8 ways to ace a job interview
I’ve been pretty busy lately which is why I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I used to. Over these past couple days I actually started working! I haven’t worked since March so when I decided to start applying for new positions it was pretty exciting and also incredibly nerve wracking. The interview process was long and a lil complicated but within a week and a half I took two part-time job offers. I’m a salon receptionist and barista now!
I cannot promise that your experience finding a job right now will be easy. At the beginning of the pandemic, I didn’t apply to anything because most of my experience is in service / restaurants. But once more stores started to open up, more positions seemed to be opening. I had three interviews in total and two interviews set up that I had to cancel. All three went very well and despite a few awkward moments I actually felt pretty comfortable. I’ve had jobs since I was 16 so this isn’t my first rodeo. Trust me though… I was definitely NOT good at first.
Mini story time… I was 16 when my dad drove me around to little every store within a 5 mile radius for me to apply at. I wanted to start working but had little aka 0 job experience. One of the first places that ended up calling me back was this restaurant Firebirds which is like a nice-ish american family restaurant near me. The next day I came in for an interview and it went HORRIBLY. I remember the manager asking like what things I like to do and I literally said, “Music stuff and hanging out with friends.” God…
After 5 or so attempts at other places, I finally got hired at Chipotle! And that was where my career began… alas
No one is ever going to start out being a pro. Interviews are nerve wracking, and you’ll get rejected more times than you get hired. But it’s important to practice, practice, practice. Even if you might not take the job or it doesn’t seem like you’re thing at first, it’s always good to get the experience. And you never know, you might actually like it! These are a couple tips to take your job interview skills to the next level.
They’re pretty basic. But just reviewing them right before your interview can be super helpful–
Be Prepared: You don’t have to know everything, but it is very important that you go into the interview with a strong understanding of the business you are applying to work at and the position you are applying for. I usually will look for a job somewhere within a 10-20 minute drive from me that I’m pretty familiar with or I have friends / family that are. This will make it a lot easier to answer more personal questions about what aspects about the company I value and why I wanted to be a part of their work team. It’s really helpful too if you have a reference / business in.
Common App but your Resume: If you have applied to college, you probably know about the Common App. This is one application that all of your colleges will have and includes your College Essay. When I was applying to schools my advisors told me that your Common App should be a summarized representation of your academic and personal experiences. I like to think about this in relation to my job history. How have your past jobs shaped you? What are you passionate about? What are you looking for in a future job that you didn’t have in past jobs? The first question they’ll usually ask is… “Tell me about yourself.” Use this framework to better answer interview questions.
Show Up Early: Always show up at least 10 minutes early to your interview. Especially if the interview is with other people, you will be a stand out in the group. Even if the interview is online, it’s best to show up on the early side. I did a Zoom interview the other day and arrived at the meeting 10 minutes beforehand. I had to fix my microphone so everything actually worked out right on schedule!
Dress the Part: You probably won’t know what the dress code is until you start working, but it’s always a great idea to dress for the part you’re applying for. For example, when I applied to my Anthropologie job, I wore the brand head-to-toe. Always have earrings! No elastics around your wrist. Keep your makeup classic and simple. I do just a little mascara and that’s it. You definitely do not have to take after me, but dressing in the general aesthetic will help the employer really envision you in the position.
Know Your Strengths & Weaknesses: Another question you’ll always get is about your strengths and your weaknesses. Be prepared to answer those. Don’t be afraid to confront your weaknesses, just be mindful of how they might play a role in the job you’re applying for. Always follow up with a positive note at the end. Those are the parts of the interview they are most likely to remember afterwards.
Ask Questions: I usually have a couple of questions prepared for the end of the interview. Don’t ask too many, but ask a couple that you’ve thought through and really want to know. Plus it’ll show them you’re really interested in the position.
Make Eye Contact: I usually don’t have a hard time with this, but try to keep eye contact (in a not creepy way ofc!). Especially with the masks, it’s very important that you seem confident and relaxed. Smile a lot. Look them in the eye when they talk to you. Talk a little slower than normal.
Send a Thank You Note: This is very important, even to the people you may not have even physically met but have communicated with. It will help you in the future and not lose those important contacts. Follow up with a mailed Thank You note written to the names of those you communicated with.
i understand that everyone is applying for jobs right now. please don't lose hope and keep applying as much as you can. at the very beginning, i didn't know where to start so i used Indeed.com and set up a resume. it's incredibly simple and makes it easy to send applications in one click. check it out & be sure to stay alert for the scammers...
best of luck