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5 Things to Do Before Your Next Job Interview

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Do you get nervous before speaking in public? You take the stage, scan the crowd and suddenly realize that you haven’t practiced as much as you should have. You realize your preparation was totally insufficient—but there’s nothing you can do now. And that’s when the butterflies kick into high gear. We’ve all been there.

Job interviews are no different. The more insight you have into your position and the company you’re interviewing for, the more poised you’ll be during your talk with the hiring manager. So do your homework before the big day and you will be more confident, because you prepared.

Our friends at NerdWallet suggest you do these five things before setting foot in the interview room:

1. Study the job inside and out.

In the days leading up to your interview, the job description for the position you’re applying to should become your best friend. Study it closely to get a better sense of the skills the hiring manager is seeking.

“Before an interview, pore over the job description and pick out the five most important duties or skills,” says Pat Joachim Kitzman, director of career and professional development at Central College in Iowa. “Think of examples of when you have successfully used those skills during an internship, part-time job or volunteering [experience].”

Julia Browne, director of Connecticut College’s career development program, advises interviewees to think about how skills they’ve picked up over the last four years “translate into the ‘value add’ they bring to the workplace.”

Talking about a particular project or paper can highlight what you’ve learned over the last four years, which can segue into a discussion about how those newly attained skills “would be of value to the company and/or the job for which you are interviewing,” says Dr. Mary Spencer, director of career services at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

2. Research the company.

Although you’ll learn a lot about the organization during the interview, be sure to do some investigating beforehand. Familiarize yourself with the company’s mission statement and culture by checking out its website and social media platforms. Companies are working increasingly hard to hire not only the right employees, but the right people. Being a good cultural fit can go a long way in securing a job.

“Candidates for jobs, especially new or upcoming college graduates, need to use social media to connect with a future employer,” Kitzman says. “Perusing a company’s Facebook page, liking a couple of features and adding a short comment is an excellent way to demonstrate interest in the employer.”

Jon Neidy, executive director of the Smith Career Center at Bradley University in Illinois, urges applicants to “be prepared to explain what specifically attracts you to the company and why you think you would be a good hire for them.”

3. Tap into your network of contacts.

Speaking of social networks, don’t forget to make use of your own collection of contacts. Reach out to your school’s alumni to see whether anyone has experience in your field of interest. Or, if you know someone employed by the company you’re interviewing with, arrange an informational session with him or her. If all goes well, that person will probably put in a good word for you.

“Tap your network of contacts,” says Twyla Hough, director of career services at Trinity University in Texas. “Depending on the alma mater, the employer may have alumni working for them. These individuals can be a great resource for preparing for a strong interview. Look them up in LinkedIn alumni groups or through the university alumni office.”

4. Prepare questions for the hiring manager.

A successful interview will feel more like a conversation than a one-sided interrogation. Although Browne advises students to rehearse short elevator speeches that can be used if the hiring manager asks them to tell him or her about themselves, it’s equally important to have additional questions ready. Ask for more detail about your potential role, the company and the interviewer’s experience at the organization.

“Have questions for the interviewer, but not questions that have already been answered in the job description or that are easily found on the website,” Hough says.

Neidy notes that “the more insightful and thoughtful the questions, the more interested you will appear in the company.”

As well as highlighting a genuine interest in the job, asking questions will buy you some time to collect your thoughts while giving you an opportunity to take a deep breath or two.

5. Use positive body language.

Parents don’t prod their kids to sit up at the dinner table for no reason. In an interview room, good posture matters, and the way in which you deliver your responses to questions is nearly as important as the answers themselves. “Body language and attitude speak volumes,” Spencer says. “Show interest and enthusiasm for the company and the position.”

Because this doesn’t come naturally to everyone, take some time to practice in front of a mirror or with a friend. You want to come off as professional as possible.

“This includes emails, phone calls and in person to anyone with whom [interviewees] come in contact with during their meeting,” says Alana Albus, director of the Career Center at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania. “Many people miss these little nuancesthat can make a difference.”

You might not be able to eliminate them, but pre-interview anxieties can be decreased by taking the right steps to prepare for your interview. Making the effort to get as ready as you can be should leave you feeling more in control, something that a hiring manager will pick up on the minute you enter the room.

