You got scheduled for an interview – Now, what do you do?

Before the interview: Managing pre-interview stress

 So you’ve turned in your resume, cover letter, and references! Congratulations you have officially applied for your dream job! The hard work is over, right?! All of a sudden you get a call to come in for an interview! Excitement and nerves bubble up as you are scheduling the time and date of when to arrive.

There is a healthy level of stress everyone feels before an interview. However, when the stress kicks in slightly stronger than normal the cause can be lack of preparation.

How can you improve your confidence and your reduce stress level? Prepare!

Come to the CDC for a mock interview to polish your interview skills! Receiving feedback can raise your level of confidence when going in for that interview!

During the interview 

Now you are in the interview.

You’ve dressed the part, arrived on time, and already had your firm handshake, phew! Now all you have to do is talk about yourself. Easy peasy, right!?

After answering the “Tell me about yourself” question the interviewer asks, “Can you tell me a time when you’ve effectively worked as a team player?” You blank. You search and search your memory until you finally come up with a random example. Later when you are driving away you think of the perfect experience where you could have talked about being that perfect team player.

In order to effectively communicate who you are and the experiences you’ve had it is important to think of these situations ahead of time. Take some time to reflect on situations where you have utilized skills such as motivation, initiative, flexibility, problem-solving, technical skills, organizational skills, communication skills, integrity, teamwork, and interpersonal skills. By thinking of these situations in advance they will be at the forefront of your memory and easily retrieved during your interview.

For each skill you can develop your answer by telling the interviewer a STARR story including these 5 things:

  1. Situation: Set up the situation to the interviewer
  2. Task: Describe your process and the tasks involved
    3.Action: Talk about the various actions that you used to solve the problem or issue
    4.Result: What were the results that followed because of your actions?
  3. Relate: Relate your story back to the position you are applying for

STARR Exercise

Teamwork
S
T
A
R
R
Communication Skills
S
T
A
R
R
Problem Solving Skills
S
T
A
R
R
Strong Work Ethic
S
T
A
R
R
 

Motivation and Initiative
S
T
A
R
R

Interpersonal Skills
S
T
A
R
R
Technical Skills
S
T
A
R
R
Organizational Skills
S
T
A
R
R
Flexibility /Adaptability Skills
S
T
A
R
R
 

Integrity
S
T
A
R
R

Thank you!

The interview is over, congratulations you made it through!

The last step is sending a thank you letter. Send a hand-written letter or email within 24 hours of the interview expressing your appreciation for the interview. Try to send a thank you to everyone who interviewed you, or send one to the highest ranking manager you met with and include a request to extend your thanks to the entire group.

Great job, you did it! Now you can encourage your friends to do the three things you just did successfully:

  1. Schedule a Mock Interview with someone in the CDC!
  2. Think of situations you can use when answering questions during the interview (STARR)!
  3. Send a thank you!

*If you need more tips, check these CareerSpots videos:

The Interview
Top 10 Interview Mistakes
The Salary Question

-Cassie Goff, Graduate Assistant

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