7 Secrets for Snagging your Dream Job

Finally! Graduation season is happening, and you’re ready to hit the job market! You’ve updated your resume, sent it out to prospective employers, and are anxiously waiting to begin your career. Then it happens. The call you’ve been waiting for, an interview opportunity! Excitement overwhelms you, and you begin to mentally prepare yourself. My staff and I sat down and tried to remember what it was like to go on our first “Big-Boy/Big-Girl” job interview, and all the things we wished someone told us beforehand. Here are 7 tips for first time interviewees to help you nail the interview, and snag that dream job!

  1. Do your Research! – It goes without saying that you should read and understand the qualifications, responsibilities, and expectations outlined in the job posting that you applied for with the company. Your research should reach far beyond the position, though. Conduct thorough research on the company, its staple employees, and any current events happening there. The more information that you can learn, the better off you will be throughout the interview process. What does the company do and how do they operate? What is the company culture like in the office? Who are the top executives in the company? Learn what the company stands for, and make sure that it aligns with what your stand for. After all, it should be a good fit for both the applicant and the employer.

  2. Pack that Resume! – Make sure you come prepared with plenty of copies of your most up-to-date resume and references. Double check for typos and spelling errors, have current contact information, and be prepared to explain any gaps in your employment history. You want to make sure that everything lines up, and that you can elaborate on your educational background and previous positions.

  3. Dress to Impress! – As a rule of thumb, it is always a great idea to confirm the dress code prior to arriving for your interview. Most often, companies will ask that you are dressed business professionally for your interview, so make sure you are ready! Break that suit out of the closet, and take an iron to your best dress shirt. It will be worth it, I promise. A job interview is no place for your tight black jeans, your favorite High-Top Jordan’s, or that short dress you wore to the club last week. Show up suited & booted, and you’ll be sure to make a killer first impression!

  4. Be on Time! – By on time, I actually mean arrive early. If you have some extra time in your schedule, make a point to drive to the interview location prior to your scheduled appointment to work out any kinks in the directions. Give yourself some extra time in the morning by having your outfit and resume ready to go, and account for rush hour traffic! Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to visit the restroom, calm your nerves, and complete any preliminary paperwork that the company may need upon arrival. And remember, if you’re exactly on time, you’re already late.

  5. Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions! – Before the interview, prepare a solid list of questions that you would like to ask the interviewer. This can be about the company, the position, or even their experience there! Use the knowledge that you have gained from your research to ask informed, intelligent questions that will spark the interest of the interviewer while helping you gain more insight about the organization. The employer is looking for a candidate that will be a good fit for them, but you are also looking for a company that will be a good fit for you!

  6. Know what you Bring to the Table! – This is an opportunity to sell yourself, so take full advantage! During the interview process, the company is not only assessing your background experience and qualifications, but they are interested in your personality and character traits. They may be thinking, “Is this candidate going to get the job done? Is this applicant going to fit our culture? If hired, how will this person impact our company?” What makes you different than the other 10 eager job seekers in the lobby? As a seasoned business owner, my advice to you is to stand out, and show what makes you special. So wear that bold necklace or those patterned dress socks. Be excited and enthusiastic, but most of all, be yourself.

  7. Tune up your Non-Verbals! – Your non-verbal communication skills say more about you than you may think they do, so make sure you pay attention to them. Shake hands with confidence, sit up straight, make firm eye contact, stop fidgeting and remember to smile!

Heading out on your first interview can be nerve-wracking. Taking time to properly prepare yourself can make the difference between landing that dream job or losing the opportunity.


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