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Tips on how to get hired.
by Margaret Fiero
Let’s face it, most of us have to work. Perhaps since we do it most of the time, career and work remain a salient topic on the collective mind of the country. The fact that so many are searching for work right now due to the recession further embeds the subject of career into the national conversation. We work to do more than just feed our mouths, though. We work to feed our souls. It is only natural, then, that we would want work that we find personally fulfilling. It’s unsurprising that not having meaningful work may lead to or exacerbate anxiety and depression. Of course it doesn’t help if you’re dealing with difficult coworkers and supervisors, long hours, low pay, and other sources of work dissatisfaction. Many, though, may feel that putting up with these negative work experiences is better than the alternative of not having work. No one wants to be an unemployment statistic , but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pursue our dreams and try to find a career that optimally fits with our values. Fortunately, I am not currently looking for a job, but I am looking for an internship as part of my counseling training, so I am finding myself at interviews, essentially saying, “Pick me, pick me!” Interviews are almost as nerve wracking as dates, except you rarely get dinner, and certainly not drinks. Now that I am back on the interview circuit, I have been looking for tips on how to attract the attention of my interviewers, and thought I would share a few with anyone looking for a better job or just a job:
1) Take some time to reflect on yourself. In interviews we are asked to verbalize aspects of ourselves that we don’t normally discuss. It seems awkward to express our strengths, weaknesses, or even respond to the general, “Tell me about yourself.”
2) Dress above the position. You might think you wouldn’t normally wear a suit to work if you get this position, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear it to the interview.
3) Be prepared to boast about yourself. If you’re among those of us who were taught not to talk about yourself and, in particular, not to brag, this can be an adjustment. Resumes, cover letters, and interviews are not the place nor the time for modesty. Play up your accomplishments, experience, and promotions.
4) Practice questions ahead of time. It really helps to practice with your partner, friend, or whoever ahead of time, just to get into interview “mode,” as well as to get feedback on your responses, delivery and nonverbals.
5) Research the company where you are applying/interviewing. You need to go into the interview feeling like you really know the company/organization. With the internet at our fingertips, there’s no excuse not to do your research ahead of time.
7) Write thank you cards and emails after the interview. This shows your gratitude to the interviewer for their time. Thank you notes are impressive in our techie times, but emails work as well.
8) Utilize your resources. Go online to find different job databases, social networks like Linkedin, networking opportunities, job training, etc. If you live in Texas, the Texas Workforce Commission is an amazing resource on all things work related.
Brought to you by Just Mind, counselors in Austin who are working to provide their clients with the best care possible.