1. Have you found a job yet?
My answer: Well of course I haven’t…how could I be standing here in the cereal aisle talking to you at 2 in the afternoon on a Monday? I feel like I’m wearing a sign on my back that says…just graduated and unemployed please ask me about it.
Analysis: You have to love this question. It’s the most popular one that I’ve been asked since I graduated two months ago. This question goes straight to your heart and can be a total confidence killer. But give yourself a break and recognize that you’re just starting out…don’t be so hard on yourself.
2. Well, are you networking?
My answer: Um hello! I am on LinkedIn constantly trying to connect with people in my field. However there comes a point where the line is drawn and it can border on cyber stalking. So I suggest taking a break and ditching the computer screen once in a while. Start showing those employers your sparkling personality in person.
Analysis: Networking is key. If there is anything I’ve learned it’s that it’s all about who you know. My thought process has completely changed. Every time I meet a new person all I hear when they speak, is the place they work. On the train, I look for clues as to where these complete strangers might work and how I can strike up a conversation. It’s important to learn how to relate to people in your industry of interest. Building connections at events or even dropping off applications in person sometimes is the best way to insure your resume ends up on a desk and not in box.
3. So, what are you doing right now?
My answer: Well I promise you I’m not sitting on my couch doing nothing like it might look. I’m actually applying to any job I can online…to people I’m not even sure exist at this point. Sometimes it feels like I’m sending my resumes straight to online outer space.
Analysis: In addition to networking, sometimes online is the only way to apply for certain jobs. It can be frustrating but trying your hardest is all you can do. So just remember what you’re doing “now” isn’t the be all end all. You’ll eventually quit the part time jobs you hate and have an actual answer to this question that you can be proud of. It takes time and persistence… in the mean time I suggest weekly, stress-free ice cream trips.
4. What do you want to do?
My answer: Well isn’t it obvious? I want to be a big time producer of a television show! Oh, so I can’t have my dream job immediately? Right.
Analysis: Definitely a crush to your dreams two months out of school when you realize starting from the bottom means really…starting with jobs you’d never considered before. Sometimes it’s about what you need to do to get to where you want to be. But it’s eye opening and exciting putting yourself out there for other jobs. I’m even starting to recognize that I’m qualified for more than I thought.
5. Have you heard about (fill in blank)’s new job?
My answer: Ouch, that stings. Of course I am begrudgingly happy for whoever has this great new job and has achieved what I haven’t so far…but hearing about it is not fun. So nice of you to tell me about it but I’m clearly not in the same boat. How about some sensitivity people?! Sheeshh (or perhaps I’m too sensitive right now, could be a bit of both)
Analysis: Use this as motivation. Hearing about other people finding jobs should provide you with some hope that it will happen for you too. The half-fake smile that you do when people ask you this question is totally warranted. But you have to keep in mind that pretty soon (think positively) it will be you that people are talking about this way and maybe someone else will be doing the same half-fake smile back at you…ahhh and the cycle continues.
Final Thought: It’s definitely a rough ride and the five questions will always be asked. Stay true to you, take a deep breath and answer them the best you can. You will get there!