The Job Interview #1

Thanks to the NEPA Job Fair I attended last week, I was able to acquire 2 job interviews.  Both were completed yesterday (Monday).  Well I survived, and they went pretty well.  I have always felt that if I can attain an interview, get face time with the employer, the job is mine.  It is just a mental attitude I have always brought with me.  You can be nervous, you can be worried.  But if you do not believe that you can get the job.  Then you won’t.

Now that isn’t to say I have gotten every job from every interview.  Your always going to be rejected at some point during your career search.  The idea is to not take it personally.  It happens, move on.  The way I handle being rejected is actually simple.  Call the employer and politely ask them why you were not selected.  Ask what the deciding factor was.  Do not argue or try to change their mind.  The decision has been made.  Your just asking for information to help you in your future interviews.  Maybe you were too nervous, or someone else was more qualified.  You just will never know unless you ask for this information.

I will always prepare answers before the interview.  You’re never really going to know what is going to be asked, but you should always be prepared for certain questions.  You’ll almost always be asked questions straight off of the application or resume.  Such as schooling, education, work experience, etc.  Of course you will almost ALWAYS be asked that one question that makes you state something negative about yourself.  It can be worded so many different ways.  Something you’d like to change or improve about yourself.  I have even been asked before if there was anything I did not like about myself.  I call these trap questions, as it forces you to answer something you may not want to.  Not to mention it’s not something everyone prepares for.

NEVER state anything negative about yourself during an interview.  NEVER!

Even if you are asked point blank.  Turn the question around and make it a positive.  The most common trap question in my experience is when you are asked, “Is there anything you feel that you need to improve upon?”.  Try your best to word the answer in a positive way.  My answer has always been that I am constantly improving and expanding my knowledge.  I have always believed that anyone who doesn’t seek to improve themselves in all aspects of life becomes stale.  Depending on where I am applying, my answer would obviously slightly differ.  I may quote some different programs I know or different skills I may have learned over the years.  But the idea is to NEVER state something about yourself in a negative fashion.  Be confident.  But also be loose.

Remember you would have never gotten the interview if the potential employer didn’t think, on some level, you’d fit well.  The purpose of the interview is to place a face on the application or resume.  They want to know you.  So be honest, but be positive!

Now with my interviews over yesterday.  I am glad to say that I have been offered one of the positions already and the second I am still waiting on.  I was honest and up front with the employer and I stated I still had interviews to attend.  I asked for some time to think it over, and was granted that.  Now just because I have gotten these interviews and even an offer, it doesn’t mean my search is over or I can take a break.  I sent out 3 more resumes in between each interview yesterday.  Now if your happy with the job offer, take it!  Congratulations.  If your still unsure, and you have time to think, the hope is to attain multiple offers and take the best one suited for you.  This is the position I am hoping for.  If the second interview doesn’t come through.  I can always accept the position offered to me, and continue my search if need be.

When it’s all said and done.  Be positive.  Every interview you attend, is experience you gain for the next.

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NEPA Job Fair April 2010

http://www.nepajobfair.com

I just returned from the NEPA Job Fair (April 13, 2010). I have to admit it has been awhile since I have been to a large Job Fair such as this. Many interesting companies were at attendance, and this is actually the first one I have been to that had live seminars with helpful tips and hints. I met quite a few engaging and interesting people. Most importantly, I came away from this experience re-energized for another salvo of Resume shots to potential employers.

Now, I was however a little disappointed in that some of the employers were merely giving out information on how to apply on their own websites, rather than taking serious candidates right then. There were many companies that I had already applied to online, but didn’t really learn anything new. I understand this is the way job searching and recruiting is going in this day and age. If you are not tech-savvy, or if you do not at least know how to send an email, your going to be left behind very soon. But on the other hand, I miss the face-to-face time that I had expected. Yes it is tedious to go out to companies to apply. But I had always felt it gave you a leg up, forced you to learn about the company you were applying, and cut down on the competition for those jobs. Applying online is fine, and definitely easy. Unfortunately I feel it is too easy. It is too easy to have many many thousands of people apply who may not be qualified unnecessarily clogging up what is already a bland email to a point were the actual qualified candidates are not even seen. This is more of a personal feeling on my part, I will always go were the technology takes me. I just feel the face time with employers is so very important.

With that said, it is not like I didn’t get the chance to talk to anyone. I enjoyed my time walking around. I spent 7 hours trying to get as much face-time as I could. I always have a resume handy, and was able to send off 38. Now combine those with the companies that force you to apply online, and it was still a very good day. I even have an interview with a staffing company coming up next Monday.

If your reading this, wish me luck! LOL!

One interesting person I met was actually at the final seminar of the day. I was mulling over whether I should stay. It had been 6 hours, I was tired, most of the employers had already left. But I was interested in what this seminar had to offer. It was explained to me ways to use social networks in the job hunt. I have always known the importance of social networks, but for some reason it hadn’t dawned on me to use online forms of social networks like Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. I was intrigued, so I decided to stay. I am glad I did. The speaker was a woman named Karla Porter (http://karlaporter.com/). I learned so many things about my job search and using social networks in this half hour, than I did the entire time I was at the Job Fair.  Including the knowledge of this very blog.  I was even able to get 10 minutes of one on one face-time speaking with her. I know she’ll be reading this eventually, and I want to personally thank her for her time and knowledge.

I came away from this Job Fair a new person. I have been searching for a career for quite awhile. I know what I can do, and I know what I can offer. Now is the time to get my face out there.

One of my favorite saying has always been from Walt Disney himself, “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

Keep believing and always move forward!