Ellen Mehling: Where did you go to school? What degrees and/or certificates do you hold?
Krissa Corbett Cavouras: I attended Sarah Lawrence for my undergraduate degree and earned my masters from Pratt School of Information and Library Science (SILS) in 2011.
EM: Were you employed elsewhere when you applied for this job? For how long had you been job hunting?
KCC: I was working for a small e-commerce company, as a knowledge manager on their marketing team, for two years prior to starting at Brooklyn Public Library. I had probably been actively looking for about three months when I had my first interview here.
EM: How did you learn about the position? Did you have any connections via your network to that workplace?
KCC: I heard about the position on a couple of fronts — first, because I’ve had Brooklyn Public Library’s job page bookmarked for years, ever since I graduated from library school! Second, my manager Robin and I have several mutual friends from our early days as bloggers, so I saw the job shared around that mutual circle on Facebook. (I do think that’s how I knew it was in serious recruitment, because sometimes you don’t know from a website job posting if it’s a really open position.) I also have several library school colleagues who now work in the system, although I don’t think I saw this specific posting on my library school listserv. http://metro.org/articles/what-went-right-a-case-study-of-a-successful-hiring-part-1/
You finally got the call you’ve been waiting for: an invitation to interview for a job you’re really excited about. What do you need to do now to ensure you ace the interview?
Here are four steps that will position you as strongly as possible to wow your interviewer:
1. Research the company. It’s important to get familiar with the company you’ll be interviewing with. Understanding the context your interviewers are working in will help you have a more intelligent conversation.
This doesn’t mean simply memorizing facts about the company; there’s not a lot of utility in that. Rather, you’re looking for the answers to questions like these:
- How does the company see itself? What would its employees say makes it different from its competition?
- What is the company most known for?
- Has it been in the news lately? If so, for what?
- What are the company’s biggest current initiatives, projects, products or clients?
- What info can you find about the company’s culture and values?
- Roughly what size is the company?
- Who are the company’s key players? What kind of backgrounds do they bring to their roles?
If you come across as someone with a baseline understanding of these basics about the company, your interviewers will much more easily picture you in the job. Conversely, if you don’t seem to know any of this information, they’re likely to wonder how interested you really are and whether you even really understand what they do. Research the company before interviewing. Try to find out how the company sees itself, what it’s most known for and who its key players are.
by Ellen Mehling, Career Development Consultant, METRO
We recently discussed how to decide to leave your current job. At some point in your career, you’ll find yourself facing the opposite decision, too, perhaps because you decided to leave a former position: whether or not to accept a job offer. Some of the same factors should be taken into consideration as when you’re deciding to resign, but there are additional components to consider, too.
First, be really honest with yourself throughout your decision-making, and make sure your choice comes from your own needs and preferences and not anyone else’s.
You can consult others and seek their advice (in fact, that is recommended), but remember that your advisors won’t be suffering the consequences if you make the wrong decision. While it is best to avoid making big decisions in a hurry, in most cases you will only have a couple of days or maybe a week from the initial offer, through negotiations, and to a “yes” or “no” from you to the employer.
Even if the offer sounds at first like it is just what you want, always ask for a few days to think it over, and then use that time to examine every aspect of the offer. Don’t say “yes” just because of a salary that makes you smile or because you have been unemployed or underemployed and at last you’ve been offered the full-time position you have wanted for a while.
Some things to consider:
- Is the job description clear? Is it what you want to do, what you enjoy doing, and what you are good at? When you think of where you want to be in five years, or ten years, is this job keeping you on the road to that goal?
You’ve worked hard on your resume, and you finally networked your way to the right person. This is your chance: you’ve got an interview!
What now? Wing it and hope for the best? Google for interview tips—and end up with the same template as everyone else? No, you’re smarter than that—and you need to stand out from the crowd.
Here are 13 tips on how you can do just that… and land your dream job:
1. Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
“What are your weaknesses?” is one of the most common interview questions, yet few people answer it honestly. They try to sidestep it or frame it as a positive thing—which is what most career counselors advise.
But we all recognize what this tactic really is: a facade. A better way to approach this question would be to acknowledge weaknesses that have nothing to do with the job you’re applying for. And tell the hiring manager what you’re doing to improve on them.
For example, it doesn’t matter if you’re not great with numbers if you’re applying to be a graphic designer. Or that you need to work on your presentation skills if you’re applying for a role that doesn’t require it, like a copywriter, consumer support, over-the-phone sales, etc.