Interviewing and Business Etiquette
Taking you beyond "wear deodorant."
Everybody wants to give a killer interview, one that changes them from "candidate #26" to "oh yeah, that guy." That guy is just cooler. He has nice clothes, a firm handshake, and gosh darn it, people like him. Plus, he gets the job.
This course teaches you how to be that guy (or gal)—the one who gives a flawless, polished interview in totally appropriate attire without even once getting your interviewer's name wrong.
It also teaches you what to do after that interview lands you the job by teaching you:
- how to use email and text messaging without being annoying.
- how to behave in an office so you'll always get invited to the after-work hang-outs (again, it has to do with not being annoying).
- how to communicate with people who think a text message is something only English PhD's care about (hint: it starts with ph- and rhymes with "hone").
Acing the interview is only the first hurdle. This course takes you over it, and all the ones that come afterward.
Unit 1. Interviewing and Business Etiquette
In a nutshell, this course covers everything you need to know to crush that interview and not annoy people once you've signed your W-4.
Sample Lesson - Introduction
Lesson 1: Ace the Interview
So, you've got a job interview coming up, huh?
You must really be looking forward to that. In fact, you're probably counting down the days in gleeful anticipation of the moment when you walk through the doors of your future workplace prepared to pwn your interview left and right.
If those lines actually describe you, you are a rare person indeed—like, unicorn rare. Most people would far rather stab their eyes out with a sharp pointy object than endure the painful experience of cowering under the glare of fluorescent lights in an uncomfortable suit as some mid-level manager judges them. Repeatedly.
But it doesn't have to be quite so painful. Okay, no, a job interview is never going to top your list of "life experiences to treasure." But there are things you do to make a job interview at least a little less nerve-wracking.
For example, how about preparing for your interview in advance by finding out more about the company, its culture, the job you're interviewing for, and maybe even the person who's interviewing you? With that information in your back pocket, you'll be able to plan a coordinated attack. You may even be able to figure out what questions your interviewer is likely to ask you. It's like getting all the test questions a week in advance. Suh-weet!
Sound good? Then read on.
Sample Lesson - Reading
Reading 1.1: Get the Facts
Guess what? Most interviewers do not enjoy explaining what their company actually does in your job interview. It's a sign to them that they really messed when they granted it to you.
Why? Because it shows you aren't really serious about the job. If you were serious, you'd have figured out the answer to that question—and others like it—before you showed up.
Don't worry. There are lots of places to find this information. This article tells you where to look. Read it.
Sample Lesson - Activity
Activity 1.1: Do Your Research
Now you know how to stalk your future employer with as much dedication as you Facebook stalk your latest crush. But in this case, just finding out their relationship status won't cut it. So what should you be looking for? This activity gives you a quick'n'dirty list.
Use the methods and techniques you learned about in today's reading to answer as many of these questions as you can about the company you're interviewing with. (If you don't have an interview lined up, pretend you're interviewing for a position with Shmoop or with a company you're interested in working for.)
- Basic Facts
- What does this business do or make?
- How long has it been operational?
- What significant changes—like restructuring, growth, or market shifts and entries—has this business undergone recently?
- Who runs the business?
- Where is it headquartered?
- Mission Statement
- What is it?
- How does the position you're interviewing for help the company fulfill its mission statement?
- If you know who will be interviewing you
- Who are they? What is their position in the company?
- Based on his/her position, what is s/he likely to value in an employee?
- Do you have anything in common with this person? If so, what?
- Company Culture
- Is it formal? Casual? Somewhere in between?
- Is it a high-pressure work environment, or more laid back?
- What hours do people normally work?
- How do people prefer to communicate?
Use the information you've gathered to brainstorm some responses to these questions:
- What skills do you have that will help the company fulfill its goals and mission statement? Give three examples of times when you've used these skills.
- What questions do you have about the business now that you've learned all of this information? Come up with at least three.