Those are the easy ones. How many careers can you name?
As you prepare to enter the world of work, take a moment to explore what’s out there. Look before you leap.
You will find some great resources to get started under “Explore Options” on the Senior Checklist for Career Success. Read about different jobs, including the skills and education needed, the typical career path, salary and more. Take a moment to browse through the different Job Families on O*Net and the Occupational Outlook Handbook . Anything strike your fancy? Make a list of any careers that you would like to learn more about.
Want to explore some more unusual career choices? Check out these articles:
To learn more about specific industries or companies, explore the Career Field Information page. Also, check out One Day One Job. Everyday they profile opportunities at a different company, with a specific focus on opportunities for college students. They’ve profiled almost 1,500 companies!
Once you’ve got your list of interesting careers/organizations, you’re ready for the next step. Career Services often recommends informational interviewing as one of the best ways to learn more about a particular job, career path or company. Talking to people who are doing the job that you are interested in can help you realistically assess whether that career would be a good fit for you.
You can start right now with these informational interview videos and personal accounts of different jobs:
Hollywood has given us plenty of examples of workplace happenings, including glimpses into the job search process. From hilariously absurd job interviews to heartwarming interviews gone right, we have lots of examples of what to do and what not to do.
In Step Brothers (2008), the characters of Brennan and Dale are two unemployed, middle-aged men are forced to get jobs when their parents marry. Unfamiliar with proper interview etiquette, they find themselves in situations like the following:
To be clear, this video demonstrates what not to do when interviewing. Some tips we can learn from these guys:
Know who you’re speaking with: When interviewing, be sure you know your interviewer’s name. “Human Resources Lady” won’t cut it.
Dress to impress…not to overwhelm: Although it’s harder to overdress for an interview than it can be to underdress, this isn’t prom. For more information on appropriate dress, see our website.
Alternatively, we have the real-life success story Chris Gardner, portrayed by Will Smith in 2006’s Pursuit of Happyness. The homeless single-father seeks an opportunity to improve the lives of him and his son:
This is a great clip because it gives a realistic glimpse into the interview process. Everything didn’t go well for Chris, but he made the most of his situation by being proactive. Here’s what we can learn:
Determination: Research companies you want to work for and keep your eye out for new opportunities.
Network: Chris made a connection with an employee of the company, and that relationship paid off- he got the interview and had someone to vouch for him in the process!
While life is not a movie, these clips definitely leave us with ideas to ponder. To learn more about preparing for an interview in the real world, visit our site.
So you are all prepared for your job interview. You know the skills, strengths and experience you have to offer. You have chosen what to wear: professional and not distracting to the eye. You have the directions to the company and have planned out how to get there on time with bit to spare. You know the questions you want to ask about the job at the end of the interview, but before you get there, the dreaded question may arrive: “So, what are your weaknesses?”
Is this a trick question? Did they notice my black socks don’t quite match? Do I have poppyseeds between my teeth? Or do they know I was laid off from a job a few years back?
What is most important is to prepare for this question in advance. Here are some tips for approaching this:
Keep it professional: having an obsession with chocolate may indeed be your biggest weakness, but it most likely won’t impact your job performance unless you are working in a chocolate factory.
Be clear concise: don’t spend too much air time on this. Clearly state a weakness you have been working on.
Show that you have taken action. What matters most is that you are AWARE of your weaknesses, and have developed strategies to address and compensate for them. “I have a tendency to…. so I have done ….. to address it.”
Here are some resources to navigate this territory.
Finally, don’t make an actual interview a practice session! Career Services counselors conduct mock interviews, via phone and in person. This is a great way to practice responding to a variety of interview questions and to debrief your interview skills before the real deal.
Recently our Career Services team hosted our first interviews using Skype for DraftFCB Chicago. The interviews were a great success and allowed employers to meet students and alumni, just like you.
With an ever-increasing cost in travel time and expenses associated with in person interviews many employers have embraced interview methods, like Skype, that are more cost effective while maintaining the benefits of face-to-face interaction. Here are a few hints from our Career Services team to help you prepare!
Career Services Top 10 Tips
1. Dress for Success: This is a professional interview. It is important to be dressed professionally from head to toe just as you would for an in person interview. Though the employers will mostly see you from your chest up if you are sitting, you may need to stand up or get up from your computer.
2. Ready Your Material: Know your application materials well and keep a copy of your resume and cover letter handy so that you may refer to it if needed. Try not to read from your materials and keep as much eye-to-eye contact as possible. Your answers will be weighed and selection decisions will be made based on your answers as well as your online camera presence. It is a good idea to keep a notepad and writing utensil ready.
3. Do Your Research: Research the position and the organization before going to the interview and try to obtain a detailed job description. Use the Web ahead of time to research the company and read any printed materials available. Discuss the position with anyone you know who might have insights into the organization. This information will enable you to target your comments to the job and the organization and will demonstrate your interest. Your research will also help you formulate questions to ask the interviewer. Good questions display your thinking skills, your understanding of the position and your enthusiasm.
What do you know about this organization?
What contributions do you think you could make to this organization?
Why did you decide to seek this position with this organization?
4. Prepare Your Interview Space: Choose an area with a neutral background. Adjust the lighting in the room so that you are clearly visible to your employer. Be certain that the area you choose to interview in look professional and orderly.
5. Creating Your Professional Vibe: When you are creating your account come up with a professional screen name separate from the account you use when Skyping with friends. Try something such as your first and last name with some generic numbers instead of babycakes900. By creating a separate account name solely for interviewing you run into the possibility of your friends calling you during your interview.
6. Test Your Equipment: Schedule a time a day of two before the interview make sure your microphone picks up your voice clearly and that your camera has a clear image. Be certain that your internet connection is strong (for wireless users) or that you are plugged into a consistent internet source. Make sure that your battery is fully charged and plugged into an electrical socket to maintain full battery life so that your computer does not shut off during your interview. We recommend doing a test run with a friend to test everything out.
7. Eliminate Distractions: Any outside noise could potentially distract you during the interview. It is best to limit the possibility of these distractions as much as possible. Turn off your cell phone, the television, etc. Close your windows and if you have any pets, make sure they do not come into your interview space. It is also important to close ALL other programs that are unnecessary to your interview this includes IM, chat, Twitter, etc. Running a lot of programs on your computer can slow down processing speed and cause additional lag time during your interview.
8. Sign on Early: Sign onto your Skype interview ahead of time. If the hiring manager is already online, they will be impressed that you have shown up for the virtual interview early. If they sign on after you, they will see that you were ready and waiting.
9. Look into the Camera: Make sure you are familiar with where the camera is on your computer and look into it rather than directly at the screen. This will make it appear as though you are looking directly at the individual who is interviewing you – eye to eye contact – an important element selling point to any interview.
10. Visit Career Services! You can prepare for your interview with our friendly Career Services staff and visit our website at uvm.edu/career. You can come in for Drop in Hours 1:00-4:00 Monday through Thursday or you can schedule an appointment over the phone or in person to get ready for your future!