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Interviewing

This page will give you tips and specific examples so that you can prepare for the interview. The biggest mistake you can make is not to prepare or practice beforehand. When you are ready, make an appointment to see a career counselor for a “mock interview”.

Before The Interview
Dress for Success
The Interview
After the Interview
Sample Interview Questions
Questions You Might Ask

 

Before the Interview
  • When an employer calls or emails you to set up an interview, return the message within 24 hours. With the use of emails and answering machines employers expect a prompt response.
  • Let all the members in your household know that you are job hunting and that employers may be calling. Make sure that your answering machine has a brief personal message.
  • Make sure that all of your correspondence with employers is professional and free of typos and grammar errors. Be sure to use a professional email address.
  • Review your resume and experiences. Draft examples that you could use to answer interview questions and write down the skills you possess that would be important the position you are interviewing for.
  • Research the company. Interviewers will ask questions about your knowledge of the company and the position. They want to know why you want to work with them. Researching the company will help you express your fit within their organization and can help you develop questions you could ask them.
  • Be organized. Arrange your notes and application materials in an easily accessible fashion.
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Dress for Success

You do not get a chance for a second first impression. Whether the company employees wear conservative business attire or jeans, you must always interview in a business suit. This image projects that you are a professional and that you take yourself seriously. For examples click here. (Source: NACE) 

 

 

The interview

Arrive at the interview approximately (but no more) than 15 minutes early. This will give you a chance to relax a little and complete any forms or paperwork the employer may ask you to fill out when you arrive. Make sure you smile and politely greet all employees you meet. Everyone is forming an impression of you.

  • Bring extra copies of your resume on white or off white bond paper, but do not offer it unless you are asked. Have a list of references on bond paper, separate from your resume.
  • Practice shaking hands. A too firm handshake or a limp handshake make a terrible first impression. Be sure to make good eye contact when meeting the employer and remember to smile.
  • When you enter the room wait until the interviewer asks you to sit down. Then sit down quickly without fidgeting in your seat. If you have a handbag or briefcase, you can put this on the floor next to you. Avoid "talking" with your hands because this distracts from what you are saying.
  • Be enthusiastic. Be energetic. Listen carefully to the questions you are asked. Do not be afraid to pause briefly before you answer to gather your thoughts together. Whenever possible answer a question with a specific example.
  • End the interview with a closing remark such as "Thank you very much for your time. I am very interested in this position."

30 Second "Sales-Pitch" (Answering the "Tell me about yourself" question)

Chances are, whether you are on an interview or meeting new people, you will be asked a question such as "Tell me about yourself". This is a perfect time to let the person know exactly what you have to offer their company. You should practice this so that you sound natural and focused. Don't ramble on.

(Add as attachment)Example: I am graduating in June from Hunter College with a BA in Psychology. I have recently...(talk a little about something you have done recently either in class, on an internship or job, that can highlight some of your strengths; something that you are proud of) I plan to...(talk about your future goals making sure they are a fit with the company/position) A career counselor can help you develop your sales pitch.

Behavior Based Interview Questions: STAR Method

Recruiters are looking to gather examples of behavior throughout the interview process, they will assess whether you are able to communicate the entire story. They are looking for STARS!!!! Literally and figuratively.

Situation or Task facing the candidate
A
ction the candidate took
R
esult or changes caused by these activities

 

 

After the interview

As soon after the interview as possible, jot down some notes for yourself (never take notes during an interview). Note what questions were asked, how you responded, and how you could have improved a response. This will help you prepare for the next interview.

You should have name, title, and address of the person(s) who interviewed you. Collect business cards if possible and send the thank you note within 24 hours. This note not only thanks the interviewer but can also serve to highlight what you discussed that helps to further express your fit with the company.

 

 

Questions You Might Ask
  • What specific projects would I be focusing on?
  • How is performance evaluated?
  • What skills do you feel are particularly important for someone in this position?
  • Will I be expected or allowed to take further education for this position?
  • Who would be my direct supervisor?
  • Could you tell me a little about the training program for new employees?
  • Are there any staff development opportunities?


Contact Us

e: career@hunter.cuny.edu
t: 212.772.4850
Room 805, East Building, 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065
Walk-In Hours
Wednesday: 9:00AM-5:00PM