Separate Yourself From The Competition: From The Interview To Your First Review
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Braze
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Separate Yourself From The Competition: From The Interview To Your First Review

Sponsored editorial written in collaboration with Bryan Collick at Braze 

You’ve spent years studying your craft, securing the perfect internship, learning from an amazing mentor, gathering a few years of work experience, and now you’re ready to go after your dream job. You are confident: you’ve got the swag, the sauce, the juice. Most importantly, you know your stuff.

Today’s job market, however, is extremely competitive–and the current economic climate isn’t helping. Showing up authentically is a major key, but is this possible in the professional world while still fitting within a company’s corporate structure? And how do you continue standing out after you land the gig? 

Bryan Collick, Senior Manager of Business Operations, Engineering at Braze, shared some tips with AfroTech to help you not only get in the door, but also ensure that each position is propelling you toward a professional legacy you’ll be proud of.

Create Your Story

As the old adage goes: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Leading with creative intent will help ensure your first impression stands apart. Take the time to review your path and polish the story that explains who you currently are. You may not love the idea of writing a cover letter, but it is the first opportunity you’ll have to showcase your personality. Keep it brief and professional, making it clear that you bring more than just a list of past competencies to the table. You can also incorporate the skills you’re hoping to get hired for into the story you tell about yourself, and share how you plan to grow and achieve success at the company.

Only you can tell your story, so learn to do so well – in a million different ways, and in a matter of minutes.”

Do Your Research

Go beyond the company’s “about us” section or the information presented in the job listing and really get to know your future employer. Consider reading the company’s annual report if the company is publicly traded, interviews with some of its executives, and even recent press releases and announcements. This will allow you to taper your story for each company, and answer every interview question with a specific, detailed explanation of what you bring to this particular team. Researching your interviewer(s) on platforms like Linkedin, or identifying articles they published on the company’s blog, can help ease nerves during your interview, build rapport, and reveal experiences you have in common. This is a great source of content when you’re inevitably asked “do you have any questions?”

Knowing the company and its goals, and having connections to its people and its purpose, makes it easier to imagine you as a part of the team.”

Interview The Company

Believe it or not, when an interviewer asks if you have any questions, it is more than a formality. This is your opportunity to get to know the company, and armed with all that research you did, it becomes another opportunity for you to shine. Be sure to ask very specific questions, not only to your future position, but to your career goals. Ask about the rest of the team. Are there any current goals or projects the interviewer can share with you? The more you want to know the company and how they serve your objectives, the more the interview becomes about a mutual fit.

Ensure it’s clear that the company is being interviewed just as much as you are. If your qualifications are clear, they’ll definitely take notice.”

Maintain A Growth Mindset

Once you land that dream job, carry that eagerness to learn and grow with you! Have discussions with your managers that ensure trying new things and learning from mistakes fit within the company’s goals and projected milestones. Seek out opportunities for professional advancement that will allow you to keep your growth on track with that of the business. Stay abreast of what’s going on in the departments you work with and incorporate their goals into your day-to-day moves whenever possible. Lastly, always be aware of what’s going on in your industry so that you’re able to identify the ways in which you can help your company be an industry leader, while assuring your growth is applicable elsewhere.

An old colleague told me, ‘when you choose your next job, you should do so with your mind on the job after that.’ Thinking you’ve arrived isn’t a growth mindset.”

Know Thyself

As mentioned earlier, showing up as your most authentic self is key to a rewarding life and career. When it pertains to your career, that means not only understanding who you are and what you bring to the table, but also recognizing your strengths, weaknesses, objectives and professional values. Being clear about who you are will help you make career choices that propel you toward the future you want. Expressing that clearly to the people you work with will also help ensure that you are consistently considered for projects and opportunities that fit you best.

The real dream job isn’t the one with the fancy name that lets you in; it’s the one that sees your promise, sees where you’re headed and wants to help propel you in the same direction.”

 

This editorial was brought to you in partnership with Braze

 

Braze (Nasdaq: BRZE) is a leading comprehensive customer engagement platform that powers interactions between consumers and brands they love. With Braze, global brands can ingest and process customer data in real time, orchestrate and optimize contextually relevant, cross-channel marketing campaigns and continuously evolve their customer engagement strategies. Braze has been recognized as one of Fortune’s 2022 Best Workplaces in New York, Fortune’s 2022 Best Workplace for Millennials, and UK Best Workplaces for Women 2022 by Great Place to Work. The company is headquartered in New York with offices in Austin, Berlin, Chicago, London, San Francisco, Singapore, and Tokyo. Learn more at braze.com.