interviewees hopeful they get the job

As you pursue your undergraduate or Master’s degree, you can begin to look for employment more in sync with your dream job. You don’t have to wait until you have completed your degree; you simply need to make sure you’ve included your current academic pursuits on your resume. Specifically, under your resume’s education section, you could write:

Bachelor of Business Administration
currently pursuing

Once you start getting responses from your resume, you’ll want to be sure to embrace and get the most out of every job interview. Here are some tips to help you accomplish this:

1. Say “Yes” to the Dress (Rehearsal)

Not every candidate is invited to a have a phone interview or an in-person interview with the HR rep from a company. Even if you’ve changed your mind and don’t think you’re interested in the position anymore (because it’s too far to drive, it’s in a neighborhood where you don’t want to work, the pay is not that great), go on the interview anyway. In fact, go on as many interviews as you are invited to attend. This way, you’ll start building your confidence up, get tons of practice on answering questions the way you meant to answer them (and not how they came out), and you’ll be prepared for the most important interview when it comes around (the one where you really do want the job). If you cancel or don’t accept interviews with potential employers, you’ll miss all those ever-important and necessary dress rehearsals and then not do well when it really matters most.

2. Do More Than Just Sing in the Shower

Use your shower time to practice your answers to the universally-asked interview questions. While taking a shower (or while out walking with Fido), practice your responses to these questions aloud:

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What is your greatest weakness and what do you do to overcome it?
  • What is your biggest strength?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What 5 words describe you?

3. Know Where You’re Going (and What You’re Going to Be Wearing When You Get There)

To help ensure you success with every job interview, plan ahead. The night before, decide what you are going to wear. Make sure there are no spots, rips, or raggedy edges on your pants or sleeves. Have your whole outfit ready to go so that you are not stressing out in the morning trying to find your favorite tie, matching socks, or your dress shoes. In addition, find out exactly where your interview will be held and the safest, quickest, and easiest way to get there. Give yourself plenty of time in case there’s an unexpected detour or traffic jam along the way. If you have time and the location is some place you’ve never been, you may even want to take the drive with a friend or family member a few days before the scheduled interview just to acclimate yourself to the area.

4. Do Your Due Diligence

Find out as much about the company as you can prior to the interview. Did they just launch a new product? Have they been in business for 50 years? Are they passionate about giving back to the community? The surest way to not be invited back for another interview and to not land the job, is to ask, “What does your company do?” when you are asked if you have any questions! Be so prepared and informed that you make the interviewer feel as if this is the one company you have always longed to work for (even if you have three other interviews lined up with three other companies later in the week). No one wants to hire someone just because he/she happened to apply for the job.

5. Fly Solo & Check Yourself

Do not arrive at an interview with your roommate, a friend, your spouse, or your kids – that includes in person and via your phone. Turn your phone off before you enter the building and leave it off. It should not ring or vibrate. Before you enter the building, take your gum out of your mouth, make sure you don’t have smeared mascara or part of your breakfast stuck between your teeth. If you find you have to wait a few minutes in the waiting room, don’t text, play video games, or have your phone out. Instead, spend the time taking in the atmosphere. From the moment you pull into the parking lot until you drive out, assume you are on a camera and will be watched (so don’t spit on the ground, don’t get on your phone, and don’t light up that cigarette until you are well on your way down the road).

In addition, sometimes potential employers like to walk a candidate to his/her vehicle when the interview is over. While you think they are doing this to be cordial or to continue an easy-going conversation about your city’s sports team, chances are they want to see if you have a child’s carseat in your vehicle (since they can’t ask you if you have children) or they want to see just how clean (or a mess) your vehicle is. Be proactive; clean your vehicle and remove the carseat before you go to the interview!)

6. Be Polite to the Receptionist

While “Big Brother” is probably watching you in that waiting room, so is the Receptionist. Be prompt, be polite, and be patient. Sometimes HR decision-makers purposefully have candidates wait for an extended period of time to see how they will react. If you can’t professionally and calmly sit still for 20 minutes while waiting for a job interview, you might not have the character traits and personality skills the job demands.

7. Relax! You got this!

Although many people who interview are nervous because they hope they say the “right” answer that the interviewer is seeking, that’s not the mindset you want when you go on an interview. Be yourself. Be calm. Relax. Most importantly, remember that you are interviewing them, too. Without being arrogant, sarcastic, or prideful, use the interview opportunity to find out as much about the company, its employees, and how it operates as possible. Find out if the position to which you are applying is a newly-created position or if someone else had it. If someone else held the position, ask how long that person had the position and if they’re still in the department. If the response is that they are having trouble filling the position (or keeping someone in it), that’s a red flag! If the previous employee in that position was promoted, however, that’s a good sign! It shows that they promote from within.

Further, if you are offered the job during your interview, don’t accept it immediately! Simply share that you’d like 24 hours to think about it. This will give you time to mull over if it’s the ideal job for you and to ask questions (what are the benefits, vacation time, etc.) before you accept the position. (Once you’ve accepted the position, you are no longer in a position to negotiate anything!) Further, before you accept any position, ask yourself, “Is this where I want to work 40+ hours a week?”

8. Snail-Mail a Thank-You Note

Even if you left the interview, shaking your head and thinking “There is no way I would work for that company!” send them a thank-you note anyway. It’s polite and it’s the right thing to do. After all, not everyone gets invited to the interview, but you did! In addition, the world is a lot smaller than most people realize, and it’s not unheard of to be interviewed by the same person who just interviewed you – again – but with a different company. HR Directors change jobs, too. Leave a positive, lasting impression by handwriting a thank-you note and dropping it in the mail the same day you had the interview. If you forgot to get the business cards of each person that interviewed you (and the proper spelling of their names), you can call and ask the receptionist (if you can’t find the info online).

After you’ve sent the thank-you note, you can rest assured knowing you did everything you were supposed to do for a successful interview. If you don’t hear back within 10 days, you can do a follow-up call simply to inquire about the status of the position. Don’t focus on just one interview. Continue interviewing until just the right position unfolds on your life’s path.

From 8 Reasons to Go Back to College as an Adult to How to Choose an Online Degree Program to Tips to Balance Work, Family, and Going Back to School, Averett University Graduate & Professional Studies is here to help you succeed in both your professional life and your academic life (which, when combined, will help to make your personal life everything you had hoped and dreamed).

Until next time, explore our online degree programs ~ all specifically designed for the busy lifestyles of adults. You may also like You Know It’s Time to Go Back to College When….


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