The Impassioned Plea Technique

One of the worst things that can happen with a lottery or bid system is that you can fall short of making the cut for an interview with a company with which you really wanted to interview. So what now? Roll over and die? No! Just because "the system" cut you out does not mean you have forever missed your opportunity to meet with this employer. Do some basic research and find out the name of the recruiter who is coming to campus—most Career Centers will freely give you the information (if they have it). In other cases you may have to track down the information yourself by calling the company directly. Once you have located the person, call the company and leave a message for the recruiter. Have them label the message "Urgent." If you do not get a call by the day before the recruiter's arrival on campus, call the company, get the name of the hotel/motel where the recruiter is staying during the campus visit, and call there.

When you reach the recruiter, make your impassioned plea—you truly wanted to meet for an interview, but you were artificially (make sure you use that word!) excluded from the scheduled interviews by the lottery system. Ask if you can meet with the recruiter either early or late; during lunch, dinner, or breakfast; whenever! Even if you have to pay for the meal (usually you won't—most recruiters will offer to pay since they are on an expense account), it will be one of the best $10 or $20 investments you will make in your job search. Why? Because you will automatically stand out in the recruiter's mind as the person who was diligent enough to make things happen. One final note: if you do meet for a meal, either order light or do not order anything at all—you need to keep your mouth unoccupied and available for speaking. Let the interviewer eat while you describe why you are the best thing to come along since sliced bread.