Working with an assumption that you actually land yourself a job, or are looking forward to starting one soon, or you just want to expose yourself to and learn one or two things, here’s what to do as you get there, and even when you get there:
First, before you go for an interview:
- Do Your Research
Research exclusively on the company. Get to know what they do, interact with what values they uphold, and know what they aim at. You don’t want to go for an interview to work at a place you know nothing about, leave alone the embarrassment of being completely clueless when asked what got you interested in a company you know nothing about.
- Look for Material on Interview Ethics
The internet is now full of articles on how to conduct yourself in an interview; sitting postures, what to say and not to say, the likes. Read about them. Get to know questions interviewers ask, and how to answer them. Know what colours to wear on an interview and which ones not to. Yes, apparently even the colours of your dressing matter.
- Get the Right Company
During such times as when you are looking forward to going for an interview, get in touch with people who will prove valuable to you. Get in touch with people who have conducted interviews if you happen to know any. Relate with people in the corporate world who can feed you with valuable information. Talk to people who’ve been to interviews and see what experiences they had while at it. All these people could give you important nuggets.
- Have General Knowledge
Make sure you at least know current trends, issues facing the country’s economy, just general knowledge stuff. However, I’m not saying you have to know that cars in Kenya have the white number plate at the front and yellow on the back (am sure most of you didn’t know that), but at least know a few tough competitors in the corporate world. Know the key investors in the area of the job market you want to go to. General information like that may come in handy.
Now; after you get the job, and are finally settled down,
- Create a Good Reputation
First impressions matter, and for a place where you plan to be in for quite some time, or considering that these people hold the keys to your paycheck, you have to create a good impression before them. Maintain a good reputation and rapport before colleagues and bosses.
- Be Ready to Make an Impact
Don’t just take the job for the sake of getting the bills paid. Be ready to make an impact at your work place, and not just an impact, but a lasting one. Even if it doesn’t really get the bills paid, like an internship or something, give it your best shot. Be the intern who left the greatest impact, knowing you’re also getting experience, and creating a name for yourself.
- Get On-The-Job Training
To your surprise, some things you’d come across at your work place, no lecturer or teacher taught you about. Will you then leave the job to go back to school? Probably not. Such things you can learn while you work on them; on the job. You can ask a colleague to explain it to you, or observe how the ‘natives’ go about the situation. This further brings about the point that you need to have adaptability and other key skills as you go into the corporate world, which is a story for another day, but before then, be ready to ‘feel dumb and be the newbie’ at your new work place. I’m just kidding, but you get the point. Be ready to learn new stuff while you are there.
Learn to manage your manager. Amazing huh? Could get you fired right? No. It doesn’t mean what it implies. It means that you get to know your manager well. Know what they want, how they want their job done, what makes them tick and probably what you can or can’t compromise on. When you get to know how your manager likes the job done, do exactly that. Work to impress them, and not to get on their wrong side. This will obviously go a long way in making things better for you at your work place.