Tips on making the most of the INCC Career and Internship Fair
To Learn About Employment Opportunities: Employers are looking to hire students for full-time, part-time, and internships. Most of the employers represented are interested in filling specific positions. Attending the job fair gives you the opportunity to meet prospective employers in person and in many cases you may have a brief (very brief) interview. Employers will most likely be assessing your skills and qualifications as you introduce yourself, as well as determining if they want to consider you for a more formal employment interview.
To Learn About Occupational Information: Some of the employers in attendance may not necessarily be hiring at this time. Students who are not looking for employment can benefit from meeting employers and recruiters to learn about the types of positions within their organizations. Information is usually available for you to learn more about the organization. This information can help give you exposure to a variety of occupations, industries, and potential work environments. You may want to inquire about career/internship opportunities in your area of interest. Many organizations offer tours to the public or interested persons. If you are interested in gathering more occupational information, you could inquire about such on-site tours.
To Start Networking for Internship, Volunteer, and Future Employment Opportunities: Perhaps you are not looking for a job at this present time, but intend to get some relevant experience in a field of interest at some later date. A career/internship fair is a great place to start learning about potential organizations that you may want to work with in the future. If a particular employer does not foresee any such opportunity for you within their organization, you may want to ask for ideas about other organizations where you could receive relevant experience. Networking is about getting referrals, leads, and ideas about potential employers.
Tips on How to Make the Most of a Career/Internship Fair: Have a Career Focus: Have some ideas about the specific type of position(s) you are seeking or the specific skills you have to offer and how those skills are of value to the employer. Your attitude is important to employers and recruiters, as they are looking for candidates who are motivated and enthusiastic about their career objectives.
Plan your Time: Preview the list of employers ahead of time in order to identify the ones you are most interested in meeting (and prevent missing an employer you are interested in). A list of company names is included in this packet. Visit the CISC to see a more complete list that includes the company names with general information about positions and academic requirements. You can also find the more detailed list at the following web site: http://www.iusb.edu/~iusbjf/.
Dress Professionally: Dress in professional attire, usually a conservative suit, and avoid wearing any heavy fragrance. Find a restroom and use a mirror to be sure you are looking your best.
Bring a Résumé: Have a professional looking résumé copied on 100% cotton paper. This paper is available at any office supply store. Bring enough copies for the prospective employers you want to meet. Carry your résumés in a folder or portfolio. The CISC is available to help you edit your résumé. Do not wait until the last minute to set up an appointment with Sherry Weldy. Sherry can be contacted at ext:2661 or e-mail.
Prepare a Solid Introduction: Prepare and rehearse a short (less than a minute) mini-script for introducing yourself to employers. This ‘capsule biography’ should include your full name, career interests, education, experience, and skills most relevant to the employer’s needs. Ask about career/internship opportunities in your area of interest, and when appropriate, display your knowledge of the company and ask relevant questions. Express your interests in working for the organization and avoid asking questions about salary and benefits. Focus instead on what you can offer the company. Review a list of potential interview questions to help you practice your answers to specific questions. A list has been included in this packet. Questions to ask: If you are interested in a company you can ask the following questions; “Could I leave a résumé with you?” “How would I go about applying?” “Are you the person I should address my cover letter to regarding the position?” Make a Good First Impression: You have ONE opportunity to make a good first impression. To do this, be sure to greet the employer with a firm handshake and good eye contact. Be enthusiastic and demonstrate positive verbal and nonverbal communication at all times. Lasting impressions are often made within the first few seconds of an introduction.
Bring Your Planning Calendar: Be ready to set up appointments with interviewers. You may also want to allow for time to complete an employment application. Have all the necessary details with you so you are able to accurately and thoroughly complete the application. These may include names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of past employers. Always remain positive about past employers! Also, you may want to bring a pocket dictionary or electronic spell check. Misspelled words leave a negative impression. Space will be set aside for students to fill out such paper work. Have some change available in case you want to make a copy before you return the application.
