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  • Felicia Parks 4:35 pm on April 16, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: Interview Prep, Phone Interview   

    Interviewing with Employer By Phone? Here’s 9 Tips 

    Phone interview_studentAs the semester winds down, many students are anxiously awaiting a phone interview with an employer. Whether for an internship, part-time or full-time job, many are concerned that the phone eliminates their opportunity to be charismatic and impress the employer with their interpersonal skills. Since recruiters often use phone interviews as the first step to clarify the background of several candidates, those offered a particular day and time to chat should see it as a positive opportunity. While your Career Center Advisors are more than happy to help you prepare, there are several steps to ensure a successful phone interview. A quick summary of Laura DeCarlo’s “9 Keys to Telephone Job Interview Success”  are listed below, however, you can read the full article on Job-Hunt-org.

    1. Know whether you can take the call when it comes, i.e. schedule when you won’t be interrupted or lose service on your cell phone.
    2. Have the documentation you need at your fingertips – this includes the job description, your resume and the application you submitted to the employer
    3. Know answers to the common interview questions. Be sure to tell a complete story and refrain from brief responses
    4. Smile while on the phone! Placing a mirror in front of you is a big help.
    5. If you have a web portfolio or a complete LinkedIn profile, then be sure to direct the interview to it.
    6. Focus on your language and voice – which includes voice intonation and speaking positively
    7. Avoid selfish questions during the interview. Asking about salary is too early at this point
    8. Don’t hang up without asking for the next step plus contact information.  This will reduce anxiety about the next call or email you should receive.
    9. Say thank you, but write a thank you note and either email it or send it through the mail

    American University students and alumni can schedule a mock interview with their Career Advisor through the AppointmentPlus website.  Also consider practicing from the comfort of your room with InterviewStream.

    Congratulations and best of luck!

    Phone interview_employer

  • John Nunno 9:45 am on October 17, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Interview Prep   

    When it Comes to Interviews, Practice Makes Perfect 

    You submitted your application materials and secured an interview for a job or internship. Congrats! Now you need to nail the interview. How do you plan on prepping? Let me make a suggestion: start with InterviewStream! InterviewStream is the Career Center’s online mock interview resource you can use to video yourself and polish your interview skills.

    Follow these steps to get started:

    1) Create an account– Account set up takes approximately 14.9 seconds. All you need to provide is your name, email address, and a password (the password must be at least 6 characters and include a capital letter and a number). Create an account now!

    2) Select an interview to conduct– You can select either a pre-made interview created by the AU Career Center or make your own interview by selecting from thousands of questions InterviewStream provides. If you want to make your own, don’t be intimidated by the number of questions. You can search for questions by keyword or browse them by subject.

    3) Complete the interview– This step is straight forward enough- answer the questions! You need a computer with a webcam for the interview. If you do not have a webcam then please feel free to use an interview room at the Career Center. Call us at (202) 885-1804 to check availability.

    4) Review your interview– After you complete the interview it’s time to critique yourself. Click on “Watch My Interview” on the InterviewStream homepage and select the interview you want to review. Use the comment box to take notes on what you did well and what needs to be improved. You can track how many times you used common fillers like “Umm” and “You Know” by using the counter below the video.

    5) Share your interview– You can share your interview to get feedback from an advisor, mentor, or a friend. Click “Share” under the video and send the interview via email or generate a link to share.

    Using InterviewStream is that simple! You can practice for an interview you have coming up or just to keep your skills sharp. InterviewStream even has a mobile app so you can practice interviewing on the go.

    Click here to learn about the other online resources the Career Center has for you.

  • emily 4:15 pm on October 6, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: Interview Prep, ,   

    5 Tips to Nail an Interview Presentation 

    You have made it through the first and possibly even the second round of interviews for a job or internship. Congrats! Now you are asked to give a presentation in front of your possible future employers and colleagues. Regardless of your comfort-level speaking in front of groups, here are some important tips to a smooth, professional, and confident presentation.

    1)      Know yourself. You are going to be standing in front of a group of people, so all eyes will be on you. To be your most professional self, it is key to understand how you react to this sort of attention. Do you get very flushed? Wear a shirt with a high neck or collar. You will most likely already be wearing a jacket or blazer, so not to worry about getting warm, the extra layer should cover that. If you tend to fidget during a presentation, make sure you are not wearing rings or a watch/bracelet. Plan to keep you hair away from your face if you have a habit of touching it when nervous. Understanding yourself and how you react will allow you to plan ahead of time to make sure you look smooth and confident. That way you will have an easier time forgetting your nervous habits.

    2)      Know your topic. You will get questions after your presentation. Be prepared to answer them by understanding what you chose as a topic and why. The presentation is an opportunity for the employer to get to know you and how you prepare for assignments, so make sure you have spent enough time picking a great topic and creating a clear presentation with a beginning, middle, and conclusion.

    3)      Practice. Index cards or notes should contain only the briefest outline of your presentation, the rest should be memorized. You are telling the story, making your case, or sharing the facts, the slide is just a visual aid for the information you are providing. Practice the presentation as you will give it, so if you intend to move around and use hand gestures, rehearse them. If you tend to pace or shift, practice standing in one spot.

    4)      Have a backup plan. Technology is notorious for failing at the last minute. So bring at least one backup copy of your presentation on a USB, even if you sent the employer a copy ahead of time. In case of total technology meltdowns, bring paper copies of your notes or index cards.

