Finding a job is not easy, especially if you are not qualified, this makes it even harder for students. The best way to start your job-hunting journey is to understand what managers and recruitment officers are looking for. What is the basis of their hiring decision? How can you present yourself as the best candidate? What makes them tick?
Whether you have applied for promotions work, vacation work or administration work on campus, preparatory work needs to be done from your end as the job seeker, getting information about the employer before-hand. A lot of companies offer part time jobs for students, applying for an interview is not hard, nailing the actual interview needs hard work and research. The goal of your research should be to understand the company as an entity (i.e. the company’s personality) and to make sure you are fully aware of the skills and abilities required for the job. The best way to get inside the mind of the employer and the company is to know who they are. Questions to consider when doing your research are:
- What does the company do? How do they do it?
- What are the company’s values, principles and ethics, and how do these match with your own values and ethics?
- How is the company different from its employers?
- When reading the company’s articles and advertisement material, what sort of image is drawn in your head?
- In what tone does the company write its articles and advertisement material?
All in all, we can say that the employer wants to know 3 things about you:
- Do you have the necessary skills and abilities to perform the tasks required?
- Are you an exceptional fit in the organization?
- Are you motivated to do the job?
The most common way in which the employer will try and extract the answers to these concerns is by having a range of questions and interview tasks focused on:
- Your background, interests, hobbies, motivations and level of ambition
- Your educational history and level of understanding of the work required
- Work experience and skills acquired along the way
- Cultural and corporate values and attitudes
- How these values and attitudes translate into your work style and preferences
- Your communication skills and how well you work with others
- Your expectations and any concerns you may have
If the employer can deduce that you have spent time to understand what the company does – along with their values and ethics – and that you have the necessary skills and abilities required to perform the job, you will draw yourself out as being the perfect candidate for the job. Last but not least, a great way to find out more about the company is through talking with existing staff members. This will give you an opportunity to figure out how to best present yourself, and show the employer how you, as a unique individual, can add more value to the team. Gather as much information, and mould yourself into that prized additional member that the current staff and employer had in mind!