Following on from my last blog post on employment opportunities, I thought I would give you guys a few helpful tips on how to walk out of a job interview without tears streaming down your face or thudding your head against a wall
Not how we want you to look after an interview!
BE A VERBAL COMMUNICATOR
Employers consistently vote verbal communication skills as most important – for example see http://www.naceweb.org/s02242016/verbal-communication-important-job-candidate-skill.aspx You don’t have to be the Barak Obama type; where every time you open your mouth the room stops and listens. However, you need to be able to express your meaning in a clear and confident way.
If you have trouble with this because you’re shy or because English is not your first language, I would suggest practicing in the mirror by just talking to yourself. I know this seems weird but take note or even record your body language and listen to the tone of your voice. Being a good verbal communicator also involves good language skills and this is always improved through preparation and practice. Rehearse your possible responses but not to the point where they sound rehearsed!
If you want to go one step further there is also a link on our La Trobe careers and employment website to the “Big Interview” which is an online job interview practice website that you can sign up to for free http://www.latrobe.edu.au/students/careers/jobs
SHOW YOU CAN WORK IN A TEAM
Most of us SHE students are going to be within team working environments. Group work unfortunately doesn’t begin and end with university. You need to show your future employer that you can successfully interact with others by collaborating and compromising.
Some examples are
- Committee member of a university club or society
- Working with a lab partner
- Doing group assignments
- Other part-time
- Play Family Feud
KNOW THE POSITION YOU’RE APPLYING FOR
Whether you’re in your last year of uni and looking for graduate positions or a broke student who needs that cash money, chances are you’ve applied to more than one job. Don’t get me wrong; you should apply for various positions and not just those that you consider your dream job. However, you have to apply to positions you are passionate about and not just ones you think will pay for your 2017 EuroTrip.
You should know at least the key clientele and aims of the company or organisation you are applying to. The best source of this information is their website, so get to it!
Don’t pull a Homer and have no idea what you signed up for
KNOW WHAT’S ON YOUR RESUME AND GIVE EXAMPLES
It’s all well and good to say you’re a responsible, well-organised and reliable person on your CV but if you don’t have evidence to back it up, your future employee will doubt you. Have a few ideas about what you could say if asked to explain a situation where you demonstrated the skills you so proudly wrote on your CV. If you want to know more about how to translate your experience into real examples that you can use in your job interview the best thing you can do is learn the C-A-R technique. This technique will be useful throughout your career, from applying for that part-time job to landing your first graduate position. See http://www.thehiredguns.com/blogs/2013/02/20/car-technique-your-secret-weapon-for-job-interviews/
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT
The saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ is not applicable in a job interview. It sounds a bit like a situation out of Mean Girls but if you follow these few simple steps you should make a positive impact.
- Dress appropriately (as much as you love your Converses, save them for another day)
- Walk with confidence (even though you’re rattled with fear on the inside)
- Talk with confidence (no muttering or whispering allowed)
- Arrive early (which is hard for someone like me who is ALWAYS at least fifteen minutes late to everything)
I’m always amused when people say this because if people knew the real me, they would say be anything but yourself in a job interview. Of course, you’re going to try to accentuate the best aspects of your character in a job interview but never try to be what you think the job will require. If it’s not meant to be, its just not meant to be.