Job Interview Tips 34 COMMON MISTAKES MADE DURING INTERVIEWING 34 COMMON MISTAKES MADE DURING INTERVIEWING (Based on Report from 153 firms) 1. Poor personal appearance. 2. Lack of interest and enthusiasm: passive and indifferent. 3. Over emphasis on money. 4. Condemnation of past employers. 5. Failure to look at the interviewer when conversing. 6. Limp handshake. 7. Unwillingness to go where sent. 8. Late to interview. 9. Failure to express appreciation for the interviewer’s time. 10. Asks no questions about the job. 11. Indefinite response to questions. 12. Overbearing, over aggressive, conceited with superiority or “know it all complex.” 13. Inability to express self clearly: Poor voice diction, grammar. 14. Lack of planning for career: no purpose and goals. 15. Lack of confidence and poise: nervous, ill at ease. 16. Failure to participate in activities. 17. Unwilling to start at the bottom-expects too much too soon. 18. Makes excuses, evasive, hedges on unfavorable actors in record. 19. Lack of tact. 20. Lack of courtesy: ill mannered. 21. Lack of maturity. 22. Lack of vitality. 23. Indecision. 24. Sloppy application form. 25. Merely shopping around. 26. Wants the job for a short time. 27. No interest on company or industry. 28. Low moral standards. 29. Cynical. 30. Lazy. 31. Intolerant: strong prejudices. 32. Narrow interests. 33. Inability to take criticism. 34. High pressure type. Get hired Identify your relevant skills and experiences. Looking for a job can be frustrating! Many employers look for experienced workers. But how do you get experience without having a job? You have to expand the way you think about experience. Volunteer programs, school projects, and organizations sometimes provide experience that is useful in a work setting also. Identify your skills when thinking about job hunting, but also keep track of experiences you’ve had that an employer might be looking for: Have you ever worked on a team in school (year-book staff, literary magazine athletics)? Did you use a computer in your studies (research, writing, Web site development)? Did you Work on a special project during high school that brought you additional knowledge in an area of your interests (video project, theater production, planning committees, student government organizations, FFA, debate team)? An excellent project would be your Senior Project. Work experience is almost always a good thing. It shows responsible behavior and the ability to get along with others. And, having a part-time job is a good way to help meet education expenses. Not everyone can or should get a job while they’re in high school, but you should definitely consider it. Talk to your parents and others who have experience working while in school to help you figure out whether it’s a good idea for you. http://www.adventuresineducation.org/HighSchool/Jobs/Index.cfm Job Hunting Techniques Follow our list of tips and find the job you want. Finding a job is a job in itself. --- With no pay. The payoff comes when you get the job you want. Hard work and a dedication are the best job hunting skills, but other hints might help you in your quest. Consider these tips: Involve friends and family. They can offer encouragement and assistance in your job search. Check job listings in the classified advertising section of your local newspaper. Your state employment officer may also be able to offer some job search assistance. Know what you want. Don’t accept a job just because someone offered it to you. Find out what you’ll have to do once you’re hired and make sure that’s what you want to do. But don’t be too picky. If this is your first job, you can’t be the boss the first day. You will have to do what someone asks you to. Don’t be shy. Contact people and businesses in your area that hire people with your career interests. Ask to speak to someone in the employment office. Find out if they offer special summer programs, internships, or part-time opportunities for people with a desire to work hard. Such employment can be a great way to gain experience while trying out a career to see if it really is what you want to do. Devote time to your job search. A thorough job search is hard work. Set aside a couple hours a day for hunting. Allow a reasonable amount of time. They might be able to tell you the best sources of job information or what you need to do before you can get a job. Ask people who know you well. To write letters of recommendation for you. Ask them to emphasize the skills you have that may seem missing because of a lack of formal experience. Give them a brag sheet of things you’ve done so they can write positive things about you. The best help is a letter designed to fit a particular position, not a general one that just talks about you separately from a specific job. Have a back-up plan. If the first person or company you contact can’t help you, try the next one on your list. Continue working to find a job even after you apply. You may need to apply for several positions before finding the right one. http://www.adventuresineducation.org/HighSchool/Jobs/jobhuntingtechniques.cfm Developing Your Resume Make a strong first impression on paper. The first impression you make with a potential employer is usually on paper---through your resume. If you want your potential employer to see you for the organized, intelligent, hard- working person you are, you need to make that clear on paper. Here are some tips for preparing a resume: Keep it short -- one page, if possible. Be neat; print your resume on a quality desktop printer. Be honest about your skills and work experience. Be concise and use action words and phrases when describing your experience. Ask someone you trust to check over your resume before submitting it. Be sure to include your name, address, phone number, education, and work experience. You may also want to include your job objective (which states what type of position you are seeking), awards and honors you’ve received, and contact information for three references. We recommend that you include a cover letter [letter of intent] with every job application that states why your qualifications fit the position and why you want to work with the company. Follow –up by phone a few days after the employer has your resume to make sure everything is in order. Some