This lead consultant who speaks from personal experience, encourages actual job seekers to keep spirits up! She explains that everyone makes mistakes in job interviews, and that in the end, everyone gets a job sooner or later.
I work as a lead team consultant for a company that sells educational items online and offers online support to homeschooling families. I have been at the company for 5 years now and I love it.
I found this job basically by word of mouth. A friend of a friend knew that the company was hiring and told me to apply. However, I had to go and fill out an application online and I also had to put my information on Monster.com for the HR people.
Since I work as a lead team consultant, I often participate in the hiring process especially for people on my team. When I am looking to hire people for my team, I prefer to use word of mouth first of all. I would ask around and see if my friends or colleagues know of someone who might be a good fit for the job. If I get a recommendation, I would look on Monster.com to see if I can find out more information on that person. If I find that I'm very interested in hiring a candidate, I would also check to see what I can find out online about that person.
Since I work for a very conservative company and since we work with homeschooling families who spend a lot of time online, I want to see what information is available online. We have all heard the horror stories about hiring someone who turns out to have lewd photos available of themselves on facebook or other social sites. My goal is to avoid any of that before we hire.
I can't imagine applying for another job really. I love my job. However, if I were applying for another job tomorrow, I'd make myself stand out by basically being myself. I think a lot of times that people try to pretend or fit into a mold because they think that they need to do so in order to get the job. I can tell you that from across the desk, I can tell which people are "real" and which people aren't.
For example, I can see which people have numerous facial piercings and have taken them out simply to apply for the interview because they think that their piercings won't be acceptable in our company. This raises a few questions in my mind but I'd rather hire someone who actually came to the interview with piercings instead of holes in their face! Be who you are and I think people will respect you for that. If you can not be who you are, then why do you want the job?
Since I work for a company that conducts business online, I spend a lot of time online. In order to connect with other professionals in my field, I use facebook, Twitter and Google Chat. I also use Skype. Which method I use to connect with people depends upon the person I'm trying to contact. I have found that many people have a preferred method of connecting with other professionals. Some people like chat, others like Skype, etc.
Since I am older, in my mid-50's, using technology has been a challenge for me so I don't really have a preference. I'm not technologically inclined so to speak, but I need to use the technology for my job. Isn't that odd? I work online but I'm not really savvy about stuff online! Oh well. I just got a phone that texts and I'm working on learning that. Already, I have had a bunch of my business contacts connect with me this way instead of messaging or talking on Skype.
I think that technology can be helpful in looking for a job. I do think though that you need to do some networking too offline. I think that Twitter is really a great way to connect with other professionals online. I like to keep my Twitter account for professional contacts and my Facebook account for my friends.
Since I conduct interviews, I've seen some that went really well and others that were complete disasters. I think that probably the worst interview I've ever conducted was for a lady who had bad allergies and asthma and had forgotten to bring her medication along with her. At any rate, something in the interview room set off an allergy attack and she had to keep getting up from the interview to go to the bathroom and get her symptoms under control. She seemed to be a nice lady, but I was afraid to hire her truly. She spent more time in the bathroom than anything else!
Of course, we do offer employees the option of working at home, but she would have to come into the office for certain meetings and other things. I think one of the best interviews I have ever done was with a friend of mine actually. She was interviewing for the job and the management had already told me that she would get the job given her qualifications. We just had to complete the interview. I had a lot of fun on that interview!
Some things that I have learned given these experiences are that you should always bring your asthma medication with you on a job interview! I have also learned that it is best to arrive early to the job interview and that you should allow plenty of time to get to the job interview as well as allow time for parking. Getting to an interview late really does not make a good impression. As I've stated before, it is best to be yourself. Don't go into a job interview pretending to be somebody that you think an employer might like to hire. Be yourself!
The single most important thing I've learned about the job interview process is that "if you don't succeed, try, try again." It is important to keep on going even if you haven't had any success. Eventually, you will get hired! You just have to keep on trying.
If I could re-do one thing from my past I'm not sure what I would re-do. Sure, I made mistakes along the way, but if I hadn't made those mistakes, I wouldn't be where or who I am today. Everything has a reason and a purpose I believe. Well, perhaps getting that nursing degree when I knew I didn't like the sight of blood wasn't such a good idea, but you know, I met a lot of great people during that time in my life. Actually, that might be something to share. If I had to do it all again, I wouldn't go into a field just because I thought that there was a demand for jobs or that I could make good money in that field. I'd do what I wanted to do and I would focus on that.
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