Friday, April 29th, 2016...1:06 pm

Tips & Tricks to Nail that Interview

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source: google

source: google

In addition to working at Gradlife, I also spend some evenings and weekends scraping together pennies for school at a restaurant downtown. Like many restaurants, most of the people who work there are either starving and struggling artists, or starving and struggling students. Like any student who suddenly find themselves without courses to study for, or research to complete, or labs to finish, a part time/summer job suddenly seems like a very good idea to line the pockets for the coming school year, and to enjoy the summer sun.

As part of my position at the restaurant, I screen applicants and accept resumes from incoming potentials. If the initial meetup goes well, these friendlies will get interviews with my managers, which I also get to witness and hear about. Over the past few weeks, as students make the rounds, I have seen some GREAT interviews, and I have seen some not-so-great interviews. So, in the hope of helping any grads who might be searching for some summer employment, here are some tips & tricks from my own experience applying to part-time jobs that might just make the difference between a yay or a nay.

source: google

source: google

 

  1. Handing in the Resume – DO bring your resume in person, DO ask to speak to a manager (leave your resume, and get the manager’s name and number if he/she is not available).DON’T have a stack of resumes on display to show the place you’re applying to that they aren’t even number 1 on the list
  1. Securing an Interview – if you talk to the manager, then a follow up is much easier. Call back, ask to speak to the same manager, and let them know you’d love to speak with them some more about the position that you are still very much interested in. If you didn’t speak to the manager, let the person who answers the phone know that you’re following up on a resume you handed in, and then ask to speak to the manager and follow the above steps. DO be flexible about timing for the interview. DON’T say you have other interviews that you need to factor into your schedule. Even if it’s a short-term, part-time job, the place you’re applying to should know they’re a priority.
  1. During the Interview – DO research the company you’re applying for. If it’s a restaurant, know something about their philosophy and their menu; if it’s a retail job, know about their products and their mission. You can ask better questions, and make your experience apply more specifically to the position you’re applying for.
  1. Know Your Resume – it’s not enough to have a well put-together resume, you need to know it well enough to apply your previous jobs to skill questions that are thrown at you. This also lets you give specific and concrete examples of your accomplishments to help show off just how well you’re suited to the position in question.
  1. Know Your Body Language – be open, be friendly, be confident, and be yourself. Most of all, make sure you have a firm handshake (DO shake hands with your interviewer at the start AND end of the interview), and good eye contact. If you have no confidence in yourself, why should the person hiring you?
  1. After the Interview – DO sincerely thank the person interviewing you, and DO follow up quickly. In this day and age, the question of whether an email or a written thank you note is more appropriate is debatable, but do send something. Also make sure you follow up with a phone call to reassure the interviewer that you are still interested, and would love the chance to work for the company. That being said, know the difference between following up and being annoying. One call a few days later? Ok. 5 calls the next week? Not so much.
source: google

source: google

Whether you’re on the job hunt now or not, these tips are good for anyone who will ever consider having a job sometime in the future. Use it now, bookmark it for later, or simply read it once and tuck it into the back of your brain, just know that a lot of talking with anybody is about being open, honest, and sure of yourself. Remember that the person in front of you is just that, a person, and a job interview should be seen as an in-depth conversation and not an exam. This is not one thing you can cram for, nor should you. So breath, relax, and hopefully see you on a patio sometime this summer season!

*Don’t forget that U of T also offers wonderful Workstudy Positions that will fit your student schedule. Find them here: cln.utoronto.ca*



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