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Preparing for the Interview Process

Preparing for the Interview Process 19
Preparing for the Interview Process Brenda Nickol, Director of Career Services UNMC College of Public Health April 15, 2014 COPH Career Services • In Person: MCPH 3054 • LinkedIn: UNMC College of Public Health Students Alumni • Twitter: COPHCareers • Website: COPH Career Services The Basics Job Search Stages MPH: You meet Interview: a minimum or Your experiences preferred qualification demonstrate your skills Resume and abilities to perform Cover Letter: the job duties You possess the You are motivated to skills and qualifications do the job they are looking You are a good fit for for the organization Goal of the Interview Showcase your: • Skills: Your experiences demonstrate your skills and abilities to perform the job duties • Motivation: You are motivated to do the job • Fit: You are a good fit for the organization George Bradt, “Top Executive Recruiters Agree There are Only Three True Job Interview Questions,” Forbes, 4/27/2011 executiverecruitersagreethereareonlythreekeyjobinterviewquestions/. Martin Yate, “Knock ‘em Dead Job Interview,” Adams Media, 2013. Types of Interviews • Screening Interview • Phone Interview • Skype Interview • Inperson Interview And any of them can be with: • HR • Hiring Manager • Panel Nature of Interview • Skills Questions • Behavioral Questions • Case Study • Presentation “Soft” Skills “Hard” Skills Hard Skills include: Soft Skills include: • Data analysis • Verbal and written communication skills • Survey design • Collaboration and • Program evaluation partnering skills • Grant writing • Ability to work with a • Budget preparation team • Ability to problem solve Preparation Preparing: Logistics • You get the call… Ask: – Exact location of interview – Contact information – If there is anything you should bring – With whom will you be interviewing Preparing: Research • Research the organization (mission, values, priorities, etc.) and position as much as possible • Look up the interviewers on LinkedIn • Reach out to connections who can provide insight • Do a test drive to the location Preparing: Yourself • Write out all experiences (paid, unpaid and student), identifying examples that align with job description Interviewers are much more likely to remember examples than generic statements Preparing: Yourself • Write out all experiences (paid, unpaid and student), identifying examples that align with job description • Prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview Questions to ask Interviewers Do ask: Do not ask: • Something • About anything you could easily find on • Genuine questions their website • Questions that help • About compensation or you both illustrate and any other benefits determine fit • Too many questions— • About timeline and keep an eye on time next steps so you and their interest know when to follow up Questions to ask Interviewers • Prepare 510 questions • Don’t be afraid to respond to their answers in a way that showcases something additional about yourself as a candidate Preparing: Yourself • Write out all experiences (paid, unpaid and student), identifying examples that align with job description • Prepare questions to ask at the end of the interview • Practice with a mock interview Preparing: Technology • If a phone or Skype interview, test out all aspects of technology in advance • If you need assistance finding a quiet, dedicated place, let Career Services know • Skype – Lighting – Camera position – Internet connection – Background – Audio Preparing: Don’ts • Rehearse so much that your answers feel unnatural or ‘canned’ • Forget to look into every possible connection that you may have to the organization • Think you can wing it Day of the Interview Getting Ready • Dress professionally (suit) – Select your outfit and try on every piece well in advance, so you have time to shop for or borrow needed pieces • Closedtoe shoes • Excellent personal hygiene • Minimal to no perfume/cologne • Minimal jewelry (nothing that jingles) • No gum—use a breath mint Arriving to the Interview Must bring: • Show up on time • Paper and pen (10min early) (padfolio) • Turn off cellphone • Copies of resume • You are ‘on’ from the • List of questions moment you enter their property • Directions contact info in case you get lost Optional: • Work samples During Interview • Make eye contact and smile • Good body language (posture, no fidgeting) • Show ‘intelligent enthusiasm’ (you can do the job and are excited about it) • Use examples as much as possible • It is okay to take notes Yate, 2013 Nature of Interview • Case Study • Presentation Expect the unexpected Nature of Interview • Skills Questions – “What experience do you have with cleaning and analyzing large datasets” (S) • Behavioral Questions – “Tell us about a time when you dealt with a difficult interpersonal conflict at work.” (F) – “Give us an example of how you have implemented an evidencebased program.” (S) STAR method – S ituation — describe the context of the situation/scenario – T ask — provide a brief overview of what you were supposed to do – A ction — explain what you did to accomplish the task – R esult — state what was accomplished as a result of your actions Questions to be ready for Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself (S, F, M) A: 90 sec. Very basic background, how you got to where you are and why you are excited about this position Q: What is your understanding of this position and why are you interested in it (F, M) A: Show that you ‘get it.’ Do not simply list the tasks in the job description—capture the overall purpose and nature of the position. Then, illustrate why you are a good fit. More Questions Q: Where do you want to be in Xyrs (F) A: Even if you don’t know, say something that aligns with this position. Q: What are your greatest strengths/Value Add (S, F, M) A: Pick 3; do not ramble; give an example; good to have both hard and soft skills Q: What are your greatest weaknesses (S, F, M) A: Say something real and how you have or are addressing it Tips for Good Answers • Remember good paragraph writing structure – Start with a ‘thesis’ statement – Provide supporting evidence (your examples) – Conclude strong, tying everything you just said back to this specific job and organization • Use the STAR method when possible • Be genuine • It is never anyone else’s fault At Conclusion of Interview • Thank everyone—shake hands • Ask for business card if you are able • Thank administrative personnel on way out After the Interview Follow Up • Send a hand written thank you note • Follow up at an appropriate time • Communicate (again) with anyone who can put in a good word for you Questions Details, handouts, recordings, etc. Brenda K. Nickol, MPH Director of Career Services MCPH 3054 l Phone: 4025527226
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