Job Hunting 101
For the past month, I’ve been scouring Jobstreet and the Metro to land on my dream job. I’ve been invited to take exams and have interviews—experiences that have taught me a lot and have helped me become a better applicant. Throughout the experience, I’ve learned these:
THE NIGHT/DAYS BEFORE THE APPOINTMENT
- I guess everyone knows this already, but still—use your free time to research on the job post and company that you’re applying for. Without doing this before your big exam or interview is like going to a war without any weapon, much less a shield.
- Learn how to get to the company, whether you’re commuting or not. Google Maps wasn’t invented for no reason! Also, ask friends and networks for directions if you’re still not sure how to get there. You could even ask the HR officer if s/he could give you directions to get to their office.
- Speaking of asking questions, never forget to ask if you need to bring something for the appointment. If you’ve overlooked this step, you could always call/text/email back for questions as well as your confirmation of the invitation. Valid IDs are always needed, so there’s no need in asking that.
- Always bring extra copies of your resume. You never know when you’re gonna need more.
- Prepare your bag and your desired look for the appointment. Cramming in the morning neverhelps—especially in cases when you just realized that the garments needed in the look you’re going for are still creased, or worse, still in the laundry. Preparing the night before can avoid instances such as forgetting something really important or just grabbing something wearable—but not “I’m Serious With My Application” look.
- Practice lines in front of the mirror a la The Sims. Think of the possible questions the interviewer could throw at you and prepare the best-selling answer you have. Of course, don’t make it seem scripted. And remember, you’re selling yourself but make sure that what you’re saying is true.
- Never ever ever forget to bring a coat/jacket/cardigan. Some offices seem to have snow in their ACs, mind you.
- Bring more than one pen and pencil.
DURING THE EXAM/INTERVIEW
- Relax and take your time while answering an exam. Always double check your answers before giving your paper or hitting the “submit” button.
- Always be aware of the tick tock of the clock. Deadlines are serious.
- In the interview, always maintain your eye contact with the interviewer. This will build rapport and conviction in your answers as well. The idea is to look straight into the eye (either right or left, your choice) of the person you’re talking to, so you don’t get tired of staring into both his/her eyes.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If the interviewer asks if you have a question, never hesitate if you have inquiries. Save the questions on the salary later. What’s important is knowing if the position: is full-time/part-time/project-based; requires you to work on holidays/weekends; is for day/night shift; and other stuff like that. Also, it never hurts to ask when you’re going to get feedback, if they’ll let you know the result of your application either way. It hurts hoping for nothing, you know.
AFTER THE APPOINTMENT
- Regularly check your email and keep your lines open at all times—even at night.
- Do Plan B, just in case you don’t get the job—scour for more job openings in other companies.
These are tips based solely on some of my experiences/observations. However, the best tip I can really give you is to just pray, do your all, and hope for the best. Let go if it’s not for you and just think of all the other possibilities you could encounter. Never sulk if you didn’t get it. And, like Annie, just keep thinking about tomorrow because you never know what the world has in store for you.
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