Preparing for job interviews

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I’ve been handing out resumes like crazy, but so far my only job interview has been for a new position within the company I currently work for. I spent a few hours before the interview preparing for it, which is something I’ve NEVER done before. I’m one of those people that kind of likes going into things blind. I live on the edge like that, you know. However, since I’m looking for more serious career-track positions now, I’ve decided to put some effort into securing employment, and my current employer was a great opportunity to test-run my interview skills (I don’t say that to devalue the interview because I still wanted to rock it, but it felt “safe” to interview somewhere I’m already familiar with).

Recently I finished a great book by fellow blogger Jenny Blake called “Life After College“. The title makes me feel soooo painfully obviously embedded in the self-help section of my local Chapters, but this is where I am and I’m working with it. She devotes a chapter to career development — an entire area of my life I’ve never ever developed because when I thought “development”, I thought “school”. Now I can’t use my BSc. as a crutch to get me to where I want to go because frankly, “Bachelor of Science” only takes up one pitiful little line on my resume, and I’m not even sure if I’m going to end up in a position that uses my degree. Instead, I have to cultivate things like personality and skills. Weird, right? Blake’s book comes with lots of fill-in-the blanks, and in the career section I was forced to take a look at myself and ask:

– what do I want the interviewer to remember about me?

– what stories/examples show I am uniquely suited for this position?

– what are my areas of development?

– what are my short & long term goals with the company?

– what specific challenges have I faced and how did I overcome them?

I feel particularly introspective these days, let me tell you. But the funny thing was, after answering all these questions, I was sharper than ever in the interview. I felt prepared for every question. I know I was at a particular advantage because I was interviewing for a position that I’ve been essentially been doing for the past 3-4 months, but it felt good to bring composure and confidence to the table in addition to my experience.

After writing up this entry, I found Krystal over at Give Me Back My Five Bucks also published a great post on her experience finding a job after graduation.

That said, I’m happy to report I got the job so I will have full-time hours + full benefits (including RRSP matching & health/dental insurance) starting July 18th! Not sure if this counts as a grown up job because I enjoy what I do too much to count it as “work” even if it does come disguised in 40hrs/wk (I know those of you that work with me are rolling your eyes because you’re unhappy or whatever, but let’s not rain on my parade please). The major perk however is switching business locations, which means my job is now accessible by TRAIN. Since the bus is in the top-5-things-I-hate-most-about-my-day, I am so so so very glad to cut it out of my life. Now my commute is about 20 minutes quicker and about 100x easier.

So this position isn’t “it” for me as far as lifelong careers go, but it’s excellent in the interim. I can’t believe I survived 1.5 months on part-time income.. man, I’m glad that’s over!

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9 Comments. Leave new

  • Congrats on the new job!

    Reply
  • Congrats!!!! It will be interesting to hear what your position entails and how you find it different from working part-time. I thoroughly enjoyed my job reviewing and drafting contracts when I was part time at a law firm in college but now working in a big company in a different industry doing the same thing I don’t find it as enjoyable!

    Reply
  • Congratulations. This is such a great move and a great start to to career planning. Now that things will be a bit more stable you can handle things much better as they come along and plan your career properly from here. It’s double awesome that you already love what you do as well. Congrats again. I’m happy for you.

    Reply
  • Congratulations on getting the job! Even better that it’s one you enjoy 😀 All the best!

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  • I always try to think of 5-10 examples of projects etc. it seems every time I get asked a ‘discuss a situation where _______’ at least one of my prepared examples works every time. Also don’t be afraid to take a few second before you answer. I guess the interviewers don’t mind; they realize you need time to gather and organize your thoughts.

    Reply
  • WAY TO GO! nothing better then to get paid doing what you enjoy not only that now f/t 🙂

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  • I found this post today and it applies perfectly to what you wrote!
    “99 interview tips that will actually help you get a job” http://passivepanda.com/interview-tips

    Not sure I agree with all of them, but there are some helpful tips in there. Again, if I haven’t said it enough before (and I’m almost only saying it again so I don’t feel left out)… congrats on the job!!! YAY MONEY!

    Reply
  • Congrats. Being employed F/T is always nice, especially when it’s a job & company you like going to … and RRSP match and health benefits is awesome!!!

    Reply
  • Congrats! With awesome perks too!

    Reply

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