No matter where you are in life, looking for a new job can be an extremely stressful process. When you’re fresh out of education, you’re about to take the first-ever step in your professional career, and you’re desperate to make sure it’s a step in the right direction rather than the wrong one. If unemployment happens to you later in life, you’re often desperate to get yourself back into work as quickly as possible before you run out of money to pay the bills.
If you’re brand new to the idea of pitching to employers, or you haven’t done it for a while, you might have concerns about how to make the best possible impression on whomever it is you’d like to work for. We all know that getting an interview isn’t even 25% of getting a job; it’s a foot in the door. Once you’ve got an interview, it’s down to you to perform, and persuade whoever performs the interview that you’re the ideal candidate.
Bear in mind that there are likely several other people being interviewed for the vacancy you’re interested in. The process employers go through is very similar to the process that players go through when they open a Vegas Slots website. They know they’re going to spend money on something – and they know they’ll probably lose money on the deal before they start to see a profit. They just want to know which of the mobile slots games on offer represents the best chance of making that profit as quickly as possible. Players are looking for the mobile slots game which offers them the best chance of a win. Employers are looking for the candidate who offers them the best chance of success.
The key difference in that comparison is that mobile slots games will tell players what the likelihood of success is based on a percentage. You don’t have any such statistics printed across your forehead, and so you have to find another way to stand out. Here are some essential ideas for improving your prospects.
- Bleach Your Social Media Accounts
Don’t kid yourself, for a second, that big-name employers don’t look for the social media accounts of their prospective hires. It’s a well-established fact that many companies undertake extensive social media screening when they receive job applications. If they don’t like what they find there, you won’t be landing the job. If you’re shortlisted for an interview based on your resume, your searchable social media accounts are about to be picked through with a fine-toothed comb.
You should pre-empt the problem rather than waiting on hearing back from anybody. Crank up all of your privacy settings on Facebook to the absolute maximum, and make sure your profile picture is respectable. Completely remove any questionable Tweets you may have been responsible for. If you’ve got thousands of Tweets and you can’t remember what you’ve said in the past, you may just want to go for the nuclear option of deleting all of them. Oh, and find and destroy your old MySpace account. Leave no trace!
- Learn Everything There Is To Learn About The Company
From the moment you receive an invitation to an interview, your job is to become the most knowledgeable person in the world about the history of the company who want to interview you. There should be plenty of information publicly available about them on the internet. Look for customer reviews. Research all of their products and services. Find out about the company’s history. That business has a culture, and they want to know whether you fit into it. The more you know about it, the more it will come across that you care about it.
At some point during the interview, you’ll be asked if you have any questions of your own to ask. The questions you ask at this stage shouldn’t be about pay, holiday entitlement, or sickness policy. Ask them about their future. Ask them about their plans for the next five years. Talk about yourself in the role, and what your first year would look like. Engage with them rather than demanding information that only benefits you.
- Bring Brilliant Anecdotes
A lot of people know how to put together a great resume. The majority of those who don’t are smart enough to ask or pay someone to put a great-looking resume together for them. The people who are too dumb to do that didn’t get an interview. You have to assume that everyone you’re competing with for the role has a resume that looks at least as good as yours. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that you’re going to be better than them at backing the resume up during the interview. Every bold statement you’ve made on that resume is going to be picked up on. You’re going to be asked to provide specific examples of when you’ve done your best work, and been an asset to a prior employer. There’s a perfect system for dealing with questions like that, and it’s called the STAR method. That stands for situation, task, action, and result. This is how you should structure all of your answers, concisely and accurately. Start with the background of the problem, move on to the task or brief you received in relation to it, describe the actions you took to improve the situation, and finish with measurable results of your actions. Have several examples of STAR responses primed and ready.
- Have A Purpose-Built Elevator Pitch
You’re going to be asked why you want the job, and why you’re right for it. Your response needs to be brilliant, and yet concise. This is the one question that job candidates frequently perform badly on. They either don’t have a good answer, or they speak at length about topics which aren’t directly related to the situation.
Your answer to these questions should sound a lot like an elevator pitch. You need to get across who you are, what you do, what you bring to the table, and why you want to work for that specific company; and you need to do it all in no more than thirty seconds. You’re definitely going to get this question, so do yourself a favor by writing down your answer in full, and learning it by heart. Practice it in the mirror so you sound convincing.
- Dress For The Part
This is a no-brainer. Unless it specifically says not to in your invitation to the interview, always turn up for any job interview in the smartest business attire you have in your wardrobe. Your employer doesn’t know very much about you yet, and so your dress code on your first meeting with them is their first impression of your personal brand. Make it a good one. Look clean, sharp, and elegant. There’s a reason that a lot of people own ‘interview suits’ which are never worn for any other occasion.
Happy job hunting!