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NostalgicChills's avatar

Does anyone have any tips for me for talking with potential employers?

Asked by NostalgicChills (2774points) April 7th, 2014

As I stated in another question I asked today, I will be going to my school’s career fair tomorrow. I’m excited, but super nervous as my deadline to find an externship is approaching (April 18th), and this is the last career fair. I know who I want to speak to, and I have my all my documents printed out and ready to go. (Cover letters, resume, references.) This is a nerve wracking experience for me because I’ve never actually been interviewed. (I worked for my dad’s restaurant since I was really young) I know I should make eye contact, have a firm handshake- the basics, but does anyone have tips for me that would possibly impress the potential employer? I’m sure some of you are bosses or managers, what impresses you when you meet a potential employee, and what makes you say “Wow, I want them working for me.” Also, what are some good questions to ask them? (All the recruiters are representing restaurants/hotels/resorts/country clubs etc. I go to a culinary school, if that helps)

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6 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

When I’ve interviewed applicants, one thing that would always stick with me was when they actually knew about what we did. I work in an area of healthcare that isn’t well known to the general public yet, so when I interviewed someone and they knew what we did and understood our role in the healthcare system, it impressed me. Knowing about the company you are applying to is a good idea.

talljasperman's avatar

Yes… have some basic knowledge about your employer…. Like IBM is international business machines. I lost a job at A&W because I didn’t know what those initials are. I set up my future boss when he pulled that what is our name with this: Me saying “quick close your eyes” .... “are they closed… good now what is my middle name?” He couldn’t tell me and I walked out of the A&W calling him a hypocrite. They won’t hire me again.

CWOTUS's avatar

Don’t sweat or fret over this. Really, you’re looking to apply to do basically free work for an employer in exchange for “experience”. I don’t know what marketing genius managed to sell this idea to college students as a good deal for them, but my hat is off to him.

You could, instead, apply for a real job with an employer who intends to pay you, even if you think it’s for less than you’re worth (it always will be – always – so get used to that fact), but at least you will be on a more equitable footingv You’ll be doing real work that has a real value that the employer is willing to pay for, and you will also gain experience that way, too. (And the work will usually come with more responsibility, even if you’re just working in the mail room or other entry-level position, than most internships that I’ve ever heard of.)

But if you’re determined to intern for someone, then for gosh sakes just relax and present “the real you”. No one wants to interview someone who’s putting on an act (they’ve seen it all before, and they’ve seen through it every time) and try to guess who is really underneath.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I noticed your camera. Whatever job you’re looking for, express to your potential employer that you like to make photographs too, and would be interested in doing PR photography alongside your regular duties. Perhaps relate some experience in publishing your photography in social media outlets.

The need for food photography is huge. A two barreled gun slinger is more valuable than a single barreled gun slinger.

NostalgicChills's avatar

The career fair at my college is a big deal. It’s not like most career fairs at other colleges. Here, we are given the opportunity to network as well as seek an externship site where we have to work for our required 4 and ½ month externship. It’s part of the curriculum, and the career fairs are actually really helpful. Also, most of the recruiters pay really well and some offer housing in addition to a pay. The only places that don’t pay are the really high end restaurants where you’re getting “paid” just by working there even if it means peeling carrots for 18 weeks. (i.e French Laundry, Le Bernadin, Restaurant Daniel etc)

CWOTUS's avatar

Thanks for the clarification. That makes more sense than my “traditional” view of internships. Good luck with that.

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