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Job Interview Tips. Get the Interview!. Don’t hesitate to call the company hiring to see when they are conducting interviews Don’t hesitate to ask for an interview Be aggressive! To be successful in your job hunt, you must first attempt to sell yourself, then your skills.
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Get the Interview! • Don’t hesitate to call the company hiring to see when they are conducting interviews • Don’t hesitate to ask for an interview • Be aggressive! • To be successful in your job hunt, you must first attempt to sell yourself, then your skills. • Gain as much exposure as possible. The more your resume is seen by human resource personnel the better your odds are on getting an interview.
Prepare for the interview “Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure." - Norman Vincent Peale - Successful interviewing begins with preparation: • Know the company • Know yourself • Know the questions • Prepare questions of your own
1. Know the Company Make sure you research the company you are interviewing with so that you can ask and answer questions intelligently. Knowledge is power. There are a variety of ways to research: • Library (books, periodicals, magazines, etc.) • Literature from company’s public relations department • Annual reports • Electronic sources of information • Interview someone who is already on the inside
You should become familiar with the organization’s products, structure, services, financial status, competitors, reputation and any recent major changes. • Try to discover information about the person who you will meet: background, style and education.
2. Know Yourself It is all about knowing yourself, your gifts and what you have to offer to the world. And it’s all about deciding whether you want take the easy way and find “just a job”, or whether you want to do the hard work necessary to figure out and identify a job that really fits you.
“To be a great champion, you must believe that you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are” -Muhammad Ali- What particular strengths make you different? What makes you unique? Be ready to differentiate yourself. Be ready to show your “competitive advantage”. Remember your competition is sitting there in the classrooms with you. You need to know and understand your greatest strengths in relation to them.
The night before the interview, spend some time with a friend or family member, telling them why you would be the best for the position. Before you can possibly convince me as the interviewer that you are right for the job, you have to believe it yourself.
Don’t expect the interviewer to tell you why you are right for the job. That is your job
3. Know the questions • Tell me about yourself. • Why are you applying for this job? • What do you know about this job or company? • What are your major strengths? • What is your greatest weakness? • What type of work do you like to do best? • What are your interests outside of work? • What accomplishment gave you the greatest satisfaction? • How does your education or experience relate to this job? • Where do you see yourself five years from now?
What major problem have you had to deal with recently? • Do you handle conflict well? • Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor? How did you resolve it? • What are your goals in life? • How do you plan to achieve those goals? • If I were to ask one of your professors to describe you, what would he or she say? • What were you favorite classes? Why? • Why is your GPA not higher? • How has your education prepared you for your career? • Are you willing to travel? How much? • Is money important to you? • What kind of salary are you looking for?
The list goes on and on… Beneath the dozens and dozens of possible questions like those, there are really only five basic questions that underlie all the rest. The person who has the power to hire you wants to know:
Why are you here? • What can you do for us? • What kind of person are you? • What distinguishes you from nineteen other people who have the same skills as you have? • Can I afford you?
You have to be asking yourself the same five questions, though in a slightly different form: • What does this job involve? • Do my skills truly match this job? • Are these the kind of people I would like to work with, or not? • If we like each other, and both want to work together, can I persuade them there is something unique about me that makes me different from nineteen other people who can do the same tasks? • Can I persuade them to hire me at the salary I need or want?
One Interview Question That Nearly Every Student Fails Why did you choose to attend this University?
“Suit the words to the action, the action to the words” -William Shakespeare- One of the worst “sins” an interviewee can commit is to speak in generalities rather than specifics. Do not tell me how you would do it; tell me how you did it. As you go through the exercise of interview preparation, carefully consider all questions in an “example” format.
A Side Note Never interrupt or finish a sentence for an interviewer. Even if they talk extraordinarily slow, be patient. Remember, they are the one who holds the ticket for admission.
4. Prepare questions of your own Employers are as interested in your questions as they are in your answers. And they will react favorably if you ask intelligent questions about the position, the company and the industry. This is your opportunity to separate yourself from the other interviewees
Smart Questions • If you hired me, What would be my first assignment? • Where will this company be in the next 5 to 10 years? • Assuming I do a good job for the company, where can I go from here? • What do you enjoy the most about this company? • Would you please tell me about the people I will be working with? • Why is this opportunity available? • Other than yourself, who else is involved with the hiring process? Is it possible for me to meet with them today? • Where does this position fit within the overall organization? • Is the leadership in your organization bottom up or top down?
Listening skills Listen carefully and ask questions to probe deeper into what the interviewer is telling you. Most interviewers are delightfully surprised by a question such as, "How could I help you solve the problem you've just described?"
Make a Good First Impression The outcome of the interview will depend largely on the impression you make during the first five minutes. Your coursework, your average, your experience and your connections got you to the interview but it is the “soft factors” that will take you to the next level. First impressions count often for far more than is logical!
Keep in Mind • Punctuality • Dress • Handshake • Body Language
1. Punctuality Do whatever it takes to arrive a few minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable.
2. Dress For Interview Success Your appearance will speak volumes before you ever utter a word.
Men and Women • Conservative two-piece business suit (Solid dark blue or grey is best) • Conservative long-sleeved shirt/blouse (white is best, pastel is next best) • Clean, polished conservative shoes • Well-groomed hairstyle • Clean, trimmed fingernails • Minimal cologne or perfume • No gum, candy or cigarettes • Light briefcase or portfolio case • No visible body piercing (nose rings, eyebrow rings, etc.)
Men Necktie should be silk with a conservative pattern Dark shoes (black lace-ups are best) Dark socks (black is best) Get a haircut; short hair always fares best in interviews No beards Mustaches are a possible negative, but if you must, make sure it is neat and trimmed No rings other than wedding ring No earrings (if you normally wear one, take it out) Women Always wear a suit with a jacket; no dresses No high heels No purses, small or large; carry a briefcase instead If you wear nail polish (not required), use clear or a conservative color Minimal use of makeup (it should not be noticeable) No more than one ring on each hand One set of earrings only
3. Handshake • A firm handshake is appropriate and projects confidence. • Make eye contact when you shake. If you have difficulty maintaining eye contact, try this simple technique: Concentrate on noticing and remembering the color of the person’s eyes as you shake hands.
4. Body Language Communication is more than just what you say. Nonverbal communication speaks the loudest! Your Words tell me a story but your body tells me the whole story.
The Most important Interview Nonverbals • Eye Contact • Facial Expressions • Posture • Gestures
Enthusiasm and Eye Contact Show your enthusiasm by making eye contact and keeping an interested expression. If you have difficulty maintaining eye contact due to discomfort at looking someone directly in the eyes, use The Nose on Their Face Technique.
Facial Expressions Eliminate any negative overall characteristics that might exist, then add a simple feature that nearly every interviewee forgets to include – a smile!
Posture Posture sends out a signal of your confidence and power potential. Stand tall, walk tall and most of all, sit tall.
Gestures Gestures should be very limited during the interview. When you do use gestures, make sure they are natural and meaningful.
Closing the Interview You want to achieve four objectives at the close of the interview: • Make it clear that you want the job. • Set the stage for the next step. • Create a final good impression. • Get an actual offer Show your enthusiasm
Analyzing the Interview If you don’t get an offer from this company, you will succeed another time. Do not allow rejection to defeat you. We learn from our mistakes