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‘Tis the Season . . .

. . . to make a list and check it twice (maybe three times for good measure). Some of you are graduating from college in December. You now have a degree in hand and you think it will be a snap to find a job. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen for everyone. I know of four recent graduates who are having one heck of a time finding a job (two have been looking for over two years now). So, what’s going on?

I have a couple of theories, some of which I’ve written about in previous blogs. This includes the way companies are using technology now (Applicant Tracking Systems) and how college students are conducting their job searches without updating their resumes to match the job descriptions.  Most, recently, as I was interviewing recent graduates, I discovered that they weren’t prepared for the interview. They had NOT conducted any research about the company for which they were applying; they had not “practiced” answering some behavioral questions and, when asked if they had any questions, they didn’t have any at all.

So, when preparing for a job interview, don’t “wing it.” Prepare, Prepare, Prepare! Let me give you some suggestions or a “list” to help you prepare for that important job interview.

  1. Look up the company on the internet. Go to their website and make note of their mission; their values; how many employees there are; company leaders and where the main office is located. See if they have anything written about their culture. Look for their financial statements. Check to see if they have any referrals or testimonials. If you know of someone who works there, interview them to discover WHY they like working there. Don’t stop there. Think of other things that you’d like to know about the company before you get a job there. Do your research!!!
  2. Make up a list of interview questions and ask someone to conduct a “mock” interview with you. If you need my help, email me and set up an appointment. Search the internet and find possible questions that may be asked. Here are some questions that I find stump candidates, unfortunately, and can bring the interview to a grinding halt: 
  • Why should we choose you to work at our company?
  • Tell  me about a conflict that you’ve had and how you resolved it?
  • In reviewing our job description, which college course do you believe will help you the most in this job?
  • What motivates you?

3.  Go back to your research and determine what questions you’d like to have in your back pocket when the interviewer asks you “what would you like to know about our company.” You may want to include in your list of questions the following: 

  • Tell me about your work style (ask this of a potential manager?)
  • What do you value most in an employee?
  • What is the culture like at this company? 

Just incorporating these three things in your interview preparation may go a long way in helping you to secure a position.  

Merry Christmas. And, let’s talk if you need some ideas on how you, too, can S.O.A.R.!

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