Follow-Up: Keep notes about conversations and specific details you will need for your follow-up. After speaking to many people, if can be very difficult to keep individuals, job titles, and employers straight. Request a business card from everyone you talk to and make sure you know the person’s correct name and title. Send a thank-you letter to employers or recruiters who gave you a business card. If you do not get to meet with a specific representative of interest, you may want to contact the organization and let them know of your interest and that you would like the opportunity to meet with them to discuss your qualifications. Finally: You are going to be ‘on display’ for hours. Many employers will be watching you, your peers will become your competition, and you will have to keep your cool and sell yourself. Having said that, try to enjoy yourself. SMILE!! Get enough sleep the night before and wake up in time to have a relaxed breakfast. Plan ahead so your suit, résumés and anything else you need is ready the day before the career/internship fair. Make advanced preparations with any professor if you will be missing class to attend the fair.
REMEMBER: Your best selling point is that you have a combination of personality, skills, dreams, and experiences that is completely unique. See you there!
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Top Interview Questions
- What goals have you set for yourself? How are you planning to achieve them?
- Who or what was the greatest influence on the development of your career interest?
- What factors did you consider in choosing your major?
- Why are you interested in our organization?
- Tell me about yourself?
- What two or three things are most important to you in a position?
- What kind of work do you want to do?
- Tell me about a project that you initiated?
- What are your expectations of your future employer?
- What is your GPA? How do you feel about it? Does it reflect your ability?
- Why did you select Bethel College to go to school?
- Tell me about how you perceive your strengths. Your weaknesses. How do you evaluate yourself?
- What work experience has been had the most valuable manager? How have you displayed one of these characteristics?
- What was the most useful criticism you ever received and who was it from?
- Give an example of a problem you have solved and the process you used to solve the problem?
- What has been your greatest challenge?
- Describe a situation where you have a conflict with another individual, and how you dealt with it.
- What were the biggest problems you have encountered in college? How have you handled them?
- What are your team-player qualities? Give examples
- Describe your leadership style
- In a particular leadership role you had, what was the greatest challenge?
- What idea have you developed and implemented that was particularly creative or innovative?
- What characteristics do you think are important for this position?
- How have your education and work experience prepared you for this position?
WHAT YOU MAY BE ASKED:
Tell me about yourself. This is an opportunity to describe your work-related strengths, to let the interviewer know why you should be considered for the job. Don’t ramble on and make sure to keep work-related For example, “I am a hard worker, dedicated to helping others in a team environment, and I work independently as well, needing little supervision.”
What are your biggest accomplishments? Be specific and keep it work-related. Be honest about your contributions to the projects. For example, “While I feel my biggest achievements are ahead of me, I find that my biggest accomplishment so far was being part of a team of graphic design artists in converting the newspaper from manual paste-up to electronic pagination.”
Why do you want to work here? In order to efficiently answer this question you should have done research on the company prior to the interview. For example, “I have read about your company’s commitment to its employees as well as to customers, and I want to be a part of the type of company. I believe I can contribute to that by...”
Why should I hire you? Again, it is important to know about the company and the job itself. This is your opportunity to show how your accomplishments, skills, and talents fit with the company’s needs. For example, “As I understand it, you are looking for a selfstarter to lead the pressroom staff. My background includes working with all aspects of printing, including composing, so I would be able to troubleshoot potential printing problems before they happen.”
What did you like/dislike about your last job? In a way, this is a trick question. Even if you hated your last job, find some positive things to say. This question may be used to screen potential problem employees. This is another opportunity to sell yourself. For example, if you last job was your first job, you could say, “I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about (fill in whatever aspects apply). I found out that I work well under pressure,” etc.
WHAT YOU MAY WANT TO ASK:
Be sure to listen carefully to the interviewer, as some of these questions may already be addressed during the course of the interview. This is your opportunity to find out if you and the company are a match. If the interviewer is reluctant to answer these questions, you may want to carefully weigh whether or not to accept an offer.
- What would my first assignment be?
- What skills are necessary for advancement in the company?
- What training process is offered?
- Why is the position open?
- What is the greatest challenge of this position?
- May I meet people with whom I would work? Supervise? Report to?
- When do you expect to make a hiring decision?
- May I talk with a few employees about their experiences working here?
