Whether you receive an offer or not, you should treat every interview as a learning experience. Why? Because the better your interview skills, the better your chances at landing a job.
Make each interview better than the last!
In my quest to land a full-time job, I did just that. Along the way, I’ve learned 9 nine dos and don’ts that will be helpful in your job search:
1. Don’t Get Bogged Down by Qualifications
“Qualifications” are sometimes impractical. For example, “10+ years of proven success using social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to promote business” is ridiculous. Facebook first debuted (for college kids only, may I add) in 2005. The rest came along well after that, and it’s only 2013. You do the math.
2. Don’t Accept Timelines as Fact
The hiring process is rarely fast. Interviewers and recruiters may give you an estimate of when you’ll hear back, but be patient. One week might turn into three weeks. Three weeks may turn into six weeks. And “end of the month” means you probably didn’t get it.
3. Don’t Brush Aside an Internship
An internship can turn into a full-time job, especially if you make yourself irreplaceable. Even if the department you’re in doesn’t have an open full-time position, they’ll often recommend you to a different organization (unless you really stink). Besides, a lot of entry-level positions ask for at least one year of experience… and internships count.
4. Still Be Nice to Your Parents
Without a job, moving out of their house is difficult. Pretend to like watching NCIS, do the dishes once in a while and teach them about “the Twitter,” and they probably won’t kick you out anytime soon.
5. Name Drop Often
Name dropping is fabulous and should be done as often as possible. If you can say, “I heard about this position from my friend John Smith, VP of Marketing” in your cover letter, you’ll be a step ahead of the applicant who applied through the company’s online system.
Jut remember: name dropping may help you land an interview, but once you’re in the door it’s up to you to sell yourself for the position.
6. Realize That Interviewers are Nervous, Too
I’ve met stutterers, fidgeters and even one guy who broke out in hives (which made me even more nervous). These situations can be challenging, but your chances of getting the job drop drastically if you embrace the challenge and rise above it.
7. Bring Deodorant
Interviews make people nervous. Nervous people sweat. Sweaty people smell, and their hands get wet. Smelly, wet people don’t get a lot of job offers. Arrive a few minutes early and find the restroom. Apply a fresh coat of deodorant. Wash your hands. Breathe. See No. 6 above. Then you’ll be ready for your big interview.
8. Don’t Spring for just “Any Job”
Just because you get the offer doesn’t mean you should take the job. Everyone’s situation is different, but if you can hold off on accepting a job outside of your field of study, you should. It’s harder than you think to move from retail to writing or IT to marketing.
9. If You’re Asked, Confidently State Your Salary Expectations
Not doing so will only backfire. What if you spend hours preparing, drive two hours for the interview and complete a project just to wow your interviewers, only to find out the pay is $10,000 less than your current position? Or what Salary.com or Glassdoor tell you that you should realistically expect for your job and region of the country? If the salary is a deal breaker, then find out how much the position pays early in the process.
Make each interview count. Learn from your mistakes… and mine!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Brazen Careerist!
About the Author: Alyson Komyanek earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Public Relations from Kutztown University and currently works as a freelance writer in the Philadelphia region. She’s interested in landing full-time employment, so connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter at @alyalyson25.
Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.