Ohio University Office of Career Services


Interview Bloopers & How to Avoid Them by Christy R

Interview Bloopers & How to Avoid Them

The ability to write a great résumé or cover letter may help you land an interview, but that’s not all it takes to get the job. An outstanding résumé can get you in to meet with your potential employer but once you’re sitting across from them in the interview you will have to start over in order to prove that you are the best candidate.

Most interview bloopers occur because of the lack of practice and preparation. Of course even if you are well prepared, the interview may not go perfectly–we all make mistakes. However, the following mistakes can easily be avoided by developing strong interviewing skills and preparing properly for the interview.

Weak communication skills.
Non-verbal communication plays a crucial role throughout the interview. A poor handshake may weaken your chances of getting hired from the very beginning. Also remember to make eye contact, avoid fidgeting and looking at your watch. Be aware of your body language–it may not be obvious to you but the interviewer will easily notice it.

Poor verbal communication skills will almost certainly decrease your chances of getting hired. Giving a long, rambling answer to a simple question demonstrates an inability to concentrate and process relevant information. Avoid using any slang–stay professional no matter what. Listening skills are also vital: don’t spend so much time thinking about your answer that you’re not paying attention to the question.

Failing to research the company.
Be prepared to demonstrate an awareness of the company and the position for which you are applying. It’s going to be obvious that you did not do your research if you ask the interviewer to tell you more about the position or what the company does. Read the job description. Check out the company website. Know the organization. On the other hand, don’t go overboard with your knowledge. When you know something about the company, wait for the right moment to share it. Do not interrupt the interviewer to tell them you already know the information. Wait until they have finished and then add a comment to what they just shared.

Dressing inappropriately.
When in doubt, err on the side of too formal. It is unlikely that there will be a good reason to show up for the interview casually dressed. Every company has its own dress policy, and it is a good practice to dress one level above what is acceptable for company.

Being late or too early.
Never be late. Develop a habit of being on time. It’s also important not to turn up too early because it creates the impression of having too much time on your hands and being desperate for the job. Five to ten minutes early is a good rule of thumb.

Being negative.
It’s important to have the right attitude during an interview. Never complain about your current job and stay enthusiastic throughout the interview. Be careful to treat everyone you meet with courtesy, including the receptionist. Many companies watch to see how you treat their staff. It gives them an indication of how well you might fit in to the company.

Asking inappropriate questions.
At the end of the interview always take the opportunity to ask questions. By paying attention during the interview, you will ensure that you don’t ask about something that was already discussed. Take some time before the interview to think about the position, what it involves and what kind of information you need to know to learn more about it. Have several questions prepared before you go into the interview. Avoid asking questions about salary and benefits during the initial interview. These are only appropriate once you have been offered the job.

Failing to follow up.
Be persistent. Send an email and thank you note after the interview, thanking the interviewer for their time. By following up and letting the employer know that you are still interested, you will increase your chances of getting a job.

Remember, preparation and practice are key. The Office of Career Services provides you with assistance when preparing for an interview. You can find general information about interviews on our website.

The Mock Interview Program can also help you sharpen your interviewing skills. Visit our website for more information.

Make sure to check out our On Demand Presentations for additional information on Behavioral Interviews or Phone Interviews.

Get ready and the best of luck on your interview!

—Written by Anna Morlang, CareerCATS Coordinator for the Office of Career Services

References
Quintessential Careers
The Time of India
Career Alley



Staff Feature: Ali Woodworth, Graduate Assistant by Christy R

Staff Feature:
Ali Woodworth,
Graduate Assistant

In the Office of Career Services Office at Ohio University we emphasize to students that Career Exploration is a process that an individual may go through several times in their lives. While I have only graduated from college two years ago, I exemplify this idea as I have already made one career change.

As an undergraduate I attended Ohio State University.  I went to school with very clear goals about the things I wanted to accomplish and the career I wanted after graduation. Through a senior shadow program at my high school I found and shadowed a woman who would later become my mentor, in corporate marketing communications. Due to this experience I went to Ohio State University the following year, with very clear goals and a definite career choice in mind.  During my time at Ohio State, I enjoyed my classes but found that my internships helped me to gain a better perspective of what exactly a job in this field entailed. I loved the creative aspects of these internships, but found myself going home at the end of the day feeling unfulfilled. Was I making a difference? After reflecting on what I valued in a career, I realized that I wanted a career that would allow me to interact in a meaningful way, helping others and making a difference in their lives.

