Students - Career Services

Job Interviews Guidance and Assistance

Contact

Career Services

CareerServices@kckcc.edu
913-288-7235
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Upper Jewell Bldg, Rm 3350A 



KCKCC Career Services offers one-on-one guidance and resources to help students enhance their interviewing skills.

Job Interview Preparations


Logistics

  • Read over any directions you received about location or instructions on steps and timeframes to follow once you arrive (print it out & bring these instructions with you on the day of your interview).
  • Research how long it will take you to get to the interview – consider traffic to know what time you need to leave.
  • Consider the time it may take to find a parking spot, to locate the correct office, to check-in, etc.

Prepare Materials

  • Print copies of your resume & cover letter (on quality paper) to turn them in to the interviewer(s).
  • Learn about, try or test, and/or use their products or services.
  • Set out materials needed, such as copies of your resume, a padfolio with a notepad, a pen, breath mint, etc.

Practice, practice, and practice again!

  • Prepare your answers to all possible job interview questions ahead of time.
  • Practice which questions you will ask at the end of the interview. Make sure to have about 3 to 4 questions ready – there is always a chance that one or more of your questions will naturally be answered during the interview process, so having back-ups is important!
  • Remember to use the STAR method (see resources)!

Research the Company

  • Schedule intentional time to dedicate to researching the company and taking notes of what you learn.
  • Learn about the company, their mission statement, their community involvement, the work they do, and investigate the managers and supervisors (especially those you will be meeting) on linked-in.

Attire

  • Select, clean, and set aside the outfit you will wear.
  • When in doubt, pick out a Business Professional attire. It is good practice to research the role and the industry. For a less formal position or workplace, business casual is often the best option.

Interview Tips


Ask for Clarifications

When Interviewers ask you a question, remember that getting clarification on what they mean or asking for more information is a great (and expected) way to get a clear picture of what they are wanting from you so you can provide a more accurate answer.

Always Ask Questions at the End of an Interview

Remember to always ask questions about the position, company, culture, or what to expect next at the end of an interview. The interviewer will always ask if you have any questions before finalizing the interview. Your answer should always be “yes.”

Be Professional, Alway

Show your personality but maintain professionally. Keep your personal life to yourself and refrain from asking about theirs.

Technology

Avoid using your cellphone while waiting and turn on the “Do Not Disturb” feature to avoid disruptions during interview.

If you have to give a presentation, make sure that your technology works, and that you have a backup way to access your presentation.

Formal Communication

  • Match your communication style to that of the interviewer, but always maintain a formal and respectful communication style – even if the interviewer is more relaxed.
  • Avoid slang or colloquialisms.
  • In the American culture, eye contact is an important form of nonverbal communication. Make eye contact in moderation by looking directly at the interviewer (without staring too intensely) while engaging in conversation.
  • Maintain good posture at all times, even while in the waiting area.

Tip on Answering Interview Questions


  • What is your biggest strength?
    • Make sure to provide evidence to your answer. Name a strength, give an example of how you have used it in your current/most recent position, and how you will use this strength in the position for which you are applying.
    • Select a strength that you have that is relevant to this position
  • Why are you leaving/have you left your current/previous position?
    • Be positive. Focus on what you gain from the position for which you are applying and what your look forward to in this new position. Do not badmouth your previous company/employers/work.
  • Tell us about a time a time you overcame a challenging situation at work?
    • Use the STAR Method (see below)
    • If you did not encounter conflict at work, ask the interviewer to use an example from a different area in your life.
  • Describe a time you and your supervisor/co-worker did not see eye-to-eye.
    • Be positive!! Focus on the disagreement and how you resolved the situation. Avoid criticizing your previous employer/co-worker.
  • What is your greatest weakness?
    • Describe an actual weakness that is somewhat related to the job for which you are applying but not essential to the role. Remember to describe how you have been working on improving it and describe how you have already seen some improvement.
  • Tell me about yourself.
    • Keep the content to what is relevant to the job for which you are applying.
    • Describe brief highlights of your relevant education and the career experiences that led you to this role and how this job will enhance your growth and aspirations.
    • Do not talk about your personal life and hobbies – Recruiters will specifically ask you about them if they are interested to know.

Example of Questions to Ask Interviewers


  • Tell me about a typical work week in my department/for someone in my role.
  • Is the overall culture of my department more competitive or collaborative?
  • What are some, if any, professional development opportunities provided for this role?
  • With whom will I be working/interactions the most?
  • What do you enjoy about working for this company?
  • What essential traits did the previous employee in this role have to be successful in this position? / How have past employees been successful in this position?
  • Describe to me about the onboarding process for this role.

Interview Follow-Up


  • Always write a “thank you email” after an interview.
    • Do not turn in a pre-written note at the end of your interview.
  • Use this formula:
    • Dear *name of interviewer, *

      Thank you so much for interviewing me today for the *NAME OF POSITION* position. I am honored to have been selected for this opportunity and I really enjoyed talking with you. *ADD STATEMENT ABOUT SOMETHING YOU LEARNED DURING INTERVIEW OR SOMETHING LIGHT AND FUNNY THAT IS PERSONAL TO YOUR CONVERSATION DURING THE INTERVIEW.*

      I really appreciated the time you took to learn more about me and the ways I believe I can contribute to your organization. I look forward to hearing from you again.

      Sincerely,

      *Your name*

The STAR Method


  • First, describe the SITUATION and provide context for the example you chose to describe.
  • Next, describe the TASK, or your role, in this situation.
  • Then explain the ACTION you took to address and manage this situation to overcome the challenge (explain your though process at the time).
  • Finally, make sure to describe the RESULT, or outcome, of the situation. Describe how the situation was resolved and how it led to growth or positive results after you took action. Remember to provide specific examples.
See examples here – Article by Indeed.com

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