During the Interview
Present at your best by acting with the utmost level of professionalism and self-confidence during your interview. Become aware of your verbal and non-verbal messages and how they reflect your enthusiasm for the position…
Know YOUR story
A story is a short narrative about you. It demonstrates how well you understand your past experiences, including your accomplishments and skills as they relate to the position being offered. An interviewer will typically ask, "tell me a little about yourself," or "take me through your résumé," or "tell me what brings you here today." That is your prompt to share your story.
Practice, Practice, Practice!! Aloud: to yourself, your classmates, career counselor, and family! You never know when you will have two minutes in front of an alumnus, career fair rep, or other key networking contact to share your story.
Be a STAR!
Your interview preparation should include identifying examples of situations from your past where you have demonstrated the behaviors a given company seeks (i.e. leadership, teamwork, time management). During the interview, if asked to "tell about a time when..." your responses need to be specific and detailed. Briefly tell them about the situation, what you did specifically, and the positive result or outcome. Your answer should contain these four steps (Situation, Task, Action, Results or "STAR") for optimum success.
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: present the results directly followed because of your actions
The interviewer will sometimes ask you open ended questions to allow you to choose which examples you wish to use. Before the interview process, identify three or four of your top selling points and determine how you will convey these points (with demonstrated STAR stories) during the interview.
Whenever you can, quantify your results. Numbers illustrate your level of authority and responsibility. Refresh your memory regarding your achievements in the past couple of years. Demonstration of desired behavior may be proven in many ways, including examples from past internships, classes, activities, team involvements, community service and work experience.
Greet the receptionist and introduce yourself and your purpose:
i.e.. "Good Morning, I am __________. I have a 10:00 interview with __________." Plan to arrive between 10 and 15 minutes in advance of the interview.
Introduce yourself to the interviewer in a similar fashion. Extend your hand for a confident handshake.
Scope of Interview
Be careful not to take the interview on tangents. Relevant asides and humor may enhance an interview, but should not interrupt the interview process.
Keep your attention focused on the interviewer. Be careful not to become overly distracted by office furnishings or office happenings.
Sit forward in your chair to show an interest in the position. Do not cross your legs or arms, as it creates a distance between you and the interviewer.
Watch out for a tendency to fidget. Use hand motions only to add character and value to your responses.
If you are interviewing with two or more company representatives, give the person who asks the question the most eye contact when answering, but be sure to also establish eye contact with all parties in the interview.
Show your willingness to comply with requests for future interviews and references.
You may be asked to complete an application for employment. Do show a willingness to oblige. Be sure your responses are neat and accurate.
Be prepared to schedule a pre-employment physical examination.
Before concluding the interview, reiterate your understanding of the "follow-up to the meeting" (i.e. If you need to send references, indicate when and to whom you will be sending them.)
Indicate that your phone number and current address are on your résumé, should the interviewer have any further inquiries.
When the interview is over, extend your hand for a confident handshake, and thank the interviewer(s) for their time.
Be sure to acknowledge the receptionist on your way out.
Send a thank you letter via email within 24 hours to all parties involved in the interview. If the position is of high interest, follow up the email with a hardcopy thank-you card to all interviewers.