    5)      Visit the Career Center. From discussing possible topics to practicing in front of others, the Career Center advisors are here to help. You can also reserve a room in the Career Center to record yourself giving the presentation so that you can watch and improve your speed, gestures, and content.

    Each interview and presentation is another opportunity to improve your speaking skills and will help you get one step closer to the right job or internship.


  • Sue Gordon 9:24 pm on January 7, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: Interview Prep,   

    Skype Interview? Clean your room, and other tips to succeed 

    messy roomNormally, you don’t need to think about cleaning your room before a job interview.   But with the increase of online live and recorded interviews, you just may want to tidy up a bit

    If you are seeking a job or internship in 2014 and beyond, then it’s likely that at some point you will be asked to conduct an interview via Skype or another online tool.  Online interviews are growing at a rapid pace.   A story in the Wall Street Journal  reported that in 2011, companies increased usage of online videos by as much as 42%.  There are two types of online videos- those that are recorded, a one-way approach in which the interviewee records answers to taped questions, and sends the completed interview to the employer.  Also common are two-way interviews that are live, and are largely used in lieu of phone interviews. Skype interviews also offer a great alternative to in-person interviews when a candidate is geographically far from a perspective job. (More …)

  • Sue Gordon 5:43 pm on January 25, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , Interview Prep, ,   

    Last minute interview? Get ready with our online interview tool! 

    It’s 4:00 PM, and an employer just called and asked you to come in for an interview tomorrow!  This can be great news, and nerve-wracking, too.  How can you prepare with so little time?  Your career advisor’s appointments are booked and you’d really like to practice.

    This scenario is not uncommon, and the great news is the Career Center offers a fun and easy tool to practice answering real interview questions on your own computer- at any time of day or night.  InterviewStream is available to all AU students and alumni simply by logging in to your AU CareerWeb account and creating an InterviewStream account.    All you need is internet access and a webcam.  (More …)

  • Jessica Beasley 3:59 pm on May 28, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Interview Prep, , , , ,   

    Practice Like You Play: Interview Preparation 

    For many graduating students, suntans and lazy afternoons have been replaced with job applications and balancing busy interview schedules. In this tough job market – interview preparation is everything. Being comfortable and prepared in your interview can really set you apart from other candidates; and we all know: practice makes perfect! As you prepare for your next interview, take advantage of the many resources the Career Resource Library has to offer:

    (More …)

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 7:05 pm on May 3, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Interview Prep, , , , , ,   

    Great Advice (from AU Alumna and Others) in U.S. News & World Report 

    A recent issue of the U.S. News & World Report focuses on the job search, best careers, challenges for recent grads, etc., and the magazine’s online site boasts a plethora of useful career advice for job seekers and for navigating the working world, in essays, articles, videos, and other forms. The newest edition of the magazine also boasts a new Reporter/Producer in Rebecca Kern, BA SOC ’09, who was recently promoted to this full-time job from a post-grad paid internship, and whose byline appears on substantive articles in the Jobs edition. Way to go, Rebecca!

  • Sue Gordon 4:00 pm on November 25, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: Interview Prep, , , , ,   

    Do You Know How To Land A Job Interview? 

    Blindly submitting resumes and cover letters is NOT sufficient to land job interviews!  Check out this brief video and learn some great tips on how you can ramp up your job search strategy.    How to Land a Job Interview, featuring Maggie Mistal , Career Coach, Martha Stewart Living Radio.

  • Sue Gordon 3:03 pm on September 8, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Interview Prep, ,   

    Get the Interview! Acing the Screening Telephone Interview 

    Don’t let this happen to you:   you’re walking on the quad when your phone rings.  You answer it– it’s from that non-profit you just sent your resume to.  Just then, your friend runs up and screams a greeting which reaches the caller’s ears.   Your professional image is officially shot, you are embarrassed and stumble through a few questions.   You’ve just had a screening phone interview, and it may well be an opportunity lost.

    While phone interviews are usually scheduled, sometimes an employer will cold-call you.  This article from the Washington Post Jobs section provides good tips on managing screening telephone interviews– a tool which employers are using more and more to help them cull through the piles of resumes.     But, before you ever get to the interview, remember to only take an employer’s call if you are in a quiet, safe place– and preferably on a landline!

    Read on in “When Home is the Interview Room”:    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/05/AR2009090500946.html

  • Minna Scherlinder Morse 12:45 am on August 19, 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , Interview Prep, , , ,   

    Building a Web Portfolio 

    We hope these tips will help SOC students and others get started thinking about and designing professional e-portfolios:

    Browse the online portfolios of professionals in your field. What do you like, or dislike? What choices are they making about how they present their work, how they approach the design, what industry jargon they use? You can find pros’ websites/portfolios just by Googling the name of a person whose work you admire, or even the field you’re interested in pursuing. These sites are ubiquitous—which should motivate you even more to create your own!

    Before you begin to build your site, you can secure a domain name. Even if you’re building on a platform that gives you a ready-made address, you can usually link it to an alias URL that’s easier to remember and connect with your business or your name. One of the most popular places to screen and purchase domain names is http://www.godaddy.com .   Make it short and simple, flexible, and memorable. Often, your name alone is a great choice (unless your name is something like John Smith, and it’s already taken!).

    (More …)

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