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Showcase your talents Tips for an effective job interview.

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1 Showcase your talents Tips for an effective job interview

2 Research the company “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin  Often, an interviewer will dismiss you if you do not know enough about the company and position for which you are interviewing.  Knowing about the company and position shows the interviewer that you are invested in securing a position with that specific company, rather than just any company.

3 What to research At the VERY least, research the following:  What does this company do, sell, and/or make?  Has the direction of the company changed recently? If so, how and why? If not, why not?  What is important to the company, other than profit?  What skills are required to succeed in the position for which you are interviewing. What else should you know about a company? Create three more questions to research.

4 Practice potential interview questions “Tomorrow’s victory is today’s practice.” —Chris Bradford  An interview can be a stressful experience. You may think that you do not need to practice because you already know how you will answer questions. More than likely, you will be nervous, which may cause you to forget or stumble through your answers. Practice will prepare you to answer questions fluidly despite being anxious.  Practice answering standard interview questions, such as your strengths and weaknesses. In addition, practice off-the-wall questions as well. Some interviewers ask odd questions to see how you react.

5 What to practice Practice answering the following: Standard Questions  Tell me a little about yourself.  What is your greatest strength/biggest weakness?  Why should I hire you?  Do you have any questions to ask me? Odd Questions  What kitchen utensil would you be and why?  On a scale from one to ten, rate me as an interviewer. With a partner, ask and answer one standard and one odd question.

6 Prepare a list of questions “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” ― Voltaire  An interview almost always ends with, “What questions do you have for me?” You need to be armed with three to five solid questions.  An interviewer will assume your top priorities about the company and position are represented in the questions you ask.  These questions also allow you to interview the company to determine if it is a good fit for you.

7 What to ask The following are common questions to ask the interviewer:  What characteristics do you think a person in this position must have in order to be successful?  What is the typical career path for someone in this job?  What types of professional training options do you offer your employees?  Why is this position vacant?  When can I expect to hear from you? What else could you ask? Create three more questions to ask the interviewer.

8 Dress for success “I don't mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one.” ― Marilyn Monroe  First impressions matter, so you want to impress the interviewer with your professional attire.  Even if the work environment is casual, you should still dress professionally for the interview.  You will probably feel more confident if you are dressed appropriately.  Remember that dressing for success includes your hairstyle, makeup, and accessories, in addition to clothing.

9 What to wear Consider the following when selecting your interview attire: MANWOMAN Solid color suit Long-sleeve shirt Leather belt Conservative tie Dark socks Conservative dress shoes Little or no jewelry Neat hairstyle Light cologne Briefcase Solid color suit—skirt should be no shorter than knee length Coordinated blouse Conservative shoes—no stilettos Limited, small jewelry Professional hairstyle Light makeup and perfume Briefcase or professional purse What would you wear? In four complete sentences, describe your ideal interview outfit from head to toe.

10 Thank–you notes “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” — Gladys Browyn Stern  After an interview, always send a handwritten thank- you note.  Write the note on professional stationery, and use a formal writing voice.  Your note will emphasize your interest in working for the company.  Sending a note keeps you fresh in the interviewer’s mind.  You guarantee a good last impression by sending a thank-you note.

11 What to write Your note should address the following points:  Open your note by thanking the interviewer for his/her time in considering you for the position.  Mention something specific said in the interview. For example, “I found _____ really interesting because _____.”  Emphasize again that you are a great choice for the position by reminding the interviewer of your skills.  Close your note by letting the interviewer know you are ready and excited to begin working. Include your contact information. With a partner, describe what your thank-you note would look and sound like. In other words, explain what kind of stationery and words would you use.

12 Social media “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; what happens on Twitter stays on Google forever.” —Jure Klepic  Many companies now look for prospective employees on most—if not all—social media sites.  As Dan Schawbel, the author of Me 2.0 says, “Your first impression isn’t made with a firm handshake—it’s with a Google search.”  Do not post or allow others to post anything you would not want an interviewer to see, because once you post it, you cannot un-post it. It will be on the Web forever.  Be sure your privacy settings restrict other users from tagging you in pictures and posts.

13 To post or not to post Follow these guidelines when posting on social media:  Does the post contain profanity and/or provocative images? If so, do not post it.  Does the post target a person, organization, or entity in a malicious manner? If so, do not post it.  Does the post contain politically aggressive ideas? If so, do not post it.  Does the post contain content that you would not want your parent, employer, or teacher to see? If so, do not post it. List all of the social media sites you use. Check your use of each site against the above list. Do you need to clean up any of your accounts?

14 Exit interview Now that you have learned about how to interview, you will write me a note, thanking me for this lesson. Your note needs to follow the format below, which is based on the earlier thank-you note guidelines. Open the note by thanking your teacher for taking the time to teach you how to interview. Mention something specific taught in the interview lesson. For example, “I found _____ really interesting because _____.” Emphasize that you will be a great choice for a future position by telling your teacher what new skills you have learned. Close your note by telling your teacher how you plan to use the information you learned today.

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