Every student knows that a good interview is critical in landing a quality job. Joleen Stanczyk, Human Resource consultant for Verizon Wireless, visited Mines this past week offering crucial interviewing advice to students.
The interviewing process, as seen by Stanczyk, consists of three important pieces – the pre-interview, the purpose of the interview, and the actual interview itself.
Prior to the interview, students should do their homework on the company. As Stanczyk states, “Tell me what’s interesting about my company.” Most company websites offer a description of their services somewhere on the site, and often times a quick glance can be the difference between looking unprepared and looking like a dedicated employee.
Another important aspect to consider before the interview is dress. In addition to professional dress, Stanczyk also said that there should be “no smells,” regardless of whether it be cigarette smoke or perfume. Interviewers may be distracted by certain smells or looks, so it is often best to appear plain rather than flamboyant.
The interview process serves multiple purposes, and while most see the interview as a chance for the company to see if the interviewee is a good fit for the job, Stanczyk argues that it should also be “your chance to see if the job is a good fit for you.” Factors such as work environment and location may play into this decision.
As for the interview itself, Stanczyk offered many straightforward interviewing tips, such as “look them in the eye,” and “sit up straight.” But the most important interviewing practices boil down to actively listening and taking your time. Sometimes the student really wants to make a point, and does so at an inappropriate time. As Stanczyk puts it, “Don’t slip it in if it’s not relevant to the question.” She also urges students to take their time when responding and to be honest. “If you don’t know, say so.”
All students will, at some point, find themselves in an important interview, where they should be confident, prepared, and have fun. Students should not arrive at an interview smelling like a cow town and end up losing a dream job just because they forgot one of Stanczyk’s basic tips.
If a job seems like a good fit, always remember that for “two people identically qualified, it comes down to who made the best impression,” according to Stanczyk. Interviews will likely be the deciding factor.