Effective Interviewing Nina Kohen Career Assistant MIT Career Development Center
Welcome! Introductions… 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 Introduction Expectations Types of Interviews Preparation Research Interview Questions Practice Additional Interview Essentials How to Dress Technology 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 On-site/In-person Second Interview Office Visit Multiple Interviews May Include Lunch Group Interviews Other 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 R 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 WetFeet.com Vault.com LexisNexis CorpTech – US High Tech Industries Hoover’s Online Google.com 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. Examples: 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! Email Ensure that all email communication is checked for grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Interviewing Resources MIT: Career Development Workbook MIT Career Development Website careers.mit.edu WetFeet Guide: Interviewing The Riley Guide www.rileyguide.com/interview.html University of California, Berkeley https://career.berkeley.edu/Tools/Interviewing.stm
Thank You! Nina Kohen Career Assistant MIT Career Development Center Phone: 617-253-4733 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: careers.mit.edu