Monday, 26 March 2012

Fourth-Year Student Guide to Finding a Translation Job- Step #4

This is it. We’ve arrived at the end of my four-step guide to finding a translation job. And, coincidentally, the end of my four years at Glendon. Both are bittersweet.

So, let us consider the final and most important step in landing a translation job: the interview. Interviews are your opportunity to shine. They are also your opportunity to justify, explain or make up for any “deficiencies” in your résumé.

How to Impress on a Job Interview

I don’t know how justified I am in writing this considering I don’t actually have a translation job, but that has never stopped me before. Let’s first look to the master of the interview, the Prince of Fresh himself, Will Smith.

What can we learn from Will?

There are several things we can learn from him, first of which is honesty.
Interviewers are smart. They know when you’re pulling some line you read on a blog posting about how to land a job. So the key is to not do that. Sound as authentic as possible. In fact, be as authentic as possible. In other words, “be you.” I bet when they ask you what your biggest weakness is, you’re all fired up to say “perfectionist.” I’m also thinking they might have heard that one before.

So, ok, maybe your biggest weakness is that you’re a perfectionist. After all, if you are a translation student, that is more than likely true. But, provide examples, justify your statement, make them believe you. Let’s say you really are a perfectionist, which I am, here are two potential scenarios.

See how much more authentic the second one sounds? Why? Because not only is it true, but I’ve also proved that it’s true.

The second thing we can learn from Will is to show them the skills you have to offer. If you're missing one of the skills or experiences they've listed as requirements for the job, highlight the other valuable skills you can contribute to their organization (i.e. crazy-fast ability to solve Rubik's cubes) and state your willingness to develop and learn the skills you may be lacking.

There is one area in which I suggest you not take notes from Will Smith: what to wear. 

What to wear 

It depends entirely on the company. Choices could range from a full-blown business suit to a simple blazer and khaki pants. Research the company mission and values. If you’re lucky, the organization may even have a page on their website describing their team and corporate culture. Then, dress accordingly.

It’s true that the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is known for “lookin’ fly.” But, looking “fly” for a night out on the town and looking “fly” for a job interview are two completely different things.

Appropriate Job Interview Attire
NOT appropriate job interview attire

Final words of advice

 Be engaging, prepared and enthusiastic. Show them how awesome you really are.

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