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As difficult as it is to accept – it’s time to stop celebrating that grand moment in your life — the diploma and the graduation —- and get down to the really hard lessons of life.
Like – going out and getting a job.
Hopefully you have sent out some resumes and are starting to get some nibbles from employers. If you’re not – maybe you need to take a look at your resume.
But if you are lucky enough to start getting some invites to come in and interview – this is the time to start learning some new techniques.
Interviewing is a learned skill.
As with every skill you’ve ever learned you have to learn the technique and then practice, practice, practice. A mock interview will not only help you practice your technique, but allow you to get valuable feedback and coaching on your performance.
Sue is an accomplished tennis player, and has worked on her stroke and technique for many years. She has taken lessons from pros, and listened to their advice when they gave her their critique. She has read books and talks to fellow tennis players comparing tips.
She is now graduating from college and has signed up for some on-campus interviews with recruiters. She feels confident that she knows her subject and is a pretty good talker, so she decides to blow off the career center and the need to get feedback. She can conquer this stuff on her own – no lessons needed here.
Unfortunately, Sue doesn’t do too well in her interviews. Out of three on-campus interviews she had, there are no offers for the face-to-face at the company. To say she is “bummed” would be an understatement. .
When her roommate, Jill, returns from her interview session she is bubbling with excitement. She can’t wait to tell Sue that she’s already been set up for an on-site company interview in two weeks.
Although Sue is happy for Jill, she is even more depressed about her performance. She has always done better at sports than Jill, and she has a higher GPA. What happened to her during that interview?
Even though it is difficult, Sue asks Jill why she thinks her interview went so well. Jill laughs and tells Sue that she has been working hard to prepare for these interviews.
“You know all those mini-classes I’ve been taking during career week, well, I got some great tips and feedback,” she tells Sue. “But, the thing that helped most was the mock interview offered. Receiving feedback on the answers I was giving to those standard questions was a real eye-opener. I didn’t realize how much I say things like, “You know” when I talk. I left that mock session with an assignment that I took seriously – to prepare and practice,” Jill tells Sue.
“How can you practice for something when you don’t know what they will ask?” says Sue.
“Let me give you the information that the career center coach gave to me, it will help you see the benefit of preparation,” says Jill.
Sue doesn’t let on that she is interested – just tells Jill, “Thanks.”
When Jill leaves for the evening, Sue picks up the handout – Pitfalls of Interviewing.
Here are 10 of those very interview pitfalls to watch for.
Sue Gets An “A” By Following the C’s
It doesn’t take a brick to hit Sue on the head – she gets it. She set out for the Career Center the following day to get some advice and feedback.
Everybody makes mistakes – that’s what makes us human. We can laugh at ourselves a great deal of the time when we get tongue-tied or forget someone’s name – even our spouse’s. But in the interview you want to be as prepared and polished as possible. If you do make a mistake, consider it a human error and learn from the experience. In the meantime do your homework and get prepared.
School is back in session – at least until that job offer comes through.
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