Effective Interview Do's • Thoroughly research institutions and the job. • Represent yourself accurately. Be honest about your qualifications and experiences both on your resume and in your interview. If you exaggerate, it will catch up with you later! • Be relaxed but confident. • Be sincere and listen. • Maintain eye contact, especially when making your key points. • Be able to state specific goals. • Dress professionally-formal is usually best. • Be friendly, but not pushy or "chummy." • Maintain attentive posture and watch your nonverbals. • Express 100% interest in jobs for which you are interviewing. • Know higher education issues, trends and vocabulary. • Be aware that you cannot talk yourself into a job, but you can talk yourself out. • Assertively express your strengths and accomplishments. • Pause before answering questions. • Prepare interview answers in advance. Write down some points and practice aloud. • Speak in a confident voice and be enthusiastic. • Email or write thank you notes after each interview. • Use action verbs in your interview and on the resume. • Give concrete examples to back up your points. • Relax, take deep breaths, and gather your thoughts before the interview. • Be able to translate your skills to employer needs. • Ask thoughtful questions that pertain to responsibilities, challenges, opportunity for involvement, staff development, job analysis, supervisor communications and accountability. • Be on time or a little early.
Things Not To Do During The Interview • Use slang, over talk or argue. • Be critical or negative. • Say, "Well at X College, we do it this way." • Be defensive or act intimidated. • Chew gum or tap the table. • Look at the floor. • Tell jokes. • Evade questions. • Beg or boast. • Bring social life into the interview. • Volunteer personal information; especially values, associations, poor experiences, etc. • Express "sour grapes" or bad mouth others. • Have too many interviews in a row - allow some personal time. • Be casual in dress or approach. • Be late, huffing, disorganized, or with limp excuses; i.e.: "my watch stopped, etc."
1. Preparing, writing down, and rehearsing "points to make" both in response to questions and to those you wish to initiate yourself (either through your own questions or assertive statements) is the best way to become confident about your interviews. Using this strategy does not mean memorizing word for word answers or using someone else's "past responses" for your individual situation.
2. Practice interviewing before the conference begins. Sometimes it is helpful to do mock interviews with others. Use the sample interview questions listed below as a tool. . Practice interviewing before the conference begins. Sometimes it is helpful to do mock interviews with others. Use the sample interview questions listed below as a tool. • Tell me about yourself. • In what ways can your skills and background be of benefit? • How would you describe your shortcomings? • What makes you particularly qualified for this position? • What do you see as the advantages and challenges of working in a large/small university? • What do you know about our college? Why do you want to work here? • Give me the best example of your leadership ability. • What does success in student development work mean to you? • What do you feel are your greatest strengths? Some of your weaknesses? • As you view this position, what are some of the ways you would measure accountability? • What are some of the major issues you see for Student Affairs in the future? • How important is it for you to get ahead in Student Affairs? • Why did you choose Residence Life as your specialty? • What are some qualities and experiences that set you apart from other applicants?
3. Contact the institutions you are most interested in and ask if you can schedule an interview with them. You may get contacted by schools, as well, but it is best to be proactive about the positions that are of the most interest to you. Be honest with other schools-if you're not interested, just let them know. Don't waste their time or your time.
4. Consider timing when scheduling your interviews. Are you best in the morning or the afternoon? Are you an extrovert who will continue to get more energy with the more people you meet, or are you an introvert who will be very in need of alone time at the end of the day? Schedule yourself to compensate for your style.
5. Don't over extend yourself. It is easy to get so excited that people are interested in you that you forget how much energy it will take to "be on" the entire time. Additionally, you will wan to leave space for second interviews. Be somewhat selective about the employers you interview with so that you are not burned out when you find that perfect match. Each employer will also want you to be able to articulate why you are interested in them, and you need to be able to specifically articulate a reason for each of your interviews.
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