NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Landing that job

With spring break out of the way, NECC is on a fast track to the end of the semester and the graduating class of 2016 may be faced with the grueling task of preparing themselves for job interviews.
A college degree and a new pair of shoes is great place to start, but sometimes you have to be the cutest puppy in the basket to be chosen from an endless sea of prospects. I don’t mean that you have to have perfect skin or be physically fit, but you’re going to need charm and it definitely won’t hurt to brush up on your social skills. And for goodness’ sake, SMILE!
I know that a genuine smile can be difficult to conjure up nowadays, especially with all that is going on in the world and your own personal obstacles, but a smile, no matter how big or small, can be contagious and can leave a great first impression on a potential employer. A firm handshake and lots of eye contact will get you even further toward that second interview.
Believe it or not, the person who reads your resume will probably do a background check on you and more than likely try to snoop around in your Facebook posts and pictures. So, you may want to reconsider some of those spring break selfies you uploaded. If you have friends that insist on repeatedly tagging you in a “keg-stand” photo from two years ago, it may be time to clean up your “friends list” or explain to them that you are trying to land a job and would appreciate their cooperation in maintaining a new level of professionalism.
Being connected is a great way to keep in touch with family, friends and co-workers. Additionally, email and social media is user friendly even for those who are extremely shy or tend to experience social anxiety. However, the keyboard can be a dangerous tool that can ultimately hurt you and your career. Many times, we are quick to type things we would never say to someone’s face and we have to ask ourselves: has social media completely abolished social grace?
I remember getting ready for my very first job interview and my mother saying, ”Remember, if you don’t have anything nice to say… don’t say anything at all.” I guess a more current rule of thumb would be to never email anything that you wouldn’t want your boss to read.
Although it seems normal to see an electronic device in the hands of, well, pretty much everyone on the planet, leaving your phone in the car will impress the interviewer and help you focus on your surroundings, especially if you know that you have a hard time resisting the urge to text or surf the Web.
Not to be confused with “FaceTime” the app, the art of face-to-face conversation is one that is truly becoming lost. Nevertheless, it is a requirement in much of the corporate world. A modern interview is not simply a collection of closed-ended questions that can be answered with a monotone “yup” or “nope” but a series of verbal essay questions. So, don’t be surprised if the interviewer says “tell me about a time that you went above and beyond the call of duty at your previous job.”
For more sample interview questions, you can visit
Employees who possess interpersonal skills are primed and ready to be promoted to leadership positions, which will lead to financial growth and a successful future.
Isn’t that why you came to college in the first place?