Part 2 of Finding a job: Doing Your Homework
- Prepare for a behavioral interview. You might be asked to describe problems you’ve encountered in the past and how you handled them, or you’ll be given a hypothetical situation and asked what you would do. They’ll basically want to know how you’ll perform when faced with obstacles in the position you’re interviewing for. Be able to give honest, detailed examples from your past, even if the question is hypothetical (e.g. “I would contact the customer directly, based on my past experience in a different situation in which the customer was very pleased to receive a phone call from the supervisor”). You might find yourself listing facts — if so, remember that in this kind of interview, you need to tell a story. Some questions you might be asked are:
- “Describe a time you had to work with someone you didn’t like.”
- “Tell me about a time when you had to stick by a decision you had made, even though it made you very unpopular.”
- “Give us an example of something particularly innovative that you have done that made a difference in the workplace.”
- “How would you handle an employee who’s consistently late?”
- Research the company. Don’t just do an Internet search, memorize their mission, and be done with it. Remember that you’re competing with lots of other candidates for a few or single position. You may not be able to change your natural intelligence, or the skills that you come to the job with, but you can always change your work ethic. Work harder than everyone else by researching the company or companies you wish to work for like your life depended on it.
- If it’s a retail company, visit a few of their stores, observe the customers, and even strike up a few conversations. Talk to existing employees — ask them what it’s like working there, how long the position has been open, and what you can do to increase your chances of getting it. Become familiar with the history of the company. Who started it? Where? Who runs it now? Be creative!