The Art of Interviewing

The first impression you make during an interview will be a lasting one. Whether you realize or not, an interviewer will notice just about every tic you have, every awkward fumble over words, the outfit you choose, and the vibe you bring to the table. You must be prepared, focused, and eloquent.

The handshake. This is everything. It is the first sense the interviewer will get from you. A firm handshake is key during interviews. Studies have shown that a good handshake can determine the entirety of the interview, and influences the opinion of the interviewer. Don’t break the interviewer’s hand, but give a firm, solid handshake, AND STAND UP WHEN THEY ENTER THE ROOM!

Eye contact. If you fail to keep eye contact throughout an interview, this can be seen as disrespectful, or immature. Stay focused, eyes on the interviewer.

Attire. If you have to ask if your outfit is appropriate, don’t wear it. Always dress business corporate during interviews. Dress all depends on specific company culture, but you are not a part of the company, yet. Arrive well-groomed and business appropriate. Ladies, this means watch your neck line and hems! Don’t go for anything too bright or bold, you want the interviewer to remember you, not your outfit.

Resume. DO NOT read from your printed out resume. The interviewer most likely has a copy of your resume that they have already read in front of them. It looks terrible to sit in an interview and read from your resume sheet. You should know your education and career history. The interviewer can read.

Knowledge of Business. Know the company inside and out. Read recent articles or news about the company and its functions. Having company knowledge and speaking up about it makes the interviewer realize you have done your homework, and are devoted to learning more about the company.

Ask questions.  At the end of most interviews, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. DON’T SAY NO! Ask them about their position, how they got to the company, what interests them most about their position, ect. After being asked all of the questions it is your turn to show that you are interested and really want to know more about what they do at a certain organization. It is vital that you arrive prepared  with questions to ask your superior.

Breathe. Take your time, don’t speed through answers. Remember to breathe before answering each question. Rather than saying, “Ummm… like…”, just take a breath. This will give you a short period to collect your thoughts and have a thoughtful, prepared response.

Take a look at mtvU’s segment called “Hire Learning”, where real life millennials are being secretly recorded during interviews:

Darlene Misses the Handshake 

Still Trying to Figure it Out

Those of us who are perceptive give ourselves freedom to explore without limits. We have always felt comfortable maintaining openness, and ponder our decisions. We live flexible lifestyles, and go with the flow. We’re last minute rushers, and can seem disorganized. But, this is who we are.

Coming of age in young adulthood means this openness is closing, and our comfort in the unknown is disappearing. How can we help ourselves in a world with an overwhelming amount of choice, yet a lack of jobs? 

Sometimes we don’t realize large components of how we are wired. You have to know yourself in order to play your strengths. Many may think they know themselves, but this often involves searching for something more. My biggest conquest in my short life so far has been the journey to become self-aware. It doesn’t happen over night, it doesn’t happen over a few weeks. This takes practice, prudence, acceptance, and admittance.

At the raw age of 21 years, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. What I do know is the type of scenarios I thrive in. Begin to take a look at yourself from an outside perspective. Where do your strengths lie, how do you deal with day to day commitments, and what personality traits are most prominent.

A great tool to help discover where your strengths lie and what personality type you have is through Myers Briggs testing. The test ranks you in four different segments:  extroverted/introverted, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judgment/perception. In each category, you score falls further one way or another. There are 16 possible Myers Briggs personality types.

Once discovering more about your personality, it is that much easier to discover what job will suit you. Personally, I’m an ENFP, or an idealist, The Champion.

“ENFPs are expressive, innovative, caring, and supportive. Excited about possibilities for people, ENFPs enjoy helping others realize their potential. They tend to be friendly and enthusiastic, with a wide variety of interests. ENFPs are risk-takers, excited by the unknown and able to adapt easily to dynamic environments.

ENFPs are constantly searching for new ideas and are always looking for adventure. They enjoy meeting people, often able to see connections and relationships that others miss. ENFPs have strong personal values and are motivated by a desire to encourage others to grow and improve themselves. They tend to be charming and enthusiastic, easily inspiring others to share their vision for the future.”

What we are Facing as Millennials

nov11-snpsword-millennials

Older generations have always ridiculed younger generations, and that’s just the way it goes. Some call us “Generation Y Bother”, or, “Millennials: The New Office Morons.” The growing stereotypes surrounding our generation, roughly ages 18 to 33, are irrelevant compared to the products we can produce. We sure have a bad reputation already, and as soon as we walk through the door, our older co-workers will be waiting for us to make the mistakes they have so come to believe all Millennials make.

It is being said that we are entitled and narcissistic, expecting promotions quickly without having to climb the corporate ladder, that we need excessive praise and affirmation, and that we’re lazy and arrogant. It seems that there is a lot of negativity surrounding the way we function as a whole, but c’mon, we ARE on course to becoming the most educated generation in the history of the United States. Although millennials are the only ones of the four living generations that don’t cite work ethics as one of their principle claims to distinctness, we mark technology use as our main unique skill, differing from all prior generations.

We are changing the game in the corporate world. Being the most ethnically and racially diverse generation to hit the ground, we mark ourselves as liberal, tolerant, smart, fashionable, highly innovative, confident, upbeat, passionate, tech savy, media socialites who are ready to do things differently. Although we are competing with millions of more experienced workers who have been laid off, in the worst economic times since the Great Depression, we are still landing jobs and changing the face of business.

Three quarters of us have created a profile on a social networking site, one in five have posted a video of ourselves online, nearly four in ten have a tattoo (and one is not enough for most who do), nearly one in four have a piercing some place other than an earlobe (about six times the share of older adults who’ve done this). None of this sounds classically corporate.

No other generation is primed for the web like us, and no other generation has influenced it more. Everything around us is turning technological, and with that we need to keep in mind we are the best at it. We grew up with the explosion of the world wide web and are natural internet connoisseurs. Here’s a toast to the most diverse generation on course to becoming America’s most educated in our history.