Career Advice For Singles
It is a brand new year, time for a new beginning.  Whether you’re truly unhappy with your job or are just curious about what else might be out there, it can never hurt to dust off the ole’ resume.  Making sure that your resume is fresh and up to date is a great habit to get into.  Every month or so, just take an hour to go back and add/remove/update a few items.  In the event that you need it one day, you’ll be all set and ready to go.

So, let’s assume that your resume is already polished and up to date.  Now, let’s assume that you’ve already scoured the online job board sites like Monster and Indeed and that you’ve exhausted all of your personal connections, getting your name out to every possible company you can think of.  It has been a few days, and wouldn’t you know it, one of your top choices has invited you in for an interview!  It has been a while since your last interview, and perhaps you’re a little rusty.  No worries, Stella is here to provide the top 5 keys to a successful interview.

First, and this should go without saying, dress appropriately and arrive 15 minutes early.  Don’t arrive 30 minutes early, as that is too much time.  You’ll want to show that you’re punctual and truly interested in the job, but if you arrive too early they may not be ready for you.  This can create an awkward situation as you wait in their lobby for half an hour staring at the wall.  Also, dressing appropriately doesn’t necessarily mean “church clothes”.  If you’re looking for a job at an Advertising Agency, perhaps you can be a little more casual.  If you’re interviewing for a job at a law firm, perhaps go more professional.  You should always dress for the job you WANT, but be mindful of the image you are putting out there, if you OVERdress.

Second, always smile.  It may be stressful, it may be boring, but you can’t let your potential future employer know that.  Let them think that the work excites you, and is genuinely interesting.  Keep in mind, your employer is looking for the best candidate in terms of experience and knowledge, but they’re also going to have to work with you.  They’re going to want to work with someone who is happy and smiling, not stern and serious all the time.  Be professional, but don’t be afraid to smile.

Third, come prepared with at least ten questions.  Questions about the company, about the office culture, about compensation, anything that shows you’ve done your homework.   The interview is an opportunity for both sides to get to know one another.  Now, don’t be concerned if you don’t get to ask all ten questions – just be prepared to ask them if the time comes.  In my experience, there is nothing more off-putting than a candidate who has nothing to say when asked “so, do you have any questions for us?”

Fourth, don’t feel as though you have to do ALL the talking.  As they say, in a great interview the interviewer and the interviewee split the conversation right down the middle.  If you find that you’re doing most of the talking, don’t be afraid to ask questions, creating a back-and-forth dialogue.  If you find, however, that the interviewer is doing most of the talking, well then you need to step it up.  Make sure that you’re answering all of their questions to the best of your ability.  Throw in a few relevant personal stories highlighting your expertise and knowledge.  Maintain this 50-50 split, and you’ll increase the likelihood that you’ll be remembered when it comes down to the final selection.

Lastly, and this also should go without saying, ALWAYS remember to follow up.  Send a thank-you e-mail 100% of the time.  This will show that you appreciate their time, first of all, but will also keep you fresh in their minds.  It can be easy for you to get buried under other resumes, especially if you were one of the first to interview.  Send this thank-you e-mail and give your resume a boost in the pile.  Mention that it was nice meeting them, that you appreciate their time, that you’re still very interested in the position, and that you look forward to hearing from them again.  Keep it short and to the point.

Congratulations, you got the job!  At least that is what we hope you’ll hear.  Have any other tips that you’d like to share?  Let us know, we’re always excited to hear from our friends here at Stella Singles. 

Happy Job Hunting!

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