If you’re like me, you’re in the process of looking for a “grown up” job for after graduation. I don’t graduate until April, but it is never too soon to look around!
So, here it goes: you send your resume and cover letter out and, if you’re lucky, you get an interview. So, how do you prepare ? There are lots of tips out there on the internet, but here are my top tips:
· Research the company. You should have done this when you were applying for a job there, but if you didn’t, you definitely need to do it now. The question will likely come up at some point during your interview.
· Figure out what you’re going to wear. You cannot wear jeans, Chucks and that old Foo Fighters t-shirt to your interview. You need to dress nice and classy. Guys – a suit is best. Ladies – a pants or dress suit is what you need. Even if the company is casual, you need to dress your best so the company knows you’re serious.
· Have questions prepared. Your interviewer is going to want to know if you have any questions. Not having any prepared will make you look bad. So, what do you ask ? Questions about advancement in the company, why they like working for the company, if there is any travel involved are good, but definitely have a pretty good sized list prepared.
· Know where you’re going. Make a practice trip to the company so you know how to get there. Make sure you leave enough time to get there early. It is always better to be super early than it is to be five minutes late. You don’t want to give them a bad impression and excuses of “I got lost” or “traffic was horrible” aren’t going to help you out.
· Get your portfolio in order. Get your writing and design clips into a nice leather bound binder and ready for a hiring manager to look at. Want to leave them a copy? Get a thumb drive and put your portfolio on it with a copy of your cover letter, resume and references. Also, if you have time, put your portfolio online. I did mine about a year ago and I’m very proud of it. If you aren’t quite looking for a job (or internship) yet, making an online portfolio is a great thing to do ahead of time.
· Print off extra copies of your resume. A hiring manager may ask to see a copy of your resume. Yeah, you sent it in, but someone else may have it. You don’t want to be without an extra copy or two. I always print off way more than I need – just in case, because, well, you never know.
· Social Preparedness. Clean up your Twitter, Facebook and other social/internet presence. If the company is serious about hiring you, they’ll Google you and see what you Tweet about. No respectable company is going to hire a 20-something who has pictures of themselves passed out at parties all over their Facebook page and is mentioned in blog posts about how crazy they got at their five year high school reunion.