Chicago agencies to schedule some interviews when I was granted the wonderful experience of talking to Cathy Brendel, HR associate at Hoffman York’s main office in Milwaukee, WI. I had such a nice chat with Ms. Brendel and she offered some excellent insight and advice.


Here is the official site for HY http://www.hoffmanyork.com/ if you would like to check it out. This agency is extremely client-focused and works hard to provide a fully integrated experience. HY is very focused on teamwork and providing a focused message.

Some General Advice

Ms. Brendel stressed how important it is to be prepared and research an agency prior to the interview. Take the time to prepare yourself for an interview so that you will appear as relaxed and calm as possible. Bring a notebook and ask intelligent, agency-related questions. Asking good questions is a surefire way to create that “wow” factor. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and be able to relay your specific skills to the position. 'Always send a thank-you note' was another great piece of advice from Ms. Brendel. She stressed how surprising it is how many people don’t do this. Also, do not forget to follow up. A simple phone call to the agency to tell them how interested you are in the position is a great way to stand out.

BE CAREFUL OF SPELLING AND GRAMMATICAL ERRORS! Seeing these can instantly turn an employer or recruiter off. I also asked Ms. Brendel what would WOW her. She said that being prepared is an excellent way to do that.

Again, research your agency, ask the right questions, and know how your skills apply specifically to the position.

On the job market in Milwaukee:

Ms. Brendel said that Milwaukee is a wonderful, active city full of vibrant culture. But the economy has affected the city and the job market there is difficult.

On the resume:

Ms. Brendel stressed the importance of a good image. Again, be careful of grammatical and spelling errors. I also asked if a plain word resume or a graphics-oriented resume is best. She said that it depends on the position. While it is important to stand out, a plain, simple resume would be best for a client services position, and a graphics-oriented resume would be best for a creative position. Also, don’t be afraid to make yourself stand out. It’s always a good idea to send some promotional materials to the agency for the purpose of making yourself look unique and creative.

Thanks Ms. Brendel! Talking to you was a great experience!


  1. She's so right about the follow up and grammatical errors. Nothing will get your application tossed in the garbage faster than if the hiring manager sees a typo or misspelling on the resume or cover letter. I've been told that hiring managers tend to compare the way a candidate searchs for a job with the way he/she will actually perform the job, so if you show up late, under (or over) dressed, don't follow-up, don't come prepared, etc... don't count on being asked back for a second interview!

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