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    Job Hunting Skills: Interview Process

    Curriculum for Career, spring 2012

    Career counselor Eric Carver

    16.4.2012 1Urapalvelut/ Eric Carver


    Curriculum for Career

    Coursework available at Moodle: Course key: cfc2012s

    To pass 1. course attendance

    (you can miss only one session for a valid reason)

    2. Information interview report (+ comment to other reports in Moodle) 3. CV 4. Journal on Career Planning course

    is required

    DEADLINE for assignment 2. is April 11th. For 3-4. April 25.

    Course journal (3 h)





    Part 4a JOB HUNTING SKILLS Application documents



    3 h


    Interview process 3h


    Total 28 hours

    CV (2 h)

    Information Interview




    Journal on Career Planning course


    The purpose of reflective writing is to help you learn from a particular practical experience. It will help you to make connections between what you are taught in theory and what you need to do in practice. You reflect so that you can learn.

    Reflective writing is: • your response to experiences, opinions, events or new information • your response to thoughts and feelings • a way of thinking to explore your learning • an opportunity to gain self-knowledge • a way to achieve clarity and better understanding of what you are learning • a way of making meaning out of what you study

    Reflective writing is not: • just conveying information, instruction or argument • pure description, though there may be descriptive elements • straightforward decision or judgment (e.g. about whether something is right or wrong, good or bad) • a summary of course notes

    Deadline 25.4.

    Min. 2 pages.

  • Job Hunting Skills: Interview Process







    The role of interview in job hunting and

    recruiting process

    Interview process and different forms

    of interview

    Preparing for a job interview

    Tips for the interview

    (formed from FSU Career Services –material)


    Elevator Speech

    What would you say if you met a person who could lead you

    to your dream job and you had only 2-3 minutes to state your case?

    Prepare to describe briefly:

    Who are you? What is your background? What has been the focus of your studies? (major, minors & key topics or themes) How close are you to completing your degree? What other experience do you have (work, volunteer work, hobbies& activities)? What do you have to offer? What are you looking for? What are your future goals?


    The role of the interview in recruiting process

    The first step in any recruiting process is the analysis of needs for the particular position:

    Required skills and knowledge? Valued personality traits, professional style & working methods? Suitable values, motivation and attitude?

    Interview is the most effective way of evaluating your skills and your personality in relation to the particular position.

    The focus is to find a suitable match.

    Applicants with polished job interview skills might prevail over candidates with better applications and CV´s.


    Interview methods

    Individual interview – 1-3 interviewers Many interviewers Group interview Interview serial, where the interviewees change.

    Open/ structured / semi-structured interview Pressure/Stress Interview / Situational Interview Simulations, problem solving exercises, group/team exercises

    Interview method is selected to measure

    suitability to the particular task!

  • Preparing for an interview

    Why this job? Your motivation & goals?

    Relevant knowledge & skills?

    Substantial knowledge (academic skills)

    Transferable skills (time management,

    project management, presentation skills


    General labor market skills (language

    skills, communication skills, computer

    skills, team work and social skills etc..)

    Personal traits (learning and self-

    development skills, stress management

    skills, social skills, etc.)


    Read the job ad one more time:

    Skills required for the position?

    What type of knowledge is appreciated?

    What type of experience required?

    What/Who are they looking for?

    Good to know about the company:

    Business idea/model or organizational purpose

    Markets and clients, products and services

    Business/Organizational culture

    Organization size, amount of the employers

    Latest news (major new projects etc.).

    Career opportunity


    Interview cycle

    Warm up: creating trust, contact and the first impression

    Update for application documents Education and experience

    Professional/substantial knowledge, other skills

    Organizational and professional topics

    To the facts: towards more personal topics Expectation, motivation and understanding of the position

    Self-concept = how you see yourself, and how you would fit to the company/organization, team, position etc.

    Strengths, potentials, risks

    Stress management, collaboration skills, leadership skills etc.

    Conclusion: Hobbies, personal life, possible starting date, salary etc.

  • Interview simulation

    Form into groups of 3. Arrange 3 interviews. Rotate the roles:




    10 minutes/ per interview Decide what task and organization

    the interview is for.

    Make notes and give feedback after each interview.


    Preparing for an interview: practical help Think of the questions that you find difficult to answer and prepare yourself for those questions.

    Dress code! Dress appropriately according to the position (rather too formal than informal)

    Take your CV and references with you.

    Be on time!

    Think of your salary requirement.


    Preparing for an interview: in practice

    Do not interrupt. Do not judge anybody or anything.

    Be honest. Do not pretend to understand the question.

    Keep in mind the Finnish way of polite communication (listening, silence is ok, eye contact is good and expected…)

    No grunting or lecturing. An optimum answer to a single question is from 20 seconds to two minutes.

    Be active. Ask about the procedure and schedule, be prepared to say yes for the further interviews or tests

    To conclude with: Express your motivation

    Remember to thank the interviewer!


    Level of detail

    Described confidenceFind the

    right balance

    In hiding Please consider me, because I might be interested and have some experience.

    Superhero slogans I am simply the best candidate. A born leader.

    All over the place I am a dedicated, honest, competetive and able candidate because I have developed my organizational, social and academic skills in demanding, stressful and revarding positions – in the many challenges I have faced during…

    Critical self-analysis My strenghts can be seen to arise from my studies, that have developed somewhat relevant expertice, with certain drawbacks and limitations…...

    Remember …




    Dress code, facial expression, eye contact, hand shake, smile, your body gesture – remember non- verbal communication.

    Not the only criteria in decision making, but to change the first expression a lot of energy will be wasted from the interview.


    Little nervousness is OK!

    Being nervous is ok when it is not an obstacle for success

    It shows that you are serious

    Adrenaline can improve your concentration

    Avoid nervousness that becomes an obstacle Prepare for the interview and concentrate

    Relax and do imaginary exercises

    Check the location before the interview


    ”Self-talk” and non-verbal communication

    Positive vs. negative self-talk ”I can and I will, it is important…, I want to”.., vs. ”do I have to, I can not and will not”….

    Control your self-talk at the interview: Don’t get carried away with it (”What was the question?”, ”Why did I say this?”)

    Ask, if you do not understand the question Be nice to yourself, try to forget any mistakes, calm down and concentrate.

    Be positive about yourself and your past

    GOOD SELF-CONFIDENCE? Like professional athletics!


    Sensitive or illegal questions