Thursday, March 7, 2013

Job Interviews: How Far Will They Go?

By Kelsey McWilliams, junior journalism major at CU-Boulder

There are a lot of standard ways to prepare for job interviews: put together an outfit, review your resume, and think about questions like “what are your weaknesses?” But companies are getting more and more creative with the interviewing process by coming up with tasks that are very difficult to prepare for.

Social Media
The first example of a creative interview process is possible to prepare for if you act now and act fast. This involves cleaning up your social media accounts. In an interview for Human Movement Management, a friend of mine was asked to tweet and/or post on Facebook about unique things about herself that couldn’t be found on her resume. At first this sounds like a relatively simple step, but it became a lot more tedious when she had to filter through all of her social media account cleaning up inappropriate content.

Reppler is a great tool for monitoring your social media presence. It scans all of your accounts for inappropriate content as well as privacy and security risks. Long story short, those inappropriate pictures and tweets are not worth risking a job interview. As employers continue to use social media, the chances are very likely that you’ll be asked to post something on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, so make sure all of your accounts are appropriate and professional.

In an interview with NBC another friend of mine was asked to complete the difficult task of presenting herself in less than 60 seconds. She decided to give a live version of her resume complete with props that included a buffalo, NBC peacock, tuition money, etc. Her creativity shined through and landed her a spot as an NBC page.

Many interview questions require creative thinking, but some are tougher than others. Take this real-life question for example: a person interviewing for a job in downtown Manhattan was asked by the interviewer how many windows they thought were on the outside of the building and why? Well, that question has come up in multiple interviews, so get your creative juices flowing and start thinking of answers now!

Say What!?
If you’re worried by those first few examples, get ready for this one: The Worst Job Interview Ever, Brought to You by Heineken. Heineken took job interviews to an entirely new level with their campaign “The Candidate – The First Job Interview You Can’t Prepare For.” 1,734 applicants were greeted at the doors of Heineken’s building by an interviewer who insisted on holding their hand while walking through the office. The interviewer would then proceed to have what looks like a heart attack and candidates were tested based on their responses.

How would you react in that situation? The moral of the story is that great applicants need to be calm and in control in just about every situation, so remember that when you go in for your next interview.

No matter what job you’re interviewing for, it is always important to be prepared and stay on your toes. You never know what tricks your potential employer may have up their sleeve, so pay attention to the lessons you’ve learned in this post: keep your accounts clean, be creative, and be prepared for whatever comes your way during an interview.