There are thousands of tips available telling you how to be the best candidate for your interviews; however, applicants should never forget to prepare themselves before an interview. For this article, we interviewed two young talents from different corners of the world who will share their tips on how to land a dream position.
Tim from Canada: Be willing to adapt and be realistic!
Support officer@Shanghai international affairs company
Just like most young talents, Tim went through a period in which he simply wasn’t finding any opportunities in Canada, and eventually decided to look abroad. When the opportunity came up to work with an organization in Shanghai, it was a chance for him to prove to himself that he could handle larger responsibilities and a new cultural environment.
“Being willing to adapt to different international environments is the first step that I found that many people I knew in Canada seemed to have a hard time overcoming.” Also, to be a successful job seeker, setting clear and realistic expectations is very important, “One of the points that I have raised in the past is that young graduates should not come over expecting to make six-figures or landing a position right away.” Before the interview, Tim suggested one should fully prepare himself or herself by taking the following steps:
– What field or industry would you be interested in entering?
– After identifying an industry, you should try to pick out what role you might be interested in taking on.
– Conducting your job search in a way that will enable you to go about finding a job that is closer to your ambitions.
So, when one is ready for the application, Tim reminds the applicants to not to forget to complete their profiles via professional online platforms, for example, LinkedIn. “This can be a very important resource and the first Google search for employers if they are looking to acquire more information about you. LinkedIn is also a way for you to convey to prospective employers your strengths and specialties and outline what you might be able to contribute to their organization.” However, one should still work on their network even if he or she has good LinkedIn connections. “The ability to network effectively is a skill that should not be overlooked. There’s a big difference between trying to add a lot of people on LinkedIn and being able to count on someone to go to bat for you when the time comes.”
He added that cultivating genuine relationships was by no means an easy task, but could often be a way for young graduates to first get their foot in the door.
Pamela from Hong Kong: Share your interests but never pretend you know everything
Copywriter @ No. 1 international insurance brand
Pam is a graduate student of English literature. That made a lot of people wonder “how did you get a job in such a business-oriented industry in the first place?”
“I was working for an art magazine before I applied to this insurance company.” Pam recalled. “I think there was some luck in it. My interviewer was not from a business background either. He asked what my hobby was and I told him I liked to read and write.” After that, she managed to have a decent chat with her interviewer about the books she had read recently and he was deeply impressed.
With her excellent taste in books, she outshone the other candidates. Who would have thought sharing an interest would matter that much in an interview? “That’s a bonus. But a bonus can be a key to change the game.” She added, “If you want to share your taste, find something really great and special to you. Like Fifty Shades of Grey is very hot right now but it is very difficult to take a topic out of it in a job interview. Find something which has touched you deeply.” If you don’t have any, well, play it safe, just talk about something else. “It’s fine if you can’t match the interest of your interviewer! Just try to talk about other things that may be related… Maybe a newspaper or a magazine you like.”
She also suggested that interviewees should be bold when it comes to asking about the details of the coming interviews, “When the HR officers call and invite you for the interviews, it is perfectly okay to ask them for more details. For example, the formats: is it an individual interview or a group discussion? How long would it take? Would any written interview be included? And etc.” Of course don’t make yourself sound silly by asking what is the content of the interview or what clothes you should wear. “Remember to ask them politely. These extra pieces of information can help you a lot in preparing yourself, especially mentally!”