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 INTERVIEWING WORKSHOP

Give paper and pencils and write down your biggest fear of interviewing

Click here for PP

Click here for interviewing videos

Click here for Do's and Don'ts

Click here for what to wear.

Click here on what NOT to wear!

Questions you should be prepared for-click here

Situational or Behavioral questions-click here

Sample questions from you-click here.

Interview Jitters?-Click here.

 

FEARS:
Being stumped by questions
Not being dressed appropriately
Having a bad interviewer
Arriving late
Not being qualified for the job
Looking not as though I "fit"
Other:


Top 10 Interview Mistakes
1.  Not taking the interview seriously. Donít make the mistake of thinking that the interview is just a formality. Even if all of the preliminaries have gone well, donít be cavalier and start imagining how youíll start spending your new salary. The biggest error you can make is to assume that, because youíve gotten this far, the job is in the bag.

2.  Dressing down. How you present yourself during your initial meeting with a potential employer is very important, and your physical appearance can speak volumes to someone who is meeting you for the first time. Even if you know that the firm allows employees to wear jeans, donít sabotage yourself by showing up to the interview in casual clothing. Err on the side of conservative and show up in neat, professional clothing; a business suit is your best and safest bet.


3. Not showing why youíre the best choice. Be familiar with the job description of the position for which youíre interviewing so that you can illustrate how your experience, abilities, and strengths are in line with the companyís needs. Many potential employers want to know why they should hire you specifically. Make it clear to them.

4.  Being too modest. Failing to talk yourself up during an interview is one of the most self-defeating mistakes that you can make. This is not the time for humility, so sing your praises! Donít be afraid to talk up everything that youíve accomplished, whether in school or in previous companies. This is your time to shine.

5.  Talking too much. Be careful not to talk over the interviewer. This meeting should be a two-way conversation, and many interviewees cover up their nervousness by blathering. Sit calmly, listen carefully, and answer questions thoughtfully.

6.  Focusing on the funds. Donít talk money too soon into the interview. To focus on your salary requirements and previous salary history right off the bat may cause you to reveal too much. While the topic of salary will certainly come up, follow the interviewerís lead. He or she may be saving that topic for a later conversation.

7. Trash talking. Even if you hated your former boss or felt that you were treated unfairly by your previous employer, a job interview is not the place to launch into a litany of complaints. Donít go there. If you were laid off or fired from a previous position, be prepared with an explanation that puts a positive spin on the circumstances.

8.  Failing to ask questions. Your rťsumť may be impressive on paper, but employers also appreciate a candidate who can ask several intelligent questions during an interview. Prepare at least 3 or 4 questions in advance to ask the interviewer. Interviews are an exchange of information, and not having questions to ask can reveal a lack of preparation.

9.  Lack of enthusiasm. This is your first and sometimes only chance to showcase your personality. Donít walk in announcing your bad day. Be polite and upbeat. Show your enthusiasm for both the job and the opportunity to interview for it. And donít forget to thank the person at the end of the interview!

10 Forgetting the follow-up. Make sure to send a handwritten thank-you note or polite email to the interviewer expressing gratitude for his or her time and consideration. And while you donít want to call the company every day, a phone call to check in a week after the interview is perfectly acceptable.


AFTER THE INTERVIEW

Closing an Interview: Tips to Seal the Deal
Index:
Seal the Deal With Strong References
Should You Accept the First Offer?
The Second Interview
The Waiting Game
Two Words To Boost Your Career: Thank You
 


Seal the Deal With Strong References-Back to Index
Your polished resume got you the interview. Your stellar interviewing skills made you the hiring manager's top choice. But the deal's not done. You have one last hurdle: The reference check.

Eighty-seven percent of human resource professionals say their company has checked prospective employees' references within the past year, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

Don't underestimate the importance of the reference check. This final, crucial step in the hiring process can mean the difference between an offer and a rejection letter.

A good reference confirms and elaborates on the information in your resume. More important, he gives positive feedback on your skills and experience.

Former managers, clients and colleagues make the best references, because they have first-hand knowledge of your job performance. If you're new to the workforce, you may want to ask a professor or teacher to serve as a reference.

Avoid using friends and family as references as well as people who have known you less than one year.

Most importantly, make sure you've asked permission before listing someone as a reference. In this case, the element of surprise won't work to your advantage.

 


Should You Accept the First Offer?-Back to Index
First Offer or Last Offer?

What else prompts people to accept the first job offer they receive? Typically, it's fear. Nervous job seekers will often wonder, "What if nothing better comes along?"

