Whether you’re fresh out of college or a seasoned pro venturing out into a new career, getting a foot in the door of your dream job can often be a stressful ordeal. As a college graduate in 2013, I found this to be all too real. As I look back on my experiences, here are five things that I believe helped me land the job at PC, and may even help you in landing your coveted position:

  • Network, Network, Network. Exhaust your personal and professional connections, as many professional positions come about through referrals from friends or colleagues. Remember, there is just as much pressure on a company to hire the right candidate as there is on the candidate to land the job. When companies receive a referral for you from someone with a strong reputation, you’ve received a leg up in the hiring process.
  • Do your homework. If you’ve been offered an interview, do your homework on the company you are interviewing with. Learn about their history, what they do and who they are. When I interviewed here at PC, I was already familiar with the accounts we held, so I was easily able to explain what I could bring to the table. Since it’s likely you may be asked “Why do you want to work for us?” or “What do you think we do here?” doing your homework ahead of time will help you impress your potential future employer.
  • Practice makes perfect. While you may not know what all you will be asked during an interview, there are some general questions that are typically asked across the board. For example:
  • “What are your strengths?”
  • “What are your weaknesses?” Pro tip: DO NOT say you don’t have any weaknesses. Instead, frame your answer to demonstrate that you have identified your weaknesses and are working towards improving them.
  • “Why do you want this job?”

Create a list of questions that you think may be asked and prepare your answers ahead of time – that way you can deliver them to the interview panel with confidence.

  • Don’t be late. If you have a scheduled interview, be sure to arrive early. A great rule of thumb is to make sure you have arrived – at least in the parking lot – 15 minutes prior to your interview. Map out your route and travel time, allowing yourself plenty of time for traffic and unexpected delays.
  • Have fun. Be personable. One of the most important aspects to a company’s success is their culture. Show them you are a team player who works well with others. Demonstrate that you are someone that boosts morale, not one who drives it into the ground.

Do you have any interview tips that helped you land your dream job? We’d love to hear them!