Winning cover letters and resumes lead to winning interviews:
Get the job you interview for -- without ‘interview jitters’, embarrassment, or being stumped by trick interview questions. Matt & Nan DeLuca and the job-interview.net experts will prepare you for your interview with the Complete Interview Guide.
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INTERVIEW IN DEPTH
The first interview happened at my university. What goes on in a 2nd interview?
The first campus interview is basically an informational interview---you learn about them and they learn about you. Now the 'real' interview is scheduled. Do some research on the organization, the market and the industry. You will be expected to have done this for 2 reasons:
In addition to the company, what do you know about what the job may entail? What key skills are needed, what are the priorities and how would you handle them? This most likely will be a more 'in depth' discussion of the job and how you would add value to the company.
Review the information you received at the 1st interview. What must you know to accept the job if it is offered to you? What information must you get at this second interview? What did you learn from them about the organization and the job? Why should they hire you? Why do you want this job?
You may meet with department heads and potential co-workers that would have first hand knowledge of the job---this would be a great opportunity to learn more about the position as well as illustrate your research and knowledge of the job.
You have a degree. Don't you think this position is a bit below your capabilities?
Your logic is sound so just remember that you are really prepared to answer the question as you have stated above. The person you are facing doesn't know your thinking though so why assume she/he does? Make the person a fan. Let them know your thoughts and ask them as a professional if your thinking is correct. If nothing else you will turn this meeting into an informational interview with the possibility that the skeptic you are meeting with will suggest alternative directions and sources to turn to.
Get him/her to talk about how she/he got into the field and what advice she/he could now give you. Worst case scenario -- the interviewer continues to be of no help, benefit from the experience by learning to deal with someone who needs to be convinced of your worth. From this experience you will be all the more grateful the next time you meet an interviewer who really thinks you have a lot of potential.
Just for the record some organizations in the entertainment industry really value the receptionist function and hire recent college graduates as a preferred practice and use the position as an entry level position so that she/he can really get to know the organization while considering the next career step.
It's my first job. What can I do/say to convince the interviewers I will be able to handle the job despite my lack of experience?
Look over your courses and part-time & summer jobs (if any); do not neglect any other activities such as clubs, sports, etc. Now---think about all the skills that are needed to perform the job you are interviewing for. Lots of skills are transferable and highly valued such as communication, delegating, organizing. First think in terms of verbs...things that must be done. Next, think of adjectives that should describe the person doing the job such as calm, patient, incisive, creative . . .you get the idea.
Now that you have this list of what is needed for the job (verbs and adjectives), come up with as many examples of these attributes in your experience and/or coursework. For example, if you had completed several extensive reports, they involved research, time management and organizational skills. Tell short stories as examples of 'proof' of your expertise.
Being able to translate college experiences to job-needed skills is an art in itself. If you are not certain of the qualities needed for the job, do some research on it yourself. Talk to professional organizations or individuals in the field. Make sure you do some research on the organization you want to work for...show them that you are interested and motivated by the fact that you did your 'homework' before applying.
This 'skill-matching' exercise can also give you your key selling points and areas to highlight in your resume and marketing letter.
How do I handle questions about my grades or requests for my transcripts?
I get asked about my grades during, prior to, and after interviews. I worked while in engineering and law school. I have C, and C+ avgs respectively. I'm just proud that I finished. I paid for school myself w/ work and loans. I lost my mom to cancer and my brother to AIDs. But recruiters don't care about that. How best to handle questions about my grades or requests for my transcripts?
There is a certain appreciation by organizations of those who have been tested by the fire. You never know how someone will react to pressure or difficult situations. Your story certainly will show that you can deliver despite difficulties.
One of our most stated beliefs is that you cannot be a missionary---do not try to convert those who are not interested. If a recruiter cannot see the inherent value in your performance, their loss! But in a real world you still have to deal with these folks. Is there a positive trend that you can point out in your grades? Such as, consistently improving grades in certain subjects or specialties? Recommendations from an instructor to your devotion to detail and deadlines?
Since graduation (assuming that you did complete your studies), what have you been doing? How about those jobs that put you through school...do they have any recommendations for you? Cast yourself in the best light possible and stress the ability to perform quality...and target more family-friendly organizations for job openings. They may have a more open-minded culture to see beyond letter grades.
I am currently going through the interview process for a summer internship. I wanted to know how honest should I be during an interview.
It is an internship...not a lifelong career decision. Just put a more positive spin on it..."I have enjoyed working in groups but I also like working on my own. I like to meet the needs of the situation and the organization." Who knows...working with a right team may change your perspective and give you experience to use in future. The answer is not dishonest...just put in a positive perspective. Of course, if you abhor a team situation---be absolutely clear about your preferences. Why subject yourself to an untenable situation and therefore give your employer less that he/she deserves.