This is getting frustrating. You have updated your resume, crafted a killer cover letter and assembled an impressive portfolio. The interviews are coming, but … you keep falling just short of getting the job.
It’s time to examine what, specifically, is holding you back.
Have you put so much time and effort into getting in the door that you’ve neglected what comes next?
There are several obstacles that could be preventing you from securing your dream job. Take a deeper look into your job search efforts to determine what’s keeping you from landing opportunities.
Say goodbye to the obstacles holding you back and hello to a bright future.
Make a Good Impression
You have about seven seconds to make a strong first impression. That’s enough time for a smile, a firm handshake, eye contact, and a quick “Hello”.
Be memorable with these first impression basics:
- Arrive 10 minutes early. Not earlier (awkward) and not later.
- Dress appropriately for the position. Even though you know the dress code is casual, don’t show up in ripped jeans and a tee for the interview. Step it up a notch and keep it classy (more on that to come).
- Show up prepared with several copies of your resume, your portfolio (if applicable) and a pen (please bring a pen).
- Research the company. Be prepared with an understanding of their mission, their core services or products and what charities they support. There will be a quiz.
Dress the Part
In preparation for each interview, you stare blankly at your clothing selection. So many things hang in your closet, but, alas, you have nothing to wear. You are not alone in this anguish; however, what you wear is an important element to getting the job you want. Invest in classic pieces with crisp fabric that can be mixed and matched easily.
Ladies: Purchase a classic pant suit or polished dress for your interviews. Pair with tasteful accessories, comfortable but stylish shoes and a sophisticated tote with enough room for your interview deliverables.
Gentlemen: You can’t go wrong with a gray suit. Keep your outfit smart, streamlined and unpretentious. Also, stand out from the khaki-and-oxford IT applicants with a fitted sweater and slim pants. Poker188 recommends maintaining clean lines by putting your phone in your cross-body messenger bag.
Bite Your Tongue
Nailing an interview takes finesse, especially knowing what to say and when to shut up. Some people say too much while others say too little. If you focus on trying to figure out what the interviewee wants to hear, you’ll lose ground, because you stop listening in order to prepare your answer. If your interview skills aren’t cutting it, grab a friend and practice answering common interview questions. Or, better yet, find someone with an HR background to bounce ideas off.
Keep in mind, sometimes you can say too much. An interviewer may let you talk and talk and talk … right out of the running.
Fill Your Skill Gaps
Some jobs require a technical skill that you haven’t quite mastered or that you have zero knowledge about. Don’t let that break your resolve. You can quickly amp up your knowledge in the area, whether you watch YouTube tutorials or enroll in classes. This way, when asked about the skill, you will look like a go-getter. Interest in continuing education is impressive, so reveal your knowledge and how you are actively acquiring it in your interviews.