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Getting the Interview The Office of Career Services Gail D. Riggs Johnson Hall 765-966-2656 800 659-4562 Ext: 1204 Getting the Interview: • A good resume will get you the interview. • A good interview will get you the job. Things to consider before the interview process: • Know what career goals you want to achieve. • Shoot for those goals. • Know what position you are best suited to perform. • Know how to present your qualifications. • Consider legitimate resources for seeking employment. Legitimate Resources: • www.careerbuilder.com • www.WayNet.org • www.learnmoreindiana.org • www.bls.gov • Your college Career Services Office Objectives Goals: Before the Interview • Identify research you should do before the interview regarding the position for which you are applying and the organization where you are applying • Make necessary preparations before the interview for travel, documents, and greeting the interviewer • Identify appropriate attire for the interview Before the Interview You have submitted your resume and cover letter for a job opening, and now you’ve been scheduled for a personal interview (a good resume will get you the interview) The interview is the most decisive step in your job search. This is where you GET THE JOB!!!! Remember - you are “selling” yourself. To do so requires preparation. Before the Interview Your resume is your sales brochure It is an advertisement of your qualifications • Education • Work experience • Skills and abilities Before the Interview Your resume should be: • Organized and easy to read • Keep sentences and paragraphs short and concise • Use bullets before each sentence or qualification rather than complete sentences • Use simple terms • Use quantities and dollar amounts to enhance your qualifications Before the Interview • Avoid excessive use of the pronoun “I” • There must be no misspelled words • Your resume should be one page, or no more than two pages in length • Do not abbreviate words in your resume • Use Action verbs: - coordinated -organized -designed -supervised and a number of employees • Provide proof of skills – Avoid: “I am an intelligent and diligent worker” – Include: “I have finished three major research projects” Before the Interview • Write a rough draft first • Critique it • Make is visually attractive • Use most pertinent dates and numbers • Emphasize skills, qualifications and accomplishments, especially those which transfer from one institution to another • Do not use negative words, and do not apologize for lack of experience Before the Interview Resume Format • Chronological: - begins with your present or most recent job and lists your work experience in descending order • Functional: -goes beyond outlining education and experience, it enables you to focus on your transferable skills (best used when you have little or no work experience, but lots of class experience) samples in Job Manual; pg. 29 and 31 Before the Interview • Learn as much as you can about the organization before the interview by obtaining a copy of the company’s literature and annual report. Check the Web or Chamber of Commerce (Many organizations have web sites about their organization. The web site may offer an on- line application to submit) Before the Interview • If you are unfamiliar with the location of the interview, drive by the location the day before and time your trip to ensure you will have ample time for traffic, etc., on the day of your interview Before the Interview • Make sure you know the name of the person who will be conducting the interview, and learn the pronunciation of that person’s name.You can call and get this information from the Human Resources Department or the Receptionist. Before the Interview • You may be interviewed by a committee of several people, and you may be asked to give a presentation as part of your interviewing process • If you are asked to give a presentation, prepare and practice thoroughly before your interview Before the Interview • At least half the employer’s hiring decision will be made the minute the interviewer lays eyes on you • Personal appearance is extremely important during the personal interview • Dress in conservative business attire For men- Wear a conservative tie and be sure your suit is clean and pressed and your shoes are shined (appropriate traditional business attire is a suit and tie) For a woman- • A suit, dress, or business slacks suit is appropriate business attire Be Careful of: • Hemlines: nothing much above the knee • Necklines: No low necklines • Always wear stockings Before the Interview • For a job in a more casual environment, a shirt and tie are appropriate for men • Try to learn about the culture of the company so that you can dress appropriately Before the Interview • Hair should be clean and under control • Hair should be styled conservatively • Avoid excessive jewelry or makeup • Women should keep earrings small and wear just one pair • Men should play it safe and leave the earring at home • Men and women should not wear much fragrance; some people are allergic and it can be distracting Before the Interview It’s natural to be a little nervous • Try not to be so shy you can barely talk • On the other hand, don’t act cocky to compensate for your nervousness Before the Interview • Don’t chew gum during the interview • Don’t Smoke right before the interview • Don’t come to the interview with alcohol on your breath Before the Interview • Take two extra copies of your resume with you, even if you have previously mailed a resume • In addition, bring your listing of 3-5 references • And bring an application summary sheet to aid completion of an application Plan to “sell” yourself ! • Think of 2 or 3 success stories that you can relate about your previous experience or special skills and education Before the Interview • An interview