You're smart. You know that interviewing for your first full-time, office-type job is going to be far different than any other interview you've had before. But just how different will it be?
The typical part-time, I'm-in-college-and-need-gas-money, retail job interview is unexpected and informal:
- You never know when you're going to be interviewed; it could be on the spot as soon as you hand in your application, or they could call hours later to interview you over the phone.
- The interview itself is informal; they'll ask about your past experience, what days and times you can work, and what hourly wage you're looking for.
- If the manager likes what he hears and sees, you're hired without further evaluation.
In comparison, the typical full-time interview is a strategically planned and formal process:
- You wait days or weeks for a reply to your resume submission, which could come in the form of an email, phone call, or you might never hear back at all.
- Usually, the first step in the process is a phone interview, which could be conducted during the very first call, or you might receive a call to set up a phone interview. (Sounds kinda quirky, huh?)
- After a successful phone interview, you'll visit the employer for an in-person interview with one interviewer or several. You'll also be asked dozens of standard interview questions, and perhaps a few off-the-cuff ones, too.
- If that interview goes well, you might get called back for a second in-person interview. And maybe even a third.
- If all of the interviews go well, you'll receive a verbal offer followed by a written one.
Of course, this is just a very basic overview of the differences between the interviews you experienced as a teen and college student, and the interviews you'll be faced with in the "real world."
For more detailed overviews, here's a list of resources that will help you prepare for your interviews:
Step-by-Step Job Interview Preparation
Job Interview Basics: Prepare Well to Present Well
Top 5 Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
The Job Search Follow-Up Guide You Can't Live Without
And if that's not enough, check out the Pongo Blog Interview Archive.