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'Get the Job' pt. 5: Job Interview

September 4, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
There are several steps to getting a job; however, one of the toughest steps may be the job interview.Where you went to school, your GPA, your experience and your contacts won't matter if you aren't able to interview successfully.

Want to find the best job for you? Get started by visiting the ABC7 and Monster.com Job Fair listings.

Additional resources on job interviews:

Lance Holliday is a mortgage broker from Claremont. He has worked for some of the largest lenders in the country. However, homes aren't selling and neither are mortgages, so Lance is out of work.

"I had been considering changing careers for a time because I saw the mortgage industry having its difficulties," said Lance Holliday, who was taking an interview workshop.

Charlotte Santos, an office manager from Covina, has held her title for most of her career. However, she too is now looking to find work.

"You can't have a discouraging attitude. You can't just sit there and say, 'Forget it, it's not going to work.' And, you just have to keep plugging away at it," said Charlotte Santos, who was also taking an interview workshop.

Charlotte and Lance are plugging away to find the next job. One of the first things they are doing is learning how to make the most out of a job interview.

Employment specialist Indiana Hurley videotaped Charlotte and Lance during a mock job interview. She wanted to show each of them what to do, and what not to do, in an interview. Hurley also wants to help them with how to answer some of the toughest questions.

Job interview workshops like Hurley's are offered for free at one-stop job resource centers all over Southern California. Hurley's is offered at L.A. Works in Irwindale. Workshops can make a big difference in getting the job.

"We do have, I would say, a 90 to 98 percent level of placement for these individuals that go through our program," said Hurley.

If you have an interview coming up, but have no time to practice, here are a few interview blunders you should avoid:

  • Not Being Prepared: You should know something about the company before you interview with them.
  • Dressing Inappropriately: If you aren't sure what to wear, visit the organization and watch employees coming in and out of the office to see what they are wearing.
  • Poor Communication Skills: Shake hands and make eye contact.
  • Too Much Communication: In other words, don't answer your cell phone in an interview -- turn it off.
  • Badmouthing Past Employers: It's a smaller world than you think and you don't know whom your interviewer might know.
One mistake could mean the difference between getting the job and being back in the unemployment line. Practice could prevent the latter from happening.

 

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