Take a step in the right direction in a job search
WITH BRADSTON SAKAMOTO
SOCIETY FOR HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT HAWAII CHAPTER VOLUNTEER; MANAGING CONSULTANT AND OWNER OF OD SOLUTIONS LLC, A KAMAAINA SEARCH AND HR SERVICES CONSULTING FIRM
Whether you have extensive experience in your career field, or just a new graduate looking for that first break, reality dictates that you have to go through the “dreaded” job interview. However, through proper preparation and the right approach this can be a rewarding experience whether you get the position or not.
Q: What is the most important part in an interview?
A: A vital moment is when the interviewer allows you to ask questions. This is your chance to get insight on the position and get your potential supervisor or co-workers to speak about themselves and the organization. Always remember that you’re interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you.
Three questions I always recommend to ask are: What was it about the company that attracted you to work here? What is it about the company that keeps you here? If I was lucky enough to be selected for the position, what would you like me to accomplish when we sit down to evaluate my performance in six months?
The first question will provide you information on what the interviewer was doing previously; the second will give you insight on what makes the company a great place to work. They may discuss things you didn’t want to ask about on an initial interview such as unique benefits, work/life balance or compensation plans. More importantly, they’ll get to talk about themselves and you’ll be able to ask yourself whether these are the types of individuals you could see yourself working with or for. People tend to hire individuals that they like — the easiest way to get someone to like you is to get them to talk about themselves.
The final question will really give you insight into the big projects, expectations, deadlines coming up so you’ll know as a potential new employee what you are getting into. Once you learn this information, you can make the decision whether you would be able to meet their expectations, and conversely decide whether making a move makes sense for your long-term career goals.
Q: As a new graduate, I’m having a hard time getting any job offers that aren’t sales related. Should I just go ahead and accept one?
A: Despite unemployment being at historic lows locally, it’s still difficult for a new graduate to get that first position. Consider a sales role if offered. Sales executive positions provide hands on experience with negotiation, client interaction and marketing. If you are successful, sales can provide you a very lucrative career or should offer opportunities for further professional growth at any organization. Most C-Level executives started out in either sales or accounting — the skills and contacts that can be gained in such a position can be invaluable as you continue in your career.