"We’d like you to come in for an interview…" Those words conjure up all kinds of things in our head, because they are the most exciting words to hear when searching for a job. Having been on both sides of the negotiation table, I offer these tips to help you create a great first impression and land the job of your dreams:
1. Research the company. Learn about their clients, competitors, and community involvement. Companies seek people who want to work for them and are a good fit.
2. Know the dress code. Some departments have "casual Friday" every day; others expect business attire. Business attire is recommended for your interview. You also have a small amount of time to make a first impression.
3. Understand the job. Know the role you will be playing. If you have questions regarding the position, ask the Human Resources representative prior to your interview with your potential boss. Be certain you know what they are looking for and that it’s the right position for you.
4. Be well-read. Check Business Week’s Top Seller list. Review the New York Times’ bestseller list, both fiction and non-fiction. Be fluent in world events and prepared to discuss them intelligently.
5. Keep up with the industry. Interactive advertising is on the horizon – what do you think about it? Great ideas originate from awareness of the world. Be fluent in the vernacular.
6. Know thyself. Be clear of your strengths and areas needing development. Not sure? Ask your friends, colleagues and old college professors. Seek honest input and be willing to listen when you get it. If you are shy, re-brand yourself as a great listener. If you are "impatient," emphasize your drive to achieve.
7. Ask questions. Ask about the corporate philosophy, management styles, and the organization’s vision of the future. Show interest in their company and how you will contribute as a part of their team.
8. "It’s not what you know, it’s who you know." Network. Network. Network. Meet someone inside the company. Volunteer. Sit on a board of directors. Attend industry functions. Showcase your talents – for free. You’ll spend less time looking for a job and more time deciding where you’d like to work.
9. Ask for the job. Finding a company whose values match yours is challenging. When the interview concludes, if you really want the job, say so. Be bold. Be confident. Ask how you stack up to other candidates.
10. Send a thank you note. Let the interviewer(s) know how much you appreciate their time. Use this as an opportunity to reiterate why you are the perfect person for the position.
Be coachable. Behind every great player is a greater coach. Be open to improving your craft. Seek someone who sees both your talents and your shortfalls, and who can relate to you as the extraordinary person that you are. Without someone to push us to our limits, we can never reach our dreams. â–
About the Author:
Jan Edwards, director of advertising sales, is a 15-year employee of Bright House Networks (and its predecessor company, Time Warner Cable). She has overseen dynamic growth in Bright House Networks’ cable TV advertising over the past five years at the company’s 15-person advertising sales operation based in Daytona Beach, FL.
She is a 20-year veteran of the advertising industry and has worked in several mediums including magazine, radio and as an account executive at an ad agency, working on the Kansas Lottery and Kansas Power and Light accounts. She was instrumental in creating a Rewards and Recognition program for Bright House Advertising.
About Create Magazine
First published in 2001, Create Magazine is an award-winning, bi-monthly publication that provides creative professionals with an insider’s perspective on the people, news, trends and events that influence the local advertising and creative production industries. With five regional editions nationwide, each issue features articles by local community leaders who are the trusted source for information and commentary on the Advertising, Design, Printing, Photography, Film and Video, Animation and New Media industries. To find out more, visit Create Magazine online at createmagazine.com.