Erica Baity is seriously one knowledgeable lady when it comes to strategizing for the all-important interview. This Balanced Babe shares her advice and tips on interview success, the importance of networking, and common interview blunders. Erica’s mission is to be that “guiding compass each step of the way” when it comes to strategizing for interviews. She welcomes the opportunity to connect with other women… “whether it’s transitioning into a new role, a new company or even going into business for themselves.” You can learn more about her at: ericambaity.com
BB: You started out majoring in Pre-Med Chemistry. Somewhere along the way you realized this wasn’t your dream. How did this come about and when did you realize that your strengths and passion involved helping others achieve success in their careers goals?
I went through a period of trying to “find myself” in my mid 20s. I had a great job that paid well and had clear upward mobility, but I wasn’t happy. I thought finding another job would fill that void. So I left and took on a new position. I still felt something was missing and began to job search again. That eventually led to job hopping. My friends noticed how easy it was for me to land interviews and get hired for high-paying positions and they wanted my help. So I began helping them. As change was happening in their careers, I was presented other referrals.
Eventually I realised that the void was filled when I was serving others. Sharing my knowledge and skills to help them change their lives drastically. It’s an amazing feeling I have when I get an email from a client saying she just increased her salary by 30% and that she has more flexibility. Or to get a call immediately after a client has had an interview and they say “I Rocked It”.
Helping others have passion-filled careers is my passion. I know what it feels like now and it’s my goal that those I consult with experience the same. It’s a win-win.
BB: Early in your entrepreneurial career, you invested in a personal coach. Did this have a major impact on your future success?
YES!!! When I was going at it alone I faced many obstacles. I often felt stuck; caught up in a whirlwind. I didn’t know whether to go left or right, up or down. It was very overwhelming and frustrating. I was just turning my wheels and getting no where. But when I made the investment in the ‘RIGHT’ coach, things kicked into gear. She had been there before and knew exactly how to get me out of that revolving cycle. She helped me work through my mental barriers and create the mental space to take my personal and business life to the next level.
BB: How important is networking when it comes to getting the interview?
Networking is extremely instrumental in getting the interview. At lot of your career success comes from “who you know”. I encourage my clients to network, network, network during their job search and to continue it afterwards. It’s not about quantity, it’s quality. Letting your network know that you’re in the market can open doors that a resume can’t do. So if you’re not networking, commit to expanding your network by at least one person per week. The key is to have your network established before you need them.
BB: Can you give us one of your top tips for interview success?
One of my top tips for interview success is to always have three projects that you’ve worked on in your career prepared to be discussed. Knowing the details (the good, the bad and the ugly) of those projects can probably answer 85% of the interview questions. Most interviews are about “tell me a time when…”
Having an arsenal of projects ready to discuss can help you respond to many of these questions with ease. I have an interview prep guide that will take you through this process step by step. You can grab it here.
BB: What would you say are the top three blunders made during the interview process?
The first of the top three blunders made during the interview process is people not being prepared. Those that aren’t prepared stumble over questions that could easily be answered if they spent at least two hours practicing ahead of time.
Another thing I see is not admitting when you don’t know the answer to a question. Some people feel if they just ramble on making up stuff as they go the interviewer will not recognize they didn’t answer the question. However, if I ask you a question, I know what I’m looking to hear. All that other stuff is just babble. This is the quickest way to get you in the “pass” pile. If you don’t know the answer admit you don’t know but explain how you would go about finding it.
The final thing I would say is rambling; trying to decorate the response with more than what is needed. I understand that some of that may be due to nerves, but you must establish an internal check that will let you know when you’ve talked long enough. You want to keep the interviewer engaged. If you’re on an 8 minute rant to a question that warranted a 2 minute response, you’ve lost their attention.
BB: As a businesswoman, wife and mother, how do you maintain the Balanced Babe lifestyle?
I pamper myself weekly. I have a standing appointment with my stylist. A girl has to stay looking fabulous. I also stay conscious of what I feed myself and my family. When you’re on the go it’s so easy to grab something quick. And that adds up over time. Dinner time is family time. No computer or television. It’s all about family during that time.. I also make it a point to not overextend myself on the weekends with business. I use my weekends as time to wind down and relax with my husband and kids.
Photo sources: ericambaity.com