Jersey Girl, Texan Heart: So You've Graduated! 8 Ways to Rock Your Interview
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So You've Graduated! 8 Ways to Rock Your Interview

4:00 AM

So you’ve graduated and now you have to step into the real world.  You have to be an adult and find a job.  Whether it be starting your own business (in that case you’re lucky!) or applying to your corporate world jobs.  This is your moment to shine.  I remember when I first graduated and it was extremely hard to find a job due to the economy but I made due.  Of course there would be a few things I wish I would’ve known or understood better which is why I wanted to write this post.  When I first started blogging again back in 2013 I wrote a post about how to ace your interview and I used actual research and from my own experience at the job I have now.  At the time I had only been working at this job for about 6 months.  Since then I’ve gained a lot more experience with having meetings with both the CEO (even though I didn’t speak at the podium having to speak from my seat was scary enough!) and customers, and going to conventions which is why I want to give some helpful pointers.

1.  Do your research

I cannot stress enough to do your research prior to even applying.  You really need to know some background information for the company you’re interviewing with.  Before I started the job I have now I went online typed the name into Google and started reading.  I read their whole website then went on to look at other websites.  If I didn’t know what something meant on their website I researched and this is how I had a gist of what they do and where they come from.  It’s important to know about the company because what happens if the person interviewing you asks “Have you heard about us?” “Why do you think you will benefit us in this field?” “What interests you about our company?”  If you didn’t do your research yes, you can find a way to answer those questions without knowing anything BUT it’s more impressive when you can say I find it interesting that you have developed a new way to do (insert rest of the sentence here).  It’s things like that that truly catch the interviewers attention and makes you stick out.

2.  Dress to Impress

I said this pretty much all week in my posts but it’s true.  You need to dress the part and you will be taken seriously.  Let’s imagine something.  Imagine you’re sitting in the waiting room for some corporate company in NYC and you’re the only one dressed in a suit and the other people are either wearing casual clothes or even worse JEANS!  Of course you are going to look like you really WANT the job because you took the time to prepare your appearance for it.  Depending on the job try and cover up any tattoos that you may have.  When I was interviewing I made sure all of mine were covered whether it be by jewelry or makeup, they were covered!  I actually still cover all of my tattoos just so no one gives me any problems.

3.  Bring copies of your resume and cover letter

Bring a few copies of both your resume and cover letter.  Yes, they already have your resume on file, and your interviewers may have printed copies but if you see 6 people walk in and only 3 have copies you don't want them sharing.  Show them how prepared you are and let them have their own copy.  Make sure the email on your resume is professional.  Go for last name first initial or first initial last name not what your instagram name is for example!

4.  Practice speaking so you’re confident in the interview

Think of the typical things that are asked of you in an interview.  How do you think you’ll benefit us?  Why did you decide to apply with our company?  What kind of experience do you have that can be used in your daily tasks?  What interests you about this industry?  If you have no experience they may ask you what to do in a specific scenario so make sure to be prepared with whatever they throw at you!  Also, don't talk too much about yourself.  The person interviewing you doesn't want to know that you have a dog and that you are their fur mama.  Yes, that's adorable and speaks very well about you as a person but they want to know facts like where you went to school what you studied and if you are a good fit for them.  You can even practice with your parents.  They are the most critical people you know so if they don't like an answer they won't be afraid to tell you and they will be able to HELP you figure out a way to have a great answer.

5.  Make sure you have more than a folder. 

You can buy these awesome portfolio things at Staples that have been seen in two of my outfit posts so far (listed at the end of this post).  They’re leather and some have enough room to store a few pens your phone and your ID.  Make sure you ALWAYS have a pen or two sitting in this.  It reflects poorly on you if you don’t have a pen, it makes you look disheveled and unprepared. 

6.  Make sure your phone is off!

I still can’t believe that I’ve heard people walking into an interview and their phone starts ringing.  I always turn mine off and used to leave it in the car until I started needed some numbers from my actual phone.  Also, while you are waiting DO NOT take out your phone.  Even if you see everyone in the office with their phone out leave yours off and in your pocket.  The problem with today’s world is everyone is glued to their phones, you want to stand out.  Thanks to technology the younger generations have a different type of communication and at times can be seen by adults as a weakness because they don’t communicate in person anymore.  I know I may be putting too much psychology into this but you never know, that may be what the interviewer feels.

7.  Send thank you notes/emails

Ok, I know what you’re thinking, this is a dumb idea this isn’t a birthday party or wedding.  BUT, my professor told me a long time ago in college that this is the best way to catch someone’s attention.  The fact that you took the time to thank everyone for the interview and their time is a big deal.  This makes you look sincere and truly makes you look like you want the job.

8.  Attitude

Don’t walk in with a “I deserve this more than the other person” attitude.  Some people may not agree with me but let me explain myself first.  You never know, that person waiting to get interviewed sitting across or next to you may need this job more than you.  Maybe they worked harder, maybe they have more people to feed and they lost their job, maybe they’re in the process of losing their home, maybe they’re sick, and so many other “maybe’s” can be involved in this.  It’s ok to be confident and say I deserve this just as much as the next person but do not walk in there with an "I'm better than everyone" attitude, it will reflect in the way you handle yourself and the way you speak whether you believe that or not.

Now, I hope this helped a little bit for those of you on the hunt for a job.  If you ever need any type of advice or help I am more than happy to help!  I know how tough it is out there, I mean I didn't get my first "real" job for quite some time.  If you really need someone to talk to right this second just email me at mejmoda [at] gmail [dot] com

If you missed the first three installments of the "So You've Graduated!" series please see below!
So You've Graduated!  Mani Monday
So You've Graduated! OOTD 1
So You've Graduated! OOTD 2


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