How to Prepare for an Interview

Interviews are one of the most nerve-wracking situations an adult can go through. However, if you do your research, you will be prepared to take on any question and also come up with a few of your own to ask. When first researching a company, you want to visit their main website, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor. If you know someone who is working for the company, try to get a realistic view of the day to day operations. It is also important to research the field you are going to be working in, as well as competing companies to best answer more specific questions and provide insight into how you can best serve that position.

Resumes should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. If the job is more customer service based, for example, be sure to emphasize the jobs you had working with customers. If it is a medical position, make sure to include any and all certifications and training you’ve had that is applicable to the job. One of the most important things a graduate of WVJC can have on their resume is their externship. This, for some, is the only experience they’ve had directly in the field before they graduate. As always, make sure to list your name, address, phone number, and email. All of your jobs should be listed in descending chronological order.

You want to exude professionalism and confidence, while still maintaining your authenticity. One way you can go about this is making sure to dress appropriately. To have an interview ready wardrobe, you will want to invest in the following: dress pants (black, grey, or navy blue), dress shirts/dress blouses, a solid colored blazer/suit jacket, and a nice pair of flats/dress shoes. Once you have your outfit picked out, make sure it is clean and ironed. Before you leave the house for the interview, make sure you have at least three copies of your resume/references, a pen and paper, and questions to ask the interviewer.

“Tell me about yourself.” This is one of the most difficult questions for most people. When a potential employer asks you to tell them about yourself, they’re not actually asking to know all about your life. What they want is a concise rundown of your professional and educational experiences beginning with the most recent one. The best way to prepare for tough interview questions is to practice with friends or family. WVJC also offers mock interviews with our Career Services department.

Lastly, you always want to stand out among other potential candidates. Always ask for a business card at the end of every interview and send a thank you card immediately following the interview. This shows a level of respect for their time, and will surely make you stand out from other applicants. Even if the interview didn’t go as well as you hoped, sending the card could be the touch of class that tips the scales in your favor. If you have waited a week or more and haven’t heard any news on the position, feel free to email the interviewer and reiterate thanking them for their time and how you look forward to hearing back about the position. It’s a gentle nudge while still maintaining respectful and professional boundaries.

For questions regarding more interview tips or to schedule a mock interview, please contact Samantha Esposito or Alannah Bohon in Career Management!

Professionalism – Part 2

In our last blog, we discussed how professionalism is a key component to any work environment. Specifically, we discussed competence, reliability, honesty, integrity, and respect. These are extremely important in remaining professional in the workplace. Equally as important are compartmentalization and positivity. Today we will discuss these aspects of professionalism, and why they are important in the workplace.

Compartmentalization is important in maintaining a professional persona. By that, we mean that you should do your best to not deal with personal issues in the workplace. It is important to have working relationships with your coworkers. However, as you begin to build these relationships, be aware that these are people you will see every day of your professional life. You do not want to do anything that may inhibit your or your coworker’s ability to work. Maintain positive relationships but be sure that these relationships are contributing to the workplace in a positive way.

Remaining positive is the ultimate test of professionalism in any environment. A positive work environment is a major contributing factor to overall employee satisfaction. No one wants to work with someone who is constantly negative, and constant negativity from employees can negatively impact the overall work environment. For this reason, it is important to stay positive in the work environment. Finding the positive in even the worst situation is a great way to show your employer that you are interested in the overall success of the workplace and that you are willing to take on even the most challenging situations to help the company succeed.

So now that we’ve discussed what it means to be professional in the workplace, how do you attain these skills? WVJC is here to help! At WVJC, students learn their chosen craft, while simultaneously learning how to be professional. In every course our students take, we work on basic skills that prime the students to be professional employees. As if this isn’t enough, we also offer an entire course dedicated to teaching students exclusively about professionalism before they complete their program and enter the workforce. If you’re looking for an institute that will prepare you to enter the workforce in every capacity, WVJC is the place for you!

Professionalism – Part 1

Professionalism is a key component to being successful in any work environment, but what exactly is it? In a nutshell, professionalism involves traits such as competence, reliability, honesty, integrity, respectfulness, compartmentalization, and positivity. Let’s break these traits down and evaluate what they mean in a professional capacity.

What does it mean to be competent in the workplace? Employers want to know that you will provide quality work, no matter the difficulty of the workload, and that you will work to gain skills and knowledge that will help you excel in your specific work environment. It is more than being competent in your area of expertise, but also your willingness to embrace new tasks, and take the steps necessary to accomplish them. Most importantly, it’s always providing a quality product or service that will benefit your workplace overall.

Equally as important is reliability. Employers want to know that you will complete tasks by the provided deadline, or in a timely manner.  Your employer has to be able to trust you. It is not easy for employers to delegate work and trust that it will get done efficiently and effectively. Any employee who shows that they are reliable and trustworthy will be seen as more professional.

Honesty, integrity, and respect are key in putting your best professional foot forward. You are your words. Make sure to honor them. In the workplace, you should always work to keep your values in line with your words and actions, and make sure you are presenting yourself in the best way possible. The more straightforward you are, the more professional you will seem. However, it is possible to be honest and straightforward in a respectful manner. Balancing your values, thoughts, and opinions with the respect you should have for your superiors is often difficult, but vital in maintaining professionalism in the workplace.

So now that we’ve discussed some ways as to what it means to be professional in the workplace, how do you attain these skills? WVJC is here to help! At WVJC, students learn their chosen craft, while simultaneously learning how to be professional. In every course our students take, we work on basic skills that prime the students to be professional employees. As if this isn’t enough, we also offer an entire course dedicated to teaching students exclusively about professionalism before they complete their program and enter the workforce. If you’re looking for an institute that will prepare you to enter the workforce in every capacity, WVJC is the place for you!