We’ve reached the mid-point of March and it’s inching closer to the end of another academic year. For some, it’s even the end of your collegiate careers. I’ve had the pleasure of talking with a number of students about their resumes. The next step is using that resume to help get you either an internship or a job.
A good cover letter and resume will get you an interview, but when you are in the room, what do you do? I was chatting with a colleague the other day and we were discussing this very topic. The interview can either make or break you with a potential employer. I’ve been on few interviews and here are five nuggets of advice as you get ready for your own.
1) Be prepared to discuss your weakness- No one is perfect. Don’t be afraid to admit that you need to work on your pitching to the media or even developing strategic plans.
2) Sell yourself- This is the opportunity to be proud of your past accomplishments. Don’t be cocky, but tell the interviewer why you’d be a good fit for their firm or organization.
3) Do not ramble- The answers to questions shouldn’t be the length of the State of the Union address. If you go over two minutes and thirty seconds, it’s too long. Be descriptive, but concise.
4) Do not ask about vacation- The worst thing you can do is say, “How much time do we get off from work?” That isn’t exactly the way you want to sell yourself. An employer will already start to think that you don’t want to really work.
5) Be innovative- Impress your future boss. If you are applying for a job that requires you to work around technology, why not put your portfolio on an iPad and show your skills? It also may not hurt to make sure your blog is on there, too.
Keep in mind that once you get that interview, they want to like you. Don’t give the interviewer a reason not to.
What other interview techniques do you find helpful? Let me know in the comments section!
Let’s be honest. At some point, someone – maybe even you- skipped out of work to go for a job interview. Believe it or not, your employer probably knows it. But, if you get the new job, so what if anyone figures it out? Well, what if you DON’T get the job and you have to walk in the door at your old job. It’s bound to get awkward, especially if you are confronted by your boss.
1. Address it… IMMEDIATELY. We talk about being open and transparent to our clients, so do the same with your employer. Tell him/her that you are sorry they found out the way they did. Explain that you’ve had great experiences with the company, but you need to explore your options. You don’t want to burn the bridge.
2. Compliment your boss. I’m not talking about being a brown noser, though. Tell your boss (honestly) that you’ve learned a great deal while working for the company. Even though you would want to leave, he/she has probably taught you a thing or two. Tell them that they’ve set a great example for your career moving forward.
3. Don’t show up in your interview outfit. If your office is causal dress, don’t stroll in with a suit. At least change out of what you interviewed in. Tip 3a: Try to set up any interview after work hours or take a personal day. This will alleviate any possible conflicts.
4. Don’t flaunt that you’re interviewing. Word travels fast, especially in a small company. Be respectful of your colleagues and practice discretion. This does not mean you shouldn’t ask advice from trusted mentors. Just keep your chatter to a minimum.
5. Be prepared for some backlash. There could be hard feelings, especially within smaller companies. Just because you tell your boss afterwards, it doesn’t mean he’ll be all peachy. There may be a trust issue moving forward.
Keep in mind how you would handle the situation if you were in your boss’ shoes. It provides good perspective now and in the future.
Been caught or know of someone who was? Let me know your thoughts on this below.