“I sometimes find that in interviews you learn more about yourself than the person learned about you.” William Shatner
I think when it comes to job search; there are several things that people need to know from which these 4 tips makes you much more effective.
1- Look for the right Job
I can imagine that this is not a surprise to anyone, but this term “Look for the right job” is a bit tricky, and it might have multiple interpretations among people. There are tons of people who are looking to find the dream job, and several companies who are looking for a right candidate.
If you have decided to put your efforts into finding a new job, you should ask yourself few questions before jumping into this quest.
- If you are not happy with your last job, was it the work, your boss, your organization, your skills, your remuneration, or the sector?
These are some most significant aspects, which most of the people miss-out before starting for a job switch or even if you are a fresh graduate going to start your career.
It is necessary for you to evaluate key points, like research your prospective employer; benefits and perks they are offering, working hours are not much; how far the workplace is and what career path they provide.
As there are a numerous sources now a days where you can find relevant details for example, your former colleague or a relative working in that company; moreover the social networking platforms and job portals are very handy in this manner. So before going to any company/industry you should try to make sure that you are not going to face the same problem again.
- Have you considered improving your skills or education to keep up your demand in a particular job market?
This is another foremost and vastly ignored factor people are suffering from these days, from the technology standpoint since last 2–3 decades things are getting changed drastically than before; which has an adverse impact by increasing the standards and expected skill set for an individual.
So it’s compulsory for everyone to improve consistently, whatever it takes for instance: professional certifications are very common these days on top of Grad/Post Grad degrees.
2- Brand Yourself
“Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I wish I would have known this term when I was graduating, but it’s never too late to make things aligned. I have recently seen some examples, where people work for years in a company or industry and reach at the top positions; but due to certain circumstances like digitization and automation which reduced number of head counts also sometimes industry is struggling which impacts people adversely. Moreover, in this modern world everyone has existence in the digital world to some extent and companies are highly focusing on what you have to show for prior to actually meet someone face to face.
So it would be great to realize that you are seller, what you are selling (selling your services) and use this medium to attract more recruiters by displaying your skills upfront. As I am from technical background, I can share some example how you could make yourself brand.
- If you are a graduate or under-graduate from ordinary school, then look out for some big names that have very strong reputation in the respective field for higher studies that is the energy booster for your profile.
- Creating Profiles on top job sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder and RobertHalf.W
- Actively communicate in the communities for the technical folks like “Stack Overflow”.
- Contribute to open source communities by creating or improving reusable packages to support the industry like GitHub and Node Package Manager a.k.a NPM
- Create your own blog where you can share your experiences, challenges faced and things you have recently learned.
- Start your own podcast for sharing new idea, creating tutorials for beginner show your contribution.
- Its sufficient that you have the skill but it always becomes more authentic and attractive for a recruiter when you are certified for a particular tool/technology which they are looking for.
- Subscribe to technology blogs from where you can be up to date and also be informed about the technical conferences/talks like “Goggle I/O, AWS re-:Invent and Oracle Openworld”or launch of new frameworks/technologies, attending these events boosts your reputation immensely.
There must be some other platforms or communities where you can show what you are bringing in, but I hope this made the broader term pretty clear.
3- Be Prepared
“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” Arthur Ashe
This is the most critical aspect of the recruitment progression essentially for the candidate. As you are already short-listed through resume screening and now it’s your best chance to demonstrate what you have built till now.
It’s essential that you put your best forward and allow the interviewer, to get to know the person they’d be working with. Here is a long check list which you should consider before going to an interview,
- Explore the company business, culture, history and people.
- List down your selling points according to the job in order to strong the case that you deserve the job.
- Prepare and practice questions which you can think of related to your domain and also prepare for some common questions like “What value will you add to the company by joining” or “Where do you see yourself after 5–10 years” etc.
- Check on the web, experiences of people who have already interviewed with that organization.
- Try to find out who is interviewer, its not possible all the time but it would be very helpful if you can check the background of interviewer on platforms like LinkedIn.
- Mostly the interviewer already has your resume these days during the interview, but taking couple of copies with you also shows how prepared and proactive you are.
- Make sure you have enough night sleep and a healthy breakfast, the day on which you are going for an interview. You will much more attentive and focused, also check if you are adequately dressed. You should always carry a tissue or napkin in your pocket, and turnoff your cellphone.
- Make the most out of “Tell us about yourself”because this is mostly the beginning of the interview, so you should try to score in first 5–10 minutes because as per studies, it is indicated that most of the interviewers make their mind in first 5 minutes and then ratify their decision in the rest of the interview. I can count people on my finger who actually went beyond other than their designation and previous job titles; but I would suggest you can start with “There is a lot of things I could tell but you can tell me if I am missing something you would like to hear”. This is the time now where you can highlight your key selling points which you have already listed above; and jump into detail for each of them by asking the interviewer, and interviewers will hardly say no!. Be specific to solution, give examples from your experience to fully utilize this golden opportunity; so make sure you don’t miss it, and then you can share your interests, hobbies like “Scuba Diving and Coin Collection”
- Make eye contact with the interviewer and keep your hand gestures to minimum, focus on the non-verbal communication and take a second before answering the question; which represents that you have put some thoughts before responding.
- In the end, be prepared to ask some relevant and intelligent questions. Which demonstrates your commitment and enthusiasm about your career. Not always, but most of the time when say no to this question “If you have any questions?”; interviewer perceives it as you are not that much interested in the job or company.
- Last but not the least, always close on a positive note no matter how the interview went and shake hands firmly.
4- Be ready to learn
“I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.” Winston Churchill
When appearing in a interview, there is a lot you can learn not only the things which you lack in related to your domain; but you can also learn about the organization while observing the whole recruitment process such as,
If the organization is not including your expected co-workers, your boss in the decision-making of your evaluation. You are more likely entering to an organization which might not have hierarchical structure, or they might not have potential opening. There is another interesting fact that the number of people who interview as well as their level in the organization, is a direct reflection of the importance of your job. If you are only interviewed by one low- or mid-level person, chances are your job is an entry-level one. If you are interviewed in 3 rounds or more and by multiple people including the higher management of the organization, then you might be the key hire.
Beside above there are few small intimations which are really helpful, like the dress code from the interviewers; pictures on the wall: Are there awards or achievements celebrated?
At last, I would like to share one of my favorite quotes,
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius