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Interview Preparation: Tips for Success & Mock Interview.

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Presentation on theme: "Interview Preparation: Tips for Success & Mock Interview."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interview Preparation: Tips for Success & Mock Interview

2 Congratulations! You’ve been asked to interview! Employer identified you as qualified. Now your job is to demonstrate why you are the best fit. Competitive job market means you need to be an outlier: 3-5%

3 What the Employer Ultimately Wants to Know Aptitude: Do you have the skills, knowledge and ability to succeed in the position? What distinguishes you from others (experiences, abilities, characteristics/traits)? Fit: Why do you want to work for the organization? Demonstrate motivation, industry knowledge, trends, personal interests, passion, enthusiasm How do you fit in with the team? Work namely with teams, independently, or combination. Preferred management style and methods of communication Overall culture: buttoned up professional, hoodies and flip flops, or somewhere between.

4 Interview Prep: Employer Reconnaissance! When & Where & Who? Better to be 15 minutes early than 1 minute late. Do a fly by. If you have the opportunity, ask who you will be interviewing and the format. (i.e. Will I have the chance to share my portfolio and interview with most of your team or will I be meeting primarily with the hiring supervisor?) Ask for appropriate contact in case an something unexpected happens. (i.e. you get into a car accident and need to call someone to let them know you won’t be on time).

5 Interview Prep: Employer Reconnaissance! Research the Organization! Company Website: go beyond the mission page. Gain a clear understanding of how you would fit in and role you would play within the organization. Know your organizations competitors and partners! If you’ve allowed enough time, schedule an informational interview before the application deadline. Is there a company newsletter or archive you can access? Are there any upcoming events (open houses, fundraisers, etc.) you could attend before your interview? Talk to people who work in the industry space. What are some of the trends? Find out more on employees’ background: company profile pages, LinkedIn, Alumni Connections. You might find some connections that will add to the ‘best fit’ criteria.

6 Interview Prep: Develop Your Brand Study Yourself (Introspection) & The Organization Study your resume and job description. Overkill is just enough. I am: at least 3 distinct adjectives. Consider these as they relate to the position. Have examples of how you’ve demonstrated these qualities. Reflect and identify 2-3 experiences that help shape your career aspirations. What led you to this path? Be able to describe the organization’s mission, goals, programs/products/services. Tell me what you know about this organization and how it related to your path.

7 Interview: Only 1 First Impression First Impressions Matter! Arrival time: arrive 5-10 minutes before you scheduled interview. Dress: Do some background. You can drop by the office, call the office receptionist, web searches. You want to fit in but should aim to dress a better nicer than the office norm. Body Language: Aim is a balance between confidence, relaxed and alert. Avoid fidgeting, pencil or toe tapping. Ideally you want to mirror the energy and body language of the people interviewing you. Communication Style: Consider the interviewer’s style and try to compliment it. If you’re a fast talker and the interviewer takes a slower approach, you could come off as overwhelming. Try to mirror and compliment the interviewers style with similar tone, volume, and energy. Demonstrate Preparedness: Inquiring or referencing a recent accomplishment or goal in a causal way can open the door for further conversation and demonstrate that you did your homework. Demonstrate Enthusiasm and Motivation during the interview and in follow up. Instead of ‘thanks for the opportunity to discuss’, try ‘thanks for meeting. I would love this job and would be very excited to join the team if given the opportunity.’

8 During the Interview Answering Questions Be sure to answer the question directly. Take your time. If you’re uncomfortable with silence and need a little more time, ask the interviewer to repeat the question. Pause, reflect and take a moment before replying. Take notes particularly when asked multi-part or situational questions. If you’re not clear, ASK! Do not trash talk previous employers! Avoid fillers. Silence is much better than ‘um and uhhs’. A slower steadier tone with short pauses will command more attention. Express emotion! Smile, eye contact with everyone in the room, talk with your hands/body language to help demonstrate enthusiasm.

9 Interview Prep: Common Questions Tell a story when answering questions. Situation: What was the situation, issue, and circumstances? Task: Describe the required task(s) at hand to remedy the situation Action: Explain the actions you took (what and why) Results: Emphasize the positive outcomes or results

10 Interview Prep: Common Questions Questions you need to be prepared to answer and ask: Why are you leaving your current position and why do you want to work here? Have a clear well thought-out message that clearly ties your interests, abilities, motivations, and characteristics to the position. Practice this out loud to yourself, or even better with someone else. What accomplishment are you most proud of and why? Describe a group work project where you and your partner were having a hard time getting along. How did you resolve the problem? Provide an example of a mistake you made and how did you handled the situation? Describe your ideal supervisor. Prepare 3-4 questions for the employer: demonstrate company knowledge, get answers to practical questions (i.e. anticipated start date, key issues or challenges they see facing the person in this job, how the organization has been affected by industry changes, timeline for follow up, questions on company culture).

11 Post Interview: Follow Up Follow Up with a Thank You! Don’t forget this important step. Email is acceptable. Should be sent within 24 hours of interview. Reiterate your interest, additional things learned and how that’s heighten your enthusiasm (if that’s true), and specify why you would fit it perfectly. Thank the interviewer again.

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