Cast your mind back to when you left school or Uni. Where was your first job? Did you have a mentor? Was there a kind and gentle soul there to show you the ropes or was it a baptism of fire that left you feeling out of your depth?
This blog is about the life skills. Skills that should be taught in high school, college or University. Only, they don’t seem to be.
At the Kingdom, we offer an excellent Internship program. This program is an opportunity for University students and graduates to gain experience in a fast-paced, dynamic agency where we have a huge emphasis on training. Yet it is our expectation that when you join our intern program you have these “life skills” down pat.
Here are the ten secret tips that will help you get a job at the end of your internship.
1. Please and Thank You
I know - pretty much common sense, right? It still is so surprising to hear such a lack of general manners.
Pretty much common sense, right?
Many organisations pride themselves on their culture, I know we do. Our culture is strong. We are kind to one another and we respect one another, that involves using our manners with one another. With deadlines and demands on us all it can be easy to get demanding and pushy. We try hard to remember our magic words. It is also business etiquette to follow up a meeting with a Thank you. A short and bright email to thank the person for their time will show you are keen and interested, with lovely manners.
a - answer it (if you get a go at being an intern, ask to be shown how to answer the phone first up!)
b - answer it with a smile in your voice
c - use your name
Answer the phone with a smile in your voice
This is a 2-way scenario - If you have applied for a job, internship etc you should be expecting the phone to ring. As an employer, this is our first contact with you as a person - so make it memorable. This call I made to a possible intern (at 11 am) was pretty much a deal breaker, sounding like he had just left a Tequila bar, scratchy and unhappy! If you have put your name and number out into the universe for work - be ready .... fake it, just don't make the caller feel like they have interrupted you from something more important than getting a job.
3. Always knock on a closed door
You have no idea of the conversations taking place on the other side of that door. This is just common sense. Please knock on closed doors. You would be surprised!
Back in the 90's, I was given some sound advice from one of the Managing partners of Next Byte, Tim Kleemann. "You have 2 ears and 1 mouth - use them in that order." So listen - just listen. Quite often our natural instinct is to react with a comment, or No. Take a moment to process the statement or request, think about your reply. There is no prize for answering fast, therefore spending some time to think about what you say will leave your peers feeling that you have things under control. You are a calm head, not one that fires back with a response without taking the time to think it through.
5. Pen and Paper
Never attend a meeting or an interview without a pen and paper. Ever. You will need them. Taking notes during a meeting or interview shows you are keen. Especially if you get asked for questions at the end of the interview, you can be jotting them down as you go.
Always dress up - it is better to be overdressed than be too casual. In an interview especially. First impressions matter. If you don't know what to wear to an interview google it. Ask a friend. Ask your lecturer. Ask your Mum. If you get the role and are not sure about the dress code, ask the person who has been interviewing you. Dressing the part shows you are serious about getting the role you are applying for. Look sharp.
7. Be Punctual
There is nothing worse than having to wait for an interviewee to arrive, if you are late for unforeseen circumstances make contact - because of the prior preparation you have done, you would have the phone number in your phone already or noted in your notebook…..Right?
8. Research the topic - never go to a meeting unprepared.
Take some time to look at the website of the company. “What do you know about The Kingdom is usually the 3rd question we ask. Make notes about what you learn, write some questions from what you read to ask the interviewer.
Google the company, see what is being said about them on the internet. Learn more about the product they sell, or the services they provide. This shows interest and initiative, two highly desired attributes in interns and employees.
9. Shake hands, Smile.
A smile changes everything. Next time you are out and about take notice of people who smile at you and who don't. It can change the way you interact with that person so quickly.
When you meet someone, confidently offer your hand to shake and smile. Clearly state your name. If this makes you shudder with nerves, practice it. Practice in the mirror, work out what smile is the best for you without feeling ridiculous and work on it.
10. Have an elevator pitch.
If you were asked to tell a small group of people about yourself, could you do it quickly and effectively? An elevator pitch is the sales pitch you give when you meet someone in an elevator. Your name, what you have been studying/working on, what your goals are. Clear and concise. Add some personality, share a little humour without going over the top.
Add some personality, share a little humour without going over the top.
There you have it - the top ten. Not really that secret were they?
Apologies if you were expecting bigger nuggets of gold to come out this post, I understand you might be disappointed. These are life skills as I mentioned earlier, but I can tell you from first hand experience that they are being missed along the way.
If you are interested in learning more about The Kingdom and our intern program, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch with us here.
Thank you for reading - feel free to share this with anyone you know who is about to join the workforce or is looking for experience in the work place.
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