2 The Job Interview by Definition Opportunity to present yourself, skill set, and knowledge to one who can hire you
3 The Interview Procedure The Interview Procedure frequently includes:Questions on your skills and experienceBehavior based questionsOpportunity for you to ask questions of the interviewerThe Key – Present yourself as the top candidate
4 Keys to the Successful Interview: Preparation BEFORE the Interview Know yourselfResearch the employerPractice, Practice, PracticeMake a good impression
5 Know Yourself What do you have to offer? Identify 5 – 10 work or school experiences that demonstrate your skills and accomplishmentshalf should be totally positivehalf should be ones that started out negative but hadeither a positive result or a good learning experienceWhat do you want to do and where do you want to do it?How are you perceived by others?What do you have to offer? Skills, accomplishments, experience, goals..
6 Do Your Research Research the employer you’re interviewing with Utilize the Career Services Website – to access JOBSs (Job Opportunities Benefiting Southern students) and review employer profiles and websitesConduct informational interviewsResearch before hand (products, size, services, number of employees, history, and mission.)Use the information obtained to form questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the session.
7 Practice, Practice, Practice! To better prepare yourself for the interview, as well as assist in conquering pre-interview anxiety, practice is keyAttend interviewing workshops and view interviewing videos/DVDs in the Career CenterMeet with a career counselor for a mock interviewPractice for the interview with family or friends and practice, practice, practice
8 Proper AttireDO:Wear conservative attire, such as a dark colored business suitPolish your shoesStick to a low business heel shoeHave hair neatly brushed and face shaved before interviewBring a portfolio or briefcaseDON’TWear bright colored business suits: Black, Grey, and Pastel colors are most appropriateWear flashy accessories like watches, jewelry, or excessive amounts of cologne, perfume, or hair gelWear skirts that reach above the kneesWear stiletto heels
9 Keys to the Successful Interview: DURING the Interview Be prompt and preparedPoise and body languageAnswer the questionsClosing statements
10 Be Prompt and PreparedArrive 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled interview timeTurn the cell phone OFF – vibrations make noiseGive a firm handshake, make eye contact, and smile when you are greetedBring extra copies of your resume and a list of references
11 Poise and Body Language Many interviewers will assess you based on:Appropriate eye contact and postureCorrectly pronouncing his/her nameIf you talk easily or are overly formal and reservedIf you seem enthusiastic and confidentWhen greeted, introduce yourself and shake interviewer’s hand. Don’t sit until interviewer is seatedNever chew gum during an interviewMost employers agree that the first five minutes of an interview will tell them the most about a personFirst impressions are important
12 Answering the Questions Speak slowly and clearly. Don’t be afraid to pause for a moment to collect your thoughtsListen and understand the interviewer’s questions before responding thoroughly yet conciselyBe honest- don’t try to cover up mistakes. Instead, focus on how you learned from themGive positive nonverbal feedback to the interviewerSmile, be enthusiastic, showing a positive attitudeAvoid negative terms and comments when responding to questions. Stress positivesIf asked an illegal question – Be tactful with an appropriate response
13 Closing StatementsBe prepared with your closing statement reiterating your interest and abilitiesBe prepared to ask questions of the interviewerThe initial interview is NOT the time to ask about salaryThank the interviewer and ask for a business cardIn the end, employers hire people they like, and who will interact well on an interpersonal basis with the rest of the staff. Therefore, you should communicate that you are a likable candidate who can get along well with others. From the employer’s perspective, hiring is a risky, expensive business.
14 After the InterviewSend a thank-you note right away – a formal response: card or note paper vs.Jot down information about the interview and begin evaluating if this is the right job for youPrepare for potential salary negotiations by researching salary information. The NACE Salary Calculator (available at careers.southernct.edu) is an excellent resource for salary information for most occupational areas.
