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How to ace an interview

By Carles Lopez
On February 12, 2014

The first thing to do after getting an interview is research the company, according to Michael Petro, the assistant director of employer relations from the center for career development. Petro presented a seminar called "Acing the Interview" on Wednesday, Feb. 12. The question "what do you know about my company?" is very common, and "after less than half an hour of research," Petro said, it's an easy question to answer.
Marketing yourself is the most important thing to do during an interview.
"I see you have a need, I can fill that need" said Petro, demonstrating how you should act during an interview. Practicing interview questions, as well as organizing and focusing on what you have to offer to the company is key to succeeding in an interview.
Practicing is important, but you should be careful not to over-practice questions and answers, because it can make you sound mechanical. Petro said you should practice life stories that relate to different interview questions and have them on queue when being interviewed. This will make the whole interview seem more natural and show the employer you are the right person for the job.
"Don't forget you are a full time student, speak about leadership positions you hold, instead of just saying you worked at dining services, tell them how that experience helped you with management skills" said Petro "Results get you jobs." When explaining leadership positions you should focus on what you accomplished.
Another point emphasized was how to present yourself during an interview.
"A student one time came into the CCD office and said he really needed help. The student said he had an interview, went ten minutes early and sat down and checked ESPN on his phone," said Petro, "after one minute of being there someone sat next to him and after nine minutes, this person got up and said 'Hi, I'm Mike, your interviewer.''
Non-verbal communication is very important. One looks more confident by sitting with a good posture, keeping hand gestures controlled and bringing a notepad to write down your interviewers names.
Another tip Petro gave was to say things like, "That's a great question, let me think about it for a minute" or "I had never heard that question before" to unexpected interview questions.
The Center for Career Development has many different resources to help students get their dream job after they graduate, including practice interviews, career expeditions and a database with hundreds of employers from all fields.
 


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