The questions and the answers you need to know
By Colleen Malloy
Where do you see yourself in five years? If your answer is something like, not in this job, you'd better pay attention and read on to brush up on your interview skills, because when it comes down to getting the job or getting the boot the little details can make all the difference in the world.
Landing the interview
Before you ever have to worry about what kind of questions they'll ask or what you should wear to the interview you need to worry about actually landing the interview in the first place.
Jeanine Martini of Big Horn Air based in Sheridan, Wyoming, will look at dozens of resumes before she passes a select few on to the hiring manager. "I'll only give him the cream of the crop," says Martini.
You need to write a resume that stands out and shouts, "Hire me!" Fitting everything that makes you perfect for the job into just one page is no easy task, but if done right it can land you an interview in no time.
Both your resume and cover letter need to be targeted to each job opening you are applying for. It is important to understand what the employer wants and it's up to you to make the match.
Do as much research about the company as possible before you write your resume. The Internet is a great resource. Many companies have websites that detail their company history, their mission statement, and their plans for the future. Look for keywords and integrate them into your cover letter and resume. If you don't have one already, call the company and ask for a detailed job description and then be sure to include all the key skills you have that are listed in the job description on your resume.
As far as aesthetics go, keep your resume simple. Don't go crazy with fancy fonts and formatting. A clean, easy-to-read resume printed on white or ivory stock will keep the focus on you and your accomplishments, instead of on your word processing prowess.
Avoid using company specific titles like Level 2 Mech, use a more generic term like Inspection Crew Supervisor.
Be sure to include all of your licenses and certifications and list any training you have done that might be applicable to the job you are applying for.
Have someone else look over your resume before you send it in. A typo or a misspelling will land your resume in the trash bin faster than you can say unemployment.
Taking the time to do your research and retarget your resume to each specific job opening will not only increase your odds of landing an interview, it will also leave you more prepared for the interview.
Practice makes perfect
You wouldn't run a marathon without training, so why on earth would you jump into a job interview, something that could change the course of your entire life, without a little prep work?
A great way to prepare for an interview is to formulate a list of probable questions. (Can't think of any questions? Don't worry I've got that covered, one step at a time.) Some companies even have a standard list of questions that they ask, call the company and find out. Think about how you would answer those questions and even write them down if it helps.
Enlist the help of your spouse, best buddy, mother or son, whoever you feel most comfortable doing a little role playing with. This is bound to feel a little silly, but trust me, it works. Give your loved one a copy of the questions you've come up with and run through all the questions a few times. Don't do it in front of the TV or with a bag of chips in hand. Try to make the scenario as real as possible. A good way to simulate the nerves you'll feel come interview time is to switch on a camcorder and record your mock interview sessions. Not only will this make you nervous, you can also watch the tape and find any verbal ticks or fidgeting you need to eliminate.
If you need a little extra help, give your A&P school a call. Most schools have placement offices that help alumni with the entire job search process from resumes to mock interviews for little or no fee.
Bob Rosswog, the placement director at the Pittsburg Institute of Aeronautics, says that the school offers lifetime placement for all graduates. "It's pretty extensive," Rosswog says. "We help a lot of alumni with 10, 15, 20 years out."
Plan for and conduct a successful job interview
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