As November rolls around I have many things on my mind. The biggest being career readiness and how it really isn’t being taught inside the classroom. It really hit me when I was in line to collect my cap and gown last week, that once you surpass the challenge it is to get your degree there is still a lot to do. So today I am sharing the best place to start relating to the world of career things- job interviews.
I have never gone to a job interview and not been offered a position. I’m not saying this to brag, I have just been lucky because I have 99% of the time either been qualified or overqualified for the position. This streak has boosted my confidence and made job interviews something I can look forward to because it is an opportunity to refine my skills.
The best advice I have ever heard about interviews is that a company is not going to waste their time by scheduling an interview with you unless they’re already very interested. If you think about it that way it calms the nerves a lot. I would also call the job interview a formality because sometimes who you are on paper and in person is completely different.
Moving forward from this, there are things to always bring, my checklist is:
– your resume printed and in a folder, usually, your potential employer would already have this but it’s always good to have one just in case.
– two pens, there will undoubtedly be forms and things to fill out at an interview.
– a purse, I say this for the ladies because I usually always carry a backpack with me since I need all my materials for therapy sessions, but when I go to an interview I want to look more mature I swap out my essentials for a purse large enough to fit my resume inside.
The outfit is the next thing and once you get the hang of it it’s really no sweat. It depends on the time of year a lot for me my go-to is either a light-colored blouse or button-down and black pants. For shoes, I go for flats or a smaller block heel because I want to feel comfortable. I keep my makeup very natural, remember you’re not being judged on your appearance it more about looking clean and professional. Think about it from the interviewers’ point of view, if you have any chipped nail polish remove it if your hair is dirty throw it up in a ponytail or low bun. You get the idea.
For what to say and questions think about it as a normal conversation the person you’re talking to is a human just like you. Nothing is that big of a deal and freaking out over these things only makes them 10 times harder. I always walk into an interview with my cell phone on silent and put away, greet whoever is meeting me with a handshake, I tell them it’s nice to meet them and wait for them to be ready to start. Be a good listener and keep consistent eye contact. Again I try to think of it from the interviewer’s perspective when someone is talking to me eye contact is essential.
Moving on to questions, usually, the standard interview questions are
– what are your strengths and weaknesses?
– are you a good team player?
– tell me a little bit about yourself?
– where do you see yourself in five years?
and so on and so forth, for me, I have never struggled at talking about myself (lol), but I know that these questions could be hard to answer if you’re not big on self-reflection and are being asked out of the blue.
After the interview is over I always thank the person for their time and wait at least three days to follow up if I am not contacted before then. If you don’t land the job the first place you go to don’t be discouraged you are just building up to your next victory, a setback is never a failure.