Getting a job out of graduation can seem like an obstacle course: Resumes; Linkedin; Portfolios; FOREVER Networking. The endless work to get work can feel like hurdles between new grads and their career. Often, one piece in the race of getting a job stands tall for many students: The Job Interview.
Many students fear the interview because they feel judged and feel like what they have to offer isn’t good enough. When answering questions it can feel easy to say the wrong thing or to not say everything you really wanted to, but there is a great way to get ready for an interview: Think about it from the employer’s point of view.
Look Inside The Employer’s Mind
What is one thing you look for when choosing a candidate that makes them stand out from other applicants? “Employers like when you provide detailed responses to their questions. I.e. provide real-life examples and encounters you’ve had that fostered your growth and development.” Bill Kiefer, Assistant News Director, Fox 11 News.
What advice would you give individuals when preparing for an interview? “Practice before hand, sometimes in front of a mirror. That way you know how you sound and it better prepares you for the interview.” ~ Elizabeth J. Dohr, Wild Rose High School District Media Specialist
What’s the number one mistake you notice upcoming or recent college graduates making when applying for a job? “Sometimes, recently graduated students are eager to start their new careers– which is a good thing. However, having realistic expectations and goals is crucial in the beginning… That way, you don’t burn yourself out.” ~Elizabeth J. Dohr
What MOST are you looking for in an applicant? Confidence, honesty, eagerness/a positive attitude, drive, versatility, willingness to show up, do the work, and ask the right questions.
Can you think of one of the better interviews you’ve seen and what made them special? “Displaying confidence, personality. If you just give a robotic answer you think employers want you to hear… that isn’t going to set you apart from the crowd. Also, answering all the questions honestly, and be engaging in conversations will set you apart. If you show a willingness to work- that goes a long way. Lastly being open to challenges and learning new skills while also being a part of a team.” ~Anonymous
When a prospective employer asks, “What makes you qualified for the job,” the employer isn’t just asking whether you can do the job; they are asking if you’re honest and realistic and can stand by your accomplishments. When an employer asks about your experience, be proud of what you’ve accomplished; you have what you have! It will be up to the employer to decide if that’s what they’re looking for. If you feel like you don’t have as much experience, that’s ok too. Highlight the fact that you want to learn. Someone eager to learn is a lot more exciting for an employer than someone who isn’t enthusiastic at all.
An interview isn’t just an employer trying you out, you are trying the employer and the company out. You get to ask questions too; the person interviewing you is a representative of the company you want to work for and should have lots of answers to questions you may have. Make a list of things you want to ask before the interview because it can be hard to think of questions on the spot 🙂
Questions to Ask before Accepting the Job
If I got this job, what would my everyday work day look like? Definitely ask this question and know what duties your role entails so that you’re not caught off guard when you have to do them. Oftentimes, jobs don’t work out for people because they had expectations that weren’t realistic.
What is something trying about the position that people don’t realize when pursuing this career path? “Never be afraid to ask for help. In your career, you will come across challenges that will generate questions, and asking for help does not make you incompetent. It shows your analytical side and shows your co-workers and bosses that you are dedicated to your job.” -Ron Franklin, Startup Hub
What opportunities does the company offer for those wanting to advance in their career field? If you’re starting off in an entry-level position and have a specific end goal in mind, clarify if advancement is a possibility.
TYPO? Did you spot a typo or grammatical error in this story? PLEASE report it NOW to The Grammar Police so we can fix it before a potential employer – or one of our parents – sees it and busts us! Report it: HERE! Thank you.