If you're being afflicted by this fear, evaluate your job search efforts to date. Have you done everything possible to attract all potential opportunities? Are you contacting recruiters? Is your most current resume posted on Yahoo! HotJobs? Does everyone in your network know you're looking for a new opportunity?

To truly assess all of your options, make sure you're leaving no stone unturned in your search.

Don't Settle for Second Best

Some job seekers cringe at the thought of accepting the first job they're offered because they fear their dream job is still out there. "What if something better comes along?" they worry.

You can put these worries to rest by creating a "new opportunity checklist" at the beginning of each job search. What are your must-haves? What are you nice-to-haves? Weigh your first -- and every -- job offer against your checklist. What's there? What's missing? What additional information do you need to make an informed, intelligent decision?

Also, assess your post-interview mood. Did you leave feeling excited about the possibility of working at that particular company alongside the people you met? If you're not feeling very enthusiastic, you might be settling. And, as a result, you might find yourself searching for yet another job sooner rather than later.

The Wisdom of Rejection

An often-overlooked benefit of evaluating and rejecting a job offer is that you can discover what's really important to you.

You might notice some of your nice-to-haves are actually must-haves. You may come to learn that you don't want to change industries. You could determine that you're interested in relocating to another part of the country.

Whatever your realizations, exploring your opportunities will give you the confidence to accept or reject your first job offer. And it is confidence -- not desperation -- that drives the best decisions.


 

The Second Interview-Back to Index
This time around, expect to spend more time at the company, talk to more people, individually and collectively, and have your skills and personality scrutinized more closely.

The Employer's Point of View

From an employer's perspective, the second interview is a chance to closely evaluate a candidate's abilities and interpersonal skills. Your prospective employer wants to see that you can do the job and work well with colleagues.

Be aware that many employers bring in several candidates on the same day to streamline the second interview process. Your challenge is to distinguish yourself from the other candidates.

To show you're a good fit with the company, focus on explaining how your abilities and experiences would enable you to do the job. Be specific. Offer concrete examples that highlight your competence and compatibility.

Who You'll Meet

On your first interview, you probably met with one or two people. This time, be prepared to meet several more over the course of the day, including potential managers, coworkers and other staff members.

You may meet individually with several people, who will most likely ask you similar questions. Keep your answers consistent but mix up your delivery so that your answers don't sound stale or staged. If possible, before the interview acquire a list of the people you'll be meeting with and do a little research on each one. Then ask questions that show your knowledge of each person.

If you meet with a panel or group, be sure to make eye contact with both the individual asking the question and the group as a whole.

Steps for Follow Up

It's rare to receive an offer on the spot, but it does happen occasionally. If the feedback is consistently positive over the course of the day, you may get a job offer at the end of the interview. If that happens, don't make a hasty decision. Ask for time to think about it.

If you don't get an offer, be sure to immediately send a brief thank you note to every person you spoke with. Some companies make hiring decisions in a matter of days, but many can take weeks to make their final choice.

Be patient, be flexible and be ready for an offer or an invitation for yet another interview.

The Waiting Game-Back to Index
There's a fine line between being conscientious and being annoying.

The first rule is: Don't wait for the recruiter to contact you. You need to keep in touch not just to stay informed about the interview process, but also to stay fresh in the recruiter's mind.

So how long should you wait after an interview to make contact?

The majority of recruiters (53 percent) said candidates should wait one week before following up, according to a Yahoo! HotJobs survey.

When you do follow up, reiterate your interest in the position. Ask what the next step is (if you don't know) and find out when the company anticipates making a decision.

Don't Stop Searching

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is taking a break from their search in the hopes that an offer is imminent.

It's very hard to predict if you'll be offered a particular job. So even if you're confident that an offer is coming, keep looking.

You won't lose your momentum if the offer never comes. You'll also increase your chance of getting another offer, which can be helpful when negotiating.

Two Words to Boost Your Career-Thank You-Back to Index
Beginning with the "thank you" for your first job interview and ending with the "thank you" for your retirement party, your career can benefit enormously from simple notes of gratitude written along the way. Frequent, well-written thank-you notes can foster professional success in unimaginable ways, and they are especially important after a job interview.

The Mechanics

Thank-you notes should be printed on letterhead stationery or personal-business stationery, or -- for a little warmer tone -- handwritten on fold-over note cards. You can simplify the process by sending an email thank-you message (more on this later), which is not as distinctive as a handwritten note but far better than no message at all.

As you're writing, don't worry about being creative or clever or profound. People are so charmed to receive thank-you notes at all that they are seldom very critical. "Thank you very much" are words that everyone likes to read.

Click here for a thank you letter.



 

A great website that addresses many questions is:
http://www.salisbury.edu/careerservices/Students/Interviews/default.html

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