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  1. 1. ACE THE INTERVIEW: TELL YOUR STORY EFFECTIVELY Presented by Sara West 22 September 2008 Sponsored by the Business Communication Center
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>How to prepare for the interview </li></ul><ul><li>What to expect during the interview </li></ul><ul><li>How to follow up after the interview </li></ul>
  3. 3. What not to do…
  4. 4. Agenda <ul><li>How to prepare for the interview </li></ul><ul><li>What to expect during the interview </li></ul><ul><li>How to follow up after the interview </li></ul>
  5. 5. Preparing for the interview <ul><li>Complete a self-assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Research the company </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct a mock interview at the Business Communication Center </li></ul>
  6. 6. What employers want you to have: <ul><li>Communication skills </li></ul><ul><li>Honesty and integrity </li></ul><ul><li>Interpersonal skills </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation and initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Strong work ethic </li></ul><ul><li>Teamwork and leadership skills </li></ul><ul><li>Analytical skills </li></ul><ul><li>Self-confidence </li></ul>
  7. 7. Assess your… <ul><li>Academic background and performance </li></ul><ul><li>Work and volunteer experience </li></ul><ul><li>Special skills </li></ul><ul><li>Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Personal attributes </li></ul><ul><li>Career goals </li></ul>
  8. 8. Matching up your skills What you want to demonstrate Where you might find a good example Communication Class presentation Honesty and integrity Personal relationship Interpersonal skills Volunteer work Teamwork skills Study group Leadership Student-run organization Analytical skills Statistics class
  9. 9. Company research <ul><li>Why should you bother? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Company research <ul><li>Why should you bother? </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate interest and knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Gives you something to ask the interviewer </li></ul><ul><li>Find out if you’re a good fit for the company </li></ul>
  11. 11. What should you research? <ul><li>Recent current events affecting the firm </li></ul><ul><li>Products and services </li></ul><ul><li>Size of firm and industry </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational structure </li></ul><ul><li>Geographic locations </li></ul><ul><li>Stock price </li></ul><ul><li>Sales revenue </li></ul>
  12. 12. Where can you find this info? <ul><li>Company website </li></ul><ul><li>Annual reports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Letter to shareholders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SWOT section (strengths, opportunities, threats, weaknesses) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vault and WetFeet Guides (on UCS website) </li></ul><ul><li>Google news search </li></ul><ul><li>Spend 2 – 3 hours researching your top company. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Dealing with anxiety <ul><li>Take a break from interview prep </li></ul><ul><li>Walk up and down a flight of stairs </li></ul><ul><li>Take deep breaths </li></ul>
  14. 14. Agenda <ul><li>How to prepare for the interview </li></ul><ul><li>What to expect during the interview </li></ul><ul><li>How to follow up after the interview </li></ul>
  15. 15. During the interview <ul><li>Do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Arrive early </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a firm handshake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smile! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make direct eye contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sit up straight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use the interviewer’s name when introduced </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. During the interview <ul><li>Don’t: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Say negative things about your former employers, professors, or classmates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tell me about the worst boss you’ve ever had. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tell about a time you were frustrated by a classmate. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interrupt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let your cell phone ring. (Turn it off!) </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Typical interview structure <ul><li>Greeting </li></ul><ul><li>Small talk </li></ul><ul><li>Opening questions </li></ul><ul><li>More specific questions </li></ul><ul><li>Your questions </li></ul><ul><li>Close </li></ul>
  18. 18. Types of interview questions <ul><li>Education oriented </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why did you choose Carolina? The BSBA program? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Goal-related </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where do you see yourself in five years? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Results-oriented </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the biggest risk you have ever taken? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Behavioral </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell me about a time you received criticism. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Character-related </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe your role within a group. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Resume walk <ul><li>Also known as “Tell me about yourself.” </li></ul><ul><li>Less than 2 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Results-oriented overview of experience </li></ul><ul><li>Reverse chronological story leading up to present </li></ul><ul><li>Upshot: why are you interested in this industry? What experiences have you led to this point? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Other opening questions <ul><li>Why did you apply for this job? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Give an answer that is specific to the company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Challenging projects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities for mentorship </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Where do you see yourself in 5 years? </li></ul><ul><li>What are your strengths? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also known as: What would you bring to this organization? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are your weaknesses? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should not be relevant to the job </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Behavioral questions <ul><li>Tell me about a time when you demonstrated leadership skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe a time when you faced a moral dilemma. What was your decision-making process? </li></ul><ul><li>Tell me about a time when you learned something from someone else’s mistake. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe a time when you came up with a new idea and implemented it. </li></ul>
  22. 22. STAR method <ul><li>Situation: Background or problem </li></ul><ul><li>Task: Your role, what you were charged with doing </li></ul><ul><li>Action: What you did to solve the problem </li></ul><ul><li>Result: Outcome </li></ul><ul><li>Pull experiences from all aspects of your life! </li></ul>
  23. 23. Your questions <ul><li>Questions based on research, industry trends, annual report – goals, opportunities, etc </li></ul><ul><li>How would you describe the career paths available to someone in this position? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the next steps in the interview process? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NOT: When will I hear back from you? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should be your last question, if you want to ask it </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Don’t ask about these. Please. <ul><li>Salary </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Sick leave and vacation time </li></ul><ul><li>Other perks </li></ul><ul><li>None are appropriate </li></ul><ul><li>topics of discussion in </li></ul><ul><li>an initial interview. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Agenda <ul><li>How to prepare for the interview </li></ul><ul><li>What to expect during the interview </li></ul><ul><li>How to follow up after the interview </li></ul>
  26. 26. After the interview… <ul><li>Send a thank-you note to the interviewer(s) by end of next business day. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email preferred for on-campus interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal letter (via U.S. mail) may be sent to follow up </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consider your performance: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What did you do well? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What might you do differently the next time? </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Questions? <ul><li>Feel free to contact me, or make an appointment to meet with a consultant in the Business Communication Center. </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>This presentation will be posted on the BCC website under “Workshop Schedule” </li></ul>
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