How To Prepare For an Interview (Workshop)

We can only imagine how nervous you might be, having mixed feelings and mixed emotions thinking this is really exciting, you know, they actually got back to me, but at the same time, even though it’s exciting,So hopefully this presentation will give you a little bit more insight on what to expect and how to best prepare So seven tips. Just a quick overview of these know the job description, do your research, figure out how you’re going to craft and create.

Practice those responses, prepare beforehand and think about strategies on really going into the interview and how can I put my best foot forward, self awareness and a little bit of interview etiquette. So, much like the game of chess, strategy and practice will definitely come into play here. So tip number one. Know the job description.

In this whole process, you are able to save the job description in a Word document or in Google Drive. or in Excel somewhere with those details, not just the link, because sometimes when the interviewer removes the link from the website you might not necessarily be able to go back in there. So definitely save the job description and save those words, see what exactly are they looking for, what are those skills that you have And once you really review those.

You might also want to look back the resume that you submitted, because there might be some experience or expertise that you mentioned in your resume that maybe you forgot that you mentioned. So also know that resume that you submitted, and once again, going back into resume writing really quickly–you definitely want to submit unique resumes to every employer that you’re applying to. Tip number two. Do your research. Go to the company’s website know it back and forth. Learn about what they do, how they do it.

Maybe some goals, look at different industry trends, so that maybe you can be able to speak to some of the buzzwords in the industry. And research the industry industry specific questions. So in another presentation and another workshop we’ll be going over these seven top-asked questions. and how you can best prepare for those. So be on the lookout for that workshop. And do a simple Google search. Maybe you’ll find out that they’re in the news or that they recently relocated.

So that might be another discussion point during your interview. And looking them up on Glassdoor. So like Indeed, Glassdoor also has job postings, but the neat thing about Glassdoor is that it actually has past and present employees give feedback from their experience working at the company. So you might have a little bit of additional insight that others might not necessarily have, so check them out on glassdoor.

And lastly, ask someone who works there, so maybe they have a little bit of knowledge in terms of the work environment, the atmosphere. Maybe the expectations. So, you know, kind of seeing how much they know and how much that could help you, especially with making your informed decision on ‘is this company right for me?’ Number three, you might ask me, Christina. What do I do with all that information that I gathered? Well, we’re going to go ahead and utilize that information as a bridge. To create your answers.

So, you know, for the job description, what they’re looking for, you know, what skills you have now if you go ahead and merge those two along with your research on the company that will then be this equation for a solid response to their questions. So focusing on the needs of the company when you respond, focusing on the skills that you bring to the table, and maybe how it informs their mission or their future goals coming up. Tailor your answers to the company. Focus on the positives. So not the negatives of your past. So utilize these different pieces of information in your responses.

And practice out loud, I cannot tell you how obvious and apparent it is when someone walks into an interview and you can tell that they practiced. You can tell that they went over their responses and they practice out loud because they’re not necessarily tripping over their words when they speak so when we practice out loud, immediately we might start thinking, “Oh, I didn’t like the way I phrased that” or “I don’t know where I was going,” you know, on that train of thought.

So practicing out loud can really help with that it can really help cater your answers, polish them, so that you can really put your best foot forward. So doing that…after you practice out loud, move by yourself or in front of a mirror, I would highly suggest scheduling an appointment with one of us in the Career Center, with a career counselor, because then we can go ahead and do a mock interview with you and we can ask you some of those questions and we can look at your body language and see, okay is there may be some some nervousness coming out in any way, shape, or form? Typically the nervous. voice–that’s common but maybe you might talk with your hands a lot.

Or maybe you play with your hair. So just some things to kind of think about as you’re planning this interview, hopefully, if you have enough days beforehand in advance, you know in advance, you can go ahead and schedule an appointment with one of us. The idea of ‘just winging it’–going in there and saying, you know, “I know about the company and yeah, I have an idea of what I’m going to say” it is very obvious that practicing wasn’t a part of your strategy. So I highly suggest, don’t just “wing it”.

You don’t have to go and spend too much money, but something that will set you apart. Something that they’ll remember so maybe it was a certain color that you wore and they can remember and think back, “Oh, it was a person that responded this and this way– the person wearing green” Don’t wear too much. Just because if the interviewer is allergic or if it just is very overpowering, maybe the person doesn’t like the scent as much as you do. You don’t want to be negatively remembered. So a little tip there. Make sure that you have the address and the instructions. If there is an office suite number listed, make sure that you have that.

I would highly suggest you do a test drive and see how long it might take you to get there with traffic. The names of your interviewers, make sure you have that and maybe even doing a little bit of background research on LinkedIn to see Two copies of your resume cover letter and your references, just in case they ask And tip number six is on self awareness. So just know it’s okay to be nervous. It’s normal. We all feel nervous during an interview. But I want you to keep in mind. I want you to challenge yourself just as much as they’re interviewing you, you’re also interviewing them. Arrive early about 15 minutes, not any earlier than that.

And as you wait to be called in as you’re sitting there maybe sit up, ground your feet on the floor, and just take deep, slow breaths in, that should help with some of the nervousness, maybe if you have shaky hands, etc. And just take comfort in the fact that you’ve practiced you did the best you can. And practice makes perfect, right. So just like you might practice for a dance or music recital to be best prepared, you’ve done your due diligence. Like I said, take comfort in that And be courteous to everyone around, you never know if the hiring manager might ask the administrative assistant or the receptionist, Number seven During the interview.

These are some tips that can be very easy to forget. So turn off not only your phone, but if you have any other smart devices It’s fine if you want to chew gum beforehand, but before you enter the building, make sure you throw it out in a trash can, it can be very distracting. And remember not to play with your hair. If you feel like you’re someone that has that tendency, maybe an up-do or back-do, ponytail bun, etc. maybe that’ll be helpful for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on questions.

Typically, these questions are ranked on a scale, so a number scale, and if for some reason they ask you one question, and you’re not quite sure and you completely veer off and answer it incorrectly, you might be at risk of getting a zero for that response. So, if you need to clarify that shouldn’t be marked against you. Feel free to go ahead and do so. Maybe you can ask, “Can you rephrase that? What do you mean by that?” Go ahead and ask them something more specific. Be confident, being engaged, be excited.

Remember, you stood out in your resume. So you should feel accomplished in that there was something in that resume that really made you shine. and that made them call you for the interview. So just take joy in that. And know–you know what–this is an honor and a privilege to be here… and hopefully that will brighten up your spirits little bit among the nerves. Write down the names of the interviewers, so that you can send thank you notes and emails. I know that we went over, knowing the names. Make sure that you at least have the the emails as well. And ask them about next steps.

That’s fine. Those are all fine questions and that can actually help you for the next step, which is not only thanking them for their time at the end, but sending them either an email or a note card. You can go ahead and send individual note cards via email if there’s going to be a fast turnaround time with hiring. So maybe a week or two. It might be that hiring is later on, let’s say in a month, thank you notes are fine, but make sure that you send them to each individual person who was interviewing you.

You can include a couple four or five sentences, that might state something that you appreciated that maybe they said, or that they shed some light upon during the interview or a unique detail of the interview of that conversation and anything that you wanted to say that you completely forgot. Sometimes we want to say I really want to talk about these skills, but if you didn’t necessarily if you didn’t have that particular experience or the question, this is your opportunity to go ahead and mention that and just remember to keep it short and professional. So before I go ahead and talk about how you can make an appointment with a career counselor.

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