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Literary Citizen in Training


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Interviewing for Your Dream Job (Or Just Pretending To)

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My practice interview didn’t go exactly like that… but getting to know your interviewer is a strong step in the right direction, maybe just not so (ahem) intimately.

Thanks to the Ball State Career Center, I was able to hone my interviewing skills with a knowledgeable and friendly mentor. I know what you’re thinking, “why practice for an interview, Eric?” Well, I’ll tell you why! Just like with a speech or a presentation, you want to deliver your message calmly and confidently (it makes you look smart, trust me). Practicing is the easiest way to build that confidence needed to kill the actual interview.

So get out there and start practicing. Or, delay that order and check out some quick advice I have for you.

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Here’s a picture of my interview attire, upper body only–sorry pants fans. While it might not be the classiest get-up, it qualifies for business casual. BUT, remember to dress better than the position you are applying to, within reason. You don’t wanna show up for an interview with pizza king in a suit, it’s off putting. Try to get a feel for the company’s culture and mirror that look for the interview.

QUICK TIPS AND HINTS:

I took note of some of the questions he asked me. They may help you prepare for a practice interview of your own.

1.) Tell me about yourself. – This one is most likely always going to be asked. Try to keep it brief and professional. Only list things that you have completed our achieved. Leave your personal life out of it.

2.) Why are you a good fit for the position? – This is where you need to list your attributes that relate to the position you’re applying to. In my case, I informed Eric on how I have intermediate Japanese proficiency and am currently enrolled in a TEFL program. Both of which bolster my credibility.

3.) What is your desired salary for this position? – This was one that caught me up. I had researched the position before-hand, and being the well-informed candidate I assumed I was, I quickly answered $2500-3000 monthly. Apparently, you should never be the first to suggest a salary or wage rate in an interview. Always attempt to have the interviewer give a range. If the given range is acceptable, leave negotiations for later, but if the range is too low for you, negotiations may take place right then and there.

4.) Have you ever had a supervisor you’ve had disagreements with or problems with? – This is where you show how well you can handle disagreements with the chain of command. Don’t make the supervisor out to be a bad-guy or poor worker unless it’s absolutely black and white. I stammered through this section because I haven’t had much experience with upper management conflicts.

5.) Have you ever had any group conflict and how did you resolve it? – Much like the supervisor question, try not to place blame on other members or make them out to be the bad guys. In my example, I told a story about group members not pulling their weight in an academic setting. I was able to conquer this problem in later classes by setting strict deadlines that everyone had to adhere by.

For more questions, check out this helpful link. For a sample interview, you can check out this video.

The practice interview was definitely a helpful experience, and I’d really recommend it to those of you who are nervous about such a situation. Take advantage of the resources available to you; more preparation is always a good thing.

If you enjoyed this post, check out some of my other class-mates’ experiences. They all participated in the same program I did, and you can positively learn from our collective embarrassment.

Brittany MeansAndy WelkKrissy MccrackenRiane HallHaley Morgan

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