A large percentage of college graduates find themselves graduating into poverty, and moving back home with their parents in horrified disbelief that they are still eating Ramen noodles and cannot find a job that requires a high school diploma, let alone a college degree. One of the main reasons students experience this unfortunate introduction to the real world is because they are among the millions of generic college graduates who have done little or nothing to distinguish themselves during the “Dash Period”—the time they have between freshman and senior year to brand themselves. Through this signature work, Michael D. Brown has prevented thousands of students from graduating into poverty by helping them develop thriving and competitive personal brands that are empowered and equipped to achieve exponential personal and professional success.
Tag Archive: entry level position
It’s no secret that jobs are scarce. Don’t be misled by encouraging downward trends in unemployment – a lot of the new jobs being created are of the low-level service variety. Quality, career-type positions are few in number and applicants are many. Add in the fact that today’s companies are terrified of making a bad hire, due to the intense dedication of money and resources involved in bringing on a new staff member plus legal ramifications of firing someone, and finding a job that will let you achieve your professional and personal aspirations is tougher than ever.
But it can be done. However, the key to obtaining the kind of job that will advance your career is acing your job interview. The interview is absolutely crucial to getting hired, and demonstrating you have the necessary skills and background is only a small portion of what you must accomplish. Here are 6.5 fresh steps to acing your next job interview.
- Do Your Homework. You need to do a lot of research before the interview takes place. The Internet makes this task easier than in the past, but you still need to check out the company’s website, as well as websites of its major competitors. Do a Google search of the company, its executives and its industry to find out what challenges it is facing. Also it may reveal important details about executives you will speak with, such as their alma maters, social activities, etc. you can use to personalize your conversation. If possible, discreetly visit the company’s lobby to get a sense of what people are wearing and how they act.
- Appearance counts. You are essentially hired (or not hired) in the first 30 seconds of the interview. Your potential employer decides very quickly if you are right for the job or not, and the rest of the conversation serves to prove or disprove this first impression. The very first thing your interviewer(s) will see is your personal appearance. Are your hair and nails freshly groomed? Are you wearing tailored business attire that is in line with current fashion but not too “trendy”? Is your breath fresh and are you well-rested but alert? Do you carry a quality leather attache case and have professionally printed business cards and resumes to distribute? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” make sure it becomes “yes” before your interview occurs!
- Talk to everyone. Even if you arrive on time (I’m assuming you know enough to never be late, and ideally should be 10-15 minutes early), you will likely be asked to wait for at least a few minutes before the interview starts. If there is a receptionist in the waiting area, engage them in pleasant conversation. Also smile and say hello to anyone who passes by. Do not ask any questions or initiate in-depth conversations (remember everyone will report what you say and do), but if you are lucky someone in the company might reveal a valuable piece of information, such as what type of mood your interviewer is in or how many other people have been interviewed. Plus you immediately establish yourself as a social, professional individual who makes a good impression.
- Last week we discussed meaningful job hunting.
- This week we will talk about how you can get and nail the interview for your next meaningful job.
- Especially in a tough job market like we are experiencing now, competition is fierce for every position.
- In order to get an interview, you have to find a way to separate yourself from your competition.
- Below are a few tips on differentiating yourself in a crowded field:
- Be quick: Respond to the job posting as soon as it is posted; to do this you need to be on top of job boards in your field.
- Be explicit: Tell the potential employer exactly how you meet the criteria for the job.
- Be brief: Hiring managers will be flooded with responses; keep your initial application short and to the point.
- Be creative: Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through or to do something very different than a standard cover letter and résumé, as long as it aligns with the industry in which you work (i.e. a video résumé for a job that involves presenting, or marketing collateral about yourself for a marketing position).
- Be persistent: Follow up early and regularly, but not in an annoying way; you want to keep your name in the hiring manager’s mind and make it clear that you are interested.
- Once you get the interview, you need to make sure you do well in it.
- Be prepared: Do your homework about the company and the position; know as much as you can before you walk in and be ready to talk about it.
- Be inquisitive: Prepare meaningful questions in advance and aske them in the interview. It goes without saying that you should not ask about money right away; save that for follow-up interviews.
- Be direct: Tell them why you are a strong candidate for the job by linking your skills and experience to the skills and experience they are looking for.
- Be confident: Give firm handshakes, make eye contact, speak with authority; you are selling yourself here, so you have to believe in yourself.
- Be appreciative: Thank them for the opportunity and follow up with a handwritten thank-you card.
- Any tips for readers on getting or nailing a job interview? Share your ideas in the comments section.
For leadership coaching, professional development training, customer service training, customer service tips, college success tips, or to learn how to build a personal brand, how to improve customer service, or how to succeed in college, contact Michael D Brown, a premier leadership speaker, customer service speaker, and college motivational speaker at http://www.myfreshbrand.com, http://www.freshcustomerservice.com, or http://www.52collegesuccesstips.com.