The spring semester is coming to a close, which means that soon an enormous influx of graduates will be arriving to the job market eager to put their years of education and training to the test. This can be an overwhelming transition. Graduates will often overlook some of the essential aspects of the job interview process and make key mistakes which can determine whether they are hired, fired, or passed on.
If you’re one of these incoming graduates or if you also happen to be on the job hunt, you have come to the right place. Here are ten pieces of advice I can offer to help you get your dream job; in no particular order:
1) A big part of getting what you want is knowing what you want. I frequently come across unprepared job candidates that don’t have a real understanding of the position and company. Take the time to research the company, position, and the interviewer. It’s not who you know or what you know, but what you know about whom.
2) If you’re applying for a job coming straight out of college, it should be a dream job. It may seem far-fetched or unreasonable on the surface, but you never know if you can make an impact at your dream job until you try. You should have a great picture of what it would be like to work for this dream company and you need to be able to describe that during your interview.
3) Dress up, don’t dress down. Why not be the best dressed for your interview? It can only help your chances. This includes both for in person interviews but also for video chat interviews.
4) Your best questions always will come from listening to the interviewer about what he or she says the job entails. It’s smart to have some logistical questions prepared, but following up the interviewer’s dialogue with specific questions will help show your interest in the position much more and also show that you’re a great listener.
5) Differentiate yourself in the way you communicate. Send a hand-written note to your interviewer before and after your interview rather than an email. Tell them that you’re looking forward to the interview and discuss your thoughts on the position, and then follow up with a thank you card.
6) Bring something to the interview that you think would be of interest to the interviewer. It could be something as simple as a small trinket, book, or article that could be pertinent to that person’s life; such as perhaps where they went to college. I would always go in with some form of information, because it can help make your interview stick out from the pack more.
7) You always want to get to the interview early. While you’re waiting, try to take a peek and observe the energy of the office. If you come across any of the employees, ask them how they feel about the workplace culture. This will help you get a feel for what the job could be like, and if it may be a fit for you.
8) I like to use Google Alerts to discover new information about companies in real-time. In most cases, it’s more important to know what is happening right now than what happened twenty years ago. Do your research, be thorough, and be up to date.
9) Network yourself. Check and see if you know anyone who has had any direct ties to the company before your interview. They can potentially serve as a reference for you or at the very least give you some insights about how the company is run.
10) Finding a job is a job. You have to have a strategy. Take advantage of every possible angle or lead you have to give yourself an edge at getting your dream job. The more you know and the more help you can get, the better the chance you have at making an impact on your interviewer.
Song Of The Day: “He Got Game” by Public Enemy
Movie Quote Of The Day: “Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get” (Forrest Gump)