Preparing for the mock interview
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Preparing for the Mock- Interview. CALS Career Services. Consider your job objective. The mock interview involves interviewing for a specific job, internship or admission to a specific professional school. You will receive a job/intern/school description in career services when you sign up.

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Preparing for the mock interview l.jpg

Preparing for the Mock- Interview

CALS Career Services

Consider your job objective l.jpg
Consider your job objective

  • The mock interview involves interviewing for a specific job, internship or admission to a specific professional school.

  • You will receive a job/intern/school description in career services when you sign up.

  • Examples are: Research Scientist, Sales Rep, Environmental Aid, Management Trainee, Vet, Dental, Medical School.

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Must dos...

  • Arrive 10 minutes early and check in with the representative from CALS Career Services in the 3rd floor lounge of the Talley Student Center.

  • You will be directed to your interview room.

  • Do not be late!

  • Do not miss the interview unless there is an emergency. Call 515-3249 in this event. There is a waiting list and we appreciate 24 hours notice if you cancel!!

  • Take this seriously and treat the recruiter with courtesy and respect.

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Before the interview

  • Review the company/school web site listed on the job description you receive.

  • Make a list of your strengths and skills.

  • Practice talking about your skills in front of a friend.

  • List specific examples and stories for each selling point.

  • Prepare to discuss a weakness. Tell how you are trying to overcome it.

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Do your homework and think about goals

  • Discuss how you feel you can contribute to the company/program. What can you add?

  • Impress the recruiter with the initiative you have taken to learn about their organization.

  • Talk about your future career plans.

  • Have a plan! (It is ok to change your mind, but don’t sound confused and vague in the interview).

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Demonstrate a pattern of success

  • Past performance predicts future success.

  • Describe accomplishments and how/why you achieved them.

  • Include examples from work and education.

  • Highlight what you can do for them, not the opposite.

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Interview Etiquette

  • First impressions are critical. Start with a firm handshake and a smile.

  • Look your best! Dress professionally in a tailored suit.

  • Avoid distracting behavior such as touching hair and tapping foot.

  • Develop rapport and maintain a comfortable dialog.

  • Ask for the recruiter’s business card at the conclusion of the interview.

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Practice Sample Questions

  • How would you describe yourself?

  • What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?

  • What are your short-term, long-term goals?

  • What qualifications do you possess for success?

  • What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?

  • What do you think you would like in this particular job? What contributions could you make?

  • Do you think your grades are a good indication of your academic abilities?

  • What steps have you taken to familiarize yourself with this profession?

  • What are the disadvantages of your chosen field?

  • What have you done that shows initiative and willingness to work?

  • Pretend I'm your boss and I just told you the sales presentation you made this afternoon was ineffective. How would you respond?

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Difficult questions

  • Try to relax and be yourself.

  • Don’t freeze.

  • Take a deep breath, repeat the question and do your best.

  • “Describe a time you were not pleased with your performance, what did you do about it?” explain a situation, how you acted and what the result was. Don’t spend too long on anything negative.

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Stages of the Interview

  • Introductions

  • Questions about your background, skills and goals

  • Information about the organization

    • ask the interviewer questions like, “What do you like best about working for XYZ?”

  • Conclusion

    • Thank interviewer for their time

    • 20 minutes is spent on interview, 10 minutes is spent on the critique

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Take notes on improvements

  • Interviewer will share your interview evaluation with you in a 10 minute verbal critique

  • Use the feedback to improve for the real thing in the future

  • You will be asked to provide a written evaluation of the interview

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  • Be confident and self-assured

  • Don’t be modest

  • Do look like a professional, not a student

  • Share your accomplishments with pride

  • Enjoy the experience

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Dinner – After the Interview

  • Join us for a dinner celebration at 5:00pm in the Walnut Room of Talley Student Center.

  • Arrive at least 10 minutes before dinner.

  • Plan to mingle with our interview guests, CALS administration, and fellow CALS students.

  • FREE facts are good discussion topics.

    • From, Recreation, Education, Event

  • You will be sitting at a table with your interviewer. Watch his/her lead and sit down accordingly. Don’t rush to the buffet line.

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Dinner Tidbits

  • Open napkin (half open if it is a large dinner size) as soon as seated and place on lap with crease toward you. If you leave during the meal, place napkin on the chair. Never shake it out, snap it or use it as a handkerchief.

  • Don’t be a food critic. Use your time wisely over dinner; converse on topics to impress your host, not complaining about the meal.

  • Avoid taking cell phone calls during meals. It’s best to turn them off. If you absolutely must take a call, leave your phone on vibrate and kindly excuse yourself from the table.

  • ALWAYS remember to thank the host or hostess. A handshake and a polite "thank you" provide a sufficient close to the occasion.

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Conversation During Dinner

  • Take advantage of the networking opportunity over dinner. Be conscious of safe and unsafe topics. To prepare, think of conversation starters ahead of time, for example:

    • Would you mind sharing your career path with us?

    • What are the advantages/disadvantages of working in your field?

    • Is there anything you would do differently?

    • What advice do you have for us?

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Conversation During Dinner

  • Remember SOFTEN:

    • S- Smile

    • O- Opening lines

    • F- Forward lean

    • T- Tone

    • E- Eye contact

    • N- Nod

  • Enthusiasm goes a long way.

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Etiquette Tips

  • Dinner will be a buffet line. After you have your food, take a seat and wait for one more person to sit at your table before you begin eating. Watch the host (interviewer) and follow his/her lead.

  • Don’t salt prior to tasting.

  • Don’t groom at table.

  • Don’t rock in chair, crunch ice, smoke or dunk anything.

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  • Post interview

    • Send a thank you note to the address on the business card. (Actual job offers have resulted from mock interviews in the past, so don’t be surprised if this happens to you.)

    • Keep in touch with the interviewer and seek out career advice. This is how you network.

    • Sign up for on campus interviews in 111 Patterson Hall after your practice session is completed .

    • Attend “Kick Start Your Career” to provide more help to you as you prepare to reach your career goals.