Interviewing for a job can be challenging for a variety of reasons. You usually do not know the person conducting the interview and often are nervous wondering what kind of questions you will be asked. Let’s assume for the moment you are a young man or woman in their mid-teens and you are going to interview for a job at a local business. Most likely this would be considered an “entry level” or “basic” position. The following are key points you need to consider:
1. As a leader you already understand it is critical to thoroughly prepare for any interview. However, assuming you are a young adult you most likely lack significant actual job experience. Therefore, it is particularly important to do your “homework” in terms of learning as much as possible about the job. Thus, if you are going to interview for a summer position working on boats at a marina make every effort to find someone who is currently doing that job. Also, use the search engines on the Internet to further that effort. The more informed you are the better you will be able to respond to questions. Knowledge is power!
2. As part of your preparation for the interview consider the job and dress accordingly. The more you meet the expectations of the prospective employer the better your chances. Even if the position you are applying for is one that ultimately requires dress that includes jeans or clothing where you will get dirty – or, if you need to wear a uniform – dress for the interview with a reasonable style and groom yourself consistent with your efforts to impress the interviewer. Don’t show up for a job at a restaurant with dirt under your fingernails. You may or may not need a suit, dress, or similar clothing but you should be neat and clean at all times.
3. Keep in mind the person conducting the interview wants to hire the best person possible. If the interviewer is the manager or owner they clearly have a vested interest in being certain you not only can do the job but will do so as a responsible, dependable individual. Even a person from Human Resources [if it is a large company] will want to know this since it would be a reflection on their hiring skills. Be prepared to provide examples of past experiences where you have demonstrated those characteristics of leadership a prospective employer will understand and appreciate – honesty, teamwork, responsibility, dependability, trust, and so forth. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized!
4. Remember, an employer will have a keen focus on one very important element – are you a worker? If your school record reflects numerous absences that could hurt your job prospects be ready to explain any inconsistencies. On the other hand if you can legitimately tell a prospective employer you have missed only three/four days of school in the past couple of years it represents a critical aspect of your history that could land you that job.
5. Be sure you listen carefully to the questions being asked. Answer the specific question; do not ramble or make related comments. Articulate your response to the best of your ability. Clear and concise – C & C is the best approach!
6. Keep in mind, while you may be “nervous” walking into an interview make every effort to enter a room or to greet the interviewer with a “smile on your face.” A smile goes a long way in establishing a solid beginning to an interview. People want to be around others who are positive thinkers and generally happy. Why would someone want to hire an individual who has a perpetual negative demeanor? Think about it. If you were placing a person in a position of interfacing with the general public would you hire someone who is negative?
7. And finally, keep one very important aspect of the interview in mind. Even very experienced people tend to think the interview is “only” when they are being asked questions in the conduct of that interview. In reality you are being looked at from the minute you walk in to the time you leave a building or wherever the interview is being held. Often a question will come after you think the interview is over – on the way out of the room for example – when, in fact, a job candidate is often “relaxed” at that point and may easily make a comment that could significantly change the outcome of the job interview. Be careful! Remain at your peak until you clearly have left the premises. Practicing your interview skills ahead of time – having “talking points – is also a good idea!
Questions on interviewing? email: firstname.lastname@example.org