positions also require job seekers to complete application forms. BE sure to meet the application requirements for the job you are seeking. http://www.adventuresineducation.org/HighSchool/Jobs Resume/index.cfm Sample Resume Select a resume format that highlights your strengths. Resumes come in many shapes and sizes. While there is no “correct” resume format, you should select one that highlights your strengths. For example, a student with little work experience might choose a format that emphasizes academic achievements first. The sample resume listed below provides an example format: PERRY JAMESON 1515 Stanley Drive#62 Hometown, KS 66202 Perry.email@example.com (913) 555-1938 OBJECTIVE To obtain knowledge of the day-to-day working of a communications, public relations, or publishing form through a part-time job summer internship. EDUCATION Completed three years at Hometown High School. Graduation date: May 2005. G.P.A. 3.85. Top 5 % of class. EXPERIENCE Newspaper Staff Member, Hometown High School Aug 2004 – present. Feature editor of campus newspaper. Aug 2001- Aug 2004. Research information for news articles using library and Web sources. Composed and edited information articles, columns, editorials, and advertising copy. Yearbook Committee Member, Hometown High School Aug 2004 – present. Editor-in-chief of yearbook staff. Leader of design and publication teams from initial layout through finished product. Aug 2003 – Aug 2004. Yearbook staff member. Experience taking photographs, designed layout, and writing captions and sidebars. RELEVANT HIGH SCHOOL STUDIES Technical writing; advanced composition; debate; video production computer classes providing knowledge of word processing, desktop publishing, and Web software. HONORS, AWARDS, AND MEMBERSHIP U.S. Media Association Scholarship recipient Scholarship based on academic achievement, community service, and campus participation and leadership in high school communication project and studies. 2004 Best High School Newspaper Design winner Central State Regional Communication Contest, sponsored by the Communications Department, State University President of high school chapter of Future Communicators of America (FCA), 2004 – present Member, 2003 – present. Treasurer of National Honor Society, 2004 present References: Joe Smith Jose Navarro Emily Cruz Editor Teacher Writer 1241 Beverly Boulevard 9401 South Painter 34132 Parkview Street Whittier, California 90605 Whittier, California 90605 Downey, California 90878 562 100-1000 562 698-8121 234 567-8910 http://www.adventuresineducation.org/HighSchool/Jobs/SampleReumes/resumessample2.cfm Landing a Job Interview Think of a job interview as an opportunity to show that you have what it takes to do the job. You applied for a job you think you’re perfect for and you get that all important call asking you to come in for an interview. Now what? Think of a job interview as an opportunity. You know you’re right for the job. You just have to convince the person who’ll be hiring you. Somehow you have to communicate that you have what the job requires. You might not get the first job you apply for or interview for. It might take time and practice. Don’t get discouraged. Think of every job you don’t get as a lesson learned. Everyone encounters a big “no” at some point in their career search. If you apply for a job that you don’t get, try calling the employer you are interested in to see what you can learn. In a courteous, respectful way, ask what you should have done differently that might have made a difference. Was your resume all wrong? Were they looking for someone with other experiences? What can you do to prepare for the next time a similar position comes open? Continued looking for a job that you think is right for you and figure out how to convince people that you are right for it. Your job is out there but discovering it and landing it can be a challenge. http://www.adventuresineducation.org/HighSchool/Jobs/Interviews/index.cfm Job Application Checklist Go over our checklist before turning in your job application. Before you apply for that job, go over this short checklist to make sure you are fully prepared: Make sure you filled out all of the information in the registration section. Make sure you did a spell and grammar checks on your resume. Make sure that you have documented your talents and skills sets. Be specific and detailed on your application. Don’t forget to include information about your educational background. Make sure your list of references and their contact information is available in case you need to list them on your application. Make sure you have the address, phone number, and name of your last supervisor for all prior jobs. Know your salary history. http://www.adventureineducation.org/HighSchool/Jobs/Interciews/Jobappchecklist.cfm Job interview Tips Review out list of tips before heading to your job interview. A job interview can be very stressful, especially if you are not fully prepared. Here are some tips that can help: Get to the interview at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time. Dress in business attire unless the interviewer has specified otherwise. Never talk negatively about previous work experiences; it can give your prospective employer a bad impression of you. Be yourself! Use statements that are comfortable for you when answering questions. Find out information about the company you are interviewing with prior to your interview. Visit the company’s site and search for article and press release written about or by the organization. Also take time to familiarize yourself with the company’s competition. Silence isn’t necessarily a bad thing! Take your time when answering questions. Have 3 – 5 prepared questions for the interviewer. Visit AIE’s “Typical Interview Questions” page for examples. Don’t hesitate to ask the interviewers when they will make a hiring decision. Ask for a business card from all interviewers so you have their contact information for thank you notes. Always close the interview by expressing thanks and appreciation for their time. Send a hand written thank you note as soon after the interview as possible. If you have interviewed with more than one person, each person should receive a thank you note. http://www.adventuresineducation.org/HighSchool/Jobs/Interviews/Jobinterviewtips.cfm