Career Day is just around the corner, September 11, which means the Career Center is busy helping students and alumni alike prepare for the big day. One such event was the “Interview with Confidence Workshop,” sponsored by Shell.
Debbie Behnfield, Recruitment Coordinator for the Career Center, has worked to prepare students for Career Day for five years. She presented the workshop with her own personal spin and experiences.
One of the main points of the workshop was to highlight that an interview should be a conversation. In a conversation one should be relaxed and breathe deep. The interviewer just wants to see if an individual is a good fit for the company, just as an interviewee should be seeing if the company is a good fit for them. Behnfield said, “Part of the interview process is looking for red flags; are you the weird one?”
Even if the candidate is the “weird one,” he or she may still stand a chance by using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) Method of answering questions. “We relate things through stories,” and that is what the STAR method helps interviewees do. Additionally, a conversation requires both parties to participate. “They want to know you planned for the interview,” said Behnfield. Be sure to bring company notes and have questions ready.
One student asked about the dreaded, “Name one strength, name one weakness” question. Behnfield responded, “You should think about strengths before you go in, weaknesses should be something from the past.” She also added that individuals should be able to explain how they fixed that problem. This is a technique to use to deflect the question. Behnfield recommended not saying anything about being a perfectionist, but be honest.
Behnfield also recommended those looking for work this Career Day attend the WIRED Event on Monday, September 10, where companies pay to help answer students’ questions about anything from common interview questions, to how they like their company. “Companies’ goals are to meet with as many students as they can,” Behnfield said. This is also why Optimal Resume, a site accessible through Diggernet to help with resumes, cover letters and interviews, is paid for by Shell.
The Career Center will be holding events almost every day leading up to Career Fair to help students prepare. They also ask that students schedule a time to come in, review their resume, create a cover letter, or take advantage of the plethora of other services provided. However, they also welcome walk-ins, 8 am to 5 pm.