Friday Favorites – Top Interview Tips

Now that October has wrapped up, we’ll be rounding up our Interview Tip of the Week tweets.

If you aren’t following us on Twitter, you should be! We post a few jobs a day from Hawk Jobs, as well as interesting career-related articles and career-related events going on at UW-Whitewater.

Here are some short and sweet interview tips in 140 characters or less!

Wendy bonds with Alicia

Before the Interview

  • Prepare! Being well put together and organized will make you stand out.
  • If you’re bad with directions, drive to a company before your interview to make sure you can find it.
  • Make sure you have a polished resume. Career & Leadership Development has resources to help you.
  • Shopping for interview outfits? H&M, Macy’s, New York & Company, Nordstrom and TJMaxx all have great outfit options!
  • Use perfume or cologne sparingly, or not at all. Remember, your interviewer may have allergies or sensitivities.
  • Your attire should be appropriate but shouldn’t take center stage. Don’t confuse ‘business function’ with ‘party’.
  • When picking out an outfit, stick with the classics. A navy, gray or black suit is always stylish and appropriate.
  • For women – No jewelry is better than cheap, flashy jewelry. Wear pantyhose and keep makeup and hair simple.

During the Interview

  • Relax, be yourself, and don’t be afraid to show enthusiasm for the job!
  • Your personal brand can make or break a job interview. Choose your words wisely, know yourself and know what you want.
  • Protecting your online reputation is important, especially when interviewers take a peek. Be smart about social media.
  • Have a positive attitude and engage in the interview!
  • Have you studied abroad or been on a travel study? Make sure to mention that during your interview.
  • Never be late to a job interview! That reflects poorly on your personality and can aggravate your interviewer.
  • Remember, interviews are two-sided conversations, designed to let both sides figure out if they’d be a good fit.
  • Be confident when answering questions! Provide articulate answers, avoid nervous habits and make eye contact.
  • When your interviewer asks if you have any last questions, make sure you have a few questions you plan on asking.

After the Interview

  • After the interview, ask the interviewer what the next step will be. They might have a second round of interviews.
  • Once the interview is over, ask for their business card. It will have all the information you need to follow up.
  • Be polite. Say thank you to the interviewer, staff and receptionist. A nice ‘thank you’ can go a long way.
  • Send a thank you e-mail or handwritten letter no more than 24 hours after the interview. And proofread!
  • If you don’t end up getting hired, accept the rejection with grace and keep your head up! If you do get the job, congrats!

Hopefully these simple tips will help you on your next interview!

Photo by Gangplank HQ.

Friday Favorites – Common Interview Questions & Answers

For this week in Friday Favorites, we’ve rounded up five common interview questions. I’ve taken these five questions from this infographic. Chances are, you will be asked most, if not all, of these questions in an interview. Prepare yourself by picking out the perfect interview outfit and selling your personal brand, and then by reading these smart answers!

Tell me about yourself.

This is usually the first question interviewers will ask, and your answer will set the tone for the rest of the interview. Everyone’s favorite topic to talk about is themselves, so it sounds pretty easy to talk about yourself for a few minutes, right? It is easy…except you need to talk about the right things.

Thanks to Monster.com, they’ve provided a few helpful tips that I’ve narrowed down in this answer. Focus on a couple of your strengths that could help you get the job, then write them in a script that can be memorized easily. Practice, practice, practice. The better you know yourself, and the better you know the right answer to this question, the easier it will be to sell yourself.

Why did you leave your last job?

‘Interviewers generally ask why you left your former company so they can “understand your motives and gain insight as to how [you] handle work relationships,” says Duncan Mathison, author of Unlock The Hidden Job Market: 6 Steps to a Successful Search When Times Are Tough.‘ (From Monster.com) Interviewers ask you this question to see what kind of person you are, what integrity you hold, and how reliable and responsible you are.

Do be polite and state exactly why you left your previous job, but also bring it back and let the interviewer know that you are looking for a better fit and a challenge.

What do you know about our company?

Make sure you do a bit of background research on the company you’re interviewing with. Research about their history, their competitors, and the CEOs and other big wigs. The more you know about the company, its priorities and its needs, the more knowledgeable and confident you’ll come across.

Why do you want to work for us?

Okay, so we know you want a job. But why do you want a job with that specific company that you’re interviewing with? Is it the position you’re applying for, the great benefits, or that you strongly agree with their mission? Are you looking to gain experience or explore other opportunities? Decide what makes it a good fit for you and find out what’s motivating you to apply for that position. And don’t be afraid to show enthusiasm during your answer!

Tell me about your experience at ________________.

One reason why interviewers ask this question is to see how your previous jobs may prepare you for this job. If you’ve had the same job since you were 16, mention that. It will show that you have integrity. If you’ve volunteered at various schools, with organizations or for benefits, mention that. It will show that you have compassion. If you’ve had an internship, mention that. It will show that you are driven. Explaining your experiences, whether or not they are in your field of study, can hold a lot of power in an interview. Explain what you learned and how that will benefit you if you get the job you’re applying for.

Hopefully these answers to some of the most common interview questions will help you out in your next interview! What are some questions you’ve been asked, and how did you respond? I’d love to hear your stories. E-mail me at MediaCLD@uww.edu.

