Resources successful interviews


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  • Show first bullet and ask participants what they think the underlying question is. Then show second bullet.
  • This slide previews the rest of the workshop
  • Mention as a resource for researching companies that the UW is licensed to use. Must use a UW computer or browser (UWICK). Gives company profile, officers, financial info, competitors. Researching Companies Online is good as well. Also mention and as company research sites, though they charge a fee for more detailed reports. Other web sites on back of handout packet. Can also do an articles search on, type in company name in search box.
  • Refer to questions in gold guide packet.
  • Ask for volunteer. Indicate that the volunteer will not be embarrassed or humiliated and that they will likely find out some good things about themselves and help in demonstrating the strategy to the group. Once you get a volunteer. Ask them to come up front and have a seat (arrange chairs in advance). Then ask the group: “What are questions you usually get in the beginning of the interview?” Take some answers – usually “Tell me about yourself.” “Why do you want to work here?” “What is your background?” Validate them all and select the “Tell me about yourself” as the question you will ask the volunteer and begin the interview role play. Follow the Dependable Strengths interview role play process. When done ask about the difference between the before and after interviews. Address questions, concerns (ie. “You took over the interview”). Thank the volunteer. Then review the interview strategy on the following slides.
  • The strategy can also work with other questions like “Why do you want to work here?” “What is your background?” by saying “I want to work here because I believe it would give me the opportunity to utilize my strengths that match with the position. They include _______________,_________,__________. Which would you like to hear about first?”
  • Try to keep responses to around 90 seconds.
  • Address concerns about taking over the interview and who is in control. First Bullet - refer to the Dependable Strengths identification exercise in the handout packet (Information About Self from the gold guide). Describe and discuss the exercise briefly. It’s fun if you like to write, may be tedious if you don’t, and it is among the best things one can do in preparing for an interview. Encourage students to follow-up with a career counselor after completing the DS exercises in Career Guide.
  • After showing top bullet, ask for ideas/examples of what behavior-based questions are Give examples of questions - see sample behavior based questions on STAR handout Point them to STAR section of Career Guide
  • After showing top bullet, ask for ideas/examples about what situation questions are Give an example of a situational question (i.e. “Let’s say you are working for us and you have been assigned to a team project as the lead person. One member of the team is not producing or pulling their weight. How would you deal with that situation?”)
  • Ask for examples of unexpected interview questions they’ve faced or heard about Give examples of unexpected questions (i.e.. What is your philosophy?, How would you describe your sense of humor?, etc. For unexpected questions, it is okay to ask for time to think, or to ask for clarification. Ask for ideas about what “negative questions” means Give examples of negative questions. (“What is your greatest weakness?’’, “Why didn’t you like your last job…your last employer…your education at the UW?”)
  • Technical question example – “How many jelly beans would fit in a Boeing 747?” Refer to the illegal questions handout.
  • Discuss and refer to CCS Mock Interview program handout. Inform them that they can do an MI with a peer, career counselor, or employer Be prepared to address questions about “practicing” in real interviews Only interview with companies that are of genuine interest to you Prepare adequately for each interview Try to do multiple interviews
  • Show some portfolio hard copies too Mention that you don’t necessarily need to include your resume in your portfolio Emphasize the importance of having a title page
  • Refer to example thank-you note in Career Guide Encourage students to send brief, appreciative email thank-you letter *immediately* after interview AND follow-up with more detailed letter in the snail mail within 48 hours If a group interviews you, try to send thank you notes to each interviewer. If you don’t know the names of each interviewer, send a thank-you letter to the “person in charge” Only need to send thank-you notes to people with whom you spent individual time.
  • Mention Job Offer & Salary Negotiations workshops and point them out on the Calendar of Events.
  • Resources successful interviews

    2. 2. Remember the Silent Question All questions employers ask are really the same question…
    3. 3. Ways to Show Value & Make an Impression: Research the company Understand the position Know your strengths & value Talk about your strengths Learn to answer different types of questions Practice your interviewing skills Create an interview portfolio Send a thank-you letter
    4. 4. Research the Company Why?  So you can show how you match with company needs What?  Company mission, core values, management style, culture, growth areas, projects, problems
    5. 5. Research the Company How?  Company / organization websites  Online resources: h ttp://  QuickLinks  Web Resources  Company Research  Directories, financial sources and indexes in libraries and Career Centers - Moody’s Industrial Manual, Thomas Register  Annual reports, articles, newspapers, trade journals
    6. 6. Understand the Position Understanding what the employer is looking for is key to answering interview questions Print the job description and highlight the “skill” words If you don’t have a job description, ask questions about it early in the interview  Is there anything more you can tell me about this position?  What results do you expect to see from somebody in this position?
    7. 7. Understand the Position When answering interview questions, discuss strengths and experiences that match the job description Ask a few questions at end of interview  Questions that show some forethought  Questions that show you’ve done your research  Questions that demonstrate your desire to understand the position
    8. 8. Strengths-Based Interview Strategy Answering the “Silent” question An interview strategy demonstration
    9. 9. Strengths-Based Interview Strategy “Tell me about yourself?” The question we usually get to start the interview. Gives the first opportunity to answer the silent question.
    10. 10. Strengths-Based Interview Strategy Keep in mind the job description and your strengths/skills. Choose three strengths and say: “My strengths include _______, _______, and _______; which of these would you prefer I talk about first?”
    11. 11. Strengths-Based Interview Strategy The interviewer will choose or let you choose. Give the best example of when you demonstrated that strength. Be short and clear - no more than 2 minutes.
