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The Boomer Bulletin - 2011
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Tips for Applying and Interviewing

Posted By Deanna Cox, Monday, September 19, 2011
Every time our company places a "Help Wanted” ad we are flooded with applicants. Our last job posting brought in 150 applications. For me, being a part of the process has opened my eyes to things that I should and should not do when applying for future jobs.  I would like to share my advice for increasing your chances for success with fellow college students, recent graduates and professionals who may find themselves back out on the job market.  Below are some tips that I believe will help you in your search:

  • Do not miss the deadline.
  • Read the entire ad, if it asks for a cover letter, resume and references make sure to send all three.
  • If a friend/colleague mentions the ad to you, have them send you the entire ad so you have all of the details.
  • Proof read everything including the subject line of your e-mail. Make sure formatting is correct and you are sending the most recent, completed form of your resume.
  • Have at least one other person read through your entire application to make suggestions and corrections.
  • For cover letters, make sure that you do them in a Word document. Do not use the body of an e-mail as your cover letter.
  • Make sure to target the position you are applying for; use references, job experience, and wording that apply to the position.
  • Always follow-up at least a week after you apply to make sure the potential employer received your application.
  • Go through some mock interviews with friends, family and/or colleagues.  Pretend it’s the real deal, have them ask you questions that would be asked in an interview and answer them in a professional manor. Practice does make perfect.
  • Go online and look through sample interview questions; you want to be prepared to answer any type of question quickly and with precision when you go into an interview.
  • Prior to the interview, research the company.  Go the website, do web searches, etc.  With that research in hand, ask solid questions you have about the company and how they do business.  Never ask questions that could have been found on their website or through basic research.
  • Bring a note pad and paper. Have questions prepared for the interview, even just a few questions shows the interviewer that you have done your research and you are interested in the position for more than just a paycheck. The note pad will also be handy to make notes of further job description and important dates that come up during the interview.
  • Always dress to impress. Wear your best business outfit, do your make-up (for women) and hair, make sure you look professional and not like you are going out for a night on the town. No short skirts or low cut shirts. No jeans and tennis shoes. Don’t wear too much make-up, cologne, perfume or jewelry. Less is more!
  • Make sure to smile and try to relax as much as possible. If you are very nervous, it will show and reflect badly on your interview.
  • When shaking the persons hand make sure that it is a strong, confident shake.  Don’t make it so it will hurt the interviewer but make sure they know they shook your hand.  A hand shake tells the interviewer a lot about you and your confidence.
  • Make eye contact, sit up straight, try to think through your answers instead of stumbling through them.
  • Limit the use of "like” or "um” while interviewing.  Use proper English, don’t make up words, it’s hard for the interviewer to understand the point you are trying to make.
  • Never, ever under any circumstance bad mouth your last job.  You will come across as negative.  Just let the interviewer know it didn’t work out or the last job wasn’t a fit for your skills.
  • Most importantly, just be yourself and try to reflect who you truly are. Interviewers are looking for real people who will enhance their company’s success.

Tags:  interviewing 

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