Ever have an interview? Did you get awkward, tense and ridiculously nervous? Well, you are not alone. Being interviewed is scary stuff. It is literally being subjected to complete judgement on everything you say and do. Still, no matter how much they suck, we all have to go through one at some point or another, whether it be applying for a job, student leadership, a scholarship, or any other position. Since it can’t be escaped, you might as well learn to do it well. Here are some tips that will help you to rock your next interview and hopefully calm your nerves:
- Be yourself. Employers want to hire people that they will enjoy working with, so they genuinely want to get you know you. Be funny, interesting, confident, honest. Just be you. Don’t try to be somebody else, or something you’re not.
- Be prepared. Think of some potential questions you might be asked before the interview, so you’ll be more prepared and you won’t have to think of everything on the spot. Most employers ask things like: What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why should you be hired? Why do you want to work here?
- Do your research. Look into the company you’re applying to. Make sure you know their mission statement and values if they have them. Recall a good experience you had with the company and bring that up. They want to know that you really do want to work there.
- Know what they are looking for. If you’re applying for a job that requires a lot of interaction with others, then present yourself as a people person. If it is a labor job, show that you’re a hard worker.
- Be confident and relaxed. Show them how awesome you are. Don’t be shy, go ahead and brag and talk about all the things you’re good at! After all, if you don’t think you’ll be hired, why should they even consider you? And, don’t talk in circles. Get right to the point and if you don’t have anything else important to add, just stop there.
Again, everyone gets at least a little nervous during interviews, and employers understand that. But really, just be straight up with them. You just need to tell them about yourself and why you want that job. No biggie… so just chill!
If you are one of the many high school students who looked this summer for seasonal or temporary work and didn’t find any, you are not alone. It has been recently reported by the U.S. Labor Department that the teen unemployment rate has increased (as high as 49% in some states) even though general unemployment rates have been decreasing overall. It cannot be said what the exact reason for this is, however you don’t have to look to far to find that there are other opportunities available for youth these days that will still allow you to gain experience!
If you are not able to find a job, try looking at volunteering in your local community. For one, this looks great on a resume because it shows employers that you are willing to work hard and commit to something without getting paid for it. It also suggests what your character as an individual is in just five seconds. Another great reason to volunteer is to gain experience in an area of work that you would not have otherwise been able to do because you may need a degree or a specific license. After volunteering so many hours may also increase your chances of winning college grants and scholarships.
Volunteering allows you to network, which is a huge thing in the business world. It is the people you know that can help get you places besides yourself. Many businesses also thrive on the idea and implementation of networking because many of their clients are people they know! These are some of the great benefits of volunteering, but so is the good feeling you get when you can be apart of something bigger than yourself and in the long-run help someone out. Look at your local homeless shelters, soup kitchens, animal shelters, and non-profits to find volunteering opportunities.
Volunteering is usually a long-term committment, however what do you do if you don’t have that much time to spare? Some businesses are willing to let you intern or job-shadow for a day or two. This is a great way to also gain experience and it will still look great on your resume or college applications. It will also help you figure out what it is really like to be in your dream job and if you will actually enjoy it. This shows future employers and colleges that you are ambitious and passionate about your career and have earnestly thought about it. One way to connect with these type of experiences is to go talk to someone at the business of your choosing and see if they are willing to allow you to job-shadow or intern. You can also go to the counselor at your school for ideas and opportunities.
There may not be many jobs on the market these days for high school students, but there are plenty of opportunities available for you to still gain experience and gain more than just money while doing it.