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1 Interview Success Internship & Career Services Center North Carolina Wesleyan College.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Interview Success Internship & Career Services Center North Carolina Wesleyan College."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Interview Success Internship & Career Services Center North Carolina Wesleyan College

2 2 Presentation Outline What is an interview? What is an interview? Preparation Preparation Planning your interview Planning your interview Dress for success Dress for success At the interview At the interview After the interview After the interview

3 3 What is a job interview? An opportunity to: An opportunity to: –Learn details about a company and job –Convince an employer that you have the skills and qualities needed –Visit the workplace to evaluate your fit with the office culture –Decide whether or not you want the job Can be on the phone or in person Can be on the phone or in person One-on-one, panel, presentation One-on-one, panel, presentation

4 4 Preparation

5 5 Research This very important step will allow you to answer and ask questions intelligently This very important step will allow you to answer and ask questions intelligently –Publicly owned (shares traded on the stock exchange) Info. easy to locate Info. easy to locate –Corporation, subsidiary or division More info. available on corporations than subsidiaries, divisions, or regional and local companies. More info. available on corporations than subsidiaries, divisions, or regional and local companies. –Privately or foreign owned A bit more difficult to find info. but its out there A bit more difficult to find info. but its out there

6 6 Research (continued) Where can I find company information? Where can I find company information? –Corporate websites Look for “HR” or “About”, maybe “Strategic Plan” Look for “HR” or “About”, maybe “Strategic Plan” Also browse the consumer side of their site to be up on what they offer and how they present themselves Also browse the consumer side of their site to be up on what they offer and how they present themselves –Newspapers –Libraries and Career Centers May have limited and dated information May have limited and dated information

7 7 Better Business Bureau Better Business Bureau Chambers of Commerce Chambers of Commerce Human Resources department Human Resources department Individuals who work there Individuals who work there Business Directories Business Directories Research (continued)

8 8 Look for these answers: Look for these answers: –Is it for-profit or non-profit? –If it’s an educational institution, public or private? –How old is the company? –What types of services/products does it provide? –What are its competitors? –What kind of growth has it experienced? –What is its reputation?

9 9 Research (continued) –How many employees? –Are there any branch offices or is this part of a larger corporation? –What are its sales records, assets, and earnings? –What are its current goals? –Are they working toward any new products or projects?

10 10 Review Job Announcement Look back over the original announcement, highlighting all mentions of duties and specific skills Look back over the original announcement, highlighting all mentions of duties and specific skills Try to form a picture of the individual they are seeking Try to form a picture of the individual they are seeking What is missing? Often times the announcement is vague, you will want to decide in advance what questions you have so you can ask them. What is missing? Often times the announcement is vague, you will want to decide in advance what questions you have so you can ask them.

11 11 Review Your Skills Match your skills with those mentioned in the announcement Match your skills with those mentioned in the announcement –Plan specific examples you can share that will exhibit your possession of these sills. –Try to recall a time you have done something similar to what they are looking for. –What transferable skills do you have that will be helpful in this position? Give examples.

12 12 Practice Review a list of typical interview questions and anticipate how you might respond. Review a list of typical interview questions and anticipate how you might respond. –Pretend you are the interviewer. What questions would you ask? –Do not try to script your responses. Participate in Mock Interviews with the ICSC Director. Participate in Mock Interviews with the ICSC Director.

13 13 Planning Your Interview

14 14 Scheduling Agree to a time you know you can make. Canceling or rescheduling is a bad idea. Agree to a time you know you can make. Canceling or rescheduling is a bad idea. If the interview is out of town will they pay or reimburse you for travel? If the interview is out of town will they pay or reimburse you for travel? If scheduling a phone interview be certain that you will have access to a quiet environment where you can spread your materials out in front of you. If scheduling a phone interview be certain that you will have access to a quiet environment where you can spread your materials out in front of you.

15 15 Scheduling (continued) Plan to use a land-line, if possible, for phone interviews. Plan to use a land-line, if possible, for phone interviews. Inquire as to who will be on the call. Inquire as to who will be on the call. Ask if they expect you to bring anything or prepare a presentation. Ask if they expect you to bring anything or prepare a presentation. –Even if they say no it’s great to have samples of your work on hand Request an agenda of the day Request an agenda of the day –They may have plans for you to meet with other folks in the company Determine what you will wear. Do you need to have something dry cleaned? Determine what you will wear. Do you need to have something dry cleaned?

16 16 The Night Before Be certain your clothes, shoes, briefcase (or bag), and other accessories are ready Be certain your clothes, shoes, briefcase (or bag), and other accessories are ready Plan your travel – get directions, check for road closings, and allow plenty of time for potential delays Plan your travel – get directions, check for road closings, and allow plenty of time for potential delays Prepare your interview materials Prepare your interview materials Conservative pen and portfolio Conservative pen and portfolio Copies of your resume Copies of your resume Questions for the employer Questions for the employer Get a good night’s sleep! Get a good night’s sleep!