Inspiration to pursue a Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel at Ohio University was prompted by my own undergraduate academic adviser. Every quarter we met, discussing different classes and how they aligned with my interests and overall goals. She helped me to plan out every quarter efficiently, ultimately enabling me to graduate in four years. In my adviser, I felt I had found an ally, someone who was genuinely interested in helping me to achieve the goals I had set and introducing the countless resources available to me at Ohio State. My adviser truly impacted my college career in such a positive way, making a large university feel not so large after all. My senior year at Ohio State, as I shared my revelation that marketing communications wasn’t right for me, she suggested I look into getting my master’s degree in higher education. After getting to know me over the years, she believed that my personality, goals and values would be a perfect fit with counseling and advising positions at a college or university.

After researching different career paths and graduate programs, I felt as though a light bulb went off. This was the perfect career for me! As my first year of grad school at OU is coming to an end I am now positive that I’ve chosen the right career for me. In addition to my work in the Career Services Office, I’ve had the opportunity to see many other facets of student affairs, from working with Turning Points Student at the Allen Student Help Center, to Academic Advising in the Patton College of Education.

Upon graduating next year I hope to find a position either in academic advising or career counseling. Both positions would give me the opportunity to interact with students, guiding them through their college careers and helping them to navigate the challenges that arise along the way.  It is my goal to show students all of the tools, opportunities, and options available to help them to succeed both in their academic careers, and for the rest of their lives.

To make a career counseling appointment with Ali or to talk to her about her career search experience, call or stop by the Office of Career Services.



Dressing the Part: What Your Work Wardrobe Says About You by Christy R

Dressing the Part: What Your
Work Wardrobe Says About You

Dressing properly for work assures credibility and helps to develop a professional relationship with colleagues and clients. Today many companies have adopted business casual attire and let go of some of the more conservative ways of dressing. Problems arise because the concept of business casual is not clearly defined and depends on the company’s dress policy and its corporate culture. Since few companies adopt clear written guidelines regarding business casual attire it is really important to learn the company culture and understand the expectations.

In the traditional business environment, for example, the existing culture expects you to stick to the classical business suit. It is crucial to establish reliability and a good reputation when you work in professions such as banking, finance or accounting. Choose a simple pattern or dark colors and try to change your professional business attire a single item at a time. Think of your dress as something that speaks for you and the way you do business. If the environment you work in is physically demanding, the internal culture there allows you to go with comfortable and easy-to-clean attire, but make sure that your clothes look smart and fit well. When interviewing with a company whose dress code or corporate culture you are not really familiar with, a business professional, traditional suit will be the perfect choice. Once you get hired and learn what the expectations and internal rules are you can adjust your style accordingly.

While it is important to know and understand your specific company’s environment, there are some basic rules that work for any situation or work environment.

Don’t get too casual. The fact that your company has a business casual dress code does not mean that you can get away with inappropriate outfits. Remember where you are and that you represent the company you work for. People won’t take you seriously if you can’t take the time to dress appropriately for the situation. Do a simple “Friday night” test: if you would pick a specific item to wear out to a weekend party, it probably doesn’t belong in the office.

Be professional in your choice of clothing. A short skirt is not a good choice for women to wear in the office environment. Short socks that expose legs are taboo for men. Avoid using bright colors in your outfit; it does not usually look professional. An option here would be adding an accessory that is an unusual color and goes along with the rest of the attire; however, that should be as far as it goes.  The foundational rule for wearing jewelry in a business environment is not to overdo it.

Summer Business Dress. Remember not to abandon your regular business attire when it gets warm outside. Sleeveless tops are very tempting in the summer time, but are usually not appropriate for a business situation. If you do happen to wear one, be sure that you have a jacket to put on when the situation requires. Women can try putting up their hair to stay cool and look sophisticated at the same time.

The Bottom Line. Every time you choose what to wear, think about the message that you want to send with your appearance. Keep in mind that you represent yourself and your organization. Carefully built credibility and reputation can be damaged very quickly by an inappropriate choice of clothing. By following some basic rules and learning the corporate culture of the company will guarantee you a professional look!

For more valuable information on professional dress, view our handout on Dressing Professionally in our Handout Library.

—Written by Anna Morlang, CareerCATS Coordinator for the Office of Career Services

Sources:
www.theworkbuzz.com
www.fashionforrealwomen.com
www.westsidetoastmasters.com



Dining Etiquette Workshop by Christy R

Dining Etiquette Workshop

Do you know the dos and taboos of dining etiquette? Are you prepared to interview during a meal?  The Office of Career Services is pleased to welcome Deborah Thomas-Nininger of DTN Productions to Ohio University to facilitate a Dining Etiquette Workshop. This workshop will guide you through proper dining and interviewing techniques as well as providing tips for pre-dinner mingling.

Due to high demand, Career Services has added one more table to the program.  Single tickets are available for $15, first come, first serve.  Please bring a check (written to: Ohio University Career Services) to 533 Baker University Center to receive a ticket.

