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You’ve graduated college (or are about to) and you’re desperately applying to a bunch of jobs hoping one of them will give you a callback. You’ve done your due diligence and made accounts on various job sites like LinkedIn, Indeed and ZipRecruiter…but nope, nothing, nada!
Let me be honest with you. I have worked in Human Resources/Recruitment for about 4 years now and employers can almost always tell if they’re going to hire someone based off how they present their selves, regardless of having an outstanding resumé or not!
It could be that these organizations that you’re applying to are not ready for a big-time, over-qualified employee like you (I’ve actually been denied quite a few job opportunities due to being overqualified, it happens!) or you simply did not put your best foot forward.
Picture it like this, when you buy a new phone you want the phone that has the best features and the best reviews. The phone that takes the best pictures, has the longest lasting battery, and has the best display.
In this scenario, you’re the phone and the employer is the buyer!
Girl, you have to take yourself seriously if you want other people to! Here’s my ultimate 5 tips to prepare for your upcoming job interview and always get the job:
Update Your Resumé
I can’t begin to tell you how many times non-updated resumés have come across my desk and how many times candidates tell me “I just didn’t get around to putting my last position on there” (*smacks forehead*). It doesn’t completely take you out of game but it does look unprofessional.
If you can’t update your resumé then how can they expect you to keep your files updated or be able to complete projects?
When you’re applying to jobs a lot of employers look at where you have worked recently, what skills you’ve been keeping in practice, and if you’ve had substantial gaps in employment. Show off your skills, show that you’ve been working hard, and show that you have the experience!
Your resumé is essentially your first handshake and your first meeting with prospective employers so make it a good first impression
Research the Company You’re Applying For
This is something small but can make a huge impact! Even though most jobs expect that you are applying to multiple companies, they do want to know that you have some kind of interest in them other than a paycheck.
They want to know that you want to invest in their message and that you want to be a part of their team. Your future employers want to know how you can both grow the company and grow your skills as well!
The best way to do that is to research the companies you’re interviewing for and see if their goals and past accomplishments align with your career goals and where you see yourself going.
How can they help you succeed and vice versa? You have no idea how much this sets you apart from other candidates when you reference the company’s achievements and how you see yourself involved in the company to achieve future goals!
Dress to Impress
Okay…I hope you’re not showing up to interviews in your favorite leggings but if you are…STOP!
They may be comfortable and are better than wearing sweatpants but leggings are not business casual. You don’t have to buy a brand new wardrobe but you can dress up an outfit that is perfect to land that job you want!
Invest in a pair of dress pants and keep a few solid color shirts in your dresser that are easy to accessorize with a nice cardigan and a pair of dress shoes (not sneakers, not mocassins, just no girl).
You can even add Keep simple “business casual” staples in your closet to begin the process of updating your wardrobe and successfully adulting. Adulting requires you to have 3 staple wardrobe types:
a) a “chill” wardrobe to hang out with friends and lounge around in,
b) a “going out” wardrobe to party in,
c) a “business woman” wardrobe to look professional and be a boss b**** in.
Know your role and dress the part. Period.
Prepare Questions to Ask
At the end of each job interview, you’re normally asked “Do you have any questions for me?” by the person who is interviewing you. The absolute biggest mistake you can make at the end of an interview is to say you don’t have any questions.
Come prepared with questions to ask! Ask about the salary for the position (are they willing to pay you what you’re worth?), overtime expectations (and if they even offer overtime to their employees). What are the hours you would be expected to work? How is the workplace environment with other employees? Why is this position opening?
The possibilities are endless with the questions you can ask! One of the biggest problems you can have is being scared to ask questions in fear that it may make you look bad or that you’ll be less likely to get the job. Closed mouths don’t get fed!
Ask those questions you want to ask and think of the information the interviewer didn’t give to you. Be thorough because you’re choosing this employer just as much as they are choosing you. It’s a mutual process that involves ultimately making a decision you’re happy with.
Also, the employers want to be sure you’re not just yes-ing them to death and just agreeing with whatever information they throw at them to get the job.
Make sure you’re getting the best and the most out of each interview.
Be personable, look people in the eye, and SMILE!
Even when you’re asked a question like, “What would you say is your biggest weakness and why?”
Admit your weakness but always turn it back into something positive! For example, “My biggest weakness is that I rarely say no when accepting a new task. This can be overwhelming sometimes and adds some pressure but it also makes me want to work harder on completing those goals. It feels so good when I can help my team more and aid in my team’s success!”
Admit your faults but also think about the benefits of your weakness and/or how you could improve upon it. EMPLOYERS LOVE THIS! Be transparent but like I said…SELL YOURSELF!!
You are the best thing to offer to the world so make sure these employers see all of the best things about you! Update your resumé, research the company, prepare your questions to ask, dress to impress, and sell like hell!
You have the tricks to succeed so go out there and get that job, sis!
How do you prepare for a job interview? What are some of your challenges with getting the job you want?