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This is regarding interviewing tips. So sorry about no subject header!
Although I've never interviewed for a job (that's funny, I have a job), I do
work at Michigan Tech's career center. I've talked to hundreds of recruiters
about what they like and don't like in interviews.
The biggest item of discussion is personal traits. Even though they're
recruiters, they're still people and they liked to be looked at as normal
people. Be yourself (of course, if you have a cronic habit of picking your
nose in public, you may want to reserve that side of yourself for your
own privacy--I'm not saying *you* do :)). Even though interviews are
pretty stressful, try to relax. Who knows? Maybe in a couple of months
you'll be playing softball with them.
Another issue is that of manners. Of course I'm sure you know you shouldn't
go in there saying "yup" and "nope" but it goes a little further than that.
One recruiter refused to hire a student because he was bothered that the student
didn't have the courtesy to knock before entering the interviewing room! I
paying attention to detail is pretty important.
Of course there's the don't-fidget, look-'em-in-the-eye, sit-up-straight
aspects of interviewing. I don't think I need to go into detail.
One very important thing is to research and know the company before you
interview. It shows the interviewer that you're interested in the company
and that you took the time to research the position you're interviewing
for. In addition to that, it will allow you to ask good questions after
your interview. I think probably every single recruiter I've talked to
has said that he/she wants to get questions from the person they're
interviewing. Again, it shows your interest in the company.
After you've done all that, of course there's your knowledge. If you
don't seem sure of your abilities, recruiters will pick that up. If they
ask about relevant work experience and all you have is a class project,
tell them about it. I once saw a student get an excellent job because
he was able to explain an engineering project he worked on when he was
a sophomore in college. The recruiter was so impressed with his ability
to both design this device and then explain it to others that he hired him
almost instantly. I've also seen students with so-so GPA's get jobs ahead
of 4.0-ers because they were personable and had good communication skills.
In any respect, being yourself is a good place to start. Not everyone
coming out of college is a straight-A student, and recruiters (for the
most part) don't expect that. What they do want are good communication
skills (#1), responsbility, and hard workers.
My sources can't be listed, as this is what I know from what I've been
told by recruiters from some of the largest companies in the world.
Hope it helps. Good luck!
Shelly La Rock
larock -at- tycho -dot- arh -dot- cdc -dot- com