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Interviewing For Grad Training


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  • 1.  
  • 2. Before The Interview
    • Activity # 1
    • Write down 3 thoughts you have about our interviewee and be prepared to share with the group.
  • 3. Interviewing: Training the Trainer Graduate Intern Training University Career Services August 18, 2009
  • 4. Interviewing: Training the Trainer
    • Agenda
      • Preparing for a mock interview
      • Advice for before the interview
      • Advice for during the interview
      • Advice for after the interview
      • Thoughts and questions
  • 5. Preparing for a Mock Interview
    • As interviewer, think about:
    • Resume
      • Look at their objective
      • Understand past experience & education
    • Job description
      • Get a sense of the skills being sought and information about what is important to the company
    • Industry & company info
      • Do a quick search of their site and the internet for info
    • Needs of the student
      • Ask what they hope to get out of the session
  • 6. Advice for before the interview
  • 7. Before The Interview
    • What does the interviewer want to know:
    • Can you do the job? (ability/skill)
    • Will you do the job? (motivation)
    • Are you “promotable?
    • Are you a good fit for company culture?
    • Will you work well with the team?
    • Do you have an adequate background?
  • 8. Before The Interview
    • Preparation is the key:
    • Understand yourself
      • Determine your job objective
      • Identify what you can offer the employer
      • Review your resume or application
    • Understand the company
      • Research the employer
      • Ask about interview format (group, one-on-one, etc.)
    • Practice for the interview
  • 9. Before The Interview
    • Employable qualities: Top 10*
    Communication skills Computer skills Strong work ethic Teamwork skills Initiative Analytical skills Flexibility/adaptability Interpersonal skills Problem-solving skills Technical skills * National Association of Colleges and Employers, Nov. 2008 Preparation begins with introspection!
  • 10. Before The Interview Types of questions you might encounter ABOUT YOU Open ended (“tell me about yourself”) Probing the resume Behavioral/situational Role play/scenarios ABOUT COMPANY/ INDUSTRY Understanding of Position Knowledge of news/trends Knowledge of company
  • 11. Before The Interview
    • Resume questions
    • Be prepared to elaborate on resume content
    • Know your resume inside & out – refer to it, as appropriate
    • Don’t apologize for shortcomings – focus on positives
    Mock interview tip: Pick random experience bullet or activity from resume and ask for more information. Use response as a teachable moment, as above.
  • 12. Before The Interview
    • Behavioral questions
    • Best predictor of future behavior is past behavior
    • Identify 6-8 situations you faced successfully
    • What skills/characteristics were demonstrated?
    • Prepare mental outline for each (STAR)
    • Choose most recent, most relevant, most powerful
  • 13. Before The Interview
    • Behavioral question examples
    • Tell me about a time when…
      • … you demonstrated leadership
      • … faced an ethical dilemma.
      • … solved a difficult problem
      • … took a risk and failed
      • … served as a member of a team
    Mock interview tip: Choose a few behavior questions that are obvious for industry/position, but creatively select a few that might be unexpected.
  • 14. Before The Interview
    • STAR format
    • S ituation
    • T ask
    • A ction
    • R esult
    • (BAR format, if easier: background, action, result)
  • 15. Before The Interview
    • Role play/scenario questions
    • If a difficult client walked in demanding a service that was not offered, how would you respond?
    • If you strongly disagreed with a co-worker about a new project you were working on, how would you handle it?
    • How would you pitch our company to someone who knew nothing about it?
  • 16. Before The Interview
    • CASE interviews
    • Primarily use by consulting and finance firms
    • Used to see a candidate’s thought process in action
    • Employer looking to see if candidate can:
      • Ask the right questions
      • Develop logical approach to analyzing the issue
      • Arrive at a recommendation
  • 17. Before The Interview
    • Activity # 2
    • Develop your own STAR statement to this question: Tell me about a time that tested your communication skills.
    • Pair up and ask each other the question above
    • Give constructive feedback on effectiveness
  • 18. Advice for during the interview
  • 19. During The Interview
    • Proper attire
    • Conservative, Well groomed
    • Dark suit
    • Hose/closed-toe shoe
    • “ Unadventurous” Tie
    • Minimal jewelry
    • Little or no perfume/cologne
    • Portfolio
    Mock interview tip: encourage students to dress for mock as they would for actual interview.
  • 20. During The Interview Five Minute Rule: Most interviewers determine how they feel about a candidate within the first five minutes of an interview. Sometimes faster!
  • 21. During The Interview
    • What’s in a good handshake?
    • Start with a good smile
    • Go for the thumb
    • Firm, not strong
    • Up and down, not side to side or back and forth
    • Adjust duration (2-3 shakes is good)
    Mock interview tip: Don’t feel shy about having them practice their handshake and giving feedback – nothing is too rudimentary!
  • 22. During The Interview
    • Non-verbal communication
    • Keep good posture
    • Remain professional, even if interviewer is relaxed/informal
    • Lean toward interviewer, not back in chair
    • Maintain appropriate eye contact
    • Be aware of gesturing
    Mock interview tip: Use web cam to record mock interviews when possible – students are often surprised by what they see of themselves!
  • 23. During The Interview
    • Verbal communication
    • Be aware of volume (too soft, too loud)
    • Minimize your “filler” words (umm, like, you know)
    • Think before you answer, clarify any confusion
    • Be concise (STAR!)
    • Use proper grammar; Don’t use slang
  • 24. During The Interview
    • Always ask good questions
    • Prepare at least 5 good questions ahead of time
    • Take quick notes during interview
    • Sources to use while developing your questions:
      • Job description
      • Company website
      • Google news search
  • 25. During The Interview
    • Question examples
    • What do you think would be my biggest challenge in the first three months of the job?
    • Can you describe your ideal candidate?
    • How would you describe the organization’s culture?
    • I read about your new “project xyz” …
    • I saw the news about “initiative abc”…
    Mock interview tip: Have a list of sample questions for them to take or URL to visit later
  • 26. During The Interview
    • Closing the interview
    • If not told, ask about next steps in process
    • Ask if it is okay to follow up and preferred method
    • Shake hands of all involved with interview
    • Ask for business cards from all involved
    • Some positions (sales, for example) expect you to “close the deal.” Tread lightly in other industries!
  • 27. Advice for after the interview
  • 28. After The Interview
    • Immediate actions:
    • Exhale
    • Take notes of everything you can remember
    • Try to connect specific comments and questions with particular interviewers, rely on business cards to help you visualize faces with names and comments
    • Write and send thank you letters
  • 29. After The Interview
    • Thank you letters:
    • Emails are okay if quick action expected, follow with printed letter
    • Customize each letter, referencing specific comment or question for each interviewer, whenever possible
    • Printed letter is business format, 2-3 paragraphs
    • Depending on culture/organization/industry, hand written thank you card may be appropriate
    • Reinforce your strengths and your “core message” from interview
    • Restate plans for follow up, per interview
    Mock interview tip: Ask if they have ever written a thank you letter. Provide example letters.
  • 30. After The Interview
    • Follow up etiquette:
    • Per instructed during interview, act on follow up
    • Stick to company’s preferred method of contact
    • If no follow up action prescribed in interview, type and timing of follow up is judgment call
    • Consider connecting with interviewers on
  • 31. After The Interview
    • Interview and job search ethics:
    • Always be honest about your credentials
    • There is no such thing as a “little white lie”
    • Verbal acceptance of an offer is acceptance
    • Do not renege on an accepted offer
  • 32. Questions? ?