It’s funny how a simple conversation with an old friend can lead to a philosophical discussion about finding the perfect job. Let me tell you about how a recent chat lead me to this week’s article and how, regardless of your work history, my past interviewing experience can help you land that perfect position.
Hello again, I hope your Halloween weekend was as fun as mine! This past Saturday my family actually played host to some close friends from Pittsburgh who came to visit. This was the first time since we moved that Derik and his family had the chance to make the trip and we were happy to have them! As Missy and Beth got caught up on whatever wives discuss Kaitlyn showed their kids around the new house. Derik and I settled down in front of the television to watch Maryland squeak out a victory against Penn State as the conversation turned to work.
Derik asked, “So Johnny, do you enjoy the writing gig more than working for the theater company?” Based on my tremendous grin he knew the answer before I could answer. “Good for you, man! I’m so happy you chased your dream, especially after so many years in business solutions. I’m actually a bit jealous!”
“There’s nothing to be jealous about, Derik, it just sort of happened. When I was just starting out in the workforce I took an opportunity and made the most of it. I knew if I gave it my best it would lead to good things. I didn’t have a vast amount of job training, but I did have that drive and determination to learn. In fact, when I interviewed candidates years later that was the first thing I looked for, a fire in their eyes and a hunger for opportunity. “
Which leads me to writing this week’s article. In my time writing for Horizon Goodwill I’ve been amazed by the quality of job training available from this incredible organization. Local residents, especially those with little or no work experience, have been able to find that elusive opportunity that can literally change their lives.
For over two decades I was responsible for interviewing, hiring, training and educating all employees for a movie theater company with locations in four states. I discovered the highest quality hires didn’t necessarily have years of experience, the right “look” or even a college degree. What did I look for?
The Most Important Traits Every Job Candidate Must Convey In An Interview
Let me share a little secret. There were literally dozens, maybe even hundreds of qualified candidates that simply were not going to receive an offer because they arrived to the interview late. Yes, I’m sure there are extenuating circumstances that can force an applicant to be tardy, but this is not the way an aggressive job seeker wants to start a relationship with their potential employer. My advice is to view showing up on time as your first work related task for your new job. Even though you haven’t yet been offered the position, you want to prove you can take direction and show up at the scheduled time, it’s really as simple as that.
Show A Sincere Interest
The interview is your opportunity to really dig into the requirements of the position. Be prepared to ask detailed questions about the company, daily tasks and long-term expectations that go along with the job opening. Showing an inquisitive nature is a trait that every employer views positively. Even entry-level positions can bring to light a detailed list of thorough questions. Articulating these questions will help differentiate you form other candidates; applicants that are just as interested and qualified as you, but too bashful to ask for more details.
A Willingness To Learn
I don’t care who you are, how many diplomas and degrees you’ve earned or how many years of similar experience you may have, you won’t know everything about a given position until your actually performing the work. It’s important to convey to the hiring manager that you are able to take direction and are genuinely interested in learning every aspect of the job. In this regard, you are on the same level as candidates who may have previous employment experience, however you have one benefit that they will never have…your lack of experience! Trust me, this isn’t a bad thing. You don’t have any pre-existing beliefs from your last job that can negatively impact this new position.
Believe it or not, it was hard to narrow this advice down to just three tips! As I was writing this blog I realized there are many more hints and strategies I could present, but what you’ve read so far are among the most important. If you’ve found this advice helpful, or would like me to provide more insight into the mind of a hiring manager, please let me know by leaving a response in the comments section below.