Applying and Interviewing
Looking for a new career can be stressful, especially if you are someone who has never been involved in a profit driven organization. By being involved I mean actually being a part of the money making process and the decision making that takes place around it. It's stressful having to make decisions quickly and accurately to either put a company ahead or have it fall behind. Most young people, new high school or college graduates rather, don't know much about the top down structure of the businesses to which they are applying. It's not that they're stupid, they just don't know the best way to handle some situations or exactly who to talk to within the organization when something goes wrong. In part, it's because they have not been there. It takes time to build trust between oneself and those around him/her and the confidence needed in ones decision making ability. The bigger the organization the longer this process will take. It is important that you set yourself up for an interview with these things in mind when you decide to apply somewhere. You'll want to research the companies your thinking about joining and see what they do on a daily basis and what kind of people work there. It is important to know how big the organization is, how many bosses you'll be reporting to, how many people you will be working alongside on a daily basis, etc., etc., etc. Get the best idea possible of how business may be conducted there in order to give yourself the best chance of becoming a part of the team.
Applying means giving a company your resumé. Take the time to make your resumé looks attractive. If you can't take the time necessary to describe yourself with a well written resumé, the only conclusion the employer will make after first glance is that you don't want the position. Record experience that relates to that specific employer and be prepared to explain yourself. It may be beneficial to curve your resumé toward an employer each and every time you apply someplace different. Provide your educational experiences, certifications, volunteer work, awards, or anything that is important to you. Review your experience so that you can explain what you did and why you did it. The employer wants to know who you are and what you are about. They are going to evaluate you on these things to see if your experiences and values match those of the people within the organization. It's important to them that you will be happy working there. The happier you are, the more productive you will be. That's a benefit to everyone including yourself.
Once you have decided the most suitable companies to apply to, had your application accepted, and are called in for an interview, you'll want to start preparing yourself. That means you will need to know what to wear, what to bring along with you, and what to start thinking about before you walk through the door. If your applying for a job in an office setting it would probably behoove you to wear a suit. Why? Because that's the attire that fits the job description. Some places aren't as strict on dress however. I once went to a job interview with a respectable electric company. Upon arrival I saw a guy walk out of the building with a suit and tie on and thought to myself, "Oh great now I'm going to look like a slack off because I'm not wearing a suit." But when I went inside I noticed that no one was dressed up except for the receptionist. A suit and tie simply doesn't fit the job description. The work is outside. This is why I say do your research. Don't over dress, don't under dress, but look into where you are applying and think about the attire and attitude in that work environment. Blend in like a Chameleon. If your attire doesn't feel right to you, you may not be a good fit for that work environment anyways.
Before, during, and after an interview to do list:
Most companies will ask you to bring a copy of your resumé to the interview even though you will submit one with your application. Computer programs screen out resumés that don't meet a companies criteria before an employee ever looks at them, but they still look at many different resumés. It can be difficult for your interviewer to remember exactly what it was that caught their eye on your resumé in particular. This is why they have you bring it with you to the interview. Once they see it and are reminded of why they chose to interview you, your face will suddenly become associated with the quality attributes you put on your resumé. Now it's your chance to shine. Explain yourself and your background. Don't blow it by going to the interview unprepared. Here is a list of things to start thinking about if you want to get ready for your next job interview.
- Create a valuable resumé
- Compare companies and apply to those you like best or that best represent who you are as a person
- Dress appropriately for the work environment
- Prepare to explain your resumé; your experiences, education, certifications, awards, accomplishments, previous organizations, and personal attributes
- Start thinking about questions the employer may ask
- Talk as if you are including yourself in the organization