Winning Interview Techniques

Presented by: Heather Bois Bruskin, Rachel Greenberg & Emy Goldsmith
Freshman/Alumni Summer Internship Program

Seminar Agenda
• Mock Interview – Part I • Review purpose of interviews, what to expect, and how to prepare for an interview • Review Different Types of Interviews • Mock Interview – Part II

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Mock Interviews: Part I
Please write down:
• 3 things the interviewee does well • 3 things the interviewee could do better/improve

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Mock Interviews: Small Group Practice
• Break into predetermined groups • Practice answering questions: Take turns asking one of your questions to the person to your left. Go around your group twice until everyone has answered two questions. Keep answers to no more than one minute in length. • Give feedback: One at a time, turn to the person to your left and give them feedback on:
– One thing he/she did well – One thing he/she can improve upon
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Purpose of the Interview
• Sell your strengths and skills as they relate to the employer and position. • Learn as much as you can about the position and the employer so that you can assess if this employer and position are a good fit for your career goals, values and needs.

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Types of Interviews
• • Informational Traditional: In-person
• • On-campus On-site

• •

Telephone Group
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Preparing for the Day of the Interview
• • • • Practice Dress Professionally- appropriate to industry Arrive at least 15 minutes early Bring only your resume into the interview (and portfolio, if relevant). No food, bags, notes, etc. • In general, interviews will be approximately 30 minutes in length

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The Interview
• Shake hands and address interviewer by Mr.__, Ms.__, or Dr.__. • Small talk • Questions • Last 5 minutes: Ask 2-4 specific questions • Shake hands and thank the interviewer

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Telephone Interviews:
Your strategy: • Determine whether it is a call or an interview; calls are primarily informational, while interviews include job-related questions • If it is an interview, decide quickly if this is a good time to talk
– If not, simply ask if you can arrange a mutually convenient time to conduct the interview

• Apply your best interviewing skills
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Tips for Phone Interviews
• • • • Project comfort Smile Give succinct answers and examples Prepare a list of questions (based on your research!) • Have your resume on hand to reference • Follow- up as you would for any interview
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Before you hang up…

• Offer a strong and confident closing • Get contact information for follow-up questions and thank you note • Find out their timeline

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After the Interview
• Record your thoughts and impressions from the interview. Ask yourself:
– What did I do well? – How could I prepare to answer better next time?

• Send a thank you note to your interviewer(s) within 24 hours • Follow up with the employer based on the timeline they outlined for the process
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Types of Interview Questions
• • • Traditional Behavioral / Story Telling Case-Method / Case-Based

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Traditional Interview Questions
• Require you to relay factual information • Employer is taking your word at face value • Sample Questions:
• Tell me about yourself. • Why are you interested in this position? • What is your greatest strength/weakness?

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Behavioral Questions
• Require you to offer specific examples to reveal skills • Use the STAR framework:
• • • • What was the SITUATION? What was your TASK? What ACTION did you take? What was the RESULT?

• Sample Question:
• Tell me about a time when you confronted a challenge and how you dealt with it.
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Case Based Interviews
• Require you to analyze a problem / situation and present a solution based on the information available to you. • Employer is assessing your analytical ability/thought process (not whether or not your answer is correct). • Sample Question: How many gas stations are there in the U.S.?

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The Meaning Behind the Question
• What are employers looking for when they ask certain interview questions? • Using the cards provided, break-up into your small groups and deconstruct the interview questions.
– Take turns reading a question from your card – As a group, guess what the interviewer is looking for – Discuss briefly why this information is important to the interviewer – The reader then reveals the “meaning behind the question.” – Select one of your questions to present to the class, including reading the question and sharing the highlights of your discussion.
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Handling Difficult Questions
• Uncomfortable Questions
– Pay/Benefits – Timeline – Interviewing with other companies?

• Illegal Questions

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How to Present Yourself
• • • • Always speak positively about yourself and others. Use body language to show interest. Follow your interviewer’s lead. Be concise, yet thorough.
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Mock Interview: Part II
• Return to your small groups. As before, you will take turns going around your group answering two questions. • First question: Pick one of your original two questions that you would like to try again. Adjust your response to this question based on feedback received and what you learned in the lecture. • Second question: Go around the group again, asking the person to your left the new question on the blue question slip.
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Mock Interview: Feedback Guidelines
The “HOT SEAT”
Taking turns, each student will receive feedback from every group member on: – One thing he or she improved – One thing he or she can improve upon Feedback should be based on: – Nonverbal communication – Ability to identify skills and support claims with concrete examples – Ability to speak positively about him/herself and others – Enthusiasm
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Mock Interview Assignment
• Review sample interview questions and consider your possible responses. • Conduct a mock interview:
– Schedule a session with your F/ASIP point person OR – Participate in Mock Interview Nights on February 12th & 13th (Advance sign-up required)

• Practice makes perfect!
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Homework & Announcements
• Mark down dates for spring seminars • Pre-register for F/ASIP (SP.800) for Spring term: 3 units • Paper #3: Professional Informational Interview • Review your Internship Search Plan with your F/ASIP Advisor by your Cap & Compass seminar (March 6, 7, 8) • Complete a F/ASIP mock interview by March 30th • Submit your resume to the F/ASIP resume book • Apply for Internships! • Survey Monkey Evaluation
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