Interview Seminar by Dana Mantel Cobb Graduate Assistant

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Interview Tips Seminar
Presented by: Robbie Ghames
Student Assistant
Cooperative Education
Disclaimer
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I will cover general points and advice for you
to follow; however, you must ultimately make
your own choices.
Sometimes there are no right answers as to
how to answer a question.
Getting a job is based on a combination of
luck, the recruiter, what the company is
looking for, and your preparation.
Your Mission
Your job as the interviewee is to
create a favorable first impression
for your interviewers and then
convince them you are the right
person for the job
Co-Op Interview Day is…
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Not an interrogation – the employers that
attend are very laid-back, friendly people!
A step towards your career development –
take it seriously!
A professional event, however, let the “real
you” shine through when you are talking to
employers!
The Marketplace is Competitive, So
Have a Competitive Advantage!
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Research YOURSELF and THE
COMPANY
Be Prepared
First Impressions
The Interview
Follow-Up
Research Yourself
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Perform a “Talent Inventory” – Skills/Abilities?
Weaknesses?
What have you learned from your past jobs,
volunteer work, hobbies, school and social
situations?
What do you find interesting about your major
and why did you choose it?
Decide what is important for your career
objectives
Research Yourself
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Employers are interested in project-based
experience from school, life experiences, and
volunteer involvement.
Employers want to understand not only your
experience, but also your personal qualities or
performance behaviors. (e.g. self motivation,
work ethic, and intellectual ability)
What makes you UNIQUE?
CONFIDENCE…
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Researching yourself will provide you with
the confidence you need in the interview
Remember, the interview process is a way
for you to show off your talents, knowledge,
and personality to employers
Research the Company
Once you learn about yourself, then you must
find out what the company is looking for!
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What products do they make and/or services
do they provide?
What things are important to the company?
Research the Company
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What size is the company?
Who are their major competitors?
Current news about the company or
industry they operate in
Research the Company
Make sure the jobs they are hiring for are
of interest to you!
While doing your research,
take notes…
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Jot down questions you have as
you learn about the company.
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Write down things you find
interesting about the company.
You may be able to work them into
the interview so your interviewer
can expand on them.
While doing your research ask
yourself...
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Do I have what the company is looking
for?
What personal traits can I highlight to
convince the interviewer that I am a good
fit for their company?
Answering these questions is crucial,
otherwise, what incentive do they have to
hire you?
Be prepared to answer two
important questions:
“Why should we hire you?”
(Use Talent Inventory Results)
and
“Why do you want to work here?”
(Use impressive facts found during company research)
Be Prepared
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Prepare answers to questions given at the
Follow-up meeting.
Practice – Ask a friend to conduct a mock
interview.
Knowing yourself helps to convey who you are.
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Make a list of all your skills, personal qualities, and
knowledge.
Include an example from your life that demonstrates
that dimension of you.
Be Prepared
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Behavioral Interview Questions
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In a behavioral interview, an employer has decided
what skills are needed in the person they hire and will
ask questions to find out if the candidate has those
skills. Instead of asking how you would behave, they
will ask how you did behave. The interviewer will
want to know how you handled a situation, instead of
what you might do in the future.
http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/interviews/a/behavioral.htm
Be Prepared
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Behavioral Interview Questions
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Refresh your memory and consider some special
situations you have dealt with or projects you have
worked on.
Prepare stories that illustrate times when you have
successfully solved problems or performed
memorably.
When answering, make sure you state a specific
situation, the tasks that needed to be done, the action
you took and the results.
http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/interviews/a/behavioral.htm
Be Prepared
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Sample Behavioral Interview Questions
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Give an example of an occasion when you used logic
to solve a problem.
Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me
how you achieved it.
Describe a decision you made that was unpopular
and how you handled implementing it.
Have you gone above and beyond the call of duty? If
so, how?
http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/interviews/a/behavioral.htm
Be Prepared
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Sample Behavioral Interview Questions
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What do you do when your schedule is interrupted?
Give an example of how you handle it.
Have you had to convince a team to work on a project
they weren't thrilled about? How did you do it?
Have you handled a difficult situation with a coworker? How?
Tell me about how you worked effectively under
pressure.
http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/interviews/a/behavioral.htm
Be Prepared
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Assess your strengths/weaknesses and major
accomplishments
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Be prepared to discuss your various job
responsibilities.
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Also, be prepared to explain why you did not work
during a period of time, or why you quit or were fired.
Be Prepared…
to tell The Whole Story
 Bring extra copies of your resume to the
interview.
 Your resume doesn’t tell everything about
you.
 What else do you bring to the table?
Talk about those things.
 Be able to go into great detail.
