Looking for a job can be very stressful and time consuming. Going to a job interview can be a nerve-racking process, even to the most confident person.
Meeting with job seekers on a daily basis, we are incredibly surprised to see how many people have not considered specific aspects of their daily life that would be beneficial in their job search. When looking for employment or looking to change your career path, there are specific steps that can be taken to assist with landing your dream job.
Step 1: Self Assess
Start with a self-assessment. The outcome of this assessment will help you better understand and nail down your interests, strengths, skill set and what specific needs you are trying to meet.
Take time to understand what you are genuinely interested in or passionate about. For example, if you are passionate about helping senior citizens or giving back to the community, it would be a great idea to look into non-profit organizations. Start to research companies in your area that are active in their local communities and giving back. If you enjoy being active and working with your hands, research warehouse and assembly positions in your community, which will allow you to be hands-on.
Don’t Forget! It is also important to understand what your weaknesses and dislikes are. Every person has areas in life that need improvement and we all have things we do not like or enjoy. Understanding and being aware of these areas can help you in your career.
- What kind of work am I most comfortable with and willing to do?
- What am I passionate about or interested in?
- What area(s) do I need improvement in?
- What is it that I want to stay away from (ex: type of work, industry, environment, etc.)?
- What are the top 3 things that are important to me (ex: location, work schedule, pay, career advancement, etc.)?
Step 2: Research
Before stepping foot in an interview, research the company you are applying to work. Read and fully understand all aspects of the job description. Make sure that after the interview is scheduled, you have taken the research the company and its reputation. This can be done on company website and social media pages. Read company reviews. (There are numerous websites out there to assist with this research, such as Glassdoor.com) This is especially important when you are applying to a company you are not familiar with.
As with any research, be sure you use more than one source or website. The company’s social media pages will help you learn more about the work culture and work environment. Most companies post fun company pictures and community events to their social media sites. It is also a good idea to do a little research on the job title or industry if you are new to the field.
Step 3: Practice
Practice, practice, and practice! Do not skip this step!! This will build confidence and work out any kinks you might have or be feeling. I have found it is more beneficial to do a real practice interview with a family member or a trusted friend. Limit the practice to just you and the other person so you are more relaxed and focused. Make sure you ask them to have some questions prepared for the practice interview. Once the two of you are finished, ask for feedback on your performance. This will give you a good idea of how the interview went and what kind of questions you need to work on. Also ask for constructive feedback about your facial expressions, body language and anything else they noticed that a professional interviewer or hiring manager could view as negative. Practice, Practice, Practice!