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5 WAYS TO NAIL A JOB INTERVIEW
Ladies and gentlemen: I will admit the economy has been a little sluggish; however, there ARE jobs available. Time after time I hear Generation X describe the Millennial as, “impatient, irresponsible, lazy, etc.” These characteristics may apply to some, but certainly not all. Instead of focusing on the negative, why not shift our attention to the positive? What about open-minded, confident, and civically engaged? I guess this bothers me so because I am a Millennial and I work with several people of Generation X. In recent conversations with colleagues, I began to wonder why Millennials have such a negative stigma. Not to bash us, but I do feel as though our attention focus needs to shift; starting with our interviewing skills. I have seen a number of job applicants arrive at an interview with very little preparation. Below, I will give you 5 tips to prepare for an interview.
1. Update your resume. Oftentimes employers judge you based solely on a sheet of paper. Your resume is your #1 selling tool. You must look good on paper before landing an interview. If you are at a University, contact your local Career Center and ask someone to critique your resume. If not, ask a trusty family member or friend.
2. Dress appropriately. I cannot stress this enough; dress for success! Choose an outfit that is customary to your industry and take it up a notch.
i. Solid colors (black, blue, or brown); conservative suit and blouse
ii. Limited jewelry (a nice set of pearl will work perfectly)
iii. Sparse make-up and perfume
iv. Neat, professional hairstyle (a nice ponytail or bun)
i. Solid colors (I would stick to black); conservative suit and white long sleeve shirt
ii. Conservative tie
iii. Dark socks and professional shoes
iv. A clean handkerchief is a bonus!
3. Research. Learn as much as you can about the company you aspire to work for. Evaluate your own knowledge, skills, and abilities and see if they align with opportunity. Do not be afraid to ask questions! If you are willing to invest years of your life in a company, they should and probably will be willing to answer any questions you may have.
4. Practice. It is often said that practice makes perfect and I have found this to be true on many occasions. Practicing will give you confidence and a sense of ease. Research a few standard interview questions, and prepare your response to a colleague, or career counselor.
5. Be yourself. You can promote your skills and abilities without sounding like a salesperson. You never want to come across as mechanical or overly rehearsed. We are all human so it is perfectly fine to act as one. Be yourself, but remember to be business appropriate.
Preparing for a job interview can be quite nerve-wrecking. However, if you follow these five steps you will be two steps ahead of the competition. Even if an offer is not extended, following these steps will ensure that your best foot was put forward.