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Career Workshop: how to own an interview?

Career Workshop: how to own an interview?

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Career Workshop: how to own an interview?

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  1. Career Workshop: how to own an interview? March 2011 Presented by: Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity

  2. AGENDA • Learning Objectives • Ideal Interview vs Real Interview • Why Interview? • Interview Guidelines • Before Interview • During Interview • After Interview • Do’s and Don’ts of Interviews • Speaker • David Fuller – on Med School Interviews • Jason Jao – on Summer Internship Interviews • Q&A • Peer-to-Peer Activity

  3. Learning Objectives • Understand why admission officers and employers use interviews to determine your eligibility • Learn how to prepare yourself for interviews • Learn how to distinguish different types of interview questions and how to tackle each • Learn about dress-code, gestures, and follow-ups • Practice interview skills in all scenarios

  4. First…our fantasy

  5. Now…something closer to reality

  6. Why Interview? • Interviewing is a critical job search skill. • Being “qualified” isn’t sufficient. You must display ‘Fit.’ Resume Interview School/ Career Networking

  7. Interview Guidelines – Before • Self Assessment • What am I good at? • What can I bring to the table? • Why do I want to study or work at X? • Pre-Interview School/Company Search • Competitors – Why do you choose X over the others? • Current Events – Know what X is up to these days • Location • Reputation • Products & Services or Program Specialty

  8. Interview Guidelines – Before • Gear up the search • Research the schools or companies of your interest via online materials or through networking • Outline what you should know and be ready to tell your sources of information • E.g. If your compelling reason to apply is “Alpha University has a spectacular optometry program” or “Beta Inc. is renowned for its banking products,” you better be damn sure that is true, presentence…

  9. Interview Guidelines – Before • Dress Code (Professional Attire) • MEN: • Components of an outfit: • Jacket, shirt, tie, belt, pants, socks, shoes • Colors • Navy, dark gray or black • Fabrics • Suit: 100% wool • Shirt: 100% cotton (no French cuffs) • Shoes • Leather lace up or slip on business shoes • Preferably black or cordovan • Get shoes shined • Socks • Solid or striped, not bright or “busy” • Mid-calf length so no skin is visible when you sit down • Ties • Good quality silk tie • Solid, small dot, or classic stripe • Avoid bright or “busy” • Belts • Black or cordovan leather, to match your shoes • Jewelry • Very minimal: conservative watch and ring • Piercings should not be visible • Cologne • Very light or none • Where to shop? • JoS. A. Bank Clothiers • K&G Superstores • Macy’s • Men’s Wearhouse • Von Maur

  10. Interview Guidelines – Before • Dress Code (Professional Attire) • WOMEN: • Your attire should be appropriate and fitted, but NOT tight • Components of an outfit: • Jacket, shirt, pants/skirt, hosiery, shoes • Color/Fabrics • Navy, dark gray, brown and black • Solid or very subtle weave pattern or plaid (the kind that look solid across a room) • Wool, wool blends, and high quality blends and synthetics • Pants • Tailored pants suits are appropriate • Avoid tight or flowing pants • Pants suits can be an excellent choice for site visits, particularly if the visit involves getting in and out of vehicles • Skirts • Typical length: two inches above to two inches below the knees • Don't purchase a skirt or decide on a hem length until you sit in the skirt facing a mirror • A small back, center slit in a knee-length skirt is appropriate • On a calf length skirt, a slit to the knee to facilitate walking and stair climbing is appropriate • Shirt/Sweater • Tailored blouse in a color or small print that coordinates nicely with your suit • A fine gauge, good quality knit shell is appropriate • Don't show cleavage • Jewelry • Very Modest (i.e. pearls or stud earrings) • Perfume • Very light or none • Makeup • Modest and simple • Hosiery • Bring extra pair • Conservative in color • Plainly styled, sheer • Shoes • Closed toe • Basic colors to match your attire • 1-2 inch heels • Make certain you can walk comfortably in your shoes • Where to shop? • Ann Taylor (Loft) • J. Crew • Loehmann’s • Lord & Taylor • Macy’s • Marshall’s • Nordstrom’s (Rack) • T.J. MAXX • Von Maur

  11. Interview Guidelines – Before • BRING: • Padfolio with Resume and Pen • DO NOT BRING: • Backpack (leave at home, coat-check, or outside)

  12. Interview - During • The time is here… • You’re waiting outside the interview room • The interviewer walks over to you, greets “Hi! Are you XYZ?” • What do you do next?

  13. Interview - During • Firm Handshake • Smile and exude positive energy  • First 30 seconds is critical! • Psychologically, the interviewer may spend the rest of the session trying to justify the first impression

  14. Interview - During Most interviews usually begin with small talk. Small talk is important to establish rapport with the interviewer. • The recruiter will try to engage you with a question, “How are you?” • Answer in a conversational manner. Your answer should not be too short or too long, but provide enough information to keep the conversation going. • Small talk usually lasts 2 to 5 minutes.

  15. Interview - During • Most 1st round interviews are fit interviews • Some interviews are case interviews with a fit component • Others may have technical elements within the fit interview • 1st Round vs. 2nd Round (vs. 10th Round) • Phone screens (1st Round) • Treat all contacts with recruiters as interviewing

  16. Interview - During • Common First Question Tell Me About Yourself. Walk me through your resume. • Focus on academics, work experiences, career goals, and fit with the company/school • THE most important question you’ll answer!

