10 Interview Tips for Doing and Looking Your Best For Video Interviews

Video interviews are a very efficient way for employers to screen applicants, which is why they are increasing in popularity. The keys to a successful video interview is preparation and practice to avoid technology problems and feeling confident communicating in this format.

There are two types of video interviews:

Synchronous interviews are conducted real time over the Internet and are used in place of traditional face-to-face interviews as an employer can still assess and interact with the candidate.

Asynchronous interviews are conducted alone, meaning there is no real-time employer interaction. The employer provides a set of questions and asks applicants to record each response by a specific timeframe in a video. This allows the employer to screen candidates quickly and determine who will proceed to the next stage of the hiring process.

10 Video Interview Tips:

  • Conduct a trial run a day or two before the interview and set-up to confirm all is in working order (camera, microphone, lighting) as you would on the day of the interview
  • Position your camera at eye level (not above or below) and look straight at it when responding
  • Check your background so it looks professional (remove pictures, posters, etc.)
  • Make sure that you are in a quiet space with no possibility of interruption (barking dogs, roommates, music, or other sounds) and make a do-not-disturb sign for your door if you’re in your apartment or dorm
  • Turn off your phone and any alerts on your computer to avoid getting interrupted by emails or instant messages during the interview
  • Use the same good posture you would use during an in-person interview, limit hand gestures, and plant both feet solidly on the floor for balance
  • Pay attention to the lighting, avoid having any light sources behind you, and check camera angle
  • Check your internet connection an hour before the interview to make sure everything is still working correctly
  • For the interview, dress professionally, as if it were an in-person interview
  • Be confident, speak clearly, smile, and look directly in the camera

10 Tips To Prepare For Case Interviews

Case interviews are used by consulting, financial services, and an increasing number of other employers to evaluate an applicant’s problem solving, quantitative, analytical, and communication skills coupled with their professional demeanor in a high pressure timed environment.

Types of case interview questions:

  • Market sizing, calculation, estimation, numerical
  • Business operations
  • Business strategy
  • Brainteaser, puzzle, IQ questions
  • Problem case
  • Probing case
  • Resume case (based on a company)

10 Tips for Case Interviews:

  • Practice, practice, and practice again!
  • Check your career center for mock case interviews and case prep sessions
  • Research Glassdoor for typical case questions in the field and company you are interested in
  • Review the companies website as many employers have practice case interviews on their site
  • Review these resources;
  • Be still and read the case carefully first
  • Summarize the problem before you answer to check that you understand the problem correctly
  • Take notes if the interviewer allows it
  • Ask thoughtful questions to clarify points and use the answers to develop your solution
  • Be confident and personable while working through and presenting the case

10 Tips for Successful In-person Interviews

In-person interviews are typically the last step of the recruiting process (unless it’s an on-campus interview) and can range from 30 minutes to multiple interviews on-site during a half or full day company visit.

Ten Tips for Successful In-person Interviews

  • Prepare interview stories using the STAR format (Situation, Task, Action, Result)
  • Research the company and make sure you are aware of any current events that have affected the company (mergers, industry changes, leadership)
  • Review Glassdoor to find out what types of interview questions the company may ask
  • Have questions ready to ask the interviewer
  • Prepare answers to these standard interview questions:
    • Tell me about yourself
    • Why this company?
    • Why this position?
    • Why should we hire you?
    • 3 Strengths/ Weaknesses
    • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
    • How do you handle criticism?
    • Tell me about a time you had to work on a team where the project did not go well
    • Tell me about a time you failed
    • Tell me about a time you had to meet a tight deadline
    • Tell me about a time you had to handle conflict
    • Tell me about a time you had a manage many different projects and priorities
  • Arrive 15 minutes early
  • Look your best – check out the Career Onward Pinterest page for help with your attire
  • Take notes to remember key points interviewers made
  • Send a personalized Thank You email to all interviewers the same of the interviews
  • Write and mail, or drop off, handwritten Thank You notes the day after the interviews

 

 

10 Tips To Prepare For a Phone Interview

Phone interviews are often the first round of the hiring process and are typically conducted by a recruiter on the HR team. A recruiter wants to quickly assess three things within the 20-30 minute call; communication skills, experience relevant to the job, and culture/personality fit to the company. A successful phone screen interview is critical to moving forward in the hiring process so candidates are expected to have done their research and be ready to discuss the company, position, and their skills.

