Thomas Edison State College Blog

Top 5 Tips Every Graduate Should Use in a Job Interview

July 11, 2013

Dr. Michael Williams<br />
Dean, School of Business and Management

Dr. Michael Williams
Dean, School of Business and Management

By Dr. Michael Williams
Dean, School of Business and Management

As a college graduate, you are ready to utilize your degree and start (or continue) on the career path of your dreams. So, after sending your resume out to countless prospective employers, you have risen above the competition with however many other candidates, and landed the interview. Congratulations! But of course, the hard work and initiative doesn’t end there. As an educator and dean, I have noticed several productive and unproductive strategies during interviews that leave more questions than answers. And in today’s tough job market, anything you can do to set yourself apart as the right person for the position should come across in your interview.

At the interview stage, there are most likely five or 10 highly qualified candidates, which must then be whittled down to two or three in a second interview, if applicable. During this time, the interviewer is focusing on key candidate details that are most likely not even on your resume. As an expert in human resource management, I’ve compiled five tips that hiring managers are really looking for in an interview, while demonstrating that you are their dream candidate.

  1. Do Your Research. Search online for any articles or awards about the company, review their website, and look them up on any social media platforms to understand who they are and what they do. When you refer to your findings during the interview, this expresses your familiarity with the company and shows the employer how interested and invested you will be in the position, without actually saying it. It will also demonstrate that you can gather information effectively and come prepared every day.
  2. Ask Questions. Always have a list of three or four ready when asked at the end of the interview. It reflects your interest in learning everything you could possibly want to know about the position. Questions should be centered on the company. If hired, you will be spending 40+ hours a week at the organization, so ask about day-to-day responsibilities, the interviewer’s most rewarding project, etc.
  3. Express That You Actually Want the Position. This could be the one little thing that sets you apart from the other candidates. If you are eager for the role, say it. Just be ready to explain why; use this opportunity to give your best sales pitch for a compelling reason.
  4. Send the Right Message. Implement verbal and nonverbal cues. Come up with a list of great buzzwords that you feel really describe you, like creative, team-player, pro-active, innovative, etc. This will help you answer the “tell us about yourself” question with confidence. Most importantly, interviewers are more interested in your composure and thinking process as you answer every question, so coming prepared will help you maintain your cool.
  5. Follow Up After the Interview. Reach out to the hiring manager after your interview; don’t let them think that you disappeared or that you devalue any connection you made. Whether you send a thank you note in writing or email, ensure that what you write adds value. Include what you learned in the interview, your passion for the position and confirm why you would be great for the role.

With the right research and preparation, showing your initiative during an interview can only help you and the hiring manager make a well-informed decision. Whatever the outcome of the interview, stay positive and use the experience as a learning opportunity to cultivate better strategies or to improve yourself. Good luck!

 

Tags: Dean , human resource management , interview advice , job seeking tips , School of Business and Management

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COMMENTS

This is such a lovely Tips. Nice Compilation
Olu Ade 8:38PM 07/21/13
Doing your research is one of the best ways to have a good interview experience, and to at least impress the interviewer. It helps you answer several questions like "What can you do to help the company?" -- since you know their background, you will be able to formulate immediate expectation that you can contribute to them.
AgentCampus.com 9:00AM 07/12/13

Why You Didn’t Get Another Interview

October 12, 2012

Dr. Susan Gilbert, dean of the School of Business and Technology at Thomas Edison State College

Dr. Susan Gilbert, dean of the School of Business and Technology at Thomas Edison State College

By Dr. Susan Gilbert, dean of the School of Business and Technology.

As an educator and dean, I have been witness to lots of successful and unsuccessful job searches.

This is probably the worst job market for new graduates and career changers that I’ve seen in my 24 years in higher education. Because most of us work in “lean” conditions, with more work on our plates than can be covered in the normal work day, employers and HR representatives and search teams are using as many criteria as possible to efficiently sift through the stacks of resumes received for each opening.

