Want a College Alternate? Here are Some Tips and Ideas

Nichole Schafer
The Paw Print

Every college student at one point or another faces some amount of rejection when applying for a job. They don’t know what they had done wrong or if they had done anything right for that matter. Here are some helpful tips for before the interview, the actual interview, some questions you may be asked, and some you should ask.
Before the Interview:
Get a haircut and shave
Shine your shoes
Clean and press your clothes
Shower and use deodorant
Use minimal or no perfume/cologne
Use minimal or no jewelry and/or make up
Wash your hands and cut your fingernails
Brush your teeth
Bring a notepad and two pens
Bring your Resume and a list of references
Licenses, certifications, permits and Social Security
School transcripts
The Actual Interview:
Arrive 15 minutes early so you can relax
Be pleasant and friendly, but businesslike to everyone.
Shake hands firmly and be yourself
Emphasize experience and training related to the job
Relate your answers to the job you are applying for
Learn about the company: what they do, jobs, services, and products
Think first, be specific and concise when answering the questions
Avoid personal discussion of issues and always speak positively of past employers
Turn negatives to positives: describe what you learned from them
Ask about the company: Show interest and motivation
Thank the interviewer even if they disappoint you
Call two days after the interview to inquire if a decision has been made
Questions you may be asked:
What qualifications do you have for this job?
What is your greatest strength and weakness?
Tell me about yourself: business, education, personal.
Why did you leave previous job(s)?
Give an example of how you handled a difficult situation in your previous occupation?
Why are you interested in working for this company?
Where do you see yourself in three years?
How have you shown your initiative and willingness to work?
Questions you should ask:
What do you like about working in this organization?
Were there any questions I didn’t provide an adequate answer for?
What are the key challenges to the position?
What promotion opportunities are there, once I meet the job requirements?
When will a decision be made about this position?
What do you see as my greatest strengths and weaknesses for this job position?
How would you describe your corporation’s personality and management style?
What characteristics does a successful person within your company possess?
Credit given to: Department of Labor and Employment
If you are thinking about dropping out of college because it is too hard but are concerned you won’t be able to get a decent paying job, an alternate would be to go to trade school. Ranging at about $5,000 a year and you attend the school for about two years, they train you to work hands on and you can hold a job while going to school. You can go for massage therapy, Nursing, electrician, plumber, carpenter, cosmetology, cooking etc. Another alternative is to go into the Military- the age cut off is:
Army – 35 (must ship to basic training prior to 35th birthday. The Army experimented with raising the age limit to age 42 for a brief period of time, but effective April 1st, 2011, the Army has reverted to the lower age limit.
Air Force – 27
Navy – 34
Marines – 28
Coast Guard – Age 27. Note: up to age 32 for those selected to attend A-school directly upon enlistment (this is mostly for prior service).
Reserve Non-Prior Service
Army Reserves – 35 (must ship to basic training prior to 35th birthday)
Army National Guard – 35 (changed from 42 in 2009)
Air Force Reserve – 34
Air National Guard – 40 (Changed from 34 in Aug. 2009)
Naval Reserves – 39
Marine Corps Reserve – 29
Coast Guard Reserves – Age 39
There is also Job Corps for anyone you may know who hasn’t completed school. They help you receive your diploma/GED, apply for jobs, and keep one for at least 6 months. There are two year colleges to get an associate’s degree or you can stick with college where you can strive to get your 4 year bachelor’s degree and then progress on to a masters and Ph.D. either way, you aren’t alone. There are options for everyone.

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