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Successful Interviewing

Successful Interviewing. Project Mentor New Jersey City University Jersey City, New Jersey *partially funded by a Grant from the NJ Commission on Higher Education. Workshop Topics. Identify your goals Learn about the company Know your strengths & skills Know your weaknesses & challenges

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Successful Interviewing

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  1. Successful Interviewing Project Mentor New Jersey City University Jersey City, New Jersey *partially funded by a Grant from the NJ Commission on Higher Education

  2. Workshop Topics • Identify your goals • Learn about the company • Know your strengths & skills • Know your weaknesses & challenges • Be prepared for questions • Prepare questions to ask • Practice • Appearance and Impressions • What to bring with you? • What to do at the end of the interview? • How did you do?


  4. Identify Your Goals • Remember you want this job • Why • Visualize yourself working at this job • What do you like to do? • What do you want to learn? • What is your vision of your career? • Remember you want this job


  6. Learn About the Company • Company Website • Google or other search engines • Visit if possible • Talk to people who work there or have worked there • Job description or posting • Consider how your skills match up • Make some notes about the company for discussion during your interview

  7. Useful Information About the Company • How long have they been around • What do they do • Do they face competition • How are they doing • What is their reputation • One site or many • Number of employees • Earnings • What are their current activities • Mission Statement


  9. Strengths and Skills • They must relate to this job • How have these helped you accomplish things in your life? • What did you do to achieve or develop these? • Who has guided you?

  10. References • Make a list of potential professional, academic and personal references • Contact the ones you think are most likely to have positive things to say about you • Tell them you are interviewing for jobs and ask if they are willing to provide a positive reference for you


  12. Weaknesses & Challenges • We all have weaknesses and challenges • The interviewer expects you to identify yours but does not have to be told something that would create a negative opinion of you as a candidate • This is not the time to discuss your concerns about yourself • Turn your weakness into a strength

  13. Examples of How A Weakness Can Be A Strength • I like to work on a project or assignment until it’s completed, so I generally don’t socialize very much. • I’m something of a perfectionist. I expect a lot of myself. • I like a clean desk, so I try to complete as much as possible every day. • I have trouble saying no because I really like to be helpful and busy.


  15. The Interviewer’s Goal • They want to fill the position with a good fit • Need to find out • if you have the skills • If you have personal attributes • If you are motivated

  16. Tell Me About Yourself your 60 second commercial • Where you grew up • Educational background • Including major area of studies and why you chose it • 2 or 3 strengths or skills that are related to this job • Academic or vocational accomplishments • Your ability and desire to make contributions to the success of your employer • Your career goals • Speak in a conversational tone

  17. STAR OUTLINE FOR ANSWERS • S ituation • I worked at……. • T ask • Where I …… • A ction • I did…… • R ESULT • I achieved…….

  18. Notes for possible answers and descriptions • Its OK to have notes with you • There are questions that you can expect and can write down points to remember (see handout of frequently asked interview questions) • How would you describe something you have done that relates to this type of work? • You may refer to your notes during the interview

  19. Interview Success Tips • Focus and refocus attention on your successes. • Always offer positive information. • Discuss only the facts needed to answer the question. • You may mention hobbies/interests but keep it brief • Listen carefully. • If you are not sure you understand the question, ask for clarification. • Tell the truth but do not offer information not asked for.

  20. Interview Success Tips • Make your points. Then ask if the interviewer would like further details • Be organized in your presentation • Be concise in your responses • Pause at times to consider your responses • M. DeLuca & N. DeLuca, 24 Hours to the Perfect Interview (2004), McGraw Hill

  21. Illegal Topics • Interviewers May Not Ask About • Nationality/race • Marital status • Religion • Affiliations • Disability or medical history • Pregnancy, birth control, child care • Age

  22. TO DISCLOSE OR NOT TO DISCLOSE • Employers CAN NOT ask you if you have a disability • You are not required to disclose a disability during an interview • Why would you? Source: Baker, Jed. Ph.D. (2005): Preparing for Life: the Complete Guide to Transitioning to Adulthood for those with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. Arlington, TX.Future Horizons INC.

