Sadly, campus parties, food truck lunches and naps during history lectures won’t last forever. And when they stop, it’ll be time to get a job and join the real world that people have warned you so much about. Try not to stress, though.
If you follow some guidelines, you’ll have better luck in getting the job you want.
The main things to remember during the job-interview process are to show that you deserve the job and that you are professional. Professionalism encompasses timeliness, dress, presentation, resume,
communication and general conduct.
An employer can tell by a person’s
dress and presentation if he or she wants the job before the interview begins.
“I expect to see applicants dress at least business-casual,” said Michael Dunphy, chairman of the board at Weichert Realtors Independence. “They should show that they care, because an employee is an investment
of time.” It may be worth the extra money to invest in a new suit or dress, shoes and haircut to look good for an interview.
“Whatever their dress expectations
are, I like to go one step better,” said senior business major Christian Wurst, who landed an accounting job at Goldenberg Rosenthal LLP in Jenkintown, Pa. He suggests preparing clothes for the interview a few days in advance, so that there is no worry of what to wear. Though your dress shirt may be nice and starched, just make sure you don’t sweat through it.
“Remember to relax,” said Steven Katz, assistant director of human resources at the Rittenhouse Hotel. “It helps to stretch or run before an interview and just to take deep breaths. Let the interviewer ease you into it. A good interviewer will make the candidate comfortable.”
Interviewers often ask applicants to put themselves in different scenarios to see how they will react. They may ask about a specific challenge that the applicant had faced while working at a previous job or internship, and how he or she fixed the situation or satisfied the customer.
“From those responses, we see if the person is going to just follow the rules, or if they will make a big difference in the workplace,” Katz said.
Katz also believes that goals and commitment are important. “The person should show that they want to stay with the company and move up, and show that they can improve things,” he said.
“I like to see someone who is a self-starter and has a strong work ethic,” Dunphy said.
All businesses vary in the steps of the interview and hiring process. Interviews may be in front of a group or a single person and vary on the levels of formality.
Employers will often give the applicant a chance to ask questions about the company
and position. Asking questions will show the employer your interest in the job.Wurst did research on the companies he applied to so that he could show them his genuine interest in the job.
“I always try to find one important thing about the company that most people wouldn’t know so that I would make an impression
and have something to talk about,” he said.
Temple’s Career Development Services,
located in Mitten Hall, has many resources
to help with job interviews, such as resume critiques, mock interviews and pamphlets
“I would encourage everybody to stop by just to learn what’s going on with the job world,” said Chet Rispoli, director of Career Development Services.
Employers will think about your performance
while going over your resume, cover letter and samples of writing or other work if it is pertinent to the job. The resume package is an important tool for an applicant to market one’s self. Kathy Cole Francis from Career Development Services suggests using high quality paper in a subtle color like white, ivory or light grey to show extra effort and stand out.
Employers are influenced by internships,
work experience and job titles on resumes. It is important to have legitimate and dependable references that can account for you and your work. Your interviewer may know some of your references, which may help or hurt you.
“In this business, where everybody seems to know one another, we often seek out workers through networking relationships and good recommendations” said Production
Manager of Prince Music Theatre Jim Griffith. After the interview is over, you can sit back on your couch and relax.
Remember to inquire on your status by calling or stopping by the office after about a week. Hopefully you get the job that you’ve worked for.
Stu Jerue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.