Interviewing 101

According to the FAU Career Development Center’s Web site (, “Employers are most interested in ‘how’ what you’ve done qualifies you for the job you’re applying for. The interview will often take a behavioral approach where you will be expected to discuss specific situations you’ve experienced and the outcomes of those situations.”

As for avoiding a bad interview, Boca Raton Nordstrom intern coordinator Kevin Cohen says, “I think someone can best avoid a bad interview if they’re prepared and they do their homework.”

“Preparation is vital,” the Career Development Center Web site says. “Be prepared to discuss your academic and work background, career interests, personal goals, weaknesses, strengths, and accomplishments.”

Preparing emotionally for an interview is also important, according to Sylvester. “You’re going to be nervous, and the interviewer will understand that, but you can’t let it get the best of you,” Sylvester says.

Erin Coley, director of learning at Knowledge Points in Boynton Beach, stresses that a potential employee should be prompt and also express interest in the job they’re applying for. “Calling and rescheduling or calling if they’re lost says a lot to me. I mean, if the job was really that important, wouldn’t they have looked it up on MapQuest?”

Coley currently employs 12 college graduates. She says schedule flexibility plays an important role in getting the job:

“One red flag I look for during an interview is when people aren’t flexible with their schedule.”

Task-oriented flexibility, much like schedule flexibility, will also help show your willingness to commit to a job.

“I’ve had someone tell me they only want to work with a specific age group, like they didn’t like children when they reached a certain age,” Coley says.

According to the Career Development Center Web site, “Employers will evaluate your motivation for work.”

When you have completed your interview, the Career Development Center recommends sending “thank you” letters or e-mails.

Coley says she “was really impressed,” when she received a thank you e-mail from a candidate that not only thanked her but reiterated the candidate’s availability, goals and excitement to work at Learning Points.

As for the best piece of advice one should remember when interviewing, many employers, employees and informational Web sites all agree: confidence will seal the deal.

Interviewing Do’s

Financial advisory and accounting firm Deloitte has helpful interview tips on their Web site

Tip 1: Do your homework.We’re impressed when candidates have taken the time to do some research and learn about us. Being prepared will also minimize your anxiety.

Tip 2: Make an impact.Remember, it’s not always what you say, but how you present yourself that makes an impression. Be sure to shake hands firmly and maintain eye contact. During the interview, sit up and stay focused. If your mind starts to wander, it shows.

Tip 3: Be confident.Composure in the business world is crucial. And an interview is a good measurement of how you handle pressure. Maintain an appropriate level of professionalism without being unapproachable. The best advice is to be yourself.

Tip 4: Ask questions.When you want to learn more about who we are and what we do, it lets us know you’re interested. Before the interview, make sure you’ve prepared a list of questions that we may not have addressed.

Tip 5: Sell yourself.Your qualifications got you in the door. Make sure you can speak confidently about any experiences you’ve had in the workplace and in the classroom. Specific examples of how you’ve contributed to an organization or learned something exciting are of interest to us. We see potential in you, so be sure to sell yourself by promoting your skills and abilities.

Tip 6: Get clarification.If you don’t understand a question, don’t hesitate; ask us to repeat it. You have a better shot at giving your best answer if you know exactly what we’re asking.

Tip 7: Follow up.It’s good etiquette to thank interviewers for their time. Make sure you get a business card from the person or people that you meet with and send a letter to each one as soon as possible after the interview.

Wow! They went here?

Business and ScienceDr. Mark Dean, MSE ’82Co-developer of IBM PC and member of National Investors Hall of Fame, VP IBMæHamid Hashemi, BS ’81President and CEO of Muvico TheatersæMaynard Webb, BA ’78President, eBay Technologies, Inc.æSusan Skemp, BS ’81President, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Manager at Pratt & WhitneyæRobert Orr, Jr., BA ’76President, Boeing JapanæPolitics and State ServiceFrank Brogan, MED ’81Former Lieutenant Governor State of Florida/President of FAUæThe Honorable Carol W. Hunstein, BS ’72Supreme Court Judge, State of GeorgiaæThe Honorable Daniel Mica, BA ’66President and CEO of Credit Union National Association/Former Florida CongressmanæEntertainmentCarrot Top (Scott Thompson), BBA ’89ComedianæMarc Kudisch, BFA ’88Actor/Tony Award nominee for Thoroughly Modern MillieæAllen Berman, BA ’77Executive producer, Media Street Productions/Former Senior Producer of CBS Evening NewsæDonal Brewer, BBA ’90Drummer for Grand Funk Railroad,named one of the most influential drummers by Modern DrummeræAthletesYolanda GriffithAll-star WNBA player for Sacramento MonarchsæJeff Fiorentino, ’04Outfielder, Baltimore OriolesæCarmen CaliPitcher, St. Louis CardinalsæTim Harrikkala ’93First FAU baseball player to go to majorsPitcher, Oakland Athletics