Never Had A Job Interview?

Never Had A Job Interview?

If you’re about to head into your first interview, it can be pretty daunting. Preparing for an interview can be difficult, especially for beginners. Here’s what you can expect from a job interview, along with you some helpful ideas on the best way to prepare for it.

 

What to Expect

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way. You will most likely meet with one person, at their place of work to talk about getting a job. It’ll probably be you and the employer sitting down across from one another at their desk, or at a boardroom table.

Your interviewer may ask to see your resume. Depending on their hiring process, it’s never a guarantee they’ve seen it before. So always bring a copy of your resume with you. This is something beginners often forget. Make sure you bring it in something that prevents it from getting bent. If your interviewer asks to see your resume and you pull out a crumpled piece of paper, that’s all they’ll need to know about how much you want this position.

What Questions to Expect

Every interviewer is different and every interview will vary as far as the questions go. However, when you’re preparing for an interview there are a few common ones you can expect. Your interviewer will probably ask you to tell them a little bit about yourself. This is so they can get a sense of who you are. Give a brief description of where you went to high school and college, talk about your interests and how they led you to this position.

You’ll also be asked about a specific time in your past where you demonstrated a key ability. Most often, the ability they will ask about comes right from the job posting. Make sure to think of specific examples from work or school where you overcame an obstacle, had to deal with a difficult team member or found success. The more you can relate these to the job your interviewing for, the better.

Another very common question is where you see yourself in five years, or what your goals for the job are. When you are ready with an answer to this question it shows that you’ve thought about your future with the company.

How to Prepare for the Interview

Now that you know what to expect and what questions you might get, what else can you do to make sure you’re ready? The number one thing you can do is learn about the company! A demonstrated knowledge about the company shows you’re interested in not just the job, but this specific company as well. It can be as easy as checking out their website and following them on Facebook and Twitter.

When preparing for an interview you have to give yourself time. It may seem inconsequential compared with everything else you have to prepare, but have your outfit chosen and ready. Nothing is going to make you feel more nervous than running late. Have your resume printed and your clothes picked the night before. Make sure to give yourself lots of time to arrive.

Finally, make sure you have some questions for your interviewer. At the end of most interviews, you will be asked if you have any questions. If you don’t have one you give the impression that you uninterested. Having one or two questions will help you learn more about the position and prove that you’re interested in the job. A couple ideas for questions are “what does a typical day look like in this job” or “Why do you enjoy working for this company?

Prepared for the Interview

You’re all ready to go! Your resume and clothes ready. You’ve looked into the company your interviewing with and know all about them. You  have answers to the questions they’re likely to ask, and you’ve even thought of some of your own. All that’s left is to ace this interview and get the job! Good Luck.

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How to Write a Great Cover Letter

How to Write a Great Cover Letter

For most people writing a cover letter is one of the most difficult parts of the job search. You have to sell yourself, but be modest. You have to be professional, but you also want your personality to come out. Learning to write a great cover letter can be hard. We’re here to make it a little easier.

Resume Writing 101 – Some Basics

Resume Writing 101 - The Job Window

Keep it updated.

The perfect job has come up! You’re so excited. It matches your qualifications and experiences perfectly. Finally after all your searching here it is! You’re going to send your resume off immediately!! Except – your resume is not up-to-date. Ahhhrrrrgggh.

Note to self and anyone else out there who is looking for a job or planning on a career change: Keep your resume updated. Even if you don’t go in and consistently add to your resume, at least keep a tally of everything you’re doing professionally so you can update it easily when the time comes.   And that doesn’t just mean updating with work experience. It includes volunteering, classes, lectures, relevant personal experiences. If you don’t write things down you might forget. If you’re rushing to update your resume because that perfect job is waving at you from across the street, you might forget. The best way to avoid forgetting or losing track is to make a point of checking in with your resume regularly.

Make sure your resume is easy to understand and straightforward.

 Sometimes when you’re trying to impress the hiring manager you may fatten things up or over-blow your accomplishments or duties. Remember the person reading your resume is also reading a lot of other resumes. Essentially they want to see at a glance where you worked and what you did. You’ll have the chance to go into detail at the interview. HR people:

  1. Don’t want to waste time trying to sift through all the fluff to find the nuggets in the center.   
  2. Are pretty good at spotting exaggeration and may not end up with a very positive impression of elaboration weaving resume writer.

Get someone else to read your resume for you.

 You may think your resume is straightforward, easy to understand and completely free of spelling and/or grammatical errors, but most probably you are wrong. You are reading what you’re expecting to read. Mistakes are hidden right there in front of your eyes. What seems very self-explanatory to you, could mean different things to other people.  A resume always benefits from the view of a set of fresh eyes.

Resumes are not one size fits all.

Use specific resumes for specific roles. Tailor your resume for each you job you apply for.  Highlight specific details that will catch the attention of the HR manager. Bring significant experiences to the forefront. Make sure the person reading your resume sees specifically what you want them to see.

 

Success is Like a Stroll into Traffic

This morning I found myself in a predicament. I was trapped on the wrong side of the road from the bus I needed to catch. Cars zooming by stood between me and getting to the bus before it departed.  Frustratingly, I knew that as soon as the light changed and made it for me to safely cross, the bus would drive away. It was infuriating because the thing I was so desperate for was right in front of my face, yet unreachable.

Beside me was a man I’d never spoken to, but recognized from the bus every morning. He was tall and always wore professional attire – clearly on his way to work as well. As I reluctantly accepted my fate of having to catch the next bus, he did something else.

He casually walked into the traffic. Not in a gap in the flow of traffic – right into it! He didn’t run, or look even slightly nervous. He casually, calmly walked across the street. Cars slowed down for him, drivers staring at him in bewilderment.  He had this crazy confidence about him – like he knew no one would hit him, like he was above even worrying about things like that. And he got the bus.

I, of course, waited for the light, and even though I ran across, it still left without me. I was 20 minutes late for work, and he presumably got wherever he was going in good time.

He did something that was objectively stupid, and I didn’t, but he succeeded in his goal and I didn’t.

As I waited for the next bus, I thought about that. Maybe that’s what success is all about. Doing objectively stupid things with the confidence of a God. The way he sauntered across the street – forcing everyone else to slow down, controlling the people around him instead of letting them control him through sheer force of will and dumb determination. That’s what you have to do. Ignore the obstacles, or the things that could damage you, and just go. Don’t wait for the light to change. Don’t catch the next bus. Catch the one you want when you want it because damnit, you can. Maybe success is about taking gigantic risks, not playing it safe – about doing things that shock people, doing whatever it takes to reach the end goal.

Maybe success is about blindly walking into traffic. (But not literally. That man was clearly insane!)