MORE INTERVIEW INSIGHTS
A person’s name is golden; use it three times during a business conversation. A good speaking voice is a powerful career asset. Two recent studies of men and women’s voices showed that individuals with attractive voices were considered more assertive and likable than those without nice voices. “Attractive” voices were resonant, clear, varied in tone, not nasal and, in women, neither noticeably high or very low.
To project a positive voice consider the following:
- Avoid wedging the phone between your shoulder and chin.
- Smiling when you speak gives the perception of interest and energy.
- Your posture can affect your speaking voice.
1st In Person Interview
- Be on time, (at least 5 minutes early).
- Do not bring along family members or friends.
- Schedule one for the morning and one in the afternoon, do not stack them.
- Dress professionally.
- Firm, full handshake.
- Be prepared, research the company on the Internet, library, and newspaper.
- Prior to interview, list your qualifications, with examples.
- Use school experiences, hobbies, clubs and organizations.
- An interview is not a time to be modest or humble. Give substance, emotion, excite the employer.
- ASK FOR THE JOB, ASK FOR THE JOB, ASK FOR THE JOB
- Send a follow up letter thanking them for the interview, and then tell them why you want the position and highlight your qualifications as they relate to what was asked in the interview.
Always remember during the interviewing process and after you have started work, you are constantly being observed and evaluated as an employee for promotions, raises or even if you are going to keep your job. How you conduct yourself in meetings, when given additional responsibilities, work and deadlines will determine your ultimate success within the Company.
Knowledge, skill and attitude are the basis for a well rounded employee, but attitude is the primary determinant of an employee’s success or failure in the job.
JOB HUNTING - WHAT TO WEAR!
Business Professional for Men:
- Conservative two piece business suit (solid dark blue or gray is best)
- Conservative long sleeved shirt (white is best, followed by pastel)
- Necktie should be silk with conservative pattern
- Dark shoes that match belt
- Dark socks (NEVER white socks)
Business Professional for Women:
- Suit color should be black, gray, or navy blue
- Tailored blouse is best
- Wear basic pumps, low-heeled, that match or are darker than skirt
- Always wear hosiery in a professional setting
- Avoid “trendy” clothing, evening attire or any clothing which exposes bare shoulders, back or midriff
- Jewelry should be limited to two pieces (earrings and bracelet; one ring on hand) and should never be distracting
- Make-up is subtle
For a Professional Look for Both Men and Women:
- Polished shoes
- Well-groomed hairstyle
- Clean-manicured fingernails
- Minimal cologne or perfume
- Empty pockets of keys, change, etc.
- Remove visible body piercing jewelry
Unacceptable Business Attire:
- Chino pants (has hip pockets)
- Capris or shorts
- Tee shirts
- Low necklines, high hemlines
- Sheer materials
- Tennis shoes, sandals, deck shoes, boots
- Big purse for women – go instead with a briefcase
You are asked the question, “so, what skills do you have?” Often, we have trouble giving ourselves credit for the skills we possess. The following should give you some ideas answering that question.
CHARACTERISTICS OF AN IDEAL EMPLOYEE
- Works well with others
- Imaginative, a “problem solver”
- Self-motivated, self-confident
- Someone not afraid to take calculated risks
- Anticipates - can spot trends, project possibilities
- Enjoys fast paced environment
- Excellent communicator
- Decision maker
- Able to work with people from diverse backgrounds
A BETHEL COLLEGE DEGREE HELPS DEVELOP THE FOLLOWING SKILLS:
- Interpersonal skills
- Good work habits
- Exposure to diverse points of views - can sort the “maze”
- Written/Oral communication
- Decision making skills
- Research abilities
- Exposure to different cultural environments
Employers are seeking people who can see the whole picture and communicate effectively. Your Liberal Arts education is highly regarded by employers.
SHOWING YOUR NERVOUSNESS
- Playing with your hair
- Wringing your hands
- Cracking your knuckles
- Clearing your throat
- Tugging at your ear
- Playing with your jewelry
- Touching your neck
- Picking or pinching your skin
- Jingling money in your pocket
- Covering your mouth with your hands when you speak
- Tapping your hands or feet
- Swiveling in your chair