www.whyville.net Nov 20, 2011 Weekly Issue

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Whether you're applying for a college, or looking for a job, interviews are an almost inevitable part of life. What better time to start preparing for them then now?

My first interview was last year when I was applying for FAU's Medical Outreach Program. The knowledge they had about me before I met them was my GPA, my class rank, and the information from the two essays I wrote when I applied. What I didn't know then was that they were looking for things like confidence, leadership, etc. All the things I didn't show that day. Hopefully these tips will keep your (possibly first) interviews from being a flop.

1. First Impressions

As you all might know very well, first impressions only come once and are rather difficult to change. I wouldn't be able to stress enough their importance when it comes to an interview. The way you dress, and act all forms an opinion on the interviewer. You should try your hardest to make a positive impression on them.

2. Firm Handshakes

You're probably thinking, why on Earth would she add this as a tip? Believe it or not, handshakes are essential parts of introductions. A proper firm handshake gives off confidence, respect, and trust. It's important to do this while standing because it shows respect. You should also take your time doing the handshake and introducing yourself.

3. Be Prepared for Questions

It doesn't look too good when you have a blank look on your face thinking of a way to answer your question. Be sure to practice questions beforehand. If the interviewer(s) decide not to let you know questions they may ask, I've put together a list of general questions:

a) Why do you think you deserve this position?

b) How do you think this position/program will benefit you?

c) What are your hobbies/after school clubs?

d) Do you do community service? If so, where/when did you last do it?

If their program/position involved a lot of teamwork/leadership you should be prepared for questions where they give you a scenario and ask you how to deal with them. Most don't have an exact answer they are looking for. These were the questions they asked me:

a) If you were working with a group on building a bridge and someone else is the leader and has their own idea on how to do it, but you believe it won't work and have another idea, what would you do?

In this question, they're probably looking for answer which shows that you believe in teamwork and the fact that it doesn't matter if you succeed or fail in whatever the task is as long as you work as a team and learn from your failures. It also acts to weed out people who they think are bossy. They are searching for leaders who aid in getting everyone's cooperation, not those who want to do everything by themselves.

b) Do you find teamwork games to he essential or unnecessary? Why or why not?

In this question, they want to know if you see the value in games where you depend on teamwork. These games show how people truly act and demonstrate who the leader of a group is, and the ones who just go with the flow.

There are plenty of more tips on interviews out there, but I found these ones to be the more significant.

I wish you all luck with future interviews you may go through!


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