How to land that job
Monday, 22 February 2021 Start exploring
There is going to come a time when you need to apply for a job.
It may be while still at school (such as work placement or a part-time job) or when you graduate. You’ll want to make sure you put your best foot forward. Here are some tips to help you along the way.
Communication, communication, communication!
- Speak professionally and directly.
- There are three rules to a good resume: Use good English. Check your spelling. ‘Don’t text talk’. If you aren’t very good at this, jump online and do some research. There are plenty of skill development programs available.
- Skill up on Microsoft Office. This is an important one. Most businesses use Microsoft products. If you use a Mac at school and home, consider getting onto YouTube to get some basic training in Microsoft Outlook, Excel and Word.
Adapt and learn
In the world-of-work, you are going to experience things that will challenge you. Take those experiences and learn from them.
- Show how motivated and confident you are.
- Take the initiative and make suggestions or ideas to your team. Even if it isn’t chosen – they can see that you are eager to get involved.
- Be cooperative and positive. You don’t have to be friends with everyone you work with, but you do have to work together.
- Provide thought through responses. Yes / No ≠ response.
- Show off your critical thinking. Think about situations at school or socially where you needed to use this skill.
- Make sure your answers reflect your resume.
- Show that you are excited about the job.
- Answer confidently. Nerves are normal (we all feel it). Take the time to think when answering questions. Try to speak clearly and make eye contact.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat the question.
- Make salary the focus
- Be overly confident – you don’t have to know it all.
Questions interviewers may ask
- “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” This shows how aware you are of your capabilities. It’s okay to have weaknesses – we all have them (even your interviewer).
- “Discuss your ability to deal with situations under pressure.” This looks at your ability to meet deadlines, solve problems and manage your time.
- “Discuss your experience working in a team.” It is almost always guaranteed that you will be working with people. The employer needs to know you will be able to do that.
- “Discuss a time when you have had to approach challenges in a team setting.” This shows your interpersonal and conflict resolution skills.
- “How will you add value to the organisation?” This helps the employer differentiate you from your competition.
- “What do you know about the organisation?” This shows your interest and enthusiasm in the position and the company.
- “What are your hobbies and interests?” This is usually an ice-breaker but employers also use this as a way to learn more about your personality. Remember to keep it professional.
- Research the organisation you are interviewing for.
- Read and re-read the position description. If you are unsure about something, call the contact person – they expect these calls.
- Know where you’re going – being late is never a good sign.
- Dress to impress and keep it professional.
- Prepare and rehearse answers (start with the questions above).
- Turn your phone off and put it away.
- Don’t give the same covering letter for every job – change it to suit the job/organisation you are applying for.
- Experience is more than work. It includes volunteer positions, community service and involvement in sport or recreation clubs. You can use it to show you can work in a team, manage your time and communicate with people.