Job Tips That Can Get You Hired, Fired

My right eye began to twitch as the interviewers fired questions at me. Beads of sweat formed on my palms with each answer I gave. It was the first panel interview I had ever had: I was overcome with fear and self-doubt, though I really wanted the job I was applying for. Two days later, I got the call: the job was mine. I was relieved, but realized my stress and lack of confidence at the interview could have been avoided with a little prep time.Preparation is the key to doing well in a job interview, says Robin Ryan, career consultant and author of “60 Seconds & You’re Hired.” Ryan, who has appeared on “Oprah” and is considered American’s top career coach, says the number one thing she sees with new college grads is they are directionless. “Most adults think, ‘I can’t help you if you don’t know what you want to do,'” Ryan says. Whether you’re looking for an hourly job or braving the professional job market after graduation, knowing how to face employers will help you get a job and keep it.Hired:1. EnthusiasmShow that you’re eager to learn. If you don’t know how to do something, prove you’re ready to learn how. Willingness to try and determination in fighting for the job won’t come across as desperation; it’ll show you’re up for a challenge. I was underqualified for an internship I interviewed for last summer, but it was my readiness to learn the necessary skills that landed me the position. My boss was deciding between me and another applicant, but an extra phone call to her and the assurance that I’d put in all effort possible gave me the edge.2. PreparationRun through answers to possible interview questions while you wait. When it comes to interviewing, there’s no such thing as being overly prepared. Most school’s have career centers that will tape you in a mock interview so you can see and hear how well you answer questions. Thinking ahead of time about what an interviewer could ask shows, Ann Hartley, associate director at the University of Kansas’ Career and Employment Services, says practicing beforehand is the key: “Employers like really specific examples from past experiences, and that’s not something you can come up with real well off the top of your head.”3. ExperienceHaving work experience always helps, Ryan says. While it’s ideal to get experience in the industry you’re interested in, showing that you’ve had a job is worth more than nothing. “The most critical is that you know about their company so you can tailor your experience to it,” Ryan says. “You have to really the show the employer you’re a good fit for what they need.” She recommends finding your own top five selling points for how you can do the job. If you have computer skills or a customer service background, talk about how you’ll use those strengths. Fired:1. Being LateGetting there late just isn’t getting the job done. If you’re not putting in the expected hours then you’re not putting in the effort either. Expect to get canned if you keep slipping in 15 minutes late. Human resources experts across the board agree that this behavior is unacceptable and easily replaceable.2. Poor PerformanceWhen you were hired, your employer was looking for someone to complete tasks. Your duties should be made clear to you, and you should complete them in the time frame designated by your boss. Make sure you and your employer are clear on what’s expected of you using concrete measurements. Ask for numbers such as by what percent something should increase or how many hours you should be expected to work on something. Someone else is waiting to get your job done if you can’t, so shape up or ship out.3. Bad AttitudeA positive outlook helps bad situations get better. Working through problems instead of harping on them will get them solved. Put on a smile and be optimistic about changes and problems, and your coworkers will help work with you. No one likes to be around a sourpuss, so lose the bad and get glad.