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Effective interviewing

Effective interviewing






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  • 5 years on and off in career developmentMEd grad student at SuffolkSecond year at MIT as Career Assistant
  • We have a lot of information to cover.Feel free to stop me and ask questions – help me to tailor it to your needs.Share your own experiences and stories – may be helpful to others.
  • Do you fit the organization as well as the position?You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.
  • Can anyone think of an example (of each type of question)?What have you been asked in the past?What has stumped you in the past?
  • Your responses to behavioral questions should be specific and structured. When asked about your most recent group work, for example, do not tell the interviewer about your general philosophy of teamwork; instead, pick a specific team project in which you were involved (it can be from a class, an internship, extracurricular activities) and describe what the team was and how many people you worked with, what your project or task was, how you specifically contributed to that team effort, and what the outcome was. It is not necessary to describe more than one specific example for each question.

Effective interviewing Effective interviewing Presentation Transcript

  • Effective Interviewing
    Nina Kohen
    Career Assistant
    MIT Career Development Center
  • Welcome!
    Name and Industry/Area of Interest
    Interview Experience
    What brings you here today?
    What do you hope to get out of this discussion?
  • Workshop Overview
    Types of Interviews
    Interview Questions
    Additional Interview Essentials
    How to Dress
    Next Steps
  • Introduction
    Goals of the Interview
    What is the interviewer hoping to accomplish?
    Your competencies and attributes
    The REAL you
    To determine if you are a fit for the position and the organization
    What are you hoping to accomplish?
    To determine if this is the right position and the right organization for you
  • Expectations
    5-point scale, where 1=not important and 5=extremely important
    NACE Research: Job Outlook 2009
    What are employers looking for?
    Communication and Interpersonal Skills – 4.6
    Teamwork Skills – 4.5
    Strong Work Ethic – 4.5
    Motivation/Initiative – 4.4
    Adaptability/Flexibility – 4.3
    Analytical Skills – 4.3
    Computer Skills – 4.3
    Leadership Skills – 3.9
    Problem Solving Skills – 4.3
    Detail Oriented – 4.1
    Self- Confidence – 4.0
    Creativity – 3.6
    Sense of Humor – 3.0
  • Types of Interviews
    Screening Interview
    Duration: 15-30 minutes
    In-person or Telephone
    First Round Interview
    Duration: 30 minutes – 1 hour
    Second Interview
    Office Visit
    Multiple Interviews
    May Include Lunch
    Group Interviews
    Testing – personality, computer skills, etc.
    Tip: Know what to expect in an interview by asking the employer ahead of time!
  • Types of Questions
    Resume Based/Traditional Questions
    Questions that come directly from your resume and focus on your education, experiences, and activities. Therefore, it is important to review your resume and cover letter so you can best prepare for questions that ask you to elaborate.
    Behavioral Questions
    Questions that ask you to describe real situations you have encountered in the past so that the employer can get a sense of how you might respond in future situations. Behavioral questions are all phrased similar to the following:
    Case Questions
    A case question is focused on discussing a real-life issue or problem that an organization has faced or might face in the future. They are most common in consulting interviews, but variations are found in other business interviews.
    As part of case questions, you might be asked analytical brain-teasers or “market-sizing” questions (for example, “How many dry cleaners are located in Manhattan?” or “How many blue cars are there in the United States?”). You are not expected to get the “right” answer to these questions; rather, the employer wants to know what assumptions you will make and how you will figure out an estimate. This process is used to evaluate your analytical and critical thinking skills, the logic of your assumptions, and your ability to problem-solve or be creative in your thinking as well as your communication skills.
    Case questions are more involved and usually take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes to answer.
    Technical Questions
    Differ depending on industry.
  • Behavioral Questions – STAR Method
    Situation: Give an example of a situation you were involved in that resulted in a positive outcome.
    Task: Describe the tasks involved in that situation.
    Action: Talk about the various actions involved in the situation’s task.
    Results: What results directly followed because of your actions?
  • Example of a STAR Response
    Question: Can you tell me about a time where you effectively handled a customer complaint?
    Situation/Task: There was one time when a customer was upset because the computer at our branch was down. The customer needed to check her account balance to see how much she owed in late fees.
    Action: I saw that the customer was upset, so I asked her if I could help. After finding out that she was interested in checking her late fees, I apologized to her that our system was down. I explained to her that as soon as the system was back up, I would be happy to check the balance and call her on her cell phone. I learned that actually, she did not have any late fees appearing on her account
    Result: The customer thanked me and two weeks later my branch manager received a letter of appreciation from her.
  • Activity
    Role Play – Interviewer and Interviewee
  • Preparation
    Research the Company!
    Organization Website
    CorpTech – US High Tech Industries
    Hoover’s Online
    Networking Contacts
  • Preparation
    Know Yourself!
    Think about your own professional skills, interests and values.
    Create a MATCH between what you have to offer, the needs of the employer and the position.
  • Preparation
    Questions for You to Ask.
    Ask questions about the organization or the position that CANNOT be answered by looking at their website.
    Ask questions about he organizations future plans and goals.
    Ask questions about employee assessment and measurements of success.
    Stay away from questions about salary and benefits in the first interview.
    How and when would my performance be evaluated?
    What kind of personal attributes and qualifications does your company value?
    What is the most significant challenge facing your staff now?
  • Interview Essentials
    Practice, Practice, Practice!
    Audiotape, videotape, role-play with a friend
    Appropriate Dress
    Formal, polished and neat
    Day of Interview
    Dry run before the day
    Arrive early, know where to park/closest T stop
    Be aware of your non-verbal communication
    Bring copies of your resume and reference sheet
    Thank You Letter or Email
    Remember to get contact information of everyone you meet
    Send within 24 hours of your interview
  • Interviewing and Technology
    Electronic Devices
    Turn off your cell phone, Blackberry, iPhone, iPod, etc.
    Social Networking Websites
    Know that an employer will Google you and search for you on MySpace and Facebook. Clean up your online profile!
    Ensure that all email communication is checked for grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  • Interviewing Resources
    MIT: Career Development Workbook
    MIT Career Development Website
    WetFeet Guide: Interviewing
    The Riley Guide
    University of California, Berkeley
  • Thank You!
    Nina Kohen
    Career Assistant
    MIT Career Development Center
    Phone: 617-253-4733
    Email: jkohen@mit.edu
    Website: careers.mit.edu