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Interview Tips For the College Graduate September 7, 2006

Posted by Amanda in The Job Maze.
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So you went to the career fair and they now want to have an interview with you. What you should NOT do:

Fumbling the Interview
Common mistakes job candidates make during interviews, based on a recent global recruiter survey. (
Link to this article here)

  • Talking too much
  • Lack of knowledge about company or position
  • Over-inflated ego
  • Appearing overly confident
  • Inquiring about compensation too early in the process
  • Unkempt appearance

And now here is what you SHOULD do, if you really want the job.

Arrive early. Not on time and definitely not late. You want to be about 5-15 minutes early. NO MORE than 15 minutes. If you are that early, it becomes an inconvenience to the interviewer. I usually shoot for about 10 minutes on the dot.

Do not Chew Gum. This one seems like a no-brain-er, but it really distracts from your polish when you’re chomping away at that piece of juicy fruit.

Listen carefully. If you look distracted and bored during your interview, it does not give them a good impression of how you will react to customers. Since you are trying to sell yourself to the interviewer, show interest in what they are talking about. Listen actively and try to pick up on key points about the business.

Make a connection. Try to find some common points between you and the interviewer. Try to relate to them. Making a connection with the interviewer will put both of you more at ease and leave them with a better feeling about you. Personality is a plus to help set you apart.

Ask questions. It is important to always have a few questions to ask the interviewer. First to show interest in the company and second to show you’ve been paying attention to what they have been saying. Here are a few sample questions you could ask:

– Why is this position available?
– What would you like done differently by the next person who fills this job?
– What are some of the objectives to be accomplished by this position?
– What are the long term objectives for this position?
– What are some of the more difficult problems in this position?
– What type of support does this position receive in terms of people, finances. etc?
– How would objectives, deadlines, and methods of measurement be determined? How much input would I have?
– What advancement opportunities are available and in what time frame?

Call to Action. Always ask when you can expect to hear back from the company regarding this position. It’s important to set a time-frame so that you know when to follow up. I’ll cover how to follow up in my next post

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