Job applications should connect to the employer’s mission statement, instructor said.
Employers want to know the person they will be hiring, Instructor Jeff Hunt said Nov. 6 in McAllister Fine Arts Center during a presentation that was part of a workshop series sponsored by the speech program.
In the presentation “Selling Yourself — Interviewing Techniques,” Hunt said that as an active job seeker, interviewees will need to come up with a strategy to supply the employer with answers, Hunt said.
“You’ll need to prepare an elevator pitch, something to state who you are and what do you do,” he said.
“Be positive,” Hunt said.
Do pre-interview work on questions that employers might ask, he said.
“The pitch should only be one to three minutes,” Hunt said.
College students need to promote their interpersonal skills, he said
“What makes you unique? What do you do that stands out?” he said. “Put a positive light on what you have accomplished.”
Do some homework before interview day, Hunt said.
“Do a sneak preview of the company that you’re interested in,” he said. “Visit the company website and social media pages.
“Look up the address of the company and visit their site before you go for your interview.”
Look up the history of the company the current salary, mission statement and client base, Hunt said.
“Start connecting yourself with the company mission statement,” he said. “How do you fit in to the company culture.”
Prepare to dress the part, he said.
For men, he suggested a dress or sport jacket that is dark but not black and a white or blue shirt. Interviewees should wear a tie and black socks, he said.
He said interviewees should avoid sneakers, shorts, T-shirts and jeans.
“Don’t forget the shoes,” Hunt said
He specified dress shoes or black loafers.
For women, he suggested skirts, pantyhose and a nice blouse. Shoes should be low-heeled and not stilettos, open-toe heels or flip-flops.
Jewelry should be kept at a minimum; wedding rings and small earrings are fine, he said.
For both sexes, no perfume or cologne, just deodorant and body spray, Hunt said.
“It is so easy to offend anyone with a sensitive nose,” he said.
At the interview, employers are interested in strengths and weakness, Hunt said.
“Breakdown your accomplishments at school into individual marketable skills and internships that you have done,” Hunt said. “Employers are looking for experience; they don’t know what A or B means.”
Prospective employers look for marketable skills, oral and written comprehension and critical thinking, Hunt said.
About 30 students laughed at movie clips of what not to do in an interview.
“You don’t want to be fidgeting, stammering, rambling or not enthusiastic about the job,” Hunt said.
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in the movie “Step Brothers” during an interview scene had a rude response to questions. This was an example of what not to do in an interview.
In the movie “Mrs. Doubtfire,” Robin Williams seeking a job with an agency was babbling and unenthusiastic, an example of what not to say.
Ben Affleck in “Good Will Hunting” was wearing white sock with his black suit.
Employers use small talk to get applicants to open up, Hunt said.
“Don’t clam up,” Hunt said. “Employers try to build a rapport to relax you. Don’t let your nerves get the best of you.”
Some employers will try to get information from the interview they are not allowed to ask, Hunt said.
“Don’t overshare,” he said
Things to watch for are questions related to children, transportation and personal lifestyle, Hunt said.
“Have an answer ready for these questions,” he said.
Hunt has been an instructor for 28 years at this college and a chair for the fine arts department for 16 years. He currently is teaching five face-to-face and four online speech classes.
He said he agreed to teach four courses above the load of a full-time faculty member because the program was short of qualified instructors.
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