April Career Advice: Salty Dog & Pong in the Interview Room

How to transform your Salty Dog outfit into your Interview outfit in MINUTES!

  • Don’t bother spraying your shirts with Febreeze… employers are intrigued by the smell of booze on clothes. It shows initiative that you were even able to wake up for the interview after such an eventful night.
  • Girls: Take a tissue & wipe off the bottom of your eyeliner. Leave on the rest and it will look freshly done!
  • Boys (especially those interested in Investment Banking): The whole full suit stereotype is SO outdated… show those Wall Street studs your best going out tee and khakis.

The Art of a 10-page Resume:

  • Make sure to choose a very elusive font, as employers like a sense of mystery to draw them in. Recommendations: Wingdings or Simplified Arabic (Make ‘em translate!)
  • Another option is to hand write your resume. There’s a reason you spent so much time in school practicing cursive.
  • Include every club you’ve participated in since Middle School. How are employers supposed to take you seriously if they aren’t aware of your membership in Scrapbook Club during 6th grade?
  • Quantity overrules quality.
  • No need to proofread!

Spruce up your Facebook & Twitter:

  • Upload your best Beer pong match to YouTube ASAP.  Employers want to see your competitive edge. Bonus: If you are a regular champion…tack it on your resume!
  • If you don’t have a Red Solo Cup in your profile picture, you’re doing it wrong. Fill it up, snap a picture & show us your best Saturday 2am face. An employer’s dream.
  • Employers want entry-level employees who take charge of the company on Day 1, so show off your authoritative skills by cursing frequently on your public Twitter profile. Maybe throw in a disrespectful statement here and there to seal the deal.

Nail your Interview!

  • Always interview in a pairs just like Brennan and Dale from Step Brothers
  • Don’t bring copies of your resume… it looks like your trying too hard.
  • Always arrive 5 minutes late to the interview. If you are too punctual, they will always expect you to be on time.
  • Have your mother, father or sibling write a follow up thank you note—they love to see your family background prior to hiring


P.S. If none of the above statements seemed out of place, please stop by Drop in hours ASAP (Every weekday from 1-4pm in Hogan 203) …We have some work to do!


Don’t SPOOK your Employers: How to Dress for Success

Happy Halloween Holy Cross!

Since today you will be especially conscious of your wardrobe choice, this is the perfect opportunity to review the art of business wear. Although we trust you won’t walk into an interview dressed like a Halloween pumpkin, it’s always helpful to have a refresher session on the basics of dressing to impress.

For an interview, the general rule of thumb is “you can never be too overdressed.” You have a short period of time to be assessed by a potential employer, so dress like you want the part five times over. While you want to convey professionalism through your dress, you don’t want to be remembered for your outfit. (You want to be remembered for your qualifications!) This means veering away from loud colors and statement jewelry. Go back to the basics!

What exactly are the basics for an interview?

  • Women:
    • Conservative Dress/Knee-Length Skirt or ironed business slacks with a blouse
    • No LOUD colors (in your outfit, jewelry  or on your NAILS)
    • Limit the perfume & jewelry
    • Keep your hairstyle simple and professional (Tie out of your face to avoid playing with it during an interview- it’s distracting!)
    • Simple heels or flats (This is not the time for fashion forward stilettos!)
  • Men:
    • Basic suit with neutral colored button-down shirt
    • Simple tie
    • DARK socks (Don’t let us catch you in white!)
    • Nice leather shoes

    Check out this video (via Career Builder) for specific interview fashion tips!

Outside of an interview setting, it is still important to dress professionally in the workplace. However, you must also feel out your work environment and look to your coworkers to see what the norms are. Someone working on Wall Street will undoubtedly be expected to dress more formally than someone who works at the more business casual Google office. However, for the first few days of your internship or job, lean towards overdressing.

Although it may seem like we are trying to quash your self-expression, there are many ways to dress professionally and still incorporate your own style. Also remember that dressing conservatively does not mean you cannot be stylish! For great workplace style tips, check out the following sites:

  • Women: Marie Claire at Work here (includes how to be “business chic,” what to wear as a fragrance at the office and more!)
  • Men: Check out GQ’s “A 10-step GQ Guide to Nailing Office Style” here

Ready to Dress for Success? Good.

Now feel free to change back into your Pumpkin costume, after all it is still Halloween!

Skype Interviewing 101

Whether you’re applying to internships while studying abroad or applying for a job far away, you may have to participate in a Skype interview this spring.  Skype is a great opportunity for connecting you to these opportunities, but it poses some unique concerns.  To address these issues, I turned to Jenny Foss of JobJenny.com, who describes herself as “Your job search BFF and tough love expert on finding career passion.”

Her tips for using Skype may help you move from a virtual interview to a real job offer!

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10 Tips to Shred the Competition in your Skype interview (by Jenny Foss)

You may already know this, but allow me to reiterate: corporate HR has discovered Skype. And they’re using it with increasing frequency to interview candidates. It’s cheaper than flying you in, and it’s more personal than a phone call.

Welcome to your huge advantage in the job search. Do use it accordingly. Even if you’re not job searching, these tips are helpful for any Skype calls you do, including informal interviews and networking.