When: Monday, May 9, 2011

Time: Dinner will begin promptly at 6:00 pm

Where: Baker University Center Ballroom

Cost: $15 (only checks will be accepted)

*Cost includes four course meal and training materials
**Professional business attire required.

Please direct any questions about the Dining Etiquette Workshop to Ali Woodworth at aw800110@ohio.edu.

More on Deborah Thomas-Nininger
Deborah Thomas-Nininger has been conducting business etiquette, communication and self-presentation workshops and training seminars for over 20 years. During that time she’s coordinated the international etiquette training for the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta for Coca-Cola. Deborah has presented to a wide varieties of companies and universities including Nationwide Insurance, Cardinal Health, Bath and Body Works and Harvard University.  For more on Deborah Thomas-Nininger visit her website at http://dtn-productions.com/home .



Career Resource Spotlight: Career Opportunities in the Publishing Industry by Christy R

Career Resource Spotlight:
Career Opportunities in the
Publishing Industry

Have you ever wondered what your options are if you are interested in pursuing a career in the publishing industry? This book breaks it wide open! First of all, it breaks job opportunities down into three main sub-fields:

  1. Newspaper Publishing
  2. Magazine Publishing
  3. Book Publishing

From there, it goes on to list all the different jobs you could possibly think of. Here’s a quick list to give you an idea of the range of careers possible:

For newspaper: Editor, Writer, Page Designer, Marketing Director, Publisher.

For magazine: Editor, Fact Checker, Freelance Writer, Art Director, Public Relations Director, Business Manager.

For book: Proofreader, Book Packager, Children’s Author, Book Designer, Sales Representative, Bookseller, Publishing Attorney.

…and many more!

For all of these, a specific job profile is listed, including duties, typical salaries, best geographical locations, and employment prospects, making this an indispensable resource for those of you considering this field for a living!

All this information is at your fingertips! Take advantage of it simply by visiting our resource library in the Office of Career Services‘ Career Resource Center.



Career Resource Spotlight: The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Portfolio Design by Christy R

Career Resource Spotlight: The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Portfolio Design

To all designers out there who know that a solid portfolio can make or break your job search, this book is for you! Putting together a solid design portfolio and cohesive promotional package can be an overwhelming task. Questions arise such as: Should I use color on my résumé or should I keep it black & white? How do I choose which pieces to include and which ones to leave out? How many samples should I include? This guide will answer all those questions, covering topics such as:

  • Planning your portfolio
  • The portfolio process start to finish
  • The traditional portfolio (with résumé, cover letter and business card)
  • The digital portfolio (CD, DVD, web site—including all the technical aspects of preparing your pieces for optimal digital appearance)

The book will take you step-by-step through all the traditional job-search preparations…tailored specifically for graphic designers and artists! Snippets of advice from art directors and other successful professionals in the field are included to make this resource invaluable to young designers getting ready to market themselves.

Ready to get your hands on this book and start creating building a solid portfolio? Stop by the Office of Career Services‘ Career Resource Center today!



Information Systems Analyst Training Program by Christy R

A certificate program will be offered to prepare graduates of two- and four-year degree programs for information systems analyst positions.
Brought to you FREE through a partnership with Tri-County Adult Career Center, Career Connections, McGann Consulting, and Ohio Skills Bank.

This intensive three-week program will equip you with the cutting edge skills desired by an international IT company surveying Athens County for a future site opening. This company pays a very competitive wage and provides excellent benefits. Trained analysts are in high demand nationwide with an employment growth rate of 24% over the next 7 years. We strongly encourage qualified applicants to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

ISA Intensive – Information Systems Analyst Training Program
Developed and delivered by university faculty and industry professionals.
When: May 23, 2011 – June 10, 2011
• Schedule: Monday-Friday, four-six hours per day
• Training Location: Tri-County Adult Career Center, Nelsonville, OH
• Space is limited

Participants will be selected based upon qualifications but openings will be filled as submissions come in. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early. Submissions due: Friday, April 22, 2011.

Requirements for Qualified Applicants
• Commitment to complete an intensive three-week program
• Bachelor’s or associate degree
• Interest in business or information systems
• Excellent analytical and communication skills
• Ability to work in a team environment
• PC, MS Office proficiency

HOW TO APPLY
Email your interest and updated resume to:
analyst@careerconnections.info

Program Will Include:
• System Development Lifecycle
• (SDLC) examination
• Information Systems (IS) fundamentals
• IS design methodology
• IS implementation practices
• IS hard & soft skill development
• Project management techniques

Résumé Should Include:
• Contact information
• Relevant work history
• College education end dates
• GPA

Submissions due: Friday, April 22, 2011