Friday, November 5, 2010

How To Prepare For: Interviews, Job Orientations

After a lot of debate, I decided to go ahead and make a post about job hunting and how to prepare for interviews (on-the-spot or one-on-one call backs) and job orientations.
I felt a little ridiculous even coming up with the idea as I've only ever been hired to one place other than my family store but it's better to share tips passed onto me and tips I have created for myself and others.

Edit: I was hired for a seasonal part-time position at Bath and Body Works!

I'm extremely nervous and I feel like I'll get fired within the first week of working because of the lack of experience I have. If all goes well, I would love to be rehired for part-time.

Near the end of September/start of October, I went to a job fair at the local mall with a few friends to find new jobs. With my lack of retail experience, I never got a call back. I applied in store at another mall weeks before but I handed in a resume with errors and a wrong contact number.. Not only did I screw up my resume the first time, I screwed myself over on the on-the-spot interviews at the job fair. Now I don't want to yab too much about my personal life cause I'm sure it bores you, let's start!

Note: When it comes to retail, appearance is important. If you do not look well-groomed and lively, you aren't going to be given a second chance. How can your employer expect you to sell something when you can't sell yourself?? You are like a product that your employer wants to buy onto their team!

Things To Do The DAY Before Job Hunting/Job Fairs:
1) Look over your resume for errors and wording. Include a separate reference page if you have any. If you have ideas of where you want to work, print a resume and reference sheet for each store and staple them together. And then, print extras to test your luck at other stores! Remember to carry the resumes in a thin binder or folder. Keep a pen and correction tape as some stores require you to fill out an extra application. Make sure you know what hours you want to work too!
2) Prepare an outfit - SUIT UP! You always want to look professional at a job fair or instore applications. You make a bigger statement than most people as they feel they can go casual before an interview. I recommend: (black or white) blouse, dress pants or skirt, matching blazer and dress shoes -flats or heels. Personally, heels make me feel confident and strong but it can be too dressy and uncomfortable so I recommend flats.

3) Are you going to wear makeup? Find neutral colors that will give you a healthy complexion and appearance. You'll want to keep it minimal. I'll leave the makeup I'm wearing the next day in a box ontop of my table so I don't have to dig the morning of. Recommendations: A brightening eyeshadow for the lid, matte peach for my arch waterline. And a coat of mascara to define my eyes. Don't forget concealer or tinted moisturizer for that even complexion! Skip the blush and opt for a tinted lip balm. Done, bam, I'm out the door!
4) Most interviewers and applications ask, "Why do you want to work here?". Do you know your answer? I like to research the stores I'm applying for to gain insight one what kind of workers the store is looking for. Your employer is looking for a well-informed, confident and, friendly employee! Practice your answers for typical interview questions and ....
5) The Hand Shake - it's an old one but a good one. Everyone talks about the firm but not hard handshake. I don't believe much in it but always initiate the handshake, it shows how confident you are!
6) Get 8 hours of sleep and drink loads of water. This is crucial! Even if you don't think you're dehydrated, it's has a side effect of sleepiness! You really want to feel AND look awake.
7) Confidence, confidence, confidence. Before sleeping, say all of the good things about yourself outload and why your employer should hire you!

Things To Do The Day Of:
1) Breakfast. Never skip breakfast, it's the most important meal of the day. Load up on the OJ! You're going to need all that energy. Job hunting is exhausting, okay??
2) Shower, dress, makeup. This should be easy as your outfit is laid out as is your makeup!
3) Resume, check. Hold that with you instead of in your purse incase of creasing and folding.
4) Keep a pack of gum and Kleenex in your bag. The gum is for the nerves but never chew during your interview. Kleenex is a must, you never know if you might spill something on yourself or catch a runny nose.
5) *Courtest of Shop N' Chomp* Get there early. Being an eager beaver is better than being tardy. There is no such thing as being "fashionably late"!

Honestly, I'm out of tips and ideas. I know and feel I am forgetting a load of them so if you have any to add, comment to share!

Chat Again Soon,


Andrea said...

great post! it's full of good advices :)


Shop N' Chomp said...

Super helpful tips! I'd also add getting to the interview early. It always makes a nice impression. :)

Ashley said...

@ Andrea: Thank you!

@ Shop N' Chomp: That's a great one to add! I can't believe I forgot about that one, but I'm usually always late to important events :P

Jennifer said...

nice tips!! i'm also starting to look for graduate jobs now too!

i'm having a giveaway over in my blog - feel free to check it out :)

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