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Interviewing: General Advice

Preparing for Interviews

Do you ever feel like there are some things you just can’t prepare for? If you do, you're not alone.  A quick Google search on things that are impossible to prepare for yielded quite a list including: taking the polar plunge in 32 degree water, what stinky tofu tastes like, and LeBron James. It’s a fact that some things will come up in your life that make planning difficult. Thankfully, job interviewing is not one of them.

The fact is, there are so many basic patterns and standard questions in interviews that there's really no excuse to walk into one unprepared. All you really need to do is learn the typical questions/question types you may be asked and then practice. One of the best resources ECS has to help students in their interview preparation is Big Interview: an online mock interview tool available to registered students, acccessible through CareerEngine … 

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Employer on-campus interviewing feedback

As generally the last person to talk to recruiters after they finish a day of on-campus recruiting at ECS, I hear a lot of feedback about our students. Most of it is positive; I often have recruiters tell me how refreshing it is to interview so many great candidates in one day. However, I also hear about it when students don’t exactly meet their expectations. Here are a few of the most common recruiter complaints—and what to do to avoid these mistakes!

  • Wear proper interview attire!

I cannot stress this enough! First impressions are absolutely critical. If not explicitly stated by the interviewer in advance, formal interview attire is expected every time. I’ve had recruiters tell me that a candidate had great credentials but that the casual dress made them reconsider. Formal interview attire may seem a hassle when you are also have class and other activities on the same … 

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What NOT to Do in an Interview

For many job-seekers, the most stressful part of the hiring process is the interview. Knowing that your future career can depend on 30 minutes of questioning can certainly be nerve-wracking! To increase your confidence, try focusing on the things you know you can control. A big part of this is being able to identify distracting behaviors that could even result in you not getting the job. Obsessive pen-clickers, read on…

Here is a list of 4 things NOT to do in an interview:

1.       Arriving underdressed – interview attire is important and is an immediate impression on the interviewer. If you aren’t dressed appropriately, it can be a distraction and even can be detrimental. The rule of thumb is it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Business professional (see past blogs “Men’s Professional Attire and Women’s Professional Attire) is almost always appropriate. If the company expects different … 

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How to answer the "weakness question"

We’re still in the midst of on-campus interview season! Be sure you are well prepared for what is commonly known as “behavioral-based interview questions.” There are some questions that aren’t so bad, like “Tell me about yourself”, or “Why are you interested in our company?” Then, there are the trickier ones: “So, tell me, what is your greatest weakness?”

It is assumed that practice makes perfect. But in some cases, you must first be aware of the “do’s” and “don’ts.” Here are a few tips on how to answer the “weakness question”:

Don’t be overly broad:  Make sure to be specific when explaining your weakness. For example, saying “I am not good at communicating in a large group of people” can sound extremely different in comparison to “Sometimes I have trouble giving presentations to a big audience.”

DO show how you are improving this weakness: If your … 

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Know Your Interviewing Rights!

After graduating from college, I was a supervisor at a coffee shop for a couple years. One of my favorite aspects of that position was interviewing potential new hires. Whether you are looking for a position as a barista or a software engineer, the purpose of an interview is pretty similar across the board: gather information from the candidate and assess whether they fit the position or not. However, while conducting an interview, an employer needs to avoid asking questions or making comments that might infringe upon a candidate’s rights. Be sure you know yours before you step foot in the interview!  This week’s blog post sheds light on what questions employers are—and are not—allowed to ask you, including the following:

Race – As a general rule, an employer may not discuss or ask questions pertaining to an applicant’s race. This can include inquiries into physical characteristics (skin, hair, or … 

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