Thursday, April 27, 2006

Interview Skills

Jamie invited me to present an interview skills training to her students (who are in the coolest program called INVST). It was so much fun! I felt like I had a ton of valuable information to share and that anyone who is going for a job interview should talk to me! I will coach you on how to knock their socks off, that is for sure. Can you tell I've been busy??!


Interview DOs and DON'TS
Shaking Hands: make an immediate powerful impression with a firm grip & steady body language
 Giggling, Handshake: fingertips, using both hands, turning hand (not to kiss hand)

Hygiene
: don’t wear perfume or cologne, do BATHE & SHAVE, smokers - DON’T one hour prior
 Rooms are small on purpose

Clothing & Jewelry: clean, ironed, professional (not a time to show legs or bust)
 Want to be comfortable in clothes, not tugging or pulling or clanging, men don’t need suite (tie, shirt, dockers – NO tennis shoes), rattling change in pocket

Eye contact & speaking voice
: direct eye contact with each interviewer & don’t mumble or shout  It’s okay to look down while thinking about question but return to interviewers
Square in Chair: Put both feet on ground with ankles together (no swinging or tapping of foot)
 Men tend to open legs (show crotch) & bounce feet, don’t fold feet @ chair

Behavior to show professionalism & interest
: always be early, prepare questions to ask @ company
 Research company, ask good questions about the job position
 Demonstrate your people skills by watching the interviewer & keeping their pace
 NEVER badmouth previous employers or colleagues

BEHAVIORALLY BASED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Past behavior is an indicator of future performance

Answer all questions behaviorally even if it’s a direct question (describe what you did in past)

40% of all interview questions are negative – ALWAYS TURN QUESTIONS INTO POSITIVE

The Star Technique: demonstrate your accomplishments from the past
 S- Situation (or)
 T- Task
 A- Action you took
 R- Result of your action

Know Thyself & Thy Resume - PREPARE
 Strengths & Weaknesses (initiation, judgment, decision-making, organization)
 Why you want that job
 Why you left your last job (use positive reasons)
 Biggest accomplishments in each position (don’t overuse one example)
 Where your career is heading (where do you want to be in 5 years?)

Yeah, but how do you get an interview?
 Networking, Mentors, Internships, Research, INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWS

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