How to Become a Professional
If you’re a sophomore or older in college, it’s about time to get your life together. You’re not a freshman anymore. It’s time to spread your wings and fly into the world of adulthood. A world of paying taxes, renting apartments, and getting jobs. Yeah. But before you can do that, you have to become a freaking professional first. And before you can become a freaking professional, you should probably stop saying freaking professional.
Step 1: Get a nice suit. Even if you’re not a freaking professional yet (and you’re not), you can at least look like one. Guys: make sure your suit fits. You’ll look like a little kid if your pants are too long or your coat sleeves are too short. Girls: if you think to yourself that you look sexy while wearing your suit, you've got a problem. There’s nothing wrong with looking good, but your interview skirt should not be the same as your clubbing skirt.
Step 2: Do your makeup and hair. This is the way the world works: pretty people get what they want. It’s one of those cruel facts of life that us less attractive people have to accept. I’m not saying you need to be a model to get a job (unless you’re applying for a job as a model). I’m just saying that straightening your bedhead and applying some mascara makes you look a lot more put together. This one doesn’t really apply to guys; I guess you can just wash your face and not smell bad.
Step 3: Write a resume. Do it. Sit down and don’t get up until you have it written. Don’t check your phone. Don’t go on Facebook. Don’t even think about watching a YouTube video. You are allowed to print out some examples and do some preliminary Google-ing, but after that, get off the internet or it’s never going to happen.
Step 4: Do your research. Browse the company’s website for 10 minutes to get the gist of what they do. Check under current events to see if they were mentioned in the news. Know how to pronounce the company’s name correctly.
Step 5: Prep your examples. Have some pre-made examples from your real life ready to go for the interview. Think of group projects, reports, things you’ve done for clubs—anything that shows responsibility, teamwork, leadership, and other fun buzzwords that interviewers like to throw your way.
Step 6: Have the right answers. Go over sample interview questions you find online. It’s going to look pretty bad when the interviewer asks you what your greatest strengths are and you can’t think of any.
Step 7: Practice your best beauty pageant responses for when you don’t have the right answers. Here’s the scenario: your interviewer asks you to describe a time when you were a big pink elephant and how you overcame the challenges associated with being a big pink elephant. Go! Okay, so let’s say you’ve never been a big pink elephant. You can instead talk about the time when you were a blue hippo and how that relates to pink elephants, and the similarities between hippos and elephants. Sure, you didn’t answer the question, but you were able to make words and that counts for a lot.
Step 8: Have questions! At some point, someone will ask you, “Do you have any questions?” This is a trick question. You cannot say no to this question, so have something ready. Ask about the company culture, why this person chose this company, what sorts of projects people have worked on in the past. Anything! Just do not NOT have a question.
If you hadn’t already guessed from this very professional post, I just went to our school engineering co-op fair last week and talked with a few companies. I even had an interview, which I think went well (we’ll see if I ever hear back from them). Hopefully I’ll have an internship next semester and I can make bank!
Anyone else on a co-op/internship/job hunt? What sorts of awful interview questions have you been asked?