Be Prepared
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Lay out clothing in advance
Perform time-consuming chores (ironing, polish
shoes) the night before.
Eat something before the interview, but NOT:
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A big meal (may make you sluggish)
Smelly foods like garlic or onion
Arrive 10-15 minutes early.
Use the extra time to review your notes, clear your
head, and get comfortable.
Take deep breaths and try to relax.
First Impressions
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Impressions are formed within 30 seconds
of meeting someone!
Dress for Success
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Pay attention to the details.
Conservative is the safe choice.
Punctuality is crucial.
A firm handshake is appropriate and projects
confidence. Make eye contact and smile
when you shake.
“Potential employers expect candidates to be
conservatively well-dressed and have good
manners. Like it or not, there is a high
correlation between appearance and the
perception of professional abilities.”
Clinton T. Greenleaf, III Copley News Service
The Interview
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Know the interviewer’s name, shake his/her
hand, make eye contact and smile.
Pay attention to how the interviewer
behaves (are they laid back or formal?).
Speak clearly, avoiding slang or “filler”
words.
Do not Forget to Listen
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Listen through eye contact – stay with the
person (third eye)
Listen with nonverbal expressions – nod
and appear interested
Listen until the speaker is finished – do
not interrupt
The Interview
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Listening is a key interviewing skill!!!
The Dynamics of an Interview
Once an interviewer meets several candidates
who more or less fit the criteria of the position,
he or she won’t make a final selection by
simply narrowing the list until he finds the most
qualified candidate. He’ll select the candidate
who makes him feel the most comfortable.
The one whose style is closest to his. The one
whose mind works the way his does. Not the
one who, on paper, might be considered “most
qualified.”
The Interview
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If the interviewer asks you a question and
you don’t understand, ask the person to
explain a little more or ask the question
again.
Pause and think about your answers, but
don’t leave the interviewer waiting—that is
why you came prepared!
Don’t just answer “yes” or “no”. The most
productive interviews are 2 way
communications.
Don’t lie or exaggerate.
The Interview
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Respond concisely – don’t ramble.
Do not bring up salary or benefits unless the
interviewer brings them up.
Answer questions with specific examplesavoid generalities.
As you answer questions, avoid use of
negative terms.
Take advantage of the opportunity to sell
yourself.
The Interview
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How to “Sell yourself to an employer”
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Be confident and enthusiastic
Listen carefully; be polite and tactful
Show how your talents, training, and experience will
help you get ahead
Display your knowledge about the firm and the job
you are seeking
The Interview
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Keep in mind you are also interviewing the
company.
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Do you want to work for this company?
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Is this the right position for you?
The Interview…
the last 5 or 10 minutes
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The easiest interview question: “Do you have any
questions?” YES!!!
Remember to comment on how interested you are in
working for the company.
Definitely ask…
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What kind of projects will I be involved in?
What is the next step from here?
Thank the interviewer for his/her time and get a
business card to aid in future correspondence.
Power Questions
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What are you most hoping to find in the
person you hire?
What would be my first priorities on the job?
Based on what we’ve talked about today, I
feel good about the position. Do you have
any concerns about my ability to do the job?
Phone Interviews
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Do your homework, just as you would for
a face-to-face interview.
It is important to prove that you can do
the job, even though you are not
speaking in person.
Mind your mannerisms.
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Smile… As you talk your voice will sound
much more friendly and enthusiastic.
Follow-Up
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Write a follow-up letter ASAP.
Your letter should not exceed one page.
Remind him/her of who you are and when you met.
Express interest in the job and highlight your great
qualities.
Thank them again for taking the time to interview you.
Close with, “I look forward to hearing from you”.
If you need help
in preparing
letters to
employers, refer
to our webpage.
Follow-Up
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CHECK LETTER FOR MISTAKES
E-mails can also be appropriate
Once the letter has been received, call the
interviewer.
What Happens After Co-Op
Interview Day?
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Co-Op Interview Day is used by recruiters
to begin the screening process.
After Co-Op Interview Day you may get an
offer or a 2nd interview.
Warn your roommate about employer
phone calls!
What To Do If...
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What do you do if your #1 company choice
has not contacted you and you receive an
offer from someone else?
What do you do if asked for a second
interview?
Remember!
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To keep in touch with the Co-Op Office.
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DO NOT CANCEL ANY INTERVIEWS!
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You can also add more “Office” Interviews
and more “Mail” applications.
Be sure to print your interview schedule.
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Take note of
any employer
cancellations!
Keep in Mind…
Rejection is part of job hunting.
Sometimes you will not click with the
interviewer.
The more practice you get, the better you’ll
get at interviewing.
Want to review tonight’s
presentation?
Good
Luck
Next
Week!
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