A Job Interview Doesn’t Have to Be Nerve-Racking

A Job Interview doesn't have to be nerve-racking

View the job interview as a conversation to market yourself

How to Ace The Job Interview

Job Interviews 101:

You have sent your resume and cover letter, and you have been asked to come for a job interview – now what?

Preparation is the key to making a good impression quickly.  Arrive early, and dress appropriately for the position you are applying for.  It is a safe bet to dress conservatively and business-like.  Your appearance is one of the ways to market yourself to the employer.

Bring a copy of your resume to the interview, so you have the dates of your work experience at your fingertips.  Also, bring a copy of your references, in case the employer asks for them.

While an interview can be nerve-racking, it is only a conversation, albeit one that you must prepare for.  A tough question, such as: “what is your greatest weakness”? can be answered honestly, but try to turn it into a positive.  For example, you can say that you are a perfectionist, but you have learned that your best work is good enough.

Let the employer lead the discussion, and don’t talk too much. Tell the employer why you want to work for his or her company, and a little bit about your background and achievements and your future goals.  Research the company beforehand to establish some common ground, and prepare a few questions to ask the interviewer, if time permits.

By listening to the interviewer, and observing the work environment, you will gain clues about why you want to work for the company, or in some cases, why the company wouldn’t be a good fit for you. You are interviewing them in a way too.

At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer for his or her time.  You may either be contacted for a second interview, or you might not be contacted at all, or, you may be offered the job on the spot.  Decide ahead of time when you are available to start.  It is a courtesy to give your present employer two weeks notice, but you can negotiate employment start date depending on the circumstances.  You can send an email or thank you card after the interview expressing how you enjoyed meeting the person and that you look forward to hearing from them soon.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/ncngpao/9673058279/”>North Carolina National Guard</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

 

It’s How You Do The Job, Not What Job You Do

 

It's How You Do The Job
Resumes Highlight Your Skills and Abilities

Years ago, I ran a resume writing business, and many of my clients had lost their jobs.  The upshot of losing their employment was that many of them lost their self-confidence as well.

They had identified themselves with their profession, and losing it made them feel dejected.  From my  client who had worked at Tim Horton’s, to my client who was the television announcer for Molson’s Hockey Night In Canada, (and was off during the strike), it wasn’t WHAT job they did, but HOW they did it, and how it made them FEEL, that was most important.

As I compiled their skills and abilities on their resumes, and restored the client’s glass half full mentality, they grew more optimistic about selling themselves at job interviews to prospective employers.   It was easier to find a job with a positive emotional state.

One of my clients had experience as a janitor, but his dream job was to be a karate instructor, and he had taken karate classes for ten years.  We designed his resume to showcase his work experience, but also his karate experience, so he could work as a janitor, and train to teach at a dojo also.  His attitude about his job search improved immediately, having taken a small step towards finding his dream job.

It was the clients who envisioned their dream job, when applying for jobs, who felt motivated to excel at whatever job they got.

Even the simplest job can be done with passion, quality workmanship and love, in the spirit of service to others.   The following story illustrates that HOW you do the job is more important than WHAT job you are doing.

An old story tells of three stonecutters who were asked what they were doing. The first replied, ‘I am making a living.’ The second kept on hammering while he said, ‘I am doing the best job of stonecutting in the entire country.’ The third one looked up with a visionary gleam in his eyes and said, ‘I am building a cathedral.’

The first stonecutter is working to earn his pay for his labour.  The second stonecutter continues to hammer while saying he is driven to be the best stonecutter in the country.  But cutting the stone is his ultimate goal, without regard for the reason he is cutting it.   The third has a vision – he recognizes the significance in the task of creating a cathedral.  He sees the big picture and how his contribution connects him to his community.  Enhancing the spiritual lives of the residents fulfills him, and the fruits of his labour of love extend beyond benefiting himself, to benefiting future generations, long after he is gone. He puts his heart into cutting the stones, with an understanding of WHY he is cutting them.

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/reid-bee/5424049276/”>jazzijava</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>