17 17 Dress for Success

18 18 General Guidelines Dress conservatively Dress conservatively Sensible, practical clothes that make you look like you know how to focus on your work Sensible, practical clothes that make you look like you know how to focus on your work Make sure clothes look clean and neat Make sure clothes look clean and neat Do not chew gum during the interview or smoke before (the smoke smell will attach to your suit) Do not chew gum during the interview or smoke before (the smoke smell will attach to your suit)

19 19 Women’s Appearance Conservative suit color (black, grey, navy) Conservative suit color (black, grey, navy) Conservative blouse color (white, ivory) Conservative blouse color (white, ivory) Appropriate neckline Appropriate neckline A tailored dress or coat dress is also appropriate A tailored dress or coat dress is also appropriate Skirt/dress length should be between an inch above or below the knee Skirt/dress length should be between an inch above or below the knee Check slip length Check slip length Wear hosiery Wear hosiery

20 20 Women’s Appearance (continued) Accessories add color and variety but less is more in the interview situation Accessories add color and variety but less is more in the interview situation Heels should be around 2” height Heels should be around 2” height Conservative shoe style and color (close toe, black, navy, taupe, brown) Conservative shoe style and color (close toe, black, navy, taupe, brown) Be aware of manicure Be aware of manicure Do not carry a purse, only a professional tote or leather-bound pad Do not carry a purse, only a professional tote or leather-bound pad Wear make-up, but not too much Wear make-up, but not too much

21 21 Men’s Appearance Fit is critical to a suit jacket and pants Fit is critical to a suit jacket and pants Dark blue, grey, or black Dark blue, grey, or black Button your jacket when standing and walking, unbutton when sitting Button your jacket when standing and walking, unbutton when sitting A pressed, white, long-sleeved, cotton shirt A pressed, white, long-sleeved, cotton shirt –You should be able to fit 2 fingers between the collar and your neck Silk tie in a conservative color/print Silk tie in a conservative color/print

22 22 Men’s Appearance (continued) Tip of tie should reach center of belt buckle Tip of tie should reach center of belt buckle Shoes should be black or brown Shoes should be black or brown Socks should complement pant color Socks should complement pant color Belts – plain leather in black, 1” Belts – plain leather in black, 1” Neatly trimmed facial hair Neatly trimmed facial hair Clean nails Clean nails Polished shoes, no worn heels Polished shoes, no worn heels Carry a brief case or leather-bound pad Carry a brief case or leather-bound pad

23 23 General Grooming Tips Deodorant Deodorant Light on cologne/perfume Light on cologne/perfume Brush your teeth, use mouthwash Brush your teeth, use mouthwash Neat haircut Neat haircut Polished shoes Polished shoes Impeccably clean Impeccably clean

24 24 At the Interview

25 25 Behavior Arrive early (but not too early). 5-10 minutes is about right. Arrive early (but not too early). 5-10 minutes is about right. Be polite to everyone you meet. Be polite to everyone you meet. Speak clearly and with good grammar. Speak clearly and with good grammar. Avoid verbal fillers (“uh”, “you know”, “like”). Avoid verbal fillers (“uh”, “you know”, “like”). Answer questions with examples and stories. Use humor if it seems appropriate. Answer questions with examples and stories. Use humor if it seems appropriate. Feel free to take down a few notes. Feel free to take down a few notes.

26 26 Food and drink - Feel free to accept if offered but drink sparingly to avoid needing the restroom. Eating may cause you to have your mouth full when needing to answer a question. Food and drink - Feel free to accept if offered but drink sparingly to avoid needing the restroom. Eating may cause you to have your mouth full when needing to answer a question. Visiting the restroom – avoid by doing this before arrival but if you must ask to be excused and apologize upon your return. Visiting the restroom – avoid by doing this before arrival but if you must ask to be excused and apologize upon your return. If something embarrassing happens – stay calm and laugh it off. You’ll win points for keeping composure. If something embarrassing happens – stay calm and laugh it off. You’ll win points for keeping composure. Behavior (continued)

27 27 Body Language Firm handshake Firm handshake Good eye contact Good eye contact Erect posture (slightly leaning forward) Erect posture (slightly leaning forward) Relaxed and confident Relaxed and confident Small facial/hand gestures Small facial/hand gestures Avoid fidgeting Avoid fidgeting Smile Smile Be enthusiastic Be enthusiastic Swallow yawns Swallow yawns

28 28 What Not To DO Don’t… Don’t… –Be late –Ask about money –Criticize prior job or boss –Lie (better to say you don’t know an answer) –Slouch –Cross your legs –Interrupt –Feel obligated to answer illegal questions

29 29 After the Interview

30 30 Evaluation & Action Immediately make notes Immediately make notes –What do you still have questions about? –What are the pros of the company/position? –What are the cons of the company/position? –How do you feel about your performance in the interview? –What could you improve on next time? Complete any follow-up instructions given to you by the employer Complete any follow-up instructions given to you by the employer Send a thank you letter to the employer within 24 hours (example) Send a thank you letter to the employer within 24 hours (example)

31 31 Thank You Letters Express appreciation for the interview and meeting the individual. Express appreciation for the interview and meeting the individual. Comment on things that were mentioned in the interview. Comment on things that were mentioned in the interview. –If the employer had mentioned a current problem, remind them of ways you can help. If there was something relevant you forgot to say in the interview, mention it here. If there was something relevant you forgot to say in the interview, mention it here. Express your interest in working at the company and that you look forward to hearing from them. Express your interest in working at the company and that you look forward to hearing from them. Example Example Example


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