Photo by Victor1558.

Friday Favorites – 5 Interview Tips

Now that you’ve scored an interview and have plenty of tips on what to wear, your next step is to sell yourself in that job interview! How do you set yourself apart from the rest of those being interviewed? Our five Friday Favorite tips will help you. The tips reflect the Interview Tip of the Day tweets (if you’re not following us on Twitter… you should be!)

Tip One:

Be yourself! One way to shine is to let your personality show though.

Owly Images

Tip Two:

Your personal brand is ‘A unique message that gives the other party an idea of who you are, what you bring to the table in terms of your skills and experience, why you are unique, and why what you have is of value to them.’ (TheSavvyIntern)

This is the part where you need to sell yourself and make a good impression on the interviewer. Be confident, charming and know your personal brand up and down and inside out. Never question who you are and what you could bring to the company you want to work for, and your interviewer will notice.

Tip Three:

This infographic by Mashable gives some great tips on how to protect your online reputation. Interviewers may Google you or take a look at your Facebook page, and it’s very important to be smart about what you do online and what you post or tweet.

Tip Four:

Remember your manners.

‘Use of polite terminology should be standard during an interview, but it also reflects well to be equally courteous when addressing receptionists and other office workers.’ states MSN Careers. They also have four more great tips to review before heading into an interview.

Tip Five:

If you’ve studied abroad or been on a travel study, now is the time to talk about it! But don’t talk about how you disliked your roommates or about a funny story about public transportation. Discuss your interactions with other international students and locals, what problems arised and how you solved them, how you managed your time and how that experience benefited you. For more tips on how to market your study abroad experience, check out this article from a student’s point of view.

Hopefully these five tips can help you market your personal brand and set you apart from the rest. If you have any interview tips, I’d love to hear them! You can e-mail me at uwwcareer@gmail.com.

Friday Favorites – Interview Outfits for Men & Women

So you’ve scored an interview – that’s great! Now, the tough part is deciding what to wear to said interview. For this week’s Friday Favorites, the theme is how to dress for an interview. Check out these six great links with tons of tips on how to dress for an interview, divided into a men’s and women’s section:

Men

Hey guys, are you stuck on how to dress for a job interview? We’ve got you covered. This gallery provides ten tips on how to dress – Interview Outfits for Men

This great link will give men tips for how to dress for three different interviews – smart casual, casual, and corporate. You can even click on each article of clothing or accessory and it will take you right to where you can purchase it – 3 Interview Getups

Need a quick overview on grooming and accessories, as well as a few more tips about what to wear? This article has it all – Men’s Interview Attire

Women

While dark pantsuits are the norm for what women should wear to job interviews, you shouldn’t be afraid to dress it up a little and let some of your personality shine through! This gallery provides ten different outfits for interviews – Interview Outfits for Women

We all know that you need to dress professionally for a job interview. College Fashion provides us with three awesome outfit ideas for conservative industries, creative industries, and fashion industries, as well as a dozen tips at the end of the article – How To Dress for a Job Interview

Are you on the pursuit for the perfect pantsuit? This article has a ton of resources to help with your fashion-conscious hunt – The Hunt: Navy Suits

Now that you have some idea of how you can dress for your interview, go out there with confidence!

Friday Favorites – 5 Pinterest Pages on What to Wear to a Career Fair

Every Friday will mark a new lineup on the Career Spotlight Blog. We will show five favorite links, articles, blogs, infographics, or pictures that connect with our theme of the month.

The Hawk Career Fair is coming up next week Wednesday and many of you might be stumped on how to dress for a career fair. No worries – we’ve got you covered. Check out these five awesome Pinterest pages with tips, advice and great links so you can look your best.

What to Wear – Women 

What to Wear – Men

Interview Attire for Men and Women

Professional Outfit Sets for Women

Outfits for an Interview

Going to an Interview {Outfit Post}

Don’t forget – the Hawk Career Fair is next Wednesday from 1-4pm in the Williams Center – Gym 1. There will be 114 businesses looking for interns and full time workers.

See you there!

Friday Favorites – 5 Articles about Polishing Your Resume

Every Friday will mark a new lineup on the Career Spotlight Blog. We will show five favorite links, articles, blogs, infographics, or pictures that connect with our theme of the month.

September is the month of resumes and career fairs, and here are five great articles about how to polish your resume:

How To Get Your Resume Noticed

Give Your Resume A Face Lift

10 Tips For Writing A Remarkable Resume in Today’s Creative World

6 Action Words That Make Your Resume Rock

3 Things That Make Your Resume Less Effective

Use these tips on your resume, and don’t forget to visit the Resume Doctor on September 18, 19 and 20 in the Andersen Library from 1-4pm!

Green Resume CV & Business Card

Friday Favorites: Five Infographics about Resumes

Every Friday will mark a new lineup on the Career Spotlight Blog. We will show five favorite links, articles, blogs, infographics, or pictures that connect with our theme of the month.

September is the month of resumes and career fairs, and here are five infographics about those topics:

How To Make Your Resume Better

Spice Up Your Resume

Mastering the Art of a Career Fair

Your ‘Super’ Networking Tool Belt

Hot Jobs of 2011