Job Interviews

I helped do 17 job interviews at Jane on the weekend and I really enjoyed myself. It was most interesting sitting on the other side of the job interview desk for a change.

One of the things that stuck out to me was that nearly all the participants turned in generally pretty bad applications and most interviewed poorly*. I thought I’d give a list of hints and tips to help you out especially if you are student to write a good resume and nail that job interview.

The Resume

  • Address the selection Criteria. We weren’t harsh on our applicants for not doing this but other people are. If you don’t follow the instructions your application will end up in the bin.
  • If it says keep the letter to one page then keep it to one page! If there are six criteria address all of them.
  • Also make your resume looks nice. Most of the applications we received were ugly. Underlined headings are bad. It makes it look like your Mum got on Word and typed it for you. And if you don’t know anything about aesthetics then stick to simple Times New Roman with headings in bold.

The Interview
  • Confidence with a capital C.
  • Ability to sell yourself (passionate about why you want the job).
  • Know about the job inside out be prepared to ask the interviewer a question or two. This shows initiative.
  • Show initiative even if your ideas are stinkers someone who thinks is better than someone who doesn’t in my opinion.
  • Tell people your strengths (again passion).
  • Admit faults and be honest.
  • Dress up a bit (not essential)
Other things?

*If you are one of those people I’m happy to help you and give constructive feedback.



mike said... 10/13/2008 3:34 pm  

Also if I could remove the underlining from all the links on my blog I would. I think it looks UGLY.

Cabernet Leather said... 10/13/2008 4:55 pm  

I would say that dressing up IS essential. Even for a casual job, you should dress to impress.

Angus said... 10/13/2008 6:44 pm  

You've addressed this partially already, but it's worth adding to:

- Go into the interview with ideas for what you could do if you got the job, where you would take it etc. This will require some research about what the employer wants from the role you're looking for, but it shows you're ready to step in and do a job straight away.

Erica said... 10/14/2008 11:59 am  

Dress up, dress up, dress up!

I had to read many, many awful resumes at work a few months ago. What are people thinking?! I guess the point is that they aren't thinking ....

Bron said... 10/15/2008 7:28 pm  

They've never met you, but in 30 minutes or so you need to convince them that you're the one they want. That means you need to do three things very well:

1. Know them (the job, the company etc)

2. Know yourself

3. Prove that you are not just what they want, but the one they want.

You only have a short amount of time to convey that you are what they are looking for and more. You will need to be able to communicate this authentically, quickly and memorably. You will need think carefully about verbal and non verbal communication.

The process that I followed for my most recent jobs was this:

Study the language of the ad very carefully. Highlight the important words, attributes etc. Research the company, try to internalise their values.

Think about how you possess these values/attributes/qualities. Think of examples of how you have demonstrated these things.

Also, think about your competitive advantage. What is something you have (and can demonstrate) that other candidates might not.

Then, think very carefully about the ways you can fit in all the things you want to convey into the allotted time for the interview.

Some things you will need to say directly. some things you will need to kind of 'drop' into the conversation. Other things will be conveyed by how you say things, how you dress etc.

As an example - I was going for jobs that wanted someone young and fun. I didn't even bother telling them that because it would have sounded insincere. Instead I thought very carefully about what I wore, and about what interests to tell them about (or drop into the conversation).

Anyway, having just been through the job hunting process twice up here (where everything seems bigger, faster and more intense)... I could write on this for ages but you beat me to it!

mike said... 10/16/2008 4:13 pm  

So much awesome advice Bron. Thanks

BSJ-rom said... 10/25/2008 12:15 am  

Simple formatting.

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