Job Search Preparation - Resumes, Interviews, etc.

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Visit us at Morgan Hall 159 or call 785-670-1450 for an appointment. Office hours are 8-5, Monday - Friday.

career-services@washburn.edu

Interviewing

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

INTERVIEW DOs

  • Dress professionally and conservatively
  • Maintain a neat hairstyle
  • Cover all visible tattoos
  • Remove visible piercing jewelry - limit to one earring per ear for women, none for men; no nose, eyebrow, or lip piercings
  • Wear perfume or cologne VERY conservatively
  • Wear minimal amount of jewelry
  • Provide interviewer with your resume
  • Smile - it's a universally attractive trait
  • Walk with confidence
  • Maintain good eye contact
  • Shake hands firmly
  • Arrive 10 minutes early at interview location
  • Be very polite to the receptionist
  • Greet the interviewer in a friendly, businesslike manner
  • Relax, act natural, and let your personality shine
  • Leave cell phone in the car

INTERVIEW DON'Ts

  • Use interviewer's first name (unless or until asked to)
  • Arrive late
  • Sit down (until invited)
  • Show anxiety or lack of interest
  • Look at your watch
  • Act inferior or superior
  • Talk too much - or too little - in your responses
  • Be rude to anyone
  • Mumble, bluff, or answer dishonestly
  • Criticize yourself
  • Be negative when speaking about your employers
  • Ask about your salary or benefits

THE ART OF PREPARATION

  • Research the employer
  • Assess your strengths and weaknesses
  • Analyze and compare previous job responsibilities to those of position sought
  • Remember that volunteer and internship experience count as relevant experience
  • Develop and rehearse your responses to typical interview questions
  • Frame answers to show job effectiveness
  • Have a mock interview at Career Services or use Optimal Interview
  • Prepare thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer
  • Remember -- practice makes perfect

TEN FREQUENTLY ASKED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why should I hire you?
  • What are your major strengths?
  • What are your major weaknesses?
  • How does your previous experience relate to the position?
  • What are your career goals?
  • What will your former employers (or teachers, if you are a recent student) say about you?
  • Why are you interested in this position?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Tell me about a time when… (behavioral questions)

A few more are in the interview handout linked at right.

TOP SKILLS AND TRAITS EMPLOYERS LOOK FOR (Job Choices 2012)

  • Communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Strong work ethic
  • Teamwork skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Initiative

Can you give examples of how you have shown these?

POWER WORDS AND PHRASES

Use action words in your interview responses just as in your resume:

Achieved, Accepted, Analyzed, Compiled, Created, Determined, Developed, Directed, Instructed, Managed, Mediated, Organized

Prepare “short stories” using these types of words to answer the behavioral (“Tell me about a time when you…”) questions.

QUESTIONS TO ASK THE INTERVIEWER(S)

  • What skills are considered most useful for success in this position?
  • How often would my performance be reviewed?
  • What kind of training program is offered?
  • What would be a typical first assignment?
  • What career progression do you see for someone in this position?
  • What type of orientation would I have?

FOLLOW-UP AFTER THE INTERVIEW

  • Send follow-up email thank-you immediately;  thank-you letter by the next day
  • Allow the employer one week to ten days to contact you
  • Take advantage of time by scheduling additional interviews with other companies
  • Remember that interviewing is a skill that improves with practice

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

  • You have rights to protect against discriminatory interview questions
  • Discriminatory questions are usually those items classified as non-job related
  • Sex, race, age, disabilities, national origin, and religion are categories employers may not ask about during interviews

HOW CAREER SERVICES CAN ASSIST YOU WITH THE INTERVIEW PROCESS:

  • Mock interviews
  • Individual interview guidance
  • Interview reference materials
  • Job/interviewing leads
  • On-campus job interviews
  • Class or student organization presentations on interviewing

Schedule a visit to Career Services for a mock interview or interviewing assistance!

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