Graduating From College Transition

By Carole Martin

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Guest Post by
Pat Morgan
Communications
Affordable Colleges Online

Graduating from college is an exciting time, and most look forward to making the transition from starving student to real-world worker. Landing that first job is a huge accomplishment, but it can be a tricky process, as graduates may not know exactly what goes into the hiring decision. Making the right choice is important not only for short-term satisfaction, but also for laying the foundation for a career.

The guides below contain a lot of helpful resources and advice for any job seeker to use while they are still in school or just recently graduated.

Expert Advice on Getting a Job Offer – https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/job-offers/

Career Guide for Students with Disabilities – https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/students-with-disabilities-careers/

School Resources and Careers After the Military – https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/degrees-careers-for-vets/

Guidebook to Work Study Programs – https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/work-study/

Workforce Development Guide – https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/workforce-development-guide/

*Affordable Colleges Online is focused on providing students with information about online learning and broader educational topics. We feature a free, not-for-profit guidebook series that focuses on providing expert-driven and actionable information that has been resourced through a network of industry experts, high school counselors and college administrators. We have been featured by over 700 post-secondary institutions and nearly 100 government organizations.

INTERVIEW COACHING SUCCESS STORY OF THE WEEK

By Carole Martin

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I knew the interview was going well when I noticed that the panelists had relaxed in their chairs and were laughing along with me. My ability to be myself was a direct consequence of having adequately prepared and feeling genuinely confident that I was the best person for the job. By the time I left the interview, I knew that I’d killed it.

After my first interview, I knew that I’d failed to convince two key people on the hiring panel. I was confident in my expertise, but was having difficulty being myself. Thankfully, I was invited for a second interview that gave me another opportunity to win them over.

That’s when I hired YOU 

Your assistance with strategizing helped clarify for me what I needed to do to seal the deal.

With respect to feedback, I found the materials to be quite useful. Although not everything was ‘new’, it helped remind me of a few of the fundamentals of interviewing. Things that I knew, at least at one point, but might have forgotten because I was out of practice.

I also found our coaching call was quite useful in highlighting some of my nervous tendencies (e.g. forgetting about the importance of personality, my use of too many laundry lists, and not communicating my passion appropriately) and how I might be able to overcome them.

It was also nice to be able to play back the recording of my responses to some questions and be able to critique myself. I’d tried recording responses to questions myself, but I found it to be a much more authentic simulation to answer questions for you in real time.

GOOD NEWS!

I received the official offer on Wednesday and signed the following day. They made an offer that I was quite happy with.

What they are saying about being coached by The Interview Coach.

By Carole Martin

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“The best piece of advice you gave me for our work together was to be myself for the interview. “These people need to think they want you on their team,” was your quote.

In my eyes an interview will never go perfect so I went in with a nothing to lose attitude since at the end of the day I still had a job. Being a likable person during the interview makes the interviewer work extra hard for you because they can see you as their partner. They might take the extra minute to think about how you would fit in.”

One of the most important factors a candidate can bring to the interview is self-confidence.

By Carole Martin

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When you stand tall and look the interviewer in the eye while you give a firm handshake you will make an immediate good first impression. Some people believe that the decision to hire you or not happens in the first 30 seconds. How can you possibly convince someone that you are the best fit for the job if you don’t believe it yourself?

Sounds like you could use some feedback.

By Carole Martin

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Telephone coaching is recorded and you will receive a link to the recording to hear yourself and how you are coming across.
Friends and family can offer feedback, but two pitfalls – they may hurt your feelings because they are too close to the subject, or they may be afraid to give “honest” feedback.

“Tell Me About Yourself” – or some form of that question is almost a given.

By Carole Martin

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“How would you describe yourself?” “Tell us about yourself and your background and how it relates to this position?” “Why should we choose you over the other candidates?” “What can you do for this company?”

Your task is to give the interviewers a clear and concise “snapshot” of yourself – with just enough information to give them an overall picture – without too much detail.

EXAMPLE

For the past six years I have been in the electronics industry working on computer systems. Two years ago I was promoted to lead technician and currently supervise four testers and technicians. My key strength is ability to use my analytical skills to solve problems. I take an analytical view of what is happening and work through the process by trying various solutions. I work well independently or as a member of a team. I have worked in fast-paced environments most of my life, and am very goal-oriented and deadline driven. I usually think “outside the box,” and come up with new ways to look at old problems. I am very thorough, with a strong attention to detail. Customer service and follow-through are my key strengths. I have made some long-lasting relationships with customers by building rapport through trust. It is important to me to do work that makes a difference – no matter what my role. I’d like to find a position where I can bring what I have learned and apply it to new situations.

We usually write differently than we talk. Write out what you think is important for the interviewer to know and then convert your writing into a conversation.

It is important that you practice this introduction – become smooth and natural – not stilted or rehearsed.