    12. 12. Strengths-Based Interview Strategy Ask: “Is this the kind of information you want? Would you like another example in this skill area or shall I go on to another?” You will guide the interview so your greatest strengths are clearly communicated. Complete the worksheets on pages 7-10 in the CCS Career Guide
    13. 13. Know Your Strengths & Value A Strong Academic Record Skills & Achievements  Extra-curricular activities, achievements, and good experiences are strong evidence to help in understanding the type of person you are Technical Skills  Essential in some fields, and highly valued in all fields Also, your ability to…  place problems in a wide but relevant perspective  work efficiently with others in a team  get things done
    14. 14. Answering Questions Basic Approach  Listen  Think through the answers you could give  Answer briefly and to the point  Use only positive information
    15. 15. Answering Questions General tips  Be yourself  Speak clearly  Ask for clarification if you do not understand a question  Don’t be afraid to ask for time to think  Keep your answers relevant to the question  Ask questions – leave the interview knowledgeable about training, job locations, when you should expect to hear the outcome of the interview, etc.
    16. 16. Answering Questions Behavior Based Questions  employers believe past actions predict future behavior  think of examples/stories/scenarios  use the STAR Method
    17. 17. Answering Questions Situational Questions  interviewer describes a situation and asks how you would respond  relate to real situation if possible (keep the STAR method in mind)
    18. 18. Answering Questions Unexpected Questions  pause - think - respond Negative Questions  always respond with a positive  talk about what you learned  speak about something unrelated to the job
    19. 19. Answering Questions Technical Questions  test problem solving and critical thinking skills  indicate how you might arrive at an answer  Illegal Questions  think of underlying question interviewer might have in mind and address it  ask how it relates to performing the job
    20. 20. Practice Your Interviewing Skills Answering interview questions effectively takes practice Practice out loud by yourself Have a friend ask you questions Participate in a Mock Interview at CCS
    21. 21. Utilize Interviewing Resources Virtual Interview – computer in lobby Interview Survival Kit – buy at front desk Employer panels & Career Prep Event Mock interview program
    22. 22. Create an Interview Portfolio What is it?  A portable file of examples related to your skills and strengths  Its purpose is to show evidence of your strengths, value, and match to employers
    23. 23. Create an Interview Portfolio Why should I create one?  The process of creating one allows you to reflect on your strengths so you can better communicate them  Using portfolios in job interviews will:  Set you apart from other candidates  Help you better describe your strengths and examples  Help you get jobs!
    24. 24. Create an Interview Portfolio How do I start making one?  Decide on a format (binder, online, etc.)  Start collecting artifacts that demonstrate the skills you might want to discuss in interviews  Photos, charts, reports, certificates, thank you notes, flyers, diagrams, etc.  See examples on next few pages  For each artifact, create a title and short description  Store artifacts in file box or electronic files
    25. 25. Rumi Tsuchihashi Portfolio Highlights Team player with experience in cross-cultural training, program management, and interpersonal communication. Excellent writing and editing skills. Native fluency in Japanese. Experience Cross-cultural training * Designed and conducted workshops on Japanese patterns of communication and managed student study abroad program. * Researched and assembled a cultural diversity information packet, as part of a training for educators. Program management * Effectively managed program participants of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. * Designed and edited monthly program calendar and newsletter, which aided internal communication. * One program accelerated its application process by more than 50% after a complete revision of the program information packet and forms. Interpersonal Communication * Served as liaison between volunteers and clients by exercising active listening skills, successfully mediating many interpersonal conflicts and problems of miscommunication. * Maintained regular phone and written contacts with clients, keeping detailed written documents which promoted continuity and cohesion in the service. Table of Contents Cross-cultural Training………………………………….2 Program Development...……... ……………………. 3 Program Management…………………………………. 4
    26. 26. Cross-cultural Training Developed presentation and public-speaking skills through Japanese language and culture presentations to Seattle-area public school students.
    27. 27. Program Development Conceived and conducted workshop assisting overseas program participants with logistical arrangements and provided support for cultural adjustment.
    28. 28. Program Management  Effectively managed program of participants from diverse cultural backgrounds.  Designed and edited newsletter.  Created program recruiting brochure.  Accelerated application process by more than 50% resulting in increased matches.
    29. 29. A Good Match What I Bring:  Cross-cultural training  Program development  Program management Your Job Listing: Assistant Director – Institute for International Education of Students
    30. 30. Create an Interview Portfolio How do I use one in interviews?  Review job description for key skills  Choose 5-10 strengths and artifacts  Create targeted portfolio for each interview  Include title page and table of contents  When discussing a skill during an interview, show your proof!  Leave portfolio for employer to review and pick it up later
    31. 31. Create an Interview Portfolio Where can I learn more about portfolios?  Download our Portfolio Basics Workshop slides  Check out  Meet with a counselor individually  Participate in a mock interview
    32. 32. Send a Thank-You Letter Sending a thank-you letter allows you to:  Express appreciation  Demonstrate professionalism  Demonstrate your writing skills  Restate your interest, skills, and match  Address issue you forgot or want to emphasize  Stand out from the crowd
    33. 33. Send a Thank-You Letter Thank-you letters should be:  Short, sincere, positive  Sent within 48 hours of your interview  Addressed to each interviewer  Signed
    34. 34. Summary Research the company Understand the position Know / speak about your strengths and value Prepare for different types of questions Practice, Practice, Practice! Create a portfolio Send a thank-you letter  - click on Interview Prep
    35. 35. Successful Interviews