10 Phone Interview Tips:

  • Find a quiet place ahead of time as background noise can be a huge distraction to the interviewer
  • Check your reception beforehand and call a friend from your location to ensure you have a clear connection. Once confirmed, do not move the phone during the interview.
  • Be ready to take the call five minutes before the scheduled time. These interviews are short so you want to take advantage of every minute you have with the recruiter!
  • Research the company and role before the interview and be ready to discuss it.
  • Watch out for filler words such as “like”, “um”, and “uh” as they are more noticeable over the phone
  • Keep your stories concise using the STAR interview format as people tend to ramble over the phone
  • Do not multi-task and make sure you’re in a distraction free area
  • Put up a do-not-disturb sign on your door so you aren’t interrupted by roommates
  • Have questions ready to ask at the end of the interview
  • Send a personalized email Thank You after the interview highlighting key points that were of interest

Interview Accessories that Build Confidence

Now that we’re working with our 4th college graduation class, we realized it helps to have a checklist for interviews to insure you will have everything you need to be successful at Career Fairs, campus, and on-site interviews.

Here’s what we recommend:

  • Portfolio (black or brown, ideally leather, that includes pad of paper, pen and a place to store extra resumes and business cards
  • Business cards – we suggest students check their career center first as some universities offer this service. If not, head to vistaprint.com (cheapest) or www.moo.com (more options). Better for sales, tech, and advertising so you can make a unique impression.
  • Extra resumes – always have 5-10 on hand, more for a career fair
  • Mints
  • Healthy snack bar – in case there was no time for lunch
  • Appropriate attire – check career center guidelines or confirm with employer’s HR contacts regarding expected attire for interviews and events

If you want to learn more about the content for business cards, please read our blog post: How to Create a Student Business Card

I Attended the Career Fair, Now What?

You survived the lines and jockeying for position to communicate your pitch and entered your contact information in an iPad. Now what?

Instead of waiting to hear from the company, now is a great time to take action with the companies you really liked and stand out.

5 steps to take after the Career Fair:

  1. Follow all the companies on social media (if you weren’t already)
  2. Email personalized Thank You’s highlighting something you talked about
  3. Connect with them on LinkedIn with a short custom message
  4. Search for people in the company that are doing the job you want and request an informational interview
  5. Discover other internships and job opportunities at each company be checking their website, LinkedIn, and other job search sites as companies typically have more opening than they interview for on campus

Finally, don’t give up! If you are confident you are a good fit for the company and role, build connections with many people across the company so they can become your internal sponsors.

Tips to Make the Most of an Informational Interview

It’s amazing what you can learn from someone who’s actually doing the job you want. People like to talk about their work. But before you reach out, prepare, so you make the most of the time.

  1. Set a clear goal for the call
  2. Develop a set of questions
  3. Be sensitive to their time (30 minutes max)
  4. Follow-up with personalized Thank You
  5. Most importantly, stay in touch so they can be your internal sponsor if you find a job at the company that fits!

How College Students Can Leverage LinkedIn for Career Fairs

With 450 million users on LinkedIn, including one out of every 3 professionals in the U.S., LinkedIn is the place to be for college students to get noticed. Yet, most students don’t leverage LinkedIn and use it to their advantage, especially as it relates to career fairs.

 

Check out these tips to stand out at your career fair:

  • Review the list of companies attending and send a personalized InMail to the college recruiter communicating your interest in the company and asking to connect
  • Once you’ve met company recruiters during the career fair, follow up with a personalized thank you
  • Send a customized connection request to additional company contacts you engaged with
  • Keep your contacts apprised on your job search process and send articles of interest or congrats for recent press to so they know you’re really interested in the company

Your friendly and consistent communication will help you stand out from all the other applicants.

What’s Your 60 Second Career Fair Pitch?

I know it’s hard to believe. You really can stand out from the crowd and make a memorable impression with a recruiter in 30-60 seconds with a well-rehearsed pitch.

Use this simple structure to create your own short authentic story.

1. Intro: Offer your name, a firm handshake, and give them a resume and business card
2. Objective: Why you’re there and what type of job you’re looking for
3. Summary: Briefly summarize education, experience, and interests
4. Closing: Reiterate your interest, thank the employer (get a business card if possible)

Best of luck and be sure to let us know how it went!

Dress the Part for Your Career Fair and Interviews

We’ve all heard the familiar adage, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” For better or worse, this is accurate, especially as it relates to career fairs and interviews.

As the world becomes more casual, it’s hard to determine when business professional or business casual attire is appropriate.

We’ve made it easy! Check out this great resource created by the McCombs Business School to learn everything there is to know about dressing the part along with pictures.

It’s a great way to guarantee that you will be judged on the your academic achievements, experience, and skills, not your attire.