If you’re competing with older candidates for your dream job, they may very well have the “years’ experience” edge. But if you’re already comfortable using Skype? You really, truly could outshine that senior level candidate if he or she is “green” with this technology.

Of course, you must then make this your mission. Outshine, friend. Outshine.

To ensure this mission is successful, here are 10 tips to help you shred the competition on your next Skype interview:

  1. When confirming the interview, provide your Skype account name. Show the interviewer that you’re comfortable with the technology right from the start. Also, ask if you are to dial them, or if they will call you. No sense starting off on this weird note.
  2. If your Skype name is cutesy or unprofessional, set up another account. And not MadSkillz or HireMaddie. Just your name, please. Or something close to it if yours is already taken.
  3. Practice first. I recognize that this might sound obvious, but you’d be amazed by how many people don’t do it. Dial up a friend, relative or professional mentor and run through a few mock questions. Check the audio levels, make sure the room lighting looks normal
  4. Get the eye contact thing down. This can feel a little strange on Skype, but eye contact is VERY important in an interview. Be sure and look into the webcam a large portion of the time. You’ll be tempted to stare at the screen, because that’s where the interviewer’s image appears. But if you look there the whole time? It will come across that you’re looking down the entire time. Eye contact. A must
  5. Don’t even think about doing it in a coffee shop. Quiet, clean room. Absolutely no environmental hustle and bustle, none.  Oh, and when I say “quiet, clean room?” Assume I mean “quiet, clean room with no weird crap in the background. (Editor’s note: Career Planning has rooms you can book to ensure you have a quiet space to conduct your interview!)
  6. Silence any other phone or potentially interrupting technologies before the interview. That’d be your cell phone, your land line and any other audible alerts that could pop up on your computer during the call.
  7. Go professional, but remember you’re probably sitting at home. Some professionals will argue me on this, but I think that, for most positions, it’s unnecessary to get all spiffed out in an “interview suit” for a Skype interview. “Hi, I’m sitting in my apartment in pinstripes. Just a regular old day here.” It just seems odd to me. Absolutely look polished, ironed and professional (and wear pants, for heaven’s sake,) but I say suit is not required (unless, of course, you’re in the running for some big Wall Street or CPA gig, then yes, probably.)
  8. Prepare in the exact same way that you would for a face-to-face interview. Research the company, the industry and the players with whom you’ll be interviewing. Come to the interview with thoughtful questions related to these. Listen. Listen. Listen. And then answer questions calmly and succinctly. Smile. Just like you’d do in person.
  9. Don’t panic if you have a dropped connection. More than likely, the interviewer already knows that this happens sometimes with a Skype call. In the event it happens on your interview? Take a couple of deep breaths and wait for him or her to re-connect. If five minutes passes and he or she doesn’t? Redial.
  10. Say thank you. And do so while you’re looking at that webcam.

Finally: pat yourself on the back when it’s over. Your comfort level with newer technologies like Skype may well help you land the dream job!

. . .

More questions on interviewing? Check out more online resources on how to interview including behavioral interviews and interviewing for shy people. You can also set up a mock interview with a Career Planning counselor.

Article Source.

10 Questions to Close an Interview

“So, do you have any questions for us?”

Ah, the obligatory-end-of-interview questions.  While it seems simple and unobtrusive, don’t be fooled. Even though the formal interview questions may be over, this is your opportunity to show your interviewer you care enough to learn more about the company or position. According to the Interviewing Guide created by Career Planning, you should prepare 3-5 questions ahead of time.

Some Cardinal Rules:

DO NOT ask nothing. Even if you’ve been to a million and one networking events and feel you’ve exhausted your list of questions, ask one of them again to gain a new perspective. Ask something. Anything. Not asking a question makes you look cocky–and that’s not going to win you any brownie points. See the list below for some inspiration.

DO NOT ask about salary, vacation, benefits, etc.  If hired, you’ll have plenty of time to find out.

DO NOT ask questions whose answers can be easily found out by doing basic online research on the organization.  Don’t demonstrate your lack of preparation with a question to which you should know the answer.

Some Sample Questions:

1. What are some of the projects interns have worked on in the past?

2. What kinds of opportunities are there to receive feedback from supervisors?

3. Is there a training program? How long is it? What sorts of things will I learn?

4. Questions about transportation–if you don’t have a car you’ll need to know if there’s public transportation or a car pool system available.

5. What goals does the company have/projects the company is working on this summer/semester? How do you see my role in those?

6. If Since you’ve read up on the company, you may have follow up questions on an article you read. “I read in XX that Company is expanding XX project; would there be an opportunity to work with this project during my internship?”

7.  Could you elaborate on your job? What are you responsibilities? etc.  If your interviewer works in a career field or department which you feel drawn to this could be especially interesting, and you may want to ask other questions about their education and training.

8.  What do you most enjoy/value about working for Company?

9. Are there any technical skills or other specific knowledge needed or recommended for the job (other than listed in course description)? Is there an opportunity for some training on site?

10.  And everyone’s favorite… What is your time frame for making decisions?

Additional Resources on Interviewing:

Interviewing Guide
Interviewing for Shy People
Set up a mock interview with Career Planning; call 508-793-3880