And even at the interview stage, they will likely see five or 10 highly qualified individuals which must be whittled down to two or three finalists. For those of you currently seeking a new position, below is some feedback I have collected over the years as to why a candidate was not selected.

  • Candidate's hair was too wild
  • Unibrow
  • Candidate was not wearing a proper business suit
  • Candidate did not network with anyone in the company/division/group prior to the interview
  • Candidate had a typo in his cover letter
  • Cover letter could have been written for any other job at any other organization
  • Bad breath
  • Too much perfume/cologne
  • Candidate had no questions for us
  • Candidate had not done any research/hadn’t read my book
  • No follow-up or thank you notes sent after interview
  • Candidate yawned during dinner

Note that none of this has to do with qualifications or fit or interest. Remember, we all get rejected at one time or another – so please stay positive and try not to take it personally!

I hope you find this material helpful as you consider your strategy and approach to searching for a job.
 

Tags: interview advice , job seeking tips

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COMMENTS

Its true said that "First impression is last impression". You should get properly ready with good appearance while going for an interview. The main thing is very important to have eye to eye contact with and give fluent answers of every question. A round of applause for Dr. Susan Gilbert for this lovely gift article and nice information. thanks once again for this post and allow me to write my words.
nelson13482 5:12AM 03/09/13
I have found this blog very interesting and informative about sharing such a nice tips that helps to get change about interview process.
Interview training Newcastle 4:44AM 02/28/13
A good appearance is very important when trying to get a job. I found it funny your comment about the typographical error in the letter. Presumably, if someone makes a presentation letter must be well written. It's very low percentage of ten candidates, only two or three remaining finalists. Thanks for the article, it's fun to read. Chris.
Chris Bombilla Led 4:52AM 01/28/13
It is always important to look good when an interview. The two times that I've had an interview, eye contact has favored me. For me the most valuable is a good introduction to other previous work. Although the worst part is that there are too few jobs for too many opponents. A very interesting article. Thanks.
Jessica Figura Nacar 6:52AM 12/17/12
Really, you wouldn't hire someone because of a handshake or eye contact. All reasons listed above is the reason why people should work for themselves. It's disgusting how picky employers are, then they still treat employees like crap. FYI- its a job not a social club, the only reason I need the job is to pay the bills not to make friends or to examine your eyes. That's why the workforce is screwed up now because people changed it to be something more than a way to pay for necessities. Employers use it for showboating their success and mistreating people and everyone else thinks its a place to meet your future spouse, future shopping buddy or future golf buddy.
anonymous 9:57AM 11/09/12
Eye contact is a key component of a successful interview. Like other elements of the interview process, eye contact can be used strategically to draw interviewer’s attention, punctuate specifically textural points, and encourage or discourage different venues of engagement. There are theories and models of eye contact and movement that can enable interviewers and interviewees to extract more precise data from interviewing. For consideration, I’ve attached two (2) resources: 1. Chicago Tribune - November 2011 Eye contact worth watching in job interviews http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/jobs/chi-eye-contact-job-interview-20111107,0,1471815.story 2. NLP Eye Patterns - Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0aqkDkNeqw&feature=related
Michael Williams 3:45PM 10/17/12
Networking is probably the most important part of a job search. I know that when I have open positions I always ask my top performers if they have someone they can recommend. I generally get at least one person from my team that I eventually hire. So, people need to speak with friends, relatives, former associates, and classmates about potential opportunities. Also, seek out new places to meet people. Make sure to have business cards handy so you can readily exchange information. Having a business card is one of the best and easiest ways to create a positive and professional first impression.
Chris Pantoya 11:24AM 10/17/12
As a hiring manager, I've experienced a lot of bad handshakes during interviews and it leaves a poor impression. A great handshake with eye contact and a smile shows an interviewer that they may just have met their new employee. Here is an interesting article on the subject http://www.thedailymind.com/how-to/the-perfect-handshake-how-to-shake-hands-like-jfk-and-make-an-impression/
Roxanne Globis 1:46AM 10/17/12

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