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How Not to Be a Lame New Grad

October 27, 2010

We’ve had the pleasure of interviewing several recent college graduates as well as current college students during our quest to find the best and the brightest interns to join our team. I took a couple of notes during my interviews I thought may be valuable to new college grads looking for a job.

1. Show up.

Sure seems like a no brainer to me. But one student with a lot of promise on paper didn’t bother to show up. That’s a problem for a few reasons. Number one, you aren’t going to get the job. But perhaps you decided you didn’t want it anyway. The biggest problem with the “I just won’t show up” mentality is that most industries are surprisingly small. Chances are you may run into the interviewer sometime in your career. All it takes is a phone call or an email to let the interviewer know that you are no longer interested. To be candid, I was angry. Not because they didn’t want the job… I was angry because it was disrespectful of my time.  I had rearranged a client meeting, moved deadlines and had to take my daughter to a sitter. Being mindful of others’ time is very important.

2. Understand the position you are applying for.

I asked one candidate why she wanted to intern at an advertising agency. She said, “I don’t like marketing so I thought I would like advertising.” Had she done some research on the definition of advertising and marketing she would have discovered they go hand in hand.

3. Be Prepared to Share Why You Are a Good Candidate.

One smart-on-paper gal was noticeably nervous when I asked her what skills she had that would be valuable to my company. She seemed to misunderstand the question so I prompted her by saying “For instance, you may be good at organization or communication…” She replied “yes, I’m good at both of those.” Be prepared to tell the employer what value you would bring to their organization. It’s imperative.

4. Dress Appropriately.

Raid a girlfriend’s closet, go to Goodwill, beg you parents for a little extra cash to buy a well-fitting jacket and pants/skirt. Nothing revealing and no short skirts ladies. And it must be said, tone down the makeup ladies…we’re not going to the club!

5. Ask for the J.O.B.

Nothing is worse than interviewing someone who doesn’t seem very excited about the job. I hire on enthusiasm as well as skill, experience and education. I want a go-getter with a passion for the opportunity. If you are thrilled about an opportunity let the interviewer know! You don’t have to be over the top but say something like “After speaking with you about this opportunity I have to tell you that I am so excited about the possibility of working for you. This sounds like a great fit to me and I want you to know that I’d be honored to have this job!”

If you want to hear a few more candid tips email me @ Cheers to finding a fabulous new job!




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