Job interviews take place very often. Many a jobless graduate will reach that stage but then fail to pass and get the job. It is important to note that when a person gets an interview with the potential employer, they are being given a chance to ‘pitch’, so to speak, in order to win the investment of being employed.
I know there are many websites that offer information on how to answer interview questions, the most common types and whatnot. You can find the most frequently asked interview questions on my 10 most asked interview questions.
However, I wanted to highlight the importance of the final stage of the interview. So the interviewer has asked you many questions, some easy , some tricky and you have answered everything in the best way you could. Now its your turn to ask the questions and this is where many jobless graduates get caught out. Believe it or not, when it comes to job interviews, there is such a thing as a ‘bad question’ and, just like your answers, these need to be carefully thought through.
Here is a list of questions you should probably avoid asking:
1 – Is there a probationary period?
This is question will backfire so quickly, you wouldn’t know that you probably lost your chance at getting the job then and there. Why? Simple. If you have any clue about getting employment, then you will know that every workplace has a probationary period where you will be observed and tested to see if you can really do the job. Its not like you will join and immediately sign a contract and begin earning. Some people lie and others exaggerate when talking about their skills, so what better way for them to back up what they said in the interview with a trial period. Don’t ask this, since the answer will always be ‘Yes’
2 – What is the nearest public transport
Again, a big no no. Basically you are showing the employer that you cannot even do a bit of simple research like finding out how to get to work, or what buses, trains, trams go to the area. How will they trust you with important projects if you can’t even google your way to work?
3 – Can I work from home?
While working from home may be possible for some jobs, it is more than likely it will never happen. Employers want you under their watchful eyes if they are paying your salary. They want to know how you perform, what you offer the company and if they can trust you. Maybe after a few years, when you have shown loyalty and consistence in the quality of your work working from home might become a possibility.
4 – How often do we get paid?
Anything related to salary, apart from how much the remuneration for the position actually is (which should be advertised when you applied for the job) is best left to when you get the job offer. Money is important to everyone and employers know this, but there is no need to be hasty with this type of question. You are given a chance to refuse the job offer if the salary is too low anyway, so what are you worried about?
5- Do you get any bonuses or amenities as an employee?
This fits in almost the same as above. Remember, when asking the interviewer questions, they want to hear something challenging about the position you are applying for, or the company not self-centered questions that show you are thinking far ahead and about your pockets.
Jobless Graduates in this day and age might find themselves particularly down, what with the global financial crisis, high unemployment and increased competition in the job market.
It is easy to get side tracked as Jobless Graduate, for this reason I have included ten necessary steps to follow in order to stay ahead of the game, so to speak.
1. Jobless Graduates need to be organised. That is organising your time, goals and means to reach those goals. Keep a schedule pertaining to your job search. Are you waking up at a reasonable time to look for work? What sources will you use? Internet, phone, journals, classifieds? Organisation matters.
2. Persistence is next on the Jobless Graduate‘s list. It is a fact that countless Jobless Graduates fail to find work within a reasonable time due to frequent bouts of ‘feeling down’ or ‘hopeless’ because a few applications did not get them a call back or interview. You need to keep applying, calling different companies’ human resources teams, dropping your CV to places you want to work.
3. Taking initiative and adapting are also key to any Jobless Graduate looking for work. So you have applied to 100 different places but only gotten the dreaded ‘Unfortunately we feel that your skills and and experience do not match what we are looking for’ or even worse, not a single reply. Something is wrong. You are not catching the eye of the employer. Is your CV up to date? What about your Cover Letter? Perhaps you are putting too much irrelevant detail. Remember, you need to tailor your CV and Cover Letter to the job you are applying for in order to show WHY you are the one to be hired for this job.
4. This bring us back to the previous point. Make sure you have a CV that is presentable, not too long (1-3 pages maximum) and that highlights your work-transferable skills. Remember, education is important but nothing is like experience. If you do not have much work experience, then look into creating a ‘Functional CV’ where you highlight your skills and abilities.
5. Motivation. I cannot stress how important this is. Next to persistence, this will help you stay sharp and in the mood to find work. We are all familiar with the phrase ‘If at first you don’t succeed, lift yourself up and try again’, but sometime we need help doing that. For this reason find motivating factors in your life and use them to your advantage. Perhaps you have successful friends, brothers, sisters. Ask them for advice, learn from them and how they do things or found their jobs. And the contrary applies if your friends are lazy and only looking to waste time having ‘fun’ and not looking at the long term goals. It may seem harsh, but if you want to really make it in life, you can’t be held back by ANYONE. Cut the time wasting.
6. Do some networking. Jobless Graduates need to learn to use the internet and job fairs to increase their employability. A solid LInkedIn profile can help you find jobs, and even better would be to attend a local job/recruitment fair and weigh your options. Maybe the fair will have trivial jobs that you do not want to do, or maybe you will find a start up company that is looking for someone new and slightly inexperience to be trained and to grow with them. If you don’t go, you will never know.
7. Unlike many websites offering advice on finding work as a graduate, unpaid internships are a great way to get experience in a relevant field. Companies will always be more likely to take you on when they know they don’t have to pay you. Of course this option might not be available to everyone and if you can get some kind of remuneration then by all means do so, but it is worth sacrificing 6 months – 1 year gaining experience and jumping straight into a job in your field.
8. Don’t exaggerate on your CV. Employers almost always know when someone is simply adding responsibilities or skills simply to impress. If you have it, flaunt it but if you can’t walk the walk don’t talk the talk (so to speak). It can jeopardise your chances of getting an interview. Nobody expects a graduate to have a huge list of experience, so be honest and only put down what you really can do.
9. Register with agencies. If you just graduated with a degree in say, computer science, join an agency specialising in IT or if you have a business management diploma and a bit of sales experience, join agencies that deal with junior sales positions. Broaden your search and are increasing the likelihood of landing a job. Online job searching is definitely not to be ignored, but is one of many options.
10. Keep up to date with whatever job field you are going for. You have to be ready to ace the interview that comes as if it were your last chance. Sure when you don’t succeed at geting a job, you learn from your mistakes, what to say and what not to say in a job interview etc But why not try to get it right from the first time? That said, don’t put yourself down if you did not do well in the interview, just do more research and do it right the next time, or the one after!
These are the ten steps to help you find work. Stay tuned for more on how to go from Jobless Graduate to Working Professional or find out more at www.jobless-graduates.com