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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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09/04/09
Interview tips for a First on-site interview
Filed under: Interviewing
Posted by: site admin @ 3:58 pm

It was very nice to receive an email from PR who
shared some positive news:

“… Thank you for all of your help and encouragement.
I am pleased to let you know that []tech has invited
me for an on-site interview [date].  The company
interviewed me at the ACS meeting in DC [where we
met again].  I just wanted to update you on my
progress since you have made such great investments
in me through your seminars on mock interviewing and
constructive critiques through personal conversation.

Please feel free to provide advice, suggestions or
insights that you feel could help me… “

PR was a memorable person who I responded to
in a more detailed note.  He deserved more than
a quick letter that one can find in advice columns.
One recent one offered five tips to help you nail
a job interview.  While I don’t disagree with any
of the items, he should hear more professional
advice than:
 - look professional  (he did!)
 - stay on point (use an impressive pen? really)
 - don’t wear too much cologne (I agree, but is
this a critical tip?)
 -  ask questions (on this I agree.  Have the key
questions you need answered and make sure you
ask them in a professional way to the right
people.)
 - body language (to express your personal
enthusiasm and message…agree)

The note sent to PR provided a dozen preparation
items.
1.  ‘research the company.’  It is a private firm that
will require you to dig in different places.  Go to
someone in the business school and ask for help.
2.  ‘For which position are you being interviewed?’
Know what it is and ask for a job description.  See
how you can match your skills, interests and
abilities to their needs.  Develop STAR stories…
3. ‘Go to your network,’ LinkedIn.com, for example
and find people working there.
4.  ‘Do they have current products, patents,
publications and presentations?’  Learn about them
What do they reveal?
5.  ‘Practice your presentation.’  Find out how long
they want it and plan for “question time”.  See
if you can connect to the open position.
6.   Ask questions about each person, how they
got there, do they like working there, get to know
them a bit, following up on your research on
each person’s work that you find in your research.
7.  ‘Who will be on your interview team?’  Don’t ask
about salary, benefits, promotions, or training.
8.  Be ready to respond to standard questions
you can see in the links section.  Do a salary
assessment you might expect in case they ask
you how much you want to make.
9.  Be enthusiastic, smile, display humble
confidence, but willing to learn.
10.  Have a calendar with you. so you can
respond to timing issues.  Consider, if asked,
asking to start before the beginning of a
quarter for benefits purposes.
11.  If you have friends in the business
school, ask them to help you evaluate
the business viability.
12.  Consider doing a mock interview
under different situations.  Interviewstream
might be a consideration.

 

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