One of the most daunting aspects of entering the professional workforce is the interview. However intimidating a job interview may be, career counselors at the Career Services Center have a variety of tips and tricks to help interviewees overcome the anxiety and set themselves up for success.
Career Services Center is located in room 230 of the Student Services Center building and provides a multitude of options to assist students in developing a career path.
Jacob Wilkey, career counselor for the Dumke College of Health Professions, said that one of the best opportunities that students should consider taking advantage of is the mock interview.
Students can contact Career Services and request counseling for their specific department. A counselor will set up an appointment and advise students on the most effective way to approach the job interview related to their field.
Mock interviews are recorded, so students can review their performance and be critiqued by their counselor.
“Ask questions,” Wilkey said. “Research the job before you go in for the interview. Make eye contact and give a firm handshake.”
While Wilkey said these tips may be obvious to some, he sees a lot of interviewees neglect the simple actions.
“It’s important to show your personality,” Wilkey said. “A lot of times folks go in and give kind of a dead-fish handshake. That doesn’t go over well.”
Other important interviewing habits include following up after the interview. An email or phone call to the employer to show your interest in the position and thanking them for the interview shows appreciation and seriousness that employers look for in new hires.
Basic job interview etiquette and skills dictate good hygiene and dress. Knowing the dress code of the position and company will provide insight into the appropriate clothing selection. Avoid strong perfumes and colognes, as well as loud or flashy jewelry.
Eating a nutritious breakfast helps maintain focus. Caffeine increase anxiousness in an already demanding and unnerving environment, so don’t overdo it. Making sure that the mind and body are relaxed is a great way to show confidence and comfort to the employer.
Off campus, Utah Department of Workforce Services offers consultation and coaching for job interviews through the Work Success program. Work Success helps educate job seekers with 40 hours of training through either a two or four-week course. Enrollment for Work Success is completed at the local DWS office.
Another way to make it in the career struggle is to take an internship in a prospective field.
Recent mechanical engineering technologies magna cum laude graduate Ethan Hoffman received an internship with Orbital ATK.
“It opened my eyes to the industry in ways that school can’t do,” Hoffman said.
For the internship, Hoffman said there was an intimidating interview with six ATK employees.
To prepare, Hoffman said he took the time to define his strengths, so he would be ready when asked about them.
“I really went over my resume to memorize it, so when they questioned me, I could go into detail with my response,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman was originally looking for a job with ATK. However, while enrolled in school full-time, he had a restrictive schedule. The internship offered him fully-flexible hours that accommodated his course work.
Employers will often give second interviews when making final selections. The follow -up can offer the opportunity to show your attention to details during the previous interview.