Interview First Impressions Create a good first impression in a job interview. Body language and attitude Make sure your body language during the interview projects a professional image. Eye contact- Good eye contact conveys confidence and enthusiasm. Facial expression- Smile. Imagine yourself as an interviewer meeting people all day. Walk in with a friendly and energetic face. Energy level – show enthusiasm. Posture – Maintain good posture throughout the interview. Sit up straight, relax, cross your feet at your ankles or place feet firmly on the ground, don’t slouch and don’t rock back in the chair. Don’t chew gum. Filling-out an application It may seem like a time consuming chore, but there is a reason you must fill out an application. Applications organize information about you into a format that is familiar to the employer. Most applications have room for all of your necessary information. Resumes do not always answer specific questions an employer may have. The application does, and that explains why there are many varieties of applications. Always bring a resume! It is always professional to have a resume with you. You will still be asked to complete applications, but having a resume tells an employer that you know how to present yourself effectively. Visit AIE’s “Developing Your Resume” page for resume –writing tips. In addition there are other online articles as well as many good books at your local library, campus bookstore or local bookstores. Ask for the Job! If you are truly interested in the job, ask for it. As you are preparing to leave, offer the interviewer your hand to shake, look directly into his or her eyes, and say how much you would enjoy working there. Tell the interviewer that you believe your skills and background is a perfect match to the company’s goals and function, that you believe you have a lot to offer the company, and that such a great company has a lot to offer your continued career development, as well. Thank you Always send a thank you note! This is important, not just for the sake of good manners, but to get the job. If time constraints make it difficult to send a hand written note, at least send an email, written fax, or a phone call and tell the interviewer, “Thank You.” Follow –up phone calls Before leaving an interview, ask the employer to give you some idea when they will be making a hiring decision. IF you haven’t heard anything after one week, phone the interviewer and inquire whether the position has been filled. If a decision has not been made, now is a good time to let the prospective employer know that you are interested in the job. Many employers hire the most enthusiastic applicant out of a group of qualified candidates. http://www.adventuresineducation.org/HighSchool/Jobs/Interviews/firstimpressions.cfm Typical Interview Questions Prepare for you interview by anticipating the questions an employer might ask. We’ve put together a list of characteristics that employers are often trying to assess, the questions they use to help evaluate those characteristics, and some questions you can ask during the interview, as well. One of the most effective ways to prepare for an interview is to anticipate the questions employers might ask. Usually, interviewers are going to ask questions based on the following areas: Adaptability Job performance Ambition and drive Judgment Analytical ability Learning ability Assertiveness Organizational skills Business philosophy and work Persistence ethic Persuasiveness Characteristics and traits Planning skills Communication skills Preferred style and type of Creativity work Education Risk taking Integrity Self assessment Interpersonal skills Strengths Weaknesses Now that you know what your prospective employers will be looking for, here are some questions they might ask you to bring out that information: Can you tell us a little about yourself? What is the most difficult adjustment you have ever had to make? How would you describe your work style? If you had a dispute with a co-worker, how would you handle it? What are your career goals for the next three to five years? What factors most influence your willingness to take a risk? What examples can you give me that reflect your ability to apply good judgment in a challenging situation? What has been your experience in working as a part of a team? In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of working as a part of a team? Why? Give me an example of something you had to learn that was difficult. On a scale from 1-5 (one being the lowest) how do you rate your communication skills? If you found out that one of your co-workers was doing something dishonest, what would you do? What is your personal definition of success? What is your personal motto? What are your plans for self-improvement and personal development? How would you go about organizing yourself to accomplish goals? What is your process for establishing priorities? What is one thing about yourself that you would most like to change? Which of your personal characteristics do you feel enhances your effectiveness in communicating with others? Why do you think you are a good fit for this position? If you had an opportunity to develop a basic set of values and beliefs which would serve as a company's foundation for success, what would those be? In your opinion, what is the difference between a vision and a mission? If I had three people in here that you consider to know you best, how would they describe you? What are one or two areas in which you think you could improve your performance? Of what accomplishments in your life are you most proud? During the interview, the interviewer might ask if you have any questions, or you might want to ask some questions on your own. Here are some ideas: What is your timeframe for filling this position? What is the career growth potential for this position? I'm familiar with the corporate culture, but what does a regular day look like for this department/business? How many people are on staff in the _____________ department/business? Does the ____________ department work closely with any other internal departments? What is the customer service philosophy of your company? What is your favorite thing about working here?
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