If you are graduating from college and have little or no work experience in the field, you better start thinking about how to sell yourself in the job interview. If you think you have too little related work experience or no internships, you should be thinking hard about what other relevant experience to sell in the job interview.
Keep in mind that employers are not as interested in where you developed the skills you have, as much as they want to know which job skills you have. Even if you have little to no work experience, employers are extremely interested in the knowledge, abilities, work ethic and attitude you do have. The way to demonstrate these in job interviews is to share relevant stories from your personal life, classroom or extra curricular experiences.
Let’s say you finished a hospitality or culinary program, with some hands on training – maybe a restaurant class. Plus you have experience catering events for church or community organization. Even if you have no work experience in a real restaurant, you still have some experiences to talk about in a job interview. The ultimate goal for job search success is to share your strongest relevant job skills and best personal attributes with employers in the job interview.
Prepare for the job interview in 3 steps:
1. Make a list of the job skills and competencies employers in your field want from new employees. The HBCU career center can help.
2. Think about personal experiences that demonstrate each of these job skills and competencies. Remember that experiences do not have to be paid!
3. For each job skill and competency find the best example in your past to demonstrate the job skill and competency.
Use these examples in the job interview to increase chances of a second interview.