SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEWING TIPS AND TECHNIQUES. The Job Interview by Definition. Opportunity to present yourself, skill set, and knowledge to one who can hire you. The Interview Procedure. The Interview Procedure frequently includes: Questions on your skills and experience
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The Job Interview by Definition Opportunity to present yourself, skill set, and knowledge to one who can hire you
The Interview Procedure The Interview Procedure frequently includes: Questions on your skills and experience Behavior based questions Opportunity for you to ask questions of the interviewer The Key – Present yourself as the top candidate
Keys to the Successful Interview:Preparation BEFORE the Interview • Know yourself • Research the employer • Practice, Practice, Practice • Make a good impression
Know Yourself • What do you have to offer? • Identify 5 – 10 work or school experiences that demonstrate your skills and accomplishments • half should be totally positive • half should be ones that started out negative but had either a positive result or a good learning experience • What do you want to do and where do you want to do it? • How are you perceived by others?
Do Your Research Research the employer you’re interviewing with Utilize the Career Services Website – www.careers.southernct.edu to access JOBSs (Job Opportunities Benefiting Southern students) and review employer profiles and websites Conduct informational interviews
Practice, Practice, Practice! To better prepare yourself for the interview, as well as assist in conquering pre-interview anxiety, practice is key Attend interviewing workshops and view interviewing videos/DVDs in the Career Center Meet with a career counselor for a mock interview Practice for the interview with family or friends and practice, practice, practice
Proper Attire • DO: • Wear conservative attire, such as a dark colored business suit • Polish your shoes • Stick to a low business heel shoe • Have hair neatly brushed and face shaved before interview • Bring a portfolio or briefcase • DON’T • Wear bright colored business suits: Black, Grey, and Pastel colors are most appropriate • Wear flashy accessories like watches, jewelry, or excessive amounts of cologne, perfume, or hair gel • Wear skirts that reach above the knees • Wear stiletto heels
Keys to the Successful Interview:DURING the Interview • Be prompt and prepared • Poise and body language • Answer the questions • Closing statements
Be Prompt and Prepared Arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled interview time Turn the cell phone OFF – vibrations make noise Give a firm handshake, make eye contact, and smile when you are greeted Bring extra copies of your resume and a list of references
Poise and Body Language Many interviewers will assess you based on: Appropriate eye contact and posture Correctly pronouncing his/her name If you talk easily or are overly formal and reserved If you seem enthusiastic and confident When greeted, introduce yourself and shake interviewer’s hand. Don’t sit until interviewer is seated Never chew gum during an interview Most employers agree that the first five minutes of an interview will tell them the most about a person First impressions are important
Answering the Questions Speak slowly and clearly. Don’t be afraid to pause for a moment to collect your thoughts Listen and understand the interviewer’s questions before responding thoroughly yet concisely Be honest- don’t try to cover up mistakes. Instead, focus on how you learned from them Give positive nonverbal feedback to the interviewer Smile, be enthusiastic, showing a positive attitude Avoid negative terms and comments when responding to questions. Stress positives If asked an illegal question – Be tactful with an appropriate response
Closing Statements Be prepared with your closing statement reiterating your interest and abilities Be prepared to ask questions of the interviewer The initial interview is NOT the time to ask about salary Thank the interviewer and ask for a business card
After the Interview Send a thank-you note right away – a formal response: card or note paper vs. e-mail Jot down information about the interview and begin evaluating if this is the right job for you Prepare for potential salary negotiations by researching salary information. The NACE Salary Calculator (available at careers.southernct.edu) is an excellent resource for salary information for most occupational areas.
Interviewing Types and Tips Screening Interview One-on-One Interview Panel Interview Peer Group Interview Luncheon Interview Second Interview Video/Video Conference Interview Telephone Interview
Interviewing Myths & Facts Myth: The candidate with the best education, skills, and experience will get the job • Reality Check: Employers hire individuals for many different reasons. Education, skills, and experience are only a few of the several hiring criteria. If employers hired only on the basis of education, skills, and experience, they would not need to interview candidates. Such static information is available on applications and resumes. Employers interview because they want to see how you look and interact with them, how you would handle various work situations, and how well you fit into the organization.
Interviewing Myths & Facts Myth:If the interviewer asks if I have any negatives or weaknesses, I should indicate I have none • Reality Check:You should be honest. Everyone has negatives. If you indicate you have none, the interviewer knows you are being less than candid. But neither should you blurt out your worst negatives. Identify a weakness and talk about how you are working to overcome it.
Interviewing Myths & Facts Myth:I’ll be at a disadvantage because I’ll be nervous • Reality Check: If you practice some stress reduction techniques, such as taking deep breaths and focusing attention on the questions, you should be able to project confidence in the interview. Keep in mind, many interviewers are under pressure to hire the right candidate.
Interviewing Myths & Facts Myth:Because I am a college student, I do not have the ability to negotiate a salary • Reality Check: You can prepare for salary negotiations by researching typical salary ranges prior to your interview. Ask the interviewer what would a person with my qualifications earn in this position, and let the employer introduce a number.
Interviewing Myths & Facts Myth:My major goal in the interview is to get the job • Reality Check: Your major goal should be the same as the interviewer’s – gain useful information from which you can determine if this position and organization are a good fit.
For More Information: Southern Connecticut State UniversityCenter for Career Services Schwartz Hall Room102 (203) 392-6536 www.careers.southernct.edu