Although I only recently graduated college, I am no stranger to the job hunt. Having participated in Northeastern University's cooperative education program, I have braved the search for employment a few times. My first ever “big-girl-job-interview” was right here at Metis. I was 19 years old with nothing on my resume but restaurant hostessing. Imagine my shock when I found out the PR intern position was mine.
A few years, a few jobs and a couple dozen big-girl-interviews later, I'm back at Metis for a stint and reflecting on what I've learned since that first interview. Here are some do's and don'ts I've identified:
1) DO use LinkedIn. It's a great tool for keeping track of and leveraging your connections. And, if you're in the PR industry, it shows you appreciate the power of social-networking.
2) DO write a cover letter. If you take the time to pitch yourself in a way that is specific to the job in question, it highlights your enthusiasm for the position and helps employers see why you're a fit.
3) DON'T ask about other candidates. This one comes from an interview I conducted myself when my previous co-op was looking for my replacement. I asked the candidate if she had any questions. She responded, “How have the other interviews gone?” I told her I couldn't say, and she made it worse: “Well, I hope everyone else did badly!” She didn't get the job.
4) DON'T rush. Give yourself a moment to think about the questions your interviewers ask before answering. They'll appreciate a careful response.
5) DO write a thank you note. A must when it comes to making a positive -- and lasting -- impression. Handwritten notes are considerate, but it's best to send an email if they are making their decision soon.
6) DO search yourself online. You might be surprised by the footprint you've made on the Web. Make sure to Google yourself and see what's out there.
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