Victor Fungai Muzvidzwa is the founder and senior editor of HypeAvenue.com magazine.

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Career Guide

Applications Open For The Coca Cola Marketing Learnership Program

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Applications Open For The Coca Cola Marketing Learnership Program. The Learnership runs over a period of 12 months. To successfully complete the program, the learner must obtain a minimum value of 120 credits. Through the completion of the Learnership, they will receive a National Certificate: Marketing (NQF 4).

The purpose of this program is to equip learners with the skills to understand and acquaint themselves with the underlying principles of how to grow volume, facilitate the order taking process & implement, execute & monitor merchandising standards for direct and indirect customers within a designated geographical area.

Education

  • Good analytical & numerical ability
  • Socially outgoing and confident
  • Able to build positive relationships
  • Team player who can also work independently
  • Assertive and persuasive- ability to influence and negotiate
  • Open to change and looking for opportunities for improvement
  • Good problem solving ability , solutions orientated and can be innovative
  • Responsible, conscientious and dependable
  • Self-discipline and well organized
  • Good planning ability
  • Good ability to work under pressure and handle a demanding work environment
  • High energy levels and drive

How to Apply

Apply Online for the Coca Cola Sales Learnership Program in Gauteng

Apply Online for the Coca Cola Sales Learnership Program in Eastern Cape / KZN

 

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Career Guide

Social Media Officer Wanted At University Of The Witwatersrand

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Social Media Officer Wanted At University Of The Witwatersrand. To manage the University’s official social media accounts and their respective audiences in order to enhance the Wits brand and reputation in the social media space, thus be the voice of the Wits brand.

Key Responsibilities Include:
Community Management
Content Creation
Marketing Campaign support
Social Strategy
Reporting
Crisis Management
Requirements
Degree in Marketing or journalism or equivalent experience in the digital marketing environment
A minimum of five to eight years’ experience in a similar position managing the social channels of the brand (as a minimum, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram – both paid & organic a plus)
Exceptional social savvy: an in-depth knowledge and interest in social media (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and more) with an up-to-the-minute knowledge of the latest social trends/platforms and industry best practice
Expert knowledge about content and social media communications (content generation, platform technical capabilities, social media analytics)
Experience in identifying social media tactics and adapting content for different social media platforms to engage, inform and build social media equity for the Wits brand
An understanding of and enthusiasm for the brand and tone of voice
Being an innovator: Staying constantly abreast of all technical and content developments and advances in the world of social media to bring fresh ideas and innovative developments to our social strategy; Working with the marketing team to look at ways social media can work within wider campaigns.
Motivated self-starter with a drive for results
Excellent creative editorial skills
Knowledge of and experience in manipulating images
Excellent command of the English language and attention to detail
Understanding of reputation management and ability to identify potential reputation damaging conversations and respond accordingly
Good numerical and analytical skills – adept at preparing management reports
Experience in and use of Google analytics and other open source analytical tools
Working knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques
Demonstrated ability to interact professionally with a diverse range of clients
Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines, determine own work priorities, work independently and as part of a team.
Demonstrated commitment to applying relevant and applicable policies, procedures and legislation in the day-to-day performance of the functions of this role

How To Apply
Please submit a cover letter and a detailed CV with the names, contact numbers and email addresses of three referees.

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Career Guide

Union Motors: Apprenticeship Programme 2018

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Applications Open For The Union Motors Apprenticeship Program. Union Motors in Nelspruit Is Inviting suitable applications for Motor and Diesel Mechanic Apprenticeships.

Minimum Requirements:
Grade 12. English, Science and Maths.
N2 Mechanical Engineering Certificate with Motor! Diesel Trade
Theory as one of the subjects OR N3 with Mechanotech as one of the subjects OR equivalent.
Code 8 driver’s license
A genuine interest and passion for the motor industry

How to Apply
Only applicants meeting the above requirements should forward their Curriculum Vitae with the heading:

Motor/ Diesel Apprenticeship to: Leon.meyer@nmidsm.co.za or fax CV to: 086-538-2546

Certified and reliable copies of all relevant documentation must accompany the CV.

Selection will be done In terms of the Company’s Employment Equity policy.

Applicants who have not been contacted within 2 weeks of the closing date should consider their applications as unsuccessful.

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