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Interviewing: General Advice

Tips for Acing Your Interview

When meeting with students I frequently get asked these two questions in regards to interviews: “How can I make the best impression?” and “How can I avoid giving damaging answers?” While these are great questions, usually a hiring decision is not based on one thing that went really well or really poorly. Oftentimes the final decision is a combination of pros and cons given throughout the interview. With that in mind, here are a few tips that will help you demonstrate how you are the best candidate.

Research the company – Every company has different goals, values, and ideals that shape the culture for their employees. A large part of landing a job and ultimately being successful is your fit within the company. Doing research on the employer means learning about what they find important. Look at their mission statement, corporate values, and recent news events. Then, you can show how … 

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Finding Balance: Soft Skills and Technical Skills

Being prepared to talk about your strengths and to support them is a common interview tip. Many of us cite soft skills such as teamwork, adaptability, or communication as some of our answers, but may fall short when highlighting technical skills. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reported in 2017 that “a composite ‘ideal’ employee… [is] a hard-working individual with appropriate technical training…solid problem-solving skills, and the abilities to communicate well, work in teams, and to continually learn new things.” Finding an appropriate balance between soft and hard skills shows that you are a well-rounded candidate.

What are the main differences between hard (technical) skills and soft skills?

Hard skills can be learned or taught. Think of the skills you have developed thus far in your academic career. Have you learned how to program? Do you have a lot of experience using a certain software system? Do … 

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Should I Have an Online Portfolio?

Do you ever get tired of trying to fit all of your experiences on a single page resume? Do you feel that simply explaining your projects doesn’t give them justice? Trying to figure out ways that you can set yourself apart from the competition?

If you responded yes to any of these questions, then the answer might be creating an online portfolio. Online portfolios are a great addition to your resume and other application materials. In a Forbes article they explain that, “According to Workfolio, a newly launched company that develops applications for professional visibility, 56% of all hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s personal website than any other personal branding tool—however, only 7% of job seekers actually have a personal website”. Take advantage of those numbers by standing out with a work portfolio. Here are some benefits to creating one:

Creative Freedom. Resumes need to be structured so … 

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Company Size: Is it Important?

Company sizes vary—ranging from multi-billion dollar corporations to start-ups and everywhere in between. Trying to figure out where you want to be on this spectrum is an important part of your research process. While there is ultimately no right answer, there may be a better fit for you. Each company is unique, no matter their size, but there are some things to consider as you determine your interests and priorities.

Know What Matters To You

There are a lot of different things that make up your job experience. Salary, culture, benefits, communication style, flexibility, group environment, location, advancement opportunities, and training programs are all things that go into choosing what company you want to work for. Understanding yourself can help determine what you need to start looking for in an employer. Make a priorities list for “must” items and one for things you would like to have. Using this list, you … 

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Conquering One-Way Recorded Interviews

One-way recorded video (on-demand) interviewing, otherwise known as “asynchronous” interviews, are on the rise and since it can be somewhat awkward for candidates, it is all the better to be prepared! What exactly are these types of interviews, you ask? They are conducted with software that companies use for distance interviewing that takes the place of an actual “live” person asking you the questions.

There are 2 kinds: either the employer will request a video from the candidate in which you answer pre-scripted questions due by a certain deadline OR in the video interview, you will be the only one visible but you’ll hear an interviewer ask you the questions. Certain software might only allow a specific number of attempts at answering the question, so being prepared will ensure that you provide an impressive response with the time and attempts allotted. Here are a few tips to ensure your success with … 

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