As summer approaches, your students will be attempting to secure a job. Certainly, an interview will be part of the hiring process. Review these suggestions to help your students prepare for a job interview.
- Be knowledgeable about the company and the industry. Read the company website, reports, news articles, and any other literature about the company. Read about the company’s history, services or products, growth pattern, divisions and subsidiaries, size and competitors.
- Practice answering questions about yourself, your accomplishments, and your intended career objectives. Find out from other people what their job interviews were like. Be prepared to talk about your talents, experience, values, and goals. Focus on what you can bring to the job rather than what the job can do for you. Be able to state your weaknesses, too, along with your strengths.
- Prepare questions to ask your interviewer based on what you learned about the company.
As to the actual interview itself, keep the following points in mind:
- Arrive a few minutes early.
- Do not bring anyone with you.
- Dress appropriately. Wear conservative clothing and little jewelry.
- Appear well-groomed with a recent haircut, clipped nails, polished shoes, and pressed clothing.
- Do not chew gum.
- Bring a pen and notebook and use them.
- Be courteous, friendly, and enthusiastic. Keep in mind the interviewer is looking for someone who can fit in well with the rest of the staff.
- Maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Pay attention to your own body language. Sit naturally. Do not fold your arms.
- Do not discuss salary unless the interviewer initiates the topic.
- Put a positive spin on yourself. For example, if you are asked if you have a certain skill that you lack, reply, “No, but I am a quick learner.”
- Before you leave, make sure to find out the next step. Will the interviewer contact you? When? Should you contact the interviewer? When?
- Thank the interviewer. The next day, send a written thank-you note. This is a must.
Assign the students to complete a resume, that is, a written overview of their background, experience, and skills. A resume should include:
- Your name.
- Your mailing address.
- Your phone number.
- Your email address.
- An objective stating the kind of work you want to do.
- Your educational background.
- Your work experience beginning with the most recent job and/or volunteer experience.
- Your honors and activities.