Preparing for the Interview

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Contents. Before the interview: what you can do to prepareDuring the interview: how to make the best impression and tackle questionsAfter the interview: what to consider and what to do next. . Give Yourself an

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Preparing for the Interview

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1. Preparing for the Interview Career and Academic Planning 3rd Floor Wilson Hall Open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. 540-568-6555

2. Contents Before the interview: what you can do to prepare During the interview: how to make the best impression and tackle questions After the interview: what to consider and what to do next

3. Give Yourself an ‘A’ for Attitude Put yourself in the right frame of mind and remember that the interview is a two-way street! The interviewer is not the only one doing the evaluating. You must find out if this is the right place for you too!

5. Know Yourself Sell yourself by knowing the “product” (YOU!). Know as much as possible about your education, experience, skills & personal qualities to communicate a positive self image. Be able to articulate your strengths, experiences and background to the employers needs! Thoroughly assess these areas & be able to use specific examples to illustrate points: academic experiences activities & experiences strengths & weaknesses career goals & objectives work experiences salary expectations and what you will negotiate

7. What Do You Need to Know? Type of organization and its function, size, and structure Key people Mission, goals, history Who and where the competition is Products or services Customers, constituents Growth potential Potential new markets, products or services Recent items in the news and periodicals Geographical locations New trends in the field

8. Research Resources Faculty Chambers of Commerce Informational Interviews Carrier Library Indexes (e.g. Business Periodicals Index) Directories (e.g. Moody’s Manuals)

9. Resources (continued…) Websites Online searches – look for business reference sections Networking – former alumni who work for the organization, family, friends Professional Associations

10. Last Minute Preparation Be certain of the time and place Know how to get to the organization Know the name of the interviewer if possible Arrive 10 minutes early and be prepared to stay late Bring- resumes, pen, reference list, etc.

12. Employer Hiring Decisions Survey A survey revealed that the following factors were most important when interviewing a candidate: Skills and experience 10% Education 10% First impression 40% Personal characteristics 40% From F.I.C.C. Job Club

14. What is Your Body Saying? Brisk, erect walk = Confidence Sitting w/ legs crossed, foot kicking slightly = Boredom Tilted head = Interest Looking down = Disbelief Crossed arms = Defensiveness Hand on cheek = Thinking Open palm = Sincerity, openness Head in hand, eyes down = Boredom

16. Verbal Communication Be clear, concise and complete. Use the Situation/Task-Action-Result (STAR) approach: think of a specific example and your actions, give results of your actions where possible (great for strengths). Answer questions keeping “how you can benefit the employer” in mind. Be positive – do not talk negatively of former bosses, schools, organizations, etc. Come prepared with intelligent questions.

17. Q & A Strategy Don’t over-rehearse answers (or under-prepare) Prepare a list of strengths and be able to relate these to the organization’s needs Listen to the questions and make sure you understand what the interviewer is asking Pause briefly if you need to collect your thoughts Treat every question as important

19. The Good and The Bad Common Mistakes Not enthusiastic or interested Not confident enough Not elaborating enough on answers Rambling, off on tangents Too soft spoken Inappropriate attire, poor grooming/appearance Unprepared, disorganized Unclear goals Immature Not asking questions Positive Perceptions Friendly, professional, relaxed, mature, personable Animated, energetic, dynamic Good eye contact Articulate, answered questions directly, confident Good listener Focused Did homework/research Well dressed Honest, forthright, sincere Easy to talk to

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