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Job Interview Advice from FastForward Career Coaches

It’s an old saying, but it’s still true: You only get one chance to make a good first impression.

Our FastForward Career Coaches have seen a lot. They know the common mistakes people make when they interview for jobs. How? Because they often conduct mock interviews with FastForward graduates and will share their knowledge and experience.

Here are some words of advice from a few of our FastForward Career Coaches:

  • Before your interview, Barbara Rang (Eastern Shore Community College) and Chad Younger (Danville Community College) advise job seekers to learn the company’s mission statement and its vision from the company website. That way, when you talk about why you want to work there, you’re well-informed and can speak their language.
  • Edit your resume so it is tailored to the exact job you’re applying for, and include the job’s key words into your resume. (Lisha Wolfe, Paul D. Camp Community College)
  • Constance Peay (Rappahannock Community College) tells FastForward graduates to practice, practice, practice. You’d be amazed how many job seekers get tripped up by questions like, “Tell me about yourself,” and “Why should we hire you.”
  • For Shannon Whitlow, our FastForward Career Coach at Patrick Henry Community College, it’s all about confidence – without being cocky. “Believe in yourself before you ask someone else to believe in you by giving you a job.”
  • And if you’re lucky enough to get a call-back from a prospective employer, make sure your voicemail greeting is respectful and professional sounding. If you have a snarky voicemail greeting, change it before you start interviewing for jobs.

Our FastForward Career Coaches help students through the entire career training process: from finding financial support and signing up for a program, to earning an industry credential and finding a job. Reach out to a coach today to learn how you can get started on a new career path.