As one might expect, there are no guarantees in the job search process. As a former human resources executive, I have recruited candidates who, on paper, appeared to be perfect matches for positions, only to watch them flounder in the interview or subsequently in the job.
The process of interviewing and landing that dream job is, without a doubt, not science. In fact, in this competitive job market, it can leave the most qualified applicant feeling as though they’re in the midst of a Vegas crapshoot.
In preparation for and during the interview, I offer the following advice to aid prospective employees (and their chances) in this important process:
Proofread for typos, content inaccuracies, and grammatical errors. Choose a professional email address. Also, include a professional summary and a brief statement of your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments that convey your value to the employer.
Arrive early—no less than 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time. The day of the interview is NOT the day to discover that you have a flat tire, childcare issues, or a GPS device with outdated maps.
3. CONVERSE (NOT CONVERSATE)
Be prepared to hold a professional, informed conversation with a prospective boss. Take time to research the company, the related industry, and the core details of the job description. The interview is not the time to experiment with new vocabulary and phrases that you rarely use in everyday conversations.
You only have one chance to make a first impression. Know the environment in which you may potentially be working. What is an acceptable “look” in the creative world, for example, may not be so in a financial or corporate legal environment. Play it safe and stick with classic, professional attire.
5. FOLLOW UP
Ask the interviewer about the timeline for making a decision and with whom you should follow up. Send a ‘thank you’ note by email—on the same day of your interview if it occurred in the morning, and by the next morning if it occurred in the afternoon or evening.
Good news! You’ve been hired. Now, what?
Here are tips on what it takes to excel in your new position. Begin to map out a plan for success, by incorporating the following strategies:
1. JOB DESCRIPTION
Become the master of yours and adapt quickly to company culture. Teamwork? Independent contributions? Identify what is expected of you, and take measures to make it happen.
Excel in your role and identify ways to improve processes. When appropriate, share your ideas with your boss.
This likely will not happen right away, however, be mindful that identifying a mentor is crucial for your career progression.
Make skills training, as well as personal and academic enrichment a priority. Seek opportunities that increase your value, especially those that may be available to you at no cost.
Show initiative. Be consistent. Establish yourself as the “go-to” person in your area of expertise. Don’t be a clock-watcher. Do know your value and work diligently to demonstrate it.
The goal is to not only get in the door, but to demonstrate successfully why the employer’s decision to open it for you was a wise one.
This article was written by BOSS Network Influencer, Jacqueline Miller.
Jacqueline Miller is a speaker, author, and life strategist, empowering mothers to reconnect with their pre-mom dreams, guilt-free. Providing clarity and strategies to successfully manage their careers, family, relationships, finances, time, and self-care. Learn more about Jacqueline via her website at thejacquelinemiller.com and follow her on Twitter @mogulmomdujour.