New Graduate's Guide to a Better Interview
• Sloppy Application Materials. Even though you have submitted a resume already, don’t discount the importance of the job application. Yes, many companies still require these as part of the hiring process, and you may be asked to fill one out at some point during your interview. Your attitude and neatness counts here. Try to think of it as your “first assignment” on the job. If you are careless and grumpy about completing the job application, your potential boss might get the impression that this is the way you would operate on the job. Be cheerful, neat, and complete.
• “Just Shopping Around.” Remember, out of 50 applicants for a job, perhaps five to ten people will actually get interviewed. During the interview process, the hiring manager will verify that you can do the job, and he or she will try to evaluate your interest in their company, as well. If you give the impression that you are unfamiliar with their company, they might hesitate about pursuing you further as a candidate. Don’t waste their time, or yours. Be prepared. At a minimum, you should review the organization’s website and “google” them to see what else you can find out about them. Fifteen minutes of research can make a huge difference in your success at the interview.
• Being late! It really doesn’t matter what your reason is…being late for an interview is never good! Do your best to plan ahead. Make sure you know where you are going, where to park, who to ask for, and which building and office number you need. When the interview is scheduled, be sure to ask about the details, and if necessary, drive there a day ahead of time to scope out traffic, parking, etc.
• Not Making Your Own Decisions. Remember, as a college graduate, you are officially an adult! If asked why you are interested in a particular company, don’t tell the hiring manager you applied because your dad thought it would be a good place to work, or that your boyfriend works in the office down the hall. Your reasons need to be much more compelling! Also, don’t let your parents call the hiring manager to: 1.) ask if a hiring decision has been made or, 2.) inform them of all of the great reasons why you would be perfect for their job or, 3) negotiate for a better salary for you. And yes, I’ve seen parents do all of these things. And no, it will not make you look good!
These four simple rules can help you resist rejection and stay on the hiring manager’s radar. Good luck!
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