With reports coming out claiming it is harder now than ever to get a job for recent college graduates, it is important to start preparing for a post-University of West Georgia life.
UWG has services specially designed to help students get jobs while in school, but they also have people and programs to help students succeed after they graduate. Sadie Young, Associate Director of Career Development for the Department of Career Services, said getting involved with Career Services as soon as possible, even as a freshman is crucial.
“One of the biggest things students can do is make sure they come [to Career Services],” said Young. “The best way to go about the interview process is to go through the career development process from beginning to end.”
The process includes various aspects of real life job experience, including interview questions, dressing the part and learning about what you enjoy doing.
“Our hope is that you start with learning about yourself in a different way and how that relates to careers,” said Young. “That’s helpful in the interview process because it allows you to describe yourself in a way that’s extremely meaningful to a potential employer instead of giving canned answers that you get off the Internet. That’s not really what people want to hear, they want to know who you really are.”
Learning about your likes and dislikes could determine which jobs would fit you best.
“[Career Services] help you start with learning as much as you can about yourself and your interests as a person and your personality and how those things fit into the world of work,” said Young. “This will make you able to explore careers that’ll be a good fit for you. You’ll be polished and confident that you’re applying for the right jobs for you. Starting as early as you can is important.”
If you are already at the end of your UWG journey, it is not too late. Career Services can help you out still.
“If you have an interview coming up and you are graduating soon, we have something called ‘mock interviews,’” said Young. “That’s where you actually dress the part in coming for an interview. You can come in and work with one of our career professionals and they can interview you as an employer would interview you and give you feed back on how the interview went.”
Impressing potential employers during an interview is one of the most important parts of getting a job and one way to do that is by learning about a company before going into the interview, Young said.
“A lot of people will walk into an interview and they don’t actually understand the company they’re applying for,” said Young. “It really helps you stand out as a potential employee.”
Young said something that is equally important as learning about a company, if not more, is practicing potential question examples.
“Almost every time a person is interviewed, they’re going to be asked things like ‘can you tell me of an example of a time you worked with an individual on a project and how that went and what was your outcome?’” said Young. “You want to be specific with those and if someone catches you off guard, you might sit there and stutter for five minutes.”
After you prepare for you interview, learn about yourself and go to Career Services, Young said it is important to be genuine.
“Be the best version of yourself. Don’t go out and try to be who you think they’re looking for,” said Young. “Show them you’re a great person that you’d want to have around in your company and don’t be afraid to be honest while still being professional. There’s a big misconception that there’s a right way you have to answer all of these questions, but if everybody answers in that ‘right way,’ then nobody stands out.”