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copyright  2003
Resume and Interview Tips
  In this evaluation process, personal qualities (i.e. appearance, energy, enthusiasm, articulation of thoughts and experience) are every bit as important as prior experience and academic preparation - sometimes even more so. As employers interview job applicants, they are looking for evidence that a candidate can perform the particulars of the position and that they can be groomed to assume greater responsibilities within the organization.  
Prepare for the interview. Find out all you can about the organization, the department and the position you'll be interviewing for.

Think through the 2 or 3 most important things you want the interviewer to know about you and your abilities. You might even jot them down so you'll remember them.

Dress conservatively and neatly and be as professional as possible. First impressions factor heavily and you have about 30 seconds to make yours. Keep jewelry to a minimum.

Arrive 10 minutes early so you can get some impressions of the organization and observe the office. You'll also be more relaxed if you're a little early. If you don't know the area well, make a test run so you'll find it easily for your interview. Be sure to give yourself some extra time for potential traffic delays.

Don't arrive overloaded with briefcases, large bags, umbrellas, etc. If possible, carry only a small notebook and leave everything else at home or in your car.
Stand, make eye contact, say hello and smile to greet your interviewer, calling him or her by name. Shake hands firmly, but not too hard.

Sit when invited to or after the interviewer takes a seat. Sit up straight and don't give in to nervous habits.

Maintain a moderate amount of eye contact with the interviewer without starting. If others are in the interview room also, include them in your eye contact and your conversation.

Show interest and enthusiasm - be upbeat, but also be sure to listen. You need to obtain information, not just provide it during this important time. Don't be so enthusiastic in selling yourself that you talk too much.

Have a few intelligent questions ready about the position, type of projects anticipated and the organization/industry, but follow the lead of the interviewer and ask questions when invited to or near the end of the interview.

Don't be negative about former situations, supervisors or co-workers. Find a way to answer questions about unpleasant past situations briefly and positively. Don't get into a personal discussion. The first interview, especially, should focus on business, so keep all discussions professional.

Be pleasant, polite and as relaxed as you can, and remember to smile.

Never ask about salary or benefits in the first interview - always discuss these items with your recruiter and not with the potential employer. If asked about your requirements, avoid being boxed into a dollar amount. Always answer the question in a vert broad way. For example: I am really looking at the entire picture, opportunities more than dollars and benefits. Most important to me is opportunity and professional growth with a company like "XYZ." I am sure "XYZ" company will compensate me more than fairly.

All concerns and clarifications should be handled by your recruiter, not with the interviewer. You should be prepared to ask three relevant questions about the position and company before you interview.

The questions most commonly asked by employers:
1. Tell me about your last position.
2. Why are you looking to make a change/why did you leave?
3. Why should we hire you?
4. Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses.
5. Where do you see yourself in five years?
6. Give me an example of a time you had a conflict at work. (If you have not been in this situation, make sure you let them know and go on to explain what you would do. For example, you would resolve it through conversation and compromise.)
7. What are your greatest accomplishments at your current/previous position?
8. What do you like to do in your spare time? (They are looking for creativity, individuality and leadership experience)
9. Why did you choose the college you graduated from?
10. Tell me about yourself. (This is to be answered in a short/concise manner. Remember relevancy!! Do not go off on tangents or talk about your personal life.)
11. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
12. Do you prefer working in a team setting or individual setting?
13. Do you see yourself as detail oriented or big picture?
14. If you could change an attribute about yourself/direct supervisor/manager, what would it be? (Remember to never speak negatively about your current/previous employers.)
15. Who was the best person you ever worked for and why?
16. What makes you qualified for the position?
17. What interested you about the position/company/industry?
18. What do you think you can bring to this position/company?
Follow up your interview with a thank you note.

Always contact your recruiter as soon as possible after the interview so that your thoughts, concerns, etc. are fresh in your mind.

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