Interview preparation necessary

Kali Lingen

Kali Lingen

Performing well in a job interview can be a daunting task, but students who attended the College of General Studies “Gain a Competitive Edge – Interview Tips Revealed” workshop at The Union on Jan. 28. need not worry.

Dannica Bunkers, a graduate assistant for the College of General Studies, was the presenter of the workshop. She talked about a few major tips that can help anyone during an interview.

Bunkers said preparation for the interview is important. Before the interview, the interviewee should know three strengths and three weaknesses. Knowing short and long-term goals relating to their career path are valuable topics to have in mind. The interviewee needs to be aware of their unique qualifications. Five basic unique qualifications are teamwork, leadership, communication skills, writing skills and problem-solving skills.

Interviewees should research the employer before the interview. Knowing information about the company, prospective employees will be able to relate the questions asked to the company they are applying at, Bunkers said.

“When you research an employer before the interview, you will be able to show how you would be a good fit for the company,” said Bunkers.

Before the interview, Bunkers said interviewees should prepare their outfits. She said it is a good idea for students to have a test run with their clothes, making sure there will not be any mishaps and that they are comfortable in them.

Interviewees should dress one step above the expectation for the job.

Susan Fredrikson, career development specialist for the College of General Studies, said it is important to dress to impress. Fredrikson said even if the job does not require employees to dress up, doing so for the interview shows professionalism.

Bunkers said there are some common questions asked during most interviews. A prospective employee should expect to be asked about strengths and weaknesses, why they applied for the job, what they know about the employer and why they should be hired. Interviewees will be told to tell the employer a little bit about themselves. Bunkers said this should be related to the job the person is interviewing for and a lot of personal information should not be discussed.

“Relate your long and short term goals to what you want to do in your career. You should never tell too many personal details during an interview,” Bunkers said.

At the end of the interview, employers usually ask interviewees if they have any questions. Always ask questions, Bunkers said. Those questions could be about the skills needed for the position, what a typical day is like, what the most challenging part of the job is and when a decision will be made about the position.

Within 24 hours after the interview, a thank-you letter or e-mail should be sent, Bunkers said. It is okay for an interviewee to call within a reasonable amount of time about whether or not a decision has been made.

Each month, the College of General Studies provides interview tips and résumé writing workshops. The workshops are free to SDSU students, but pre-registration is required the day before the workshop. To pre-register, contact the College of General Studies at (605) 688-4153.

Counseling graduate student Emily Noem