No matter how many times you practice in front of the mirror, or even memorize word-for-word what you’re going to say, interviewing for a job never seems to get easier.
Now I can’t help you with the fact that you begin to sweat profusely while you’re walking into the building, or that you feel like you’re either a) going to puke, b) going to pee your pants, or c) just flat out die, because quite frankly all of those emotions are exactly what I feel when thinking about interviewing. What I can help you with is how to be more prepared for your next upcoming opportunity by impressing employers during the actual interview.
Over the recent years of being a college graduate, as well as working in the recruiting industry, I completely resonate with the fact that finding your first job after graduation is such a difficult task-- especially for those who may not have a ton of job experience or credible work history. I know some of these tips will help you out in this transition into adulthood!
1. Research the Company Nothing screams “HIRE ME!” more than proving that you know your facts about the position, company, and your interviewer. Thankfully, with the help of my BFF, Google, you can find out virtually anything & everything about a company with the simple click of a button. Whether you find an interesting fact, or see a product that you like, be sure to bring it up in the interview.
An example of how I’ve used this tool in the past was something along the lines of:
"I noticed on your company’s website that you previously specialized in working with entertainment professionals, why did you decide to shift your focus to working with dentists & doctors?"
Not only did I bring up the fact that I took the time to look into the company that I was applying for, but I also showed that I retained some information about them and posed a question (another great tip alone for interviewing).
2. Let your Personality Shine Skills and qualifications are important, yes, but trust me when I say that employers would much rather bring someone on board who possesses a willingness to learn and adequate people skills, over someone with a bland personality and 3 pages of credentials. Think of it this way, you can teach someone how to navigate a software or manage a filing system, but you can’t teach someone how to spark up a friendly conversation with a customer or how to be a pleasurable person in the office. By letting your personality be at the forefront of your interview, you will leave a lasting impression on the hiring staff and greatly increase your chances of getting the job.
3. Turn your Weaknesses into Strengths Ah, the infamous “What are your weaknesses?” question. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been to an interview where they haven’t asked me this question. I used to be brutally honest & tell them, “I am forgetful at times” or “I misplace things often.” I realized shortly after that telling employers the complete truth about my worst traits was not benefiting me in any way, shape, or form. My best advice on tackling this question would be to take a trait that can be both a weakness & a strength.
My personal favorite to use is “I have a hard time putting a task down once I have started it.”
This statement shows I am diligent, determined, & motivated to get a job done that has been assigned to me. 4. Tweak your Resume to Match the Job Description Now I’m not saying lie, but there's nothing wrong with highlighting certain skills (even if they are minor) that you've acquired from previous positions to align with the requirements of the one you are applying to now.
In addition to adding in minor skills, it's equally important to take out any irrelevant skills or details. This will make your resume more appealing to employers as they will see reoccurring duties & responsibilities throughout your previous positions. This is especially effective if you are applying to a job in a completely different field than you’ve worked in before.
Let’s say you’ve only worked at restaurants in the past, but now you are applying to be a Customer Service Representative at a call center.
If you are a waitress or waiter, your resume probably looks something along the lines of this:
- Took customer orders and recommended appropriate dishes.
– Took reservations and takeout orders over the phone
.– Maintained cleanliness and refilled condiments as needed.
– Served food and refilled drinks accordingly.
Now, you can tweak your resume to appeal to the employer by changing the verbiage and taking out certain details.
Your new resume may resemble the following:
– Maintained a high level of customer satisfaction by taking accurate orders & recommending dishes.
– Communicated via telephone with around 50 customers per day, assisting them in placing their order.
–Identified & fulfilled guest needs through the duration of their meal.
By simply highlighting all of the factors that related to customer service/satisfaction, and taking out the completely irrelevant skills your new resume would definitely catch any hiring manager’s eye!
I hope some of these tips help ease the pain of your next interview. If anyone has any other tips feel free to comment below!