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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tips on Interviewing

Tips on Interviewing

Whether you are interviewing for a full time job or an internship the basics are the same.  Here’s a few notes, tips and things to keep in mind for interviews.
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
Everybody Has The Internet
Clear off anything that you posted on the internet that you wouldn’t want the interviewer to see.  Many companies regularly do a Google search before an interview.
Dress The Way The Boss Would
Guys, you should wear a suit and tie.  If it’s a hot environment or in the summer you can probably get away without a coat, but wear the tie.  Ladies, dress equivalently.  The civil engineering world is fairly conservative.  Dress professionally and at least one level higher than you think the job would generally require.
Prepare Answers for Questions
I’m planning an entire post on interview questions.  But have answers to typical questions ready.  Know a few strengths, at least one weakness, some goals, how you’ve handled difficult work situations in the past, etc.
DURING THE INTERVIEW
Qualifications
The interviewer knows that you are probably qualified or they wouldn’t take the time to interview you.  So during the interview, when they ask you about your qualifications, give them examples of specific things you have done in the past.
The Interview is Not About You.  It’s About How You Can Help the Company.
The interviewer wants to find out how you can help them.  The questions they ask will be geared toward this.  Tell them about your accomplishments and how you can use your accomplishments and skills to help them.
Part Of It Is A Personality Test
Whether or not they give you a written test interviewers will try to find out if you will fit in with the team.  The civil engineering field is very team oriented.  Engineers aren’t stereotypically know for there interpersonal skills.  Being able to work well with people is very important.  That is true for your coworkers as well as internal and external clients.
Ask When You’ll Here From Them
When the interview is winding down ask when you can expect to hear from them or when you should call them.  This will set your expectation.  Some places will take months to get back to you.  Some, just a few days.
Don’t Lie
Just like on your resume, don’t lie.  Tell the truth.  If you don’t know the answer then say so.  If the answers looks negative on you, then say what you’ve learned from the experience.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
Say Thank You
Send a thank you note, or call the interviewer and thank them.   Not a text message or email.  Write the note by hand, or call them.  As old as this advice is it is amazing how few people do this and how effective it is.
Follow Up
If you say you’ll follow up with them at a certain time, then do it.
That’s a few key points.  What are some that you’ve run into that others should know?

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