You’re almost there. You earned a degree, you have prepared a resume, and you have sent various applications to employers. Now, your cover letter and resume have landed you a job interview. The question is: can you nail it?
Job interviews are still the biggest stumbling blocks in the entire application process. A survey of Chief Financial Officers by Accountemps found that 43% of respondents believe applicants make the most mistakes during the interview, followed by the resume, follow-up interviews, cover letters, and reference check. Interviewers are so skilled that they know if you are a possible candidate for the position within the first minutes. Young urban professionals or yuppies must know that it takes more than just dressing up and firmly shaking hands to ace an interview. Here are job interview tips for yuppies to make the job-seeking process more fulfilling and rewarding.
Make eye contact
If you are the type that can’t focus and become uncomfortable when someone stares at you, then you should work on your eye contact skills. One survey revealed that 70% of employees felt that failing to make eye contact is usually the biggest mistake that an applicant makes. This is followed by bad posture, playing with something on the table, failing to smile, and giving a weak handshake. HR specialists assess interviewees not just based on what they actually say, they also pay attention to the applicant’s body language.
Never check your phone
Applying for a job is now done via apps and emails. But while the process has become digital, the interview process is a personal encounter. If you have the habit of checking the time or your messages on your phone every so often, try to keep your phone away during a job interview. A research by The Creative Group found that checking your phone is the top pet peeve of interviewers and employers. The majority, or 77%, said they would likely not consider the applicant if the person used their phone during the interview. Be careful of the non-verbal cues you are giving your potential employer.
Avoid being too technical
Maybe your job is about codes, systems, and engineering. They probably have an actual test for that. But interviews aren’t the place to showcase your technical skills but to tell them about it. You have to be able to explain technical topics clearly, and tell them how you intend to solve technical matters. Interviews are personal, not technical.
People love stories so be good at telling them. Try to recount experiences in your personal or academic lives that you can use professionally. Practice telling that story because it illustrates your ability to handle difficult situations and how clearly you can communicate.
Find a home nearby
Some companies and employers are very particular with where you live. Especially now that traffic has gone from bad to worse, a lot of employers are concerned with employees’ tardiness and lack of productivity. This is why more and more millennials are becoming condo owners or are renting one. Major condos in the Philippines are right at the heart of central business districts, allowing shorter travel time to work and is therefore less energy consuming. Among the advantages of getting a condo close to work is avoiding rush hour traffic, having more time to sleep, achieving work-life balance, and generally being more productive.
Job hunting made easy
Look at the locations and offices of the companies you have applied in. If they are located well within short distances from each other, it is best to get a condo near your target work offices. This will make job hunting a lot easier. You don’t want to be late for that first job interview, right? And you also do not want to look haggard and exhausted from waking up too early and going through traffic, right? The most important interview tips for first-time job seekers who want to leave a good impression are: “Do not be late” and “Look pleasant.” It’s easier to achieve both if you live nearer.
Color choices matter
Blacks and whites never fail, but Manila stylist Dette Linders advises yuppies to choose their wardrobe’s color wisely. She said white, black, and blue are best suited for management positions because they show power and leadership. If you are applying for creative positions, pastel colors are the way to go. Just remember to avoid extremely loud colors that are distracting and make you look unprofessional. Stick to the classics such as long sleeves, pencil skirt, tailored dresses, blazers and suits.
Clean up your dirty laundry on social media
“Why are you ranting about your boss on Facebook?” If that happens to be the first question that is asked of you, you might as well wish you never came to the interview at all. It is part of the drill now for HR people to check your social media accounts. So if you are currently job hunting, delete or hide posts that may hurt your chances.
Rehearse the FAQs
You probably know half of what the employers are going to ask you, so practice how to answer them briefly and sensibly. Rehearse answers to questions like career expectations, strengths and weaknesses, objectives, skills and training. Make sure you have ready answers with regard to willingness to extend working hours, working on shifts or during holidays, or transferring to another location. Dressing up and talking to yourself in front of a mirror might help. Or better yet, you can ask a friend to act as the interviewer.
Research about the job and the company
This is very basic, but a lot of job seekers still neglect it. Employers will expect that you know what it takes to get the position you are applying for. Make sure that you know the job requirements and that you are actually qualifies, or you will just be wasting everyone’s time including yours. It will also leave a good impression on the employer if you know a thing or two about what the company does. Be prepared to tell them what you are willing to do to advance its vision.
Don’t talk about something you don’t know
If you do not know what the interviewer is talking about, then say so. You may begin with “I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with the topic,” or ask them politely to expound. This doesn’t disqualify you for the job. But lying about it will.
Always trust yourself
Don’t fake it until you make it. Try to be the best version of yourself during the interview because the interviewer will eventually see right through you and know if you are just faking it. A job interview tip for yuppies is to trust yourself, your skills, and the real “you.” No one wants to hire a phony. Never misrepresent yourself.
Stay calm and composed
Job interviews for first-time job seekers may be nerve-racking, but don’t let it get the better of you. Breathe, and always try to appear calm and collected. Be confident and always wear a smile. Prepare for the interview and listen attentively to the questions.
Be honest at all times
Don’t make stories up. Don’t tell them you are an expert at something when you are not. Be honest to your potential employers and to yourself. Just imagine what’s going to happen if they found out you lied about an expertise or a skill. Again, they are going to see through you, so make sure you only tell the truth.
We’ve all been there before. Job interviews can be really stressful. You think about it for days and when you’re done, you still think about it constantly. The important thing here is preparation, research, confidence, and honesty. Believe in yourself and you are halfway there.