I have been applying for jobs for the past eight months. I’ve redone my resume a couple of times and I’ve redone my cover letter more times than I can count. It has been a bit discouraging as no one has taken the bait. Well, let me rephrase that. I’ve gotten several calls from AFLAC recruiters and several banks asking me to come to their group interviews.
I just had a job interview last week. It was the first one in over two years and to be honest, I was a complete and utter wreck. I got a call on Saturday for an interview on Monday. There was very little time to pull myself together into a fully professional package. First, the easy items: conservative dress, printed directions, and reading up on the company.
Then I had to go over my resume once again. I am a graphic designer, so I had to make sure I was satisfied with the look of my resume. I also printed out a two-page printed portfolio along the same theme. While it’s important to have an online portfolio, don’t neglect having a printed version. If your prospective employer isn’t near a computer, it’s nice to have printed samples on hand to remember you by. I even took it a step further and packaged it all into some matching presentation folders I found at Office Depot. (If I had more time, I would have hand-made some folders.)
Here is what the final product looked like:
Once all of that was done, I went through my online portfolio only to find it was lacking in a few areas. Since I am not currently working on any projects that would fill them, I made them up. I built an entire website for an existing company and I did it in less than a day. It wasn’t finished before I had to go in for my interview, but it was close enough in that it had a little bit of everything that the employer was looking for.
I busted my butt for a job that I might not even get, but know that all of the effort will eventually pay off. It turns out that while I got a second interview, the company chose someone else. However, even though I’m bummed that I didn’t get that job, at least I have everything prepared for the next interview. My resumes are built and packaged; my online portfolio is much further along. I don’t know if I ever would have gotten that website finished if I hadn’t needed it for this interview.
During the interview, I was a mess, verbally speaking. I was so nervous that I think every other word out of my mouth was, “um.” As my luck runs, they asked me my least favorite interview question, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” It always turns out that I have already mentioned my weaknesses at this point, so coming up with something on the spot without repeating myself is torturous. And then, once that part was over, there was a technical quiz. I should have known it was coming because when I do interviews, I sit you down at a computer and make you do a project in front of me. Overall, it went well. Even though I didn’t get the job, I’ve had a chance to brush up on my interviewing skills. So if you’re about to go on one, just take a deep breath. It’ll go quickly and won’t hurt a bit.
Anyone else have interviews coming up?
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