Monday, 24 October 2011 02:33

Job Hunting Guide | Acing The Interview

October 24, 2011

You never know, this may be the year that you land that once-in-a-lifetime job you’ve been waiting on for far too long! So, are you prepared to get that call from a top company that wants to add you to their employment roster? Would you know how to dress-to-impress for the interview or how to best answer an interviewer's questions so that you stand out amongst the competition? As a Talent Acquisition Manager (a swanky title for Recruiter) at one of the leading entertainment companies in the world, I want you to do your best during an interview so that you can sign that coveted offer letter and secure the job of your dreams. Here are a few tips that are sure to increase your chances of sealing the deal:

Tip #1

Girlfriend, those stilettos, jeggings, noisy charm bracelets and dangling earrings might have looked fabulous at the Summer Soiree, but be sure to leave them in your closet for the next night out on the town. For an interview, you want to have a basic, conservative look--the less flagrant distractions, the better. An interviewer should be more attracted to your bright eyes, welcoming smile and confident persona than to your wardrobe.

Tip #2

Please avoid looking at your resume and reading from it during your interview. The first step to impressing the interviewer is to know on-demand all of your experience. You shouldn't have to glance at the paper in front of you to explain the depth of your professional fabulousness.

Tip #3

Never speak negatively about your current or previous employer. It's just like going on a blind date--the last thing that your date wants to hear is all about the disastrous last relationship that temporarily drove you insane.

Tip #4

We have all had that interview where you really vibe and connect with the interviewer. Remember, even if you establish a commonality to break the ice, he or she is not your friend and you are still in the hot seat. You want a job from this person, so always maintain a high level of respect and professionalism.

Tip #5

Be able to recognize the job that you are ready for today. Sure, your mama thinks that you are the smartest person in the world, but landing the right job has less to do with smarts and more to do with progressive experience. True, you may have what it takes to learn the VP level job, but the current skillset on your resume reflects that you are assistant level. While it is great that you are ambitious and trainable, an employer is looking to hire someone who requires the least amount of training and is experienced enough to walk onto the job and do it. Don't be discouraged; instead, get in on the level for which you currently qualify, put your best foot forward and rock it straight to the top, girl! A good boss will recognize your potential, and if you're patient and demonstrate a tremendous work ethic, growth opportunities are inevitable.

In this economy, getting a job is not an easy task. Still, when an opportunity does come knocking, if you abide by these tips, you will be better prepared to seize it.  Here's to a brand new outlook and to landing that brand new gig! 

Published in Job Hunting

October 24, 2011

As college came to a blurry close, I noticed that everyone around me seemed to be garnering employment like it was easy money.  People began mentioning their plans to work at Merrill, or Bain, or Delloitte or some other one-name company whose actual purpose I only pretended to understand--while I was still un-gainfully un-employed.  “Oh you’ll find something,” everyone would say, “you’re going to be a college graduate!” However, graduation day came and went and I was still scanning daily for any job that paid over minimum wage; wondering if there was a way to sell one’s degree for food/shelter that wasn’t provided by my mother.  

After a few sad weeks of unemployed wallowing and intense Craigslist Job Hunting, I realized something. Many of my friends had jumped at jobs they didn’t necessarily want, simply because they feared no other opportunity would come their way.  My unemployed ass had the time and luxury to figure out what I really wanted to do.  I could be an entry-level-anything! A public relations assistant, a fashion-merchandising assistant, a healthcare consulting assistant. The world was my entry-level oyster!  This, however, did not change the fact that I couldn’t find a job, was living on mama’s dime and sleeping in the same room where I’d previously been visited by the Tooth Fairy. So I decided to do something. 

I filled my schedule with activities that would not only distract me, but would also make me a better candidate for whatever fabulous job I’d nab in the future. I got an internship and a part-time job, beginning what I liked to call my “post-grad two-step.” When my great-Aunt Ethel asked what I was doing with my life, I didn’t have to tell her I was sitting at my computer waiting for the Employment Fairy to sprinkle me with magic job dust. I was working! 2 jobs! In fact, I was busier than some of my friends with 9-to-5s! In the same way that the procurement of one man will make you more desirable to rest of the male species, the procurement of one job will make you infinitely more attractive to the rest of the job market. 

Six months into my post-grad hustle, I was offered a job at a company that I love. I wouldn’t have given up those months of soul-searching, career-obsessing and job-stalking for anything -  they allowed me to get my priorities in order. 

So my advice to you? Keep your head up. Keep busy. Do all of the things you said you would “when you had time.” What about that short story you’d been meaning to write or the oil painting you’d always wanted to make? Start on it.  Volunteer for a charity or organization that you’re passionate about.  Give back. The free time that you’re being afforded as you search for the perfect job shouldn’t be seen as lost time. It’s a time to find yourself.  Look at it as a blessing, because before you know it, you will have been working for 20 years, deep in a career you love, wishing you had a chance to rest, relax and regroup.

Published in Job Hunting