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ADVICE FROM A DAD TO STAND OUT AT A JOB INTERVIEW

I am not in the employment or recruiting field. But I have been working---in some form or another---coming up on 40 years. I have interviewed, been interviewed and read about the new work force coming out of our colleges. At the same time, I see all the inspirational advice coming from the experts, the thinkers and the influencers. Well, here is some homespun logical advice from a dad. A quick set up. My overachieving college senior daughter “texted” me frantically this morning concerning a critical job fair today at her school. Apparently, she had “blown” it. She had nothing to wear and did not conduct in depth research on the 250 companies who would recruiting today. All is lost. You see, as an “overachiever” and I mean it---an overachiever---straight “A’s” scholarships, Phi Beta Kappa, she really knows nothing about what is required in the working world. To be sure, her skill set will transfer nicely and she will be wildly successful one day. But, our high powered kids never had time to be hostesses, work in fast food, sell shoes or even mow lawns. Instead, they played organized sports, were in student government, edited the newspaper and studied every weekend and evening. They never had to get the job. They never had to keep the job. They never came early and left late. They never missed an important social event because no one could cover their shift. It is no surprise that I would get frantic texts about what to say and what to wear. “What should I say I want to do?” “I do not have a long sleeve button down shirt” “I do not want to be the only one not wearing a suit!” Here was my advice: Look great and be comfortable. It is OK to stand out. Button down shirts are for the applicants from Boston. You are from Southern California on a 90 degree day. Own it and dress appropriately. They came to SoCal for recruits! Wear a smile and show your confidence. Regardless of the position, tell them you are not afraid of hard work and you expect to learn and grow on the job. Tell them you are willing to travel or even relocate for the right opportunity. When they ask what you are looking for, answer that you want to be part of a great company and part of a team of supportive colleagues where you could make a career, and not merely do a job.

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