15 Interviewing Types and Tips Screening InterviewOne-on-One InterviewPanel InterviewPeer Group InterviewLuncheon InterviewSecond InterviewVideo/Video Conference InterviewTelephone InterviewSCREENING INTERVIEWDef: These may be conducted in person, via telephone, or video to help employers understand if you meet minimum qualifications for the job. Usually handled by a representative in the HR department and follow a standard procedure.Tip: Emphasize succinctly and directly that you posses the desired skills/abilities for the position. For phone interviews, keep your portfolio close at hand for easy access and reference. For video interviews, rehearse in advance with a career counselor to come across naturally.ONE-ON-ONEDef: The most common interview format; usually conducted on site by hiring supervisor. Interviewer focuses on questions to assess your skills, knowledge, and abilities as they relate to the job.Tip: In addition to selling your key strengths, ask what problems the supervisor is currently facing and then suggest strategies that he or she could implement to resolve the issues.PANEL INTERVIEW:Def: Group interviews are usually conducted by three or more people who generally ask you questions that correspond to their areas of interest/expertise.Tip: Remember to direct your answers to the person who asks the question, but maintain eye contact with the other members of the group as well. Following the interview, be sure to send a thank-you note to each other participants.PEER GROUP:Def: This type of group interview will introduce you to your potential co-workers. Probably not have the ultimate authority as to whether or not to hire you. Rather, they will be evaluating you and making recommendations as to whether or not you will "fit in".Tip: Focus on being agreeable and approachable rather than someone with all the answersLUNCHEON:Def: The purpose of a lunch interview is to assess how well you can handle yourself in social situations. You will probably be dining with your potential boss and co-workers, as well as HR professionals.Tip: Make your meal selection carefully. Select light, healthy, and easy things to eat. Steer clear of spaghetti and other potentially messy foods that are not easy to eat gracefully. Do not order alcohol even if others do.SECOND INTERVIEW:Def: Second interviews are similar to first interviews except they are usually longer, involve more people, and are often held at company headquarters. You have a combination of individual, panel, and peer group interviews throughout the process. The focus of the second interview is to ensure you have the necessary skills and that you will blend well with the organization's culture.Tip: Switch your focus from emphasizing your specific strengths to selling yourself as a well-balanced package. Listen carefully to the interviewers to determine any underlying concerns and attempt to dispel them. Prove that you've researched the company, and emphasize that you will work as dedicated member of the organization.VIDEO:Def: Video interviews allow the candidate and recruiter to see and interact with one another without the expense of travel. Video interviews are traditionally set up at a specified location, although with enhanced internet video conferencing programs, many are now conducted usually the candidate's home computer.Tip: Be prepared for a slight time delay in receiving the sound and image. Make sure to hesitate slightly before speaking to ensure that the transmission has been fully completed.
16 Interviewing Myths & Facts Myth: The candidate with the best education, skills, and experience will get the jobReality Check: Employers hire individuals for many different reasons. Education, skills, and experience are only a few of the several hiring criteria. If employers hired only on the basis of education, skills, and experience, they would not need to interview candidates. Such static information is available on applications and resumes. Employers interview because they want to see how you look and interact with them, how you would handle various work situations, and how well you fit into the organization.
17 Interviewing Myths & Facts Myth: If the interviewer asks if I have any negatives or weaknesses, I should indicate I have noneReality Check: You should be honest. Everyone has negatives. If you indicate you have none, the interviewer knows you are being less than candid. But neither should you blurt out your worst negatives. Identify a weakness and talk about how you are working to overcome it.For example, in the past I have had some difficulty staying organized. However, thanks to my Blackberry, I am able to keep track of all my assignments and appointments.
18 Interviewing Myths & Facts Myth: I’ll be at a disadvantage because I’ll be nervousReality Check: If you practice some stress reduction techniques, such as taking deep breaths and focusing attention on the questions, you should be able to project confidence in the interview. Keep in mind, many interviewers are under pressure to hire the right candidate.You are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you
19 Interviewing Myths & Facts Myth: Because I am a college student, I do not have the ability to negotiate a salaryReality Check: You can prepare for salary negotiations by researching typical salary ranges prior to your interview. Ask the interviewer what would a person with my qualifications earn in this position, and let the employer introduce a number.
20 Interviewing Myths & Facts Myth: My major goal in the interview is to get the jobReality Check: Your major goal should be the same as the interviewer’s – gain useful information from which you can determine if this position and organization are a good fit.
21 Southern Connecticut State University Center for Career Services For More Information:Southern Connecticut State University Center for Career ServicesSchwartz Hall Room102(203)