Now we’re on the downhill side of summer hurtling towards autumn and reality, we start to think about what we’re doing with our lives and how we’re going to achieve all those incredible things people told us we could do.
It’s scary as shit, and even more so when you’ve just gotten your degree and have to launch yourself from a star spangled canon into adult life with a helmet on and a stick of dynamite in your teeth.
Looking for jobs is the fun part, scouring sites and finding the ones that really get you excited. The interview is the hard part.
Presenting the absolute best version of yourself with minimal “um”s and “like”s isn’t as easy as it sounds, no matter how awesome you think you are.
But as someone who so far has kept a 100% success rate of getting career jobs I wanted (I will be honest and say that’s only been 2 so far, but still) I may know thing or two that could help you.
So you’ve gotten that sacred call back, speaking to some HR minion while you do your happy dance in the living room, in your pyjamas, at midday with the Home Shopping Network on mute in the background.
Now you need to research as much as you can about the business and even the interviewer if you get a name.
Few things will impress a prospective employer more than being well informed about their business, work and clients. Try asking questions or making comments about their projects that show you put in the hard yards.
What To Wear
My mum always told me there’s no such thing as being too overdressed.
While as a teenager I vehemently argued against this and felt like biggest dick in the room turning up in my Sunday best all the time, she’s right in this case.
Dressing well obviously makes you look good, but more importantly shows that you respect the person you’re meeting and that you put in extra effort, both in yourself and your work.
But remember to also dress appropriately for the company. You wouldn’t wear the same thing to interview for a finance position at PWC as you would at a creative graphic design firm. You want to make them believe you’ll fit in with their company culture.
Questions To Ask
Yes an interview is based around someone asking you a lot of questions, but don’t think so hard about the answers that you forget to ask some of your own.
Asking questions about the company shows them you’re interested, but is also for your benefit to make sure the company will be a good fit for you. Asking three to five questions is recommended and could be along the lines of:
- What are you looking for in your ideal candidate?
- What’s the largest problem facing your staff or business?
- What’s been your favourite part about working here?
- Does the company offer any further training or education?
- What can you tell me about the team I would be working with?
Learn About Interviewing
This sounds a bit geeky, and is going the extra mile, but researching things like body language and communication techniques can really make a difference, especially if you’re nervous or unsure of yourself. I’ve found some excellent TED Talks on subjects such as these which are worth checking out.
And let’s face it, you’re unemployed, you have the time.
- Julian Treasure – ‘How To Speak So People Want To Listen’
- Pamela Meyer – ‘How To Spot A Liar’
- Amy Cuddy – ‘Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are’
- Larry Smith – ‘Why You Fail To Have A Great Career’
- Susan Colantuono – ‘The Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get’
Now dust off that resume, firm up your handshake and brush those pearly whites before you step out to conquer the world, or whatever that motivational poster in your career counsellor’s office once told you.
Image: Lwp Kommunikáció