will often conclude with such questions as, “do you have any questions about the position?” • Be ready with 2 or 3 relevant questions that indicate your serious interest in the job During the Interview Goals • Know how to conduct yourself professionally upon arrival at the interview • Know how to answer interview questions truthfully and positively During the Interview • Arrive 10-15 minutes early. • Remember that your interview begins the moment you enter the parking lot. Be polite in greeting the receptionist and anyone else with whom you come in contact. • Shake hands firmly with the interviewer when introduced and establish eye contact. • Don’t be afraid to offer your hand first. During the Interview • Don’t address the interviewer by first name, even if that person is younger than you • When you enter the interviewer’s office, don’t sit until the interviewer sits or asks you to be seated • Maintain eye contact with your interviewer during your meeting During the Interview • Sit up straight and lean forward slightly in your chair. Doing so shows that you are interested and are listening to the questions that are being asked. • Pay close attention to the questions being asked. • Don’t be afraid to pause for a moment to formulate your thoughts before answering the question and speak slowly and clearly. During the Interview • Don’t criticize past employers, instructors, or other individuals. Employers are not interested in hiring negative people, and criticizing others will only make you look bad • Describe past jobs and try to emphasize positive aspects of your previous job experience • Focus on specific past accomplishments, such as developing new procedures During the Interview • Try to relate past experiences to the job for which you are applying • Emphasize skills that would be useful in the new position, such as public relations responsibility or the ability to work well with others • Don’t answer with just “yes” and “no” Explain your answers • Look for openings that will allow you to stress your strong points • BE HONEST!! During the Interview • Don’t talk about your personal life. For example, an employer may be reluctant to hire women who have young children. • Avoid talking about your marital or family status. During the Interview • If there are gaps in the employment history section of your resume, a question may come up about it in the interview. Be prepared with an answer about why there was a period of time when no employment was shown. During the Interview • If asked what salary you would like to have, turn the question back on the interviewer by asking if he or she can give you a salary range that the company might be willing to pay for the position During the Interview • Federal Civil Rights laws prohibit discrimination in hiring based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin. • Employers may not ask pre-employment questions about: -Religion -Race -Marital status Conclude the interview positively. Summarize your qualifications and show your enthusiasm for obtaining the position. During the Interview • Shake hands with the interviewer(s) once again at the conclusion of the interview. Be sure to thank the interviewer(s) for his/her/their time (the next day be sure to prepare Thank You cards to send to each interviewer). After the Interview • Be sure that you have the correct spelling of the interviewer’s name as well as job title • A good way of ensuring that you have the correct information is to ask the interviewer for his or her business card before leaving After the Interview • If the interviewer indicated that a decision would be made within a week and more than a week has passed without a response, make a phone call to follow up After the Interview • Ask to speak to the Human Resources Rep or the interviewer’s administrative assistant. When the person answers, after identifying yourself, ask if a decision has been made. • If the receptionist indicates that the person is not available, leave a message that you called to inquire about the position and ask that the person return your call. • Be prepared to leave a voice mail message if necessary. After the Interview • Most employers will appreciate your enthusiasm for the position and your follow-through After the Interview • If you are a finalist for the position, you may be scheduled for a second interview with higher level management. • If so, review your strengths and weaknesses and short- and long-term goals. • Also, review your performance from your first interview. If there were weak areas, try to rethink some of your answers and improve on your strong points. After the Interview • Find out who will be conducting this second interview. This information probably will be given to you when your second interview is scheduled; if not call the H.R. rep or the receptionist. After the Interview • This interview is probably the time when salary will be discussed • Be prepared for this discussion by finding out ahead of time what the salary range is in your career field for your geographic area After the Interview • Once again, don’t give a figure unless pressed to do so. Ask the interviewer to quote a salary range for that particular position. • If you are pressed to quote a salary, give a range. If you’ve done your research about salaries in your area, you should be able to quote a range consistent with this companies expectations. After the Interview • You should end this interview by thanking the interviewer(s) for his/her/their time • Once again, show enthusiasm and indicate that you are interested in the position • A very important last step: Before leaving, ASK FOR THE POSITION! After the Interview • Afterwards, be sure to write a second thank you letter to the interviewer(s) • A thank you letter should be sent immediately after every interview •Questions?
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