Are you currently hunting for your dream job? You and millions of others are not alone! Applying for a new job may be an exciting and nerve-wrecking experience; so there are a few things to learn that might help you earn that dream job.
Years ago, I professionally competed against other students in a DECA event called, “Advanced Job Interview.” The goal was to exhibit an above-average skillset and earn a job that normally a high school student would not be able to obtain. Within this competition I placed 1st in 2014 and among top 3 in 2013 at the District level against roughly 120 others; then at the State Competition for DECA I was a top finalist out of hundreds of other applicants. This competition taught me so much and helped me get a prestigious job at Ideal Credit Union!
After you’ve made it past submitting an application, resume, cover letter, reference checks and everything else the employer needed, now the next step is the interview. Many individuals struggle with interview anxiety due to the high levels of stress and life-changing events that may be taking place. In my opinion, the first step to an interview is 100% psychological. Ways to help get past some of the stress is to turn your interview day into a day of personal relaxation. Remember to keep calm and focus on a positive mentality. If it’s your interview day and you have dozens of other tasks to check off on your to-do list for the day, it will potentially stress you out more and distract you from giving it your best at the interview. Try to take the day off from other responsibilities and pamper yourself – get a haircut, watch Netflix, get a pedicure or manicure, go for a walk or whatever helps you unwind.
Before interviewing, read the job description beforehand and do research the company. Come prepared with a pad-folio containing a notebook, folder, pens, and business cards. Also do not forget about personal appearance – shower, wear clean pressed clothes, shine your shoes and don’t wear too many distracting accessories. These are useful ways to prove that you are a detail-oriented and intelligent individual.
When an employer asks you a question maintain good eye-contact and DO NOT pull out your phone, it looks completely unprofessional. This is the perfect point to A.E.E. (Answer, Explain, and provide an Example) as my former DECA teacher, Craig Spreiter would say. It’s an effective way to provide a straightforward answer and explain why, then demonstrate through an example that your actions can back up your answer and explanation. Last but not least, at the end of the interview expect the employer will ask, “Do you have any questions for me?” At this stage in the interview process it is a MUST to ask a minimum of one question. Think of something outside of the box and relevant to the job; if you must go online and plan a few backup questions, that is okay. Just make sure the questions you ask are unique and prove you put genuine thought into them.
At the end, always thank the employer for his or her time with a firm handshake and smile. It is also a common practice to follow up with employers a few days later via phone call or sending a thank you card. These are not required things to do, however it will usually impress employers that you are demonstrating this much interest in the position. All of these skills combined could ultimately could help you in landing that job you have been working towards!