All those Career Day talks you’ve heard have been fun and all, but everyone gets it—study hard and get good grades. But in order to someday have a cool occupation like one of those speakers, and maybe speak at a future Career Day, you need to do more than what they’re telling you. Employment experts suggest that just about any entry-level job, from food service to retail, can help you develop useful skills. Plus, if you budget money well, it could also help fund future education and career training.
First, you must impress the hiring manager, and get your first job. Since your experience is lacking, you must wow him or her with other aspects. We’re going to fast-forward through a few steps you can pick up anywhere, like how to write a winning resume or dress for success. The interview is actually the most crucial part:
Sit Like You Mean It
A European Journal of Psychology study observed that the more formal you sit, the more confidence you’ll project. Likewise, slouchers will not only be perceived as too casual but they will feel that way too.
Your interviewer may have not seen your application or resume, so you may be asked to share your background. This will also give him or her a sense of your poise and self-confidence. Even if you’re light on employment, you can still share interests, activities, education and community involvement. TeenForce.org suggests thinking about opportunities where you’ve shown teamwork, work ethic, leadership or problem-solving skills, since these all could be assets.
Beyond letting the interviewer know who you are, you also have to convince them how great you are. A University of Nebraska study suggested that traits of narcissism, which should generally avoided, can actually be an asset in employment situations. The person interviewing you is likely looking at other candidates, so you need to convince her you’re all that. Check your humility at the door, and focus on talking about how you’ve solved problems, you’re great in school and see yourself succeeding in the company.
Study the organization, job categories and specific employer application at job-applications.ca, a Canadian employment resource. The person interviewing you may not know all the ins and outs if the business is owned a large corporation, but may be impressed if you know something about the local office and the industry.
Pay Attention to Your Voice
What you say is important, but the interviewer is also going to be subconsciously listening to the rhythm of your voice. An American Psychological Association study showed that a variable pitch is more appealing to employers than a steady rhythm, and good vocal cues correlate with good performance reviews.
Most introductory interviews close with, “Do you have any questions?” While you’re tempted to say no and wrap things up, career experts say this is a perfect time to show you’re different. Ask questions about the organization, the position you’re applying for and a typical day. Even better, ask about your interviewer’s background—maybe they can give you an idea of another’s career path and why they’ve stuck around.