Thursday, November 10, 2016

No one likes interviews, but here’s how to hate them less

You attended a career fair, exchanged pleasantries with recruiters, talked about your experiences, and submitted an online application after the event, as requested. Suddenly, you receive an email asking to schedule a first-round phone screening. What do you do?

First, know your audience. Remember that interview and hiring processes vary by industry and company. Some companies might hold first-round interviews with human resources recruiters, others might hold first-round interviews with hiring managers. If you speak with human resources first, note that the type of questions might vary and focus more on general topics, including the overall position, organizational structure(s), your educational training and experience level, salary ranges and benefits, and the projected hiring timeline. On the other hand, if you speak with a hiring manager first, prepare to speak about these topics, and also prepare to discuss more position-specific requirements and examples to prove your abilities.

Second, study like you do (or did) in school.  Review the job posting carefully and prepare talking points. Circle keywords and develop specific examples and stories for you to share with your interviewer. For example, if a posting emphasizes “communication,” “teamwork,” “reporting,” and “HTML,” think of specific stories you may share with the interviewer to prove your abilities. Also, as you wrap up your story during the interview, continue to keep the audience in mind and explicitly connect your story's ending to the new position.

Last, welcome nerves, fears, and uncertainty. In other words, acknowledge that interviews will challenge you, but also remember that your research, practice, and preparation will help you welcome the stressful aspects of the process. You might face a question you did not prepare for. You might mix up your words. You might never hear back from an interviewer. In the end, simply do your best, speak well, and maintain a positive attitude. Your perseverance, professionalism, and energy will help guide your process.

To further discuss your goals and how to reach them, feel free to schedule an appointment online at or call The Career Center at 516-463-6060.

Stefano Verdesoto, Assistant Director of External Relations

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