By: Kelly Plummer
Editor: Vanessa Dwyer
Photo courtesy of: Kelly Plummer
Find the dream job: Check! Apply: Check! Get the interview: Check! Now, you have to ace the interview ! Going for an interview can be one of the most nerve-wracking moments during a job search. When you sit across from your potential employer, not only is he evaluating everything about you, but he is also comparing you to the hundreds of other people who applied for the same position.
Employment opportunities these days seem few and far between. However, this issue is not
just locally. On a national level, unemployment rates have been high. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, in October of 2009, unemployment rates of citizens ages 16 and over hit 10 percent – the highest rate in the last 10 years. As of August 2013, the national unemployment rate has decreased to 7.3 percent.
Even though the percentage has decreased, there are still too little jobs for the amount of people who need them. That is why the interview process is so crucial.
One of the most important things you can do to ace the interview is prepare yourself. Your appearance, manner, and expert knowledge is vital. First impressions are everything – and in the world of interviews, they are your only impression.
For starters, look the part! You should always dress appropriately for the interview, by wearing professional clothing. It is no secret that you should smile, be respectful, and be courteous. It will also greatly benefit you to research position and explain why you should be hired. If you know you are right candidate for the job, they will.
It is always smart to make sure the criteria they are asking for is properly met. Come with your resume and references to show your experience and skills. Employers love experience, so find a way to connect your previous employment skills and duties to the position. Knowing the position inside and out will certainly “wow” the interviewer.
Although you may not know the specific questions that are going to be asked, do not allow yourself to walk into the interview and become blindsided. Having a basic idea of what questions will come your way will only benefit you. Often times the interviewer will ask questions regarding your previous work experience, your strengths, and situational questions. Regarding the importance of interviews, Molly, a third year CCC student and part-time waitress said, “It is so important that you show you care about the position. Employers want to hire those who work hard and want to be there.”
Cumberland County College is not only a place to learn, but also offers employment, as well. Senior Human Resource Specialist, Pamela Carty, works first hand with students seeking jobs on campus and reviews the applicants for both full-time and part-time positions. Many students need jobs that can coincide with their class and study schedules, and may not realize that CCC offers these employment opportunities. Carty’s advice for job-seekers is simple: “Do not be afraid to start at the bottom and work your way up. Even if the position you are offered is not exactly what you want to do, be patient and work hard and good things will happen.” Get the job! Check!