If you’re a recent college graduate or a few years out, you might assume your first big break will be an ordinary job. No fancy perks or exciting culture, just a place to punch-in and gain needed on-the-job experience. Not really something you’ll brag about on social media.
But why is it that you have to settle on anything less than a dream job?
Though your professional experience is narrow, a college graduate equipped with the right information is rarely limited to the lower rungs of the job market. Preparation, confidence, and these interview strategies can get you the type of job you’ve always wanted.
Set the right interview tone
Among your job interview strategies, non-verbal communication matters. Your actions, expressions, posture, and overall attitude determine whether you or not you get that dream job. In fact, they at times outweigh your words.
If your body language, tone, and words clash, an interviewer will rely more heavily on the non-verbal cues: your actions, expressions, posture, and overall attitude. These particularly stand out.
Arrive early, 15 minutes at most. Punctuality shows respect for the interviewer’s time and schedule. Arriving inordinately early suggests you do not follow instructions.
Match your interviewer’s posture and gestures. In a subtle way, you show that you are like-minded and able to catch on to social cues. Plus, you won’t make gestures that your interviewer will find odd.
Make comfortable eye contact. Ever had a staring contest? Prolonged eye contact becomes uncomfortable quickly and in a job interview, can come off like a menacing glare worthy of Hannibal Lecter. That’s why it’s okay to ease off, shifting your focus to his or her forehead or smile.
Tailor responses to your dream job
Every company wants something a little bit different. An interviewer can spot when you roll out a stock response to an interview question. Nuanced answers as part of your interview strategies show that you understand what your dream job is about and what makes it different.
Do your homework. Everyone talks about the importance of company research. There’s a reason for that. Without it, you’ll handle questions with the speed and efficiency of an explorer navigating a newly discovered continent.
Find what thrills them. Each company has its own values. Research what they want and pull relevant examples from your own history. Though most recent college graduates don’t have a wide breadth of work experience, things like internships, class projects, and volunteer work told with the right focus can all wow in the job interview.
Have a few backup responses. The way conversations move in an interview is unpredictable. What you initially think is a great response, may lose its luster as the minutes go by. It’s good to have substitute examples and anecdotes for those moments.
Ask the right job interview questions
Your job interview isn’t a thesis defense. It’s a dialogue where both sides are learning about the other. Remember it’s just as important to you that you find a good fit.
Know what not to ask. Though it’s basic advice, it bears repeating: never ask about what the company does or what you’ll be doing in a position. Elaboration on what you’ve already learned is okay, but a job summary is sabotage.
Ask about the work environment. Is the workspace open with cubicles or quads? Is there room available to think in quiet? Does the environment need to fit you like a glove? No, but the ambience shouldn’t feel like a hostile space.
Find out how the team connects. Is this the type of place where you’ll feel close to the people around you? Can you imagine yourself hanging out with them? A third of your day is spent in the office. Don’t you want to be with people whose company enjoy?
Perfecting your interview strategies
Getting your dream job from the start isn’t impossible. It takes a blend of professional presence, focused answers, and enlightening questions to prove without a doubt that the position and culture are right for both sides. Once you have this total package together as part of your interview
strategies, it’ll be hard for your dream job to pass you by.
At IDR, we’re always looking for driven people (especially recent college graduates) who can adapt to new situations and thrive in our upbeat, team-oriented office. Find out more and apply here.