Thursday, February 28, 2013

Prep Up!

This is the second blog post in a series of three titled “Nailing the Interview.” Check out the first one here

Today I had an interview, and it went really well. I received the job offer, and I KNOW it was because of what I did to prepare. I realized it is not the ideal field I would like to work in, but as Hunter Hayes knows, it’s nice to feel wanted.

In an ideal world, we show up to an interview and after 30 minutes of talking about our skills and talents, stating our strengths and weaknesses, and maybe even comparing ourselves to an animal, we receive the job offer. Not the case. Without prepping for an interview, good luck trying to stand out (in a GOOD way) to your potential employer.

What does ‘prepping’ really consist of? It goes beyond practicing interview questions and having your suit pressed before as I pointed out in a previous blog. Next time you’re getting ready for an interview, think back to grade school and remember what your teacher would tell you over again and over again:

Do your homework:
Research on the company is a MUST. Focus on their mission statement, the advantage they have over their competitors, how they intend on growing in the future, and relevant information regarding the particular job or field you are applying to. If the opportunity arises during the interview, slip in some key facts or figures in an answer to show your genuine interest in the company. See where your skill set can fit in and express what you can bring to the company.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions:
As you’re doing your homework, jot down any questions you may have about the company. Try and learn as much as possible about your field by asking questions relevant to your potential job description. It shows that you took the time to do the research and have taken it one step further in an effort to obtain a better understanding of the company and position. Write these questions down and have them ready in a nice portfolio that you’ll bring into the interview.

Practice makes perfect:
Swing by the Office of Career Services in Riverside 116 and have your resume critiqued, your cover letter improved, and practice a mock interview.  Walk-in hours are Monday- Thursday 2-4pm.

Robert Fulhum made a good point in his poem All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, but there is just as much to be learned from grade school.

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