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For four years of undergraduate studying, I have learned a thing or two about test taking. Being prepared makes sitting in an exam relaxing because if adequately prepared, it should be a breeze- or at the very least not too terrifying.

Job interviews are the final exams for the real world. And in the same fashion, it is all about getting ready. As I have gotten more and more practice with my interviewing skills, here are some tips I have collected regarding how to get ready and feel as comfortable as possible walking in to a job interview situation.

  • Get to know the interviewers. Make sure you know who you are speaking with so you can read up on them. Look at their LinkedIn and understand their position.
  • Dress Professionally. When in doubt, wear a suit. You would rather be overly formal than too casual. Presentation is everything including grooming. Shine the shoes and iron the shirt. Pay attention to details- they certainly will. 
  • Prepare questions. Interviews should be a conversation, with both sides having equal amounts of time to speak. Have questions ready that prove to the recruiter you are serious and have done your research.
  • Expect the unexpected. Interviewers are not trying to be tricky but they do want to see how you think on your feet. Be mindful of possible questions a recruiter might ask and have ideas of how you might answer. Always have examples ready of times you showed leadership, instances where you failed and moments when you succeeded.
  • Be yourself. If you get hired but were playing a role during your interview, the situation will not end well for either party. Both sides should be upfront about expectations and what they can provide.
  • Follow up. Send a thank you note, preferably hand written, to anyone you made contact with. It will keep your name top of mind and it shows follow through. Leave a lasting impression that sets you apart.

I may not have a job yet, but with every interview I get one step closer. I have learned that each experience I have talking to a recruiter is an opportunity to practice. Time to hit the books and study up for the ultimate final exam- job hunting.

What is the hardest question you have been asked at an interview? Let me know in the comments below.

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High school was the time of my life and I had quite a hard time leaving. My high school graduation, as shown below, marked a moment of transition. I’ve never been terribly fond of those. But college turned out to actually be the time of my life. With yet another transition, leaving is challenging but I am excited for what lies ahead.

Grad

While I’m happy with my college experience, I’d like to make sure that when I look back on my after college life that I am equally pleased. Here is a list of the things people keep telling me and I keep telling myself:

  1. It is okay to not have a job set up for after college. It would of course be ideal to have a job waiting for me after I flip my tassel to the other side of that ridiculous hat. However this is not the case and I am not alone. A little more time to explore what I like, what I don’t and find a place where I can learn.
  2. It is okay to live at home for a bit. I am working on priorities and for me, job is numero uno. Living will come based on the job location. I am so lucky to be able to go back home and live close enough to where I want to work. Plus my mom makes a really good roommate.
  3. Just smile in the photos at graduation so the family can be proud. The day is going to be long; I am going to try my very hardest to not be cranky. In my family, life is all about celebrating everything. I am grateful that I have so many people in my life that are coming this weekend to support me. Operation grin and bear it is a go.
  4. The end of undergrad is not the end of youth, menopause is. Most say college is the best time of your life but I think it’s quite possible to keep the momentum going. I do not have anything tying me down. I have a lot of possibilities. I can still go travel the world. I’ve got youth on my side.
  5. Your friends will not stay the same, but that is okay. The good news is, I have done the graduation thing before. As much as I wanted it to happen at the time, I am not best friends forever (and ever and ever) with all the people I graduated with from high school. I have met some of my favorite people in college and I will stay close to as many as possible.

I will certainly keep this post in my back pocket for reference. I will have many moments of freak outs but as I’ve said from the beginning, it’s not a matter of if I get a job but when. What are some of the ways that you keep calm under the craze of the job search? Share your tips with me in the comments below.

 

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