Vol 11, Issue 12
I'm a smidge older than the majority of my cohort. While that age grants me no authority, it does beget me having more experience. Job wise, I've been around the block a few times: I've worked in start ups; for up starts, in hollywood films; in tech; as a referee; as a competitor; for an illegal call centre; for a legal call centre; for international media companies; for local blogs. I've been a bartender, a rule bender and a Russian language comprehender. I've worked in security, as security and around security. I've worked with the homeless; with kids; with refugees (while homeless). I've been in lawyer's offices, courtrooms and prisons, sometimes even of my own free will.
Basically, I've attended a lot of interviews in my time, so here are my top tips on landing the top job (which will invariably be entry level).
1 Know Your Audience
As anyone experienced with stagecraft or adept with Tinder will tell you, the key to getting the job you want is to know what kind of person the other party is looking for. This means LinkedIn stalking the hell out of them. Remember: set your LinkedIn privacy settings to invisible to not look like a creeper and don't worry, if you really needed to see who visited your profile, you wouldn't have read this far. Might as well have a simultaneous stalk tab up open on facebook too; in for a penny, in for a pound. Once you know what they want, edit your resume and personality accordingly. Don't worry if you've already been invited to an interview so they have your resume. By handing them a new one as you walk in you show that you're dynamic and think on your feet. Employers love that.
Men: dress professionally. Don't go double breasted, nothing too fancy on the suit. A pocket square shows that you're daring. How's that working out for you? Exactly. If you're in good shape, don't be afraid to show it off, wear a shirt that is a little tight, and flash the interviewer your abs on the way out.
Women: It’s a double edged sword here, because while men can do better showing their body, women can be seen as unprofessional for wearing anything slightly flattering, yet attractive women are given jobs at a higher rate than unattractive women. You could ask yourself: am I attractive? But that's too hard and subjective. I suggest getting some bonding tape and attending the interview as a man just to be safe. In short my advice is the same for both genders: don't go double breasted.
A lot of businesses are conservative, but there are a fair few on the left wing of the political spectrum. It can be hard to tell from the outset, and even harder to remember when you've spammed every seek.com and my.careers link in your vague criteria. It's best to deflect any questions about your own values and instead focus them on the enemies of each creed. For the right: oppressive fiscal policy; for the left: oppressive social policy. Sound confusing? It is. A nice coverall is to say that you're “angry at what the country is becoming.” This seems to elicit nods of approval from both sides of the floor.
4 In the Interview
When at the interview stage, they're already impressed with your work history, so now you just have to show them you're a confident go getter! Nepotism is a problem in many industries, particularly the shrinking legal market. You can lean into this opportunity by looking at your most senior interviewer and saying “...D-dad?” with a quiver in your voice. Often, in my experience, this is met with confusion, particularly from females. In order to appear confident, sit with a straight back and speak clearly and loudly. Don't be afraid to lie, in fact I encourage it. Nothing says confidence like lying about your physical abilities in a face to face interview. When they know it’s a lie they'll respect your commitment even more. It’s a good idea to bring head shots into every interview. In case they didn't like who they saw, maybe they'd like them better as Morning Mist or Winter cruelty. A lot of businesses want to appear tech savvy to “innovate” and “pivot” despite never daring to change practices or culture and never even attempting to play basketball. You can use this to your advantage by peppering your sentences with the word “blockchain”. Just slip it in there every once and a blockchain while. If there's ever a lull in conversation, steer the conversation back to blockchain, it will pay dividends.
5 After the Interview
So you've waited three days and she hasn't called. Worse, the job you interviewed for hasn't contacted you for two weeks. It’s over. The best thing you can do is call yourself and ask for areas you can improve. But that doesn't sound very confident does it? An even better idea is to snub them at any and all future events. Yeah, that'll show them.
Nick is a Third Year JD student and serial interviewee
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