This is a post I have been wanting to write for a while! I was working on some schoolwork on Saturday at the local Starbucks and noticed Five Below was conducting interviews there as well! I noticed some really pivotal problems that stood out when people came in for their interviews and that is what inspired me to give my tips!
Now I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I have had around 5-6 part-time jobs since I was 16 years old AND was able to get an internship working for Ascena Retail this summer. That all being said, I do think I am pretty good at this whole interview thing! Here are my top tips on how to ace the interview and get the job you’re applying for!
1. Bring your resume (IN A FOLDER).
This is one thing I noticed right away. Of all the people who actually brought their resume (very few I might add), no one had their resume in a folder! This is a huge red flag to me because bringing in a crumpled/wrinkled resume is not a good representation of who you are.
Make sure to create a really nice, clean layout for your resume that highlights your past job experience(s) (pertinent to the position you’re applying for). If you don’t have any/much experience, make sure to add previous volunteer experiences as well as any skills you have. I LOVE Canva’s range of resumes for more creative fields (linked here) but for a regular part-time job, I suggest just a plain black and white option you can find on Microsoft Word.
2. Know your availability.
Another good reason to bring you resume (if you’re in school) is often they will ask your availability. KNOW WHAT IT IS! I cannot stress this enough. Almost every person that came in to interview sat there for a minute or two saying “ummmm….welllll….on Monday’s I’m done at four…..and Thursday’s….”. Don’t do this! Either have it written on the back of your resume so when they ask you can show them OR know it by heart and then ask them if they want you to write it down.
The people interviewing you have so many applicants that they won’t remember your availability the next day or even the next hour. Make their life easy and they will appreciate you so much more! Already knowing your availability will make you seem so much more prepared too. This is extremely important because jobs want to know that you’re a prepared/organized person.
3. Dress for the job you want.
I already said that I can’t stress this enough when knowing your availability but y’all….dress for the job you want and not the one you have (that being if you have no job at least try to look presentable). This means not wearing leggings, a revealing shirt, sneakers, etc. I kid you not someone walked into that interview in a ruched front shirt (with her stomach out) and LEGGINGS. I could’ve died.
Even if it’s a part-time interview you should look presentable. That means wearing something similar to the photo below OR wearing a dress. It’s so easy to throw on a dress and ballet flats and you’ll immediately look more presentable! I swear by this tip even if it’s an interview with McDonald’s. It shows you care enough to try.
4. Research the company you’re applying to.
Researching the company you’re applying to is a great tip because, again, it shows you’re really interested in the company! I worked for LOFT which is under Ascena Retail/Ann Inc.; however, I wanted to find out a little bit more about the company in case they asked during the interview! You want to be as prepared as you can be.
Make sure you find out things such as: their top competitors, how viable they are in the market, the other positions they have above yours in the company (this is good because if they ask your long term goals you can say how you want to stay with the company to become *insert position here*).
5. Once you apply online, call the store.
This is my (nearly) foolproof way of at LEAST getting an interview if not getting the job you really want. The first tip is that you should always apply online first and THEN call the company to see if they’re hiring/to introduce yourself. They’ll likely remember your name and that you went out of your way and will offer an interview.
The second tip is that you should always go to the actual company website rather than look on monster.com/indeed.com. These are really helpful tools to use; however, often times private companies do not promote job openings through third parties. Disney is an example of one of them! This tactic is what I used when applying to my past job at LOFT.
6. Ask Questions.
I never understood this until recently but 1) it’s actually really helpful to you and 2) it makes the company think you’re interested in working with them. This is a super helpful tip so pay attention to this one y’all! Ask at least three questions to the person/people interviewing you. Sometimes I only ask two depending on how long the interview has already been, but that is my golden rule of interviewing!
Some good questions to ask if you’re feeling stuck:
- “Are there any opportunities for growth?”
- “What are some day to day duties for this position?”
- “Are there any additional duties that would be required of me in this position?”
- “How did you get your start at *insert company here*?”
- “Are there any good computer programs I can research that will help me prepare for this position?”
I hope these tips help you guys kill your interviews and get the jobs you want! These have been proven successful (by me at least) and I think they’ll really help you as well. If you have success with these, I would LOVE to hear your feedback! Be sure to leave a comment below!
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