Interviewing … How can I present myself successfully?
What is an interview? • An audition • A sales presentation • A fashion show • An exam • A social exchange • …and more!
Competition • Doing a good or “okay” interview is not enough. You are competing against other applicants for the same position. Focus on being the “best” candidate.
Prior to the Interview • Get the basics right. • Prepare your clothes for the interview—business-like, clean, pressed and conservative. • Prepare papers for your interview, including extra copies of your resume, job reference lists, and reference letters. • Prepare your transportation to the interview location; arrive 10 minutes early. • Learn all you can about the company, the function, and the job.
Prior to the Interview • Be prepared to answer questions & ask questions. • Prepare for open-ended questions; anticipate what will be asked. • Prepare your questions. • Be prepared to answer inconsistencies or gaps in your resume. • Key Interview Preparation Tips: • Prepare and practice your 2-minute “Pitch”. • Think about your Strengths and Weaknesses. • PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.
3 Phases of an Interview • Introduction • Question and Answer • Close
It's important to make a good impression from the moment you enter the reception area.
Introduction Phase • Make a good impression. • Maintain professionalism. • Be aware of your non-verbal behaviors. • Be enthusiastic about the position. • Smile naturally at appropriate times. • Avoid negative comments about previous jobs or managers.
Introduction Cont’d • Listen carefully to each question and give thoughtful, to-the point, honest answers. • Focus on the strengths you have that are important for the position. • When offered the opportunity, ask the questions you have prepared in advance. • Make sure you understand the next steps in the hiring process.
Q & A Phase During this phase of the interview, you will be asked many questions about your work experience, skills, education, activities, and interests. You are being assessed on how you will perform the job in relation to the company objectives AND how you will fit in with current employees. What about this position interests you? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What motivates you? What are your career goals for the next 5 years? Why should we hire you over other qualified candidates? What do you know about our company? Why do you want to work here? What is your biggest professional accomplishments? Tell me about a time you had a conflict on the job?
Q & A Phase Cont’d • Relax! • Speak with confidenceand clarity. • Look at the interviewer. • Sit with good posture. • Give examples to back up any claims you make. • * Do not give “Yes” or “No” answers. • Always tie your response to the position qualifications.
Closing Phase • This is the time to ask your questions that you have previously researched and written down. • * You should have at least 4 – 5 questions. • Point out any positives that may not have come up during the interview. • State your interest in the position. • Thank everyone involved and ask what the next step in the hiring process will be.
What to “Do” • Be honest and sincere. • Dress conservatively with minimal accessories. • Pay attention. • Make eye contact. • Only give relevant information. • Answer the question; don’t ramble. • Ask well-prepared questions (stay away from pay and benefits; those are discussed when you secure the job).
What Not to do • Do Not smoke (even while waiting). • Do Not interrupt the interviewer. • Do Not babble about topics not related to the job. • Do NOT look at your watch. • Do NOT take your cell phone (or pager). • DoNOTbelate. • Do not ask about salary or benefits unless the subject is brought up by the interviewer.
After the Interview • Get business cards or write down names and addresses of the interviewers. • Write a thank you note to each member of the interview team as soon as you get home. • Follow up if no instructions were given. • Review your performance and make notes on areas/questions that need improvement.
Career & Employment Services Bldg 940, Suite D (Main Campus); 574-6119 Student Success (Palmer & Berkeley Campuses) Resume Assistance Mock Interviews Job Listings (also include work-study students) Career Fairs