So it’s been a couple of months since graduating CSUSB- still feeling unsure about how to take the next step in your career?
Whether you are graduating university and are out there in the real world or just want to get some job experience under your belt- preparing for an interview is a very important part of the job process. What your first impression leaves on the employers echoes down your career.
1. Research the Company/Business beforehand.
We’ve all been there-you really want the job but aren’t sure what the company is all about. Google is your friend! Watch YouTube videos about the company, some employee testimony, or even take a look at their website to do some additional research. More old school? Consider contacting a current employee at their convenience to discuss their job duties and the company. You may be pleasantly surprised to find out what you can learn just by talking to a current employee. It also doesn’t hurt to get acquainted with someone who already works there- remember sometimes getting hired is all based on who you know.
2.Prep for some anticipatory interview questions!
Now that you know a little bit more about the company, put yourself in the interviewers’ shoes- what would you ask other candidates regarding the position? During the interviews, some companies utilize situational type of questions. You can prep for these by jotting out some questions the employer may ask and respond to them- this will allow you to prepare for these questions if they are asked during the interview. Take the time to figure out what makes you a unique asset for this position and why you want to work for this company specifically. These two questions lay down the foundation of how you approach a potential job.
3. Polish up Your Resume
Your resume is what your potential employer is going to see that illustrates who you are professionally. A few things to consider when you are either building your resume or refining it include:
A. Include or update your contact information: your professional e-mail and phone number.
B. List a summary about yourself- what aspects define you as a professional? It also helps to tailor some of your characteristics to the specific job you are applying for.
C. Don’t forget to include any recent jobs you’ve worked as well as job descriptions so that you are specific to your employer about your duties and responsibilities.
D. What are some of your extra-curricular activities that are relevant to the position you are applying for? Add them in!
Our friends at the Career Center are always available to assist you in reading and polishing up your resume!
3. Show your moves!
Present your work and talents to your employer! Sometimes, just having you sit and answer a few interview questions is one way an interview can be conducted. Other times, employees like to have a visual of what their candidate is bringing to the table so you have to be ready:
A. Have those lab reports, data and spreadsheets from your previous classes or research ready to show.
B. Bring in any publications you have.
C. Applying for a media position? Have a portfolio ready or the links to your website.
D. Make sure you got all your ducks in a row for game day-bring your flash drives, laptop and devices charged and readily available before your interview.
E. Be ready to take lots of notes during the interview!
4. Lasting Impressions
Thank-You Letters are professional and courteous ways of sealing the deal with your potential employer. These can show off your professional repertoire. They do not have to be too complicated- make them as you see appropriate. Handwritten cards are more personal and can show your appreciation for the opportunity and their time. Make sure you deliver your card in a timely manner (1-2 days max) after your interview so that the interviewer remembers you and you leave a lasting impression on them. Consider including something unique you’ve learned about the business after interviewing.