Many young people are called for summer job interviews but few are chosen for the jobs they most want.
A crucial step in getting a job is the interview, a few minutes in which the applicant has to convince an employer why he or she is best for the job, Labor Department officials say. Some seemingly minor comment or detail may sway the employer one way or another.So, say Labor Department officials, making a good impression is paramount - and that includes many things that may seem obvious or basic, yet which are often overlooked by young people seeking first jobs.
The Labor Department offers this advice:
-Good sources for job leads include want ads, school counselors, state employment offices, friends and neighbors.
-Find out about the specific company and how to arrange an interview. Some companies want letters and resumes, others will send application blanks and schedule interviews by phone.
-Be on time, the Labor Department stresses. In fact, be early. Most interviewers have no interest in waiting for someone who wants to ask them for a job; other applicants will be there already.
-Avoid extremes in dress. Wear clothing appropriate to the company and the job.
In the business world this usually means the men should wear a dark suit while dresses or skirts and blouses are proper for women. Remember, first impressions are important.
-Bring along a resume, pad of paper, pen and list of questions you want to ask. Have the name of the interviewer and time and place written down, don't rely on memory.
-During the interview, speak clearly and listen carefully to the interviewer.
-In answering, explain how your skills and interests will apply to the job, but be brief.
-If asked about previous jobs avoid making negative comments about former employers. Interviewers will tend to identify with other employers and may interpret these comments as indicating incompetence or uncooperativeness on your part.
-Among the hardest questions to answer are open ended ones, such as "Tell me about yourself."
If asked something like this, what the interviewer really wants to know is what you can do for him or her. Tell the interviewer about your education and skills and try to explain how these things will help in the job you are seeking.