  17. Interview - During • Explain what motivated you to transition from one threshold box to the next • Include why you want to study Y program at Alpha U. or work in position Z at Beta Inc. • Remember! You are just providing a Big Picture Back- ground College College Activities Career Goal Company/School Fit 2 min 1 min

  18. Interview - During • Fit Type Questions • “Tell me about yourself.” • “Walk me through your resume.” • “Why did you decide to get your major/degree?” [If applicable: Why X Minor subject? Why a double/triple major?] • “Why do you want to do X?” (where X is the function for which you are interviewing) • “Why do you want to go to (or work at) X?”(where X is the school (company) with which you are interviewing) • “What do you see yourself doing in five years?” • “With what other schools/companies are you interviewing?” • “What role do you usually play on a team?” • “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”

  19. Interview - During • Situational / Behavioral Questions • Your Goal: To show through examples the 2 or 3 ways that you are exceptional. • Questions will focus on specific skills, attributes and experiences. • “Give me an example of your teamwork style?” • “Tell me about a time when you failed at something.” • “Describe one of the toughest competitive situations you have faced and how did you respond.” • “What is your greatest achievement?”

  20. Interview - During • A solid answer utilizes C.A.R. Technique Context – briefly discuss E.g. My most significant strength is my ability to work with others Action – what action you took • E.g. Last semester I was working on a class project in which I was able to motivate a demoralized team... Result – be specific! • E.g. Motivating others is something I'm continually improving upon and would be able to apply to the teamwork situations at... 20% 60% 20%

  21. Interview - During • Technical/Case Questions • Not as common for schools, but often for highly competitive fields of industries • Used to test the relevant knowledge of the candidate • Presented as a case/situation/problem • Examples Questions: • “What is X?” (where X=a function) (Knowledge) • “Tell me about a TV commercial you recently saw that was effective, and why?”(Experience/Analysis) • “What is the probability of a royal flush?”(Quantitative) • “How many golf balls can fit into a 747?”(Brain Teaser)

  22. Interview - During • Candidate’s Questions • Show your interest by asking thoughtful questions • Prepare 3 to 5 questions • Be ready to ask questions that are spontaneous to the topics discussed in the interview • Avoid questions that are easily researched • Questions should show some degree of knowledge about the school/company • Ask the interviewer about his or her own experience

  23. Interview - During • Before you leave: • Cover any critical topics you wanted to say but didn’t address during the interview • Get the contact info for the interviewer • Ask about next steps • Express your enthusiasm for the position • Give a hearty handshake

  24. Interview - After • Follow up with a thank you note (email) within 24 hours of the interview • If you receive an acceptance: • Be polite and respond yes or you will take time to weigh out your options • Thank the interviewers with another thank you note • If you decide yes: as a professional courteously, you should let the other schools or companies know immediately you don’t wish to be considered anymore • If you receive a denial or don’t receive an acceptance: • Confirm that you have indeed been rejected! • After a scoop of ice-cream, pick yourself back up~ • When one door closes, another door opens!

  25. Interview Do’s and Don’t’s • Do’s • Be Energetic at all time! • Be professional but not overly-serious • Be humorous but not laughable • Make eye-contact • Dress professionally • Take your time formulating your thoughts before you speak; avoid fillers words • Ask interviewer to repeat questions – gives you extra time to think through your response • Research, Practice, Perform!

  26. Interview Don’t’s • Don’t’s • Lie • Be sick (or appear sick) • Be late • Be nervous • Have your phone ring or buzz • Ask overly simple and obvious questions • Disagree with the interviewer • Bore the interviewer • Try too hard to relate – if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be!

  27. Q&A

  28. Speakers

  29. David Fuller – on Med School Interviews • Alumni Brother, LSA class of 2010 • Alpha Epsilon Class • Scholarship Committee Chair (08-10) • Big: Mark Yang • Littles: Sam Greenberg, Sarina Khan • Major: Microbiology • Occupation: Research Assistant, U of M Comprehensive Cancer Center • E-mail:

  30. Jason Jao – on Internship Interviews • Current Brother, Business class of 2012 • Alpha Theta Class • External Secretary (10-11) • Webmaster (09-10) • National Convention Delegate (08-10) • Big: Jeff Kendall • Little: Alex Riordan, Al Hepperle • Major: Business Administration • E-mail:

  31. Peer-To-Peer Activity

  32. Peer-To-Peer Activity • Count off by 1 and 2 • 1’s - Interviewers • Exit the room with me • 2’s - Interviewees • Come up with a specific (School Program/Job Position) at a specific (School/Company) • Get ready to interview! You are judged on the following criteria People Skill – How well can you appeal to your interviewer? Communication Skill – How well can you deliver your responses? Technical – How fast can you think on your feet?

  33. Peer-To-Peer Activity • Now SWITCH! • 2’s - Interviewers • Exit the room with me • 1’s - Interviewees • Come up with a specific (School Program/Job Position) at a specific (School/Company) • Get ready to interview! You are judged on the following criteria People Skill – How well can you appeal to your interviewer? Communication Skill – How well can you deliver your responses? Technical – How fast can you think on your feet?