101 things to do before you graduate #51 - 60

Thursday, April 07, 2011

51. Know Your Answers To The Top 20 Interview Questions

What are your greatest strengths? What are your greatest weaknesses? What relevant experience do you have? If a previous team member or co-worker was here, what would they say about you? What motivates you to do a good job? How much are you looking to earn? Tell me a suggestion you have made that was implemented. What is your greatest achievement to date? Why should I hire you? These are just a few of the top 20 interview questions that you have know your answers to with confidence. They aren’t as straight forward as a multiple test. There is no right answer—there is only your best answer. Being able to respond to these questions with confidence in the moment takes self-exploration and practice. Confidence combined with quality content will be more persuasive than your resume, GPA, or college name.

52. Prepare 5 Unique Questions For Every Interview
The last job interview question you may be asked is “What can I answer for you?” Prepare at least five specific questions of your own to ask ahead of time. Your questions are chosen in advance to show the recruiter that you have an in-depth knowledge of the company, its competitors, and the industry at large.

53. Get 3 References Or Recommendations
When you stand out, the best way to capture the impression you left on someone significant is through a reference or letter of recommendation. You will definitely need these if you apply to graduate school or a scholarship, but they are also extremely valuable when applying for jobs. Hearing about your performance word of mouth from someone prominent speaks volumes. A leader who is respected by others is willing to vouch for you and your leadership in practice—even if you didn’t have a leadership position.

54. Meet With A Career Advisor Each Semester
Career centers have tons of professional development programs and resources such as mock interviews, job search engines, resume writing and interviewing workshops, career fairs, personality assessment tools, etc. The only way to even begin to tap into all of these resources is by visiting your career center.

55. Do Company Research
Needs may be stated – told to you by a recruiter or listed in the job description. But other needs, the “hidden agenda”, are left unstated. Uncovering the employer’s unstated needs (through diligent research) can give you a tangible competitive advantage. Don’t take shortcuts. A thorough understanding of a company’s product lines, organization, successes, failures, goals, problems, and initiatives will enable you to ask intelligent questions during the interview, and to tailor your responses to the interviewer’s need.

56. Attend At Least 2 Career Fairs
Going to your industry’s job fair is a good start. Remember, you don’t always have to get a job in your major. There are many job opportunities that are available to all majors. Explore all job opportunities by visiting at least two job fairs. There are many opportunities to attend job fairs both on and off campus. The key is to not just wait for people to email you or see signs about job fairs, you have to look for them on your own

57. Recruit A Career Team
Do you feel like you’re all alone in your job search? Build a team to help you! Instead of working alone you should get a team to help you. I’m not talking about having to hire people to write your résumé, or getting a career coach, or finding a double to go on interviews for you. Gathering teammates isn’t as challenging as you think, just takes a bit of courage and time. Your team should include an upperclassman going into the same field, a recent alumni, an older alumni, someone at the career center, a professor, and perhaps a family friend or relative.

58. Read An Industry-Related Article Every Day For 30 Days
The suggestion of reading something outside of class may make you cringe, but this will help you get a job. Employers are always looking for employees that are well rounded and know what’s going on in the industry. You don’t have to be ready to name all of the CEOs of the top 50 companies in your industry, but you do have to know enough about the major headlines of the day. Reading an industry publication keeps you informed and ready to have a casual conversation during networking events and job interviews.

59. Create A Budget
Got money? You need a budget. Don’t have any money? You still need a budget. Budgets seem like such a drag, but so is not knowing where your money is going and not having enough to enjoy the finer things in life. A budget allows you to keep tabs on your money and spend it on the things that matter to you. A budget allows you to tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.

60. Set Up Checking & Savings Accounts
Setting up your finances doesn’t require getting a stock broker or a personal financial advisor, it’s much simpler than that. The first step is to set up your bank accounts to manage your money. Having a checking or savings account is the foundation upon which you establish your financial life. A checking account allows you to easily save and withdraw money from your bank through checks and ATMs. A savings account enables you to save money and earn interest on your money from the bank. Managing your money while in college will help you make better decisions about your spending and set your finances on the right track.

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