Leave a Job Interview with Confidence!

Hello everyone! Happy Tuesday! Being almost done my Commerce degree, a conversation I’m constantly having with my friends at school starts off with, “what the Hell are we going to do after we’re done school?”

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With a degree that is so broad and general, and a marketing and management major, the possibilities are endless, yet also limited when one doesn’t have “5-7 years experience” like many of the job postings are looking for. They ALSO require a business degree; so I have one of those, but one of those are more valuable than the other…the experience. Nowadays, I’m trying to be more involved and put myself out there, and show that I can contribute mutually to a company or job, but paid experience, in my opinion, is more valuable on a resumé, you can correct me if I’m wrong, because I’m new to this.

I’m writing today about techniques and advice that I’ve collected to help someone get a job. These tips are from conversations I’ve had with managers, friends with established careers, and human resources and career advisors that I’ve talked to in the past.

Obviously, the first thing you need is a resumé, which is a one to two page summary of all your work and volunteer experience, as well as your level of education and other talents (computer competent, excellent public speaker, etc.). There are many templates online that you can use to make sure your resumé is in the correct format, but make sure it is not too long, and that you’re not using any irrelevant information about yourself. I also learned that if you are applying for a specific job, cater your resumé to the job requirements, because if your words match what they are looking for in the position, you’ll be recognized as a suitable candidate.

Make sure you have a cover letter that says why you fit the job and mention anybody that you know that you feel might help you get the position, or if you’ve met the person you are writing, if it was a good encounter, remind them of how you met or any conversations that took place. This is why networking is important and leaving memorable, positive impressions on people is valuable.

On the note of leaving a good impression, if possible, GO to the place you are applying and try to give you resumé to the manager. If they’ve already met you, know you’re seriously interested in a job, and see what you look like, how you talk, and present yourself, they’ll remember you when they see your name among all the other applicants.

Once you’ve gotten your callback (congrats! You’re halfway to getting a job), instead of winging the interview, try to recall questions you’ve been asked in previous interviews, or read the photo I posted below, which shows the common questions employers ask applicants. KNOW the answers to these questions, as well as a little background on the position you are applying for, and you should be able to have a smooth conversation-like interview with the interviewee. Knowing how to answer any situational questions, where they give you a scenario and ask you “what would you do if  _______?” is also important. They want to know if you can handle any future challenges you may have to face.

So you're trying to get a job...

A question that is not on that photo that I’ve gotten almost every interview I’ve done is, “What makes you special?” This question always caught me off guard, because after talking about EVERYTHING you’ve done and want to do, and all the experience you have, what LEFT do I have to say that makes me “special” that I haven’t said yet? All you have left to do is repeat anything you feel you haven’t shown justice by rewording it differently, sharing a story, or planning the answer to this question ahead of time. You can often read the employer’s body language and face to know how the interview is going. I’ve noticed that in successful interviews, the employer seems laid back and eager to ask more questions, not to put more pressure on you, but because they don’t mind continuing the conversation with you; they like what you, you’re saying, and see you in the company.

It’s not only important to have great answers to an employer’s questions, but to have valuable questions for the employer. Asking them how the organization’s culture is, what type of people they generally look for in the position you are applying for, and if the conversation seems to be more open, asking the employer how he or she ended up in their position is good too. Some employers like sharing their story, and if their candidates seem interested in wondering how to grow in the company, it shows an interest in a long-term commitment and also the trait of future loyalty to the company. These tips of asking the employer these questions is not really necessary for a job that has high turnover, like being a cashier at Wal-Mart, but for jobs that you feel can turn into careers, I recommend asking questions.

After the interview process is over, you can only sit tight and wait for the follow up. If you haven’t heard anything immediately, wait a few days, or until the next Monday, to call back and ask what their decision was. If you did get the job, congrats! Maybe they were just taking their time to get back to all the applicants or were waiting for a specific date to hire people…if you didn’t get the job, don’t just say “thanks for your time” and hang up the phone or ignore their email, ASK for feedback. Ask questions such as “in what areas did you feel I did not meet the requirements?” “Where do you feel I could use improvement?” “What did you feel my strengths were?” A lot of times, the interviewee has all these answers written in their notes from the interview, so knowing these can be helpful for a future interview; you’ll know what to work on and how to present yourself better in these areas in another interview.

Outside of all this advice, dress the part, and be eager and professional to make sure you leave a valuable impression. This post has 1074 words of “wisdom” and if you read all of it, that makes me very happy! Thank you for checking out my blog and good luck with your job search!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jordan Belfort says:

    This is your best blog post by far Ashley! More people start lacking confidence once they hear “you were shortlisted, but the other candidate had more relevant experience to the position we are hiring for.” The above job interview tips will help job seekers overcome their obstacles and work their way up to a prestigous job title. With your experience and maturity others have yet to see, I have no doubt Ashley you will find a great position with a great company.

    1. Wow. My apologies Jordan, I just saw this comment. Thank you so much for reading my post. I agree, I too am someone that was a little discouraged after hearing that they were not “able to hire you at this time.” Thanks for you words of encouragement, Have a good night!

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