Let’s be honest: Who thinks of Human Resources (HR) when they’re considering career options? Not Tessa W. Mercado, who originally wanted to study tourism or hotel and restaurant management in college. But her mother prevailed upon her to take up BS Psychology at Colegio San Juan de Letran in Laguna, “kasi super-flexible ang course,” says Tessa.
Though she went through a quarter-life crisis (“I really didn’t know what my purpose in life was and what career path I wanted to pursue”), Tessa finally found her calling while on-the-job training (OJT) for an HR department in an industrial setting. “Dun ko na-realize na gusto ko pala talagang ituloy ‘yung HR kasi I’m a people person and I can deal with different kinds of people,” she says.
Today, the 28-year-old HR manager is in her element. As @millennialhrmanager on Facebook and TikTok, she dispenses career-related advice and motivational tips in a fun and engaging manner that has gotten her nearly 94,000 followers and counting. She also recently launched Thrust Talk (note the letters “hr” in Thrust) on Spotify.
When My Pope Philippines asked Tessa to give five tips on applying for a job, the @millennialhrmanager was only too happy to oblige. (Read: We asked successful professionals: ‘What did you learn from your first job interview?’)
Review the organization’s mission statement, history, all about the company’s profile, and what kind of industry you’re applying to. (Read: 5 Side Hustle Jobs That Won’t Break The Bank)
Arrive early to compose yourself. Listen to music and practice proper breathing techniques to help you relax and improve your mindset. Read over your notes and questions as well as the answers you’ll present to the interviewer.
Follow the dress code of your potential employer. You can wear a bold-colored tie or dress shirt to exhibit your personality, but make sure it matches the rest of your outfit and still looks professional. Of course, print another set of resumes— and don’t forget to bring a ball pen!
Ask the person you are practicing with to throw questions in a random order so you won’t know when to expect each question. If you are practicing alone, write each interview question on a flashcard and shuffle the cards for the same effect.
#4: Make a Good First Impression
It’s all about exuding confidence by standing tall, making eye contact, and shaking hands firmly. The first nonverbal impression you make can be a perfect way to start— or finish— your interview. (Read: 5 Secrets to Ace Your Video Interviews)
#5: Pay Attention
Your interviewer is providing you with information, either directly or indirectly, from the beginning of the interview. If you don’t hear it, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Listening and letting the other person know you heard what they said are important communication skills. And don’t be afraid to ask questions.