  23. FACTORS TO CONSIDER • Is your disability readily apparent? • Poor eye contact, idiosyncratic movements, etc. • Can you explain how it will not interfere with performing the job duties? • Can you point out how aspects of your disability make you a desirable candidate for the position? • i.e. RULES = HONESTY • (see handout on disclosing) • If your disability is not readily apparent • No need to disclose • Accommodations may be simple and can be requested without disclosure • Steven Shore and baseball hat


  25. Write Out Questions for the Interviewer • Your questions show your interest in the position and the company • Examples: • What do you consider the most important qualities for someone to have in this job? • Why is this position available now? • What do you like about working here? • What are the opportunities for advancement? • When do you plan on filling this position?


  27. PRACTICE • Ask friends, parents, teachers to spend 30 minutes doing this • Divide the Practice Interview into 3 Parts • First Impression • Questions & Answers • Closing • How did you do? • What do you need to do better? • See Practice Interview Rating Sheet

  28. Make a Practice Trip to the Interview Location • Check out the route • Travel at the same time of day as your interview • Allow extra time for traffic or delays • Observe the business environment • How are people dressed


  30. Appearance Matters. . .A Lot! • If you don’t dress seriously, they can’t take you seriously!! • Make a good first impression • Pride in yourself implies pride in your work • Show your creativity in your work, not your appearance • Dress conservatively • Be well groomed and clean

  31. Don’t Forget the Details • Conservatively styled hair • Clean and neatly trimmed beard • Clean fingernails • No large or distracting accessories • Clean & well-pressed clothes • No perfume or cologne • No smoking or gum chewing • Brush your teeth and use mouthwash

  32. Tips for Women • Good Outfits • Dark colored skirt or pants suit with a blouse or sweater • Fit should be comfortable….not tight or very loose • No Cleavage! • Nothing transparent • Skirt still at knees when sitting • Wear polished, low heeled shoes • Small, neat accessories • Might be a good time to remove nose and tongue rings • Wear clean, matching panty hose or socks

  33. Tips for Men • Good Outfits • Depends on position • Dark colored business suit with solid shirt • Tie with a neat knot • Shirt, tie and slacks • Keep jacket buttoned when standing • Shoes shined and in good condition • Socks same color as shoes or pants • Pants should be long enough to cover legs when sitting

  34. Making A Good Impression • Firm handshake • Stand up when the interviewer comes to greet you and any time you are introduced to someone • Repeat the interviewer’s name, with their proper form of address: Mr., Mrs., Dr. • Be on time for the interview (5-10 minutes early) • Be polite and respectful to the receptionist

  35. Impressions • Don’t sit until you’re invited to, and sit up straight • Practice good eye contact • Look at one eye, shoulder or forehead • Walk next to or behind interviewer and at same pace • Say something nice about the office, brief small talk • Nod your head in agreement or understanding • Say please and thank you

  36. Impressions • You may be invited to lunch or offered coffee • Practice your table manners • Use a napkin • Don’t talk with your mouth full • If you’re not confident in ability to interview and drink coffee at same time say no thank you


  38. What to Bring to an Interview • Several copies of your resume • Examples of your work if appropriate • New notebook (with your notes in it) and a nice pen • Briefcase or folder • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of references • Social Security Card • Photo I.D.

  39. Other things to bring with you • Comb • Dental Floss • Mouth Freshener • Tissues Take a few minutes to go to the bathroom and check out your appearance when you arrive


  41. At the End of the Interview • Ask for the interviewer’s business card • Use the interviewer’s name as you thank him/her for taking the time to meet with you • Mention some topics from the interview that you appreciated learning about • State your interest in the job and belief in your ability to perform well

  42. After the Interview • Send a short thank you note within 24 hours • Neatly typed, spell checked • Summarize a few key points from the interview • Clearly state your interest in the position • You may phone to check on the decision making process after 10 days – 2 weeks


  44. Use Your Rating Sheet • How did you do overall? • What were your strengths? • What needs improvement? • Call and ask the interviewer for feedback

  45. New On-Line Resource Hownottotalk.com Job Interview Role Plays for individuals with Asperger Syndrome

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