Monthly Archives: April 2013

6 Ways to Ace the Interview of Your Dreams

job interviewYou’ve sent in your resume for a job or internship position, and you receive that beautiful call back. They’re interested in you and want to set up an interview. Instantly your stomach is filled with butterflies and you shakily set a date to meet your future boss. After you get off the phone, thoughts are running through your head and you’re starting to wonder where to even start. Sounds familiar, right? We all go through this routine. And the only way to stop those butterflies from taking over is to inform yourself on the proper way to come out shining during your interview!

  1. Know the basics! This means know the location of the interview, how long it takes to get there (including traffic), where to park and if it’ll cost. If you’re really freaking out over your journey to get there, do a test trail run. This will help you know where to go, what to do and help make the place become familiar. Also, bring multiple copies of your resume, and it couldn’t hurt to bring a reference list too! Put it in one of those nice portfolios or folders—this makes you look professional and well-put-together!
  2. Research the employer! You don’t want to walk in not knowing who you’re talking to and what they do. Become familiar with the employer’s products, services, financial situation, and their values. You can do this all through Google researching, reading some articles and becoming extremely familiar with the employer’s website. Just imagine you’re Facebook stalking someone and trying to get a sense of who they are.
  3. Practice! This might seem weird at first but practice your answers and what you can potentially say during your interview. This will help you from stuttering, saying those annoying “uhm” s, and having something to say instead of coming up with a half-cooked answer on the spot. It’ll also make you comfortable with yourself and help make the conversation flow. You can gain some practice by setting up a Mock Interview through the Career Center where you learn what you did awesome and what you can always work on!
  4. Ask questions yourself! This too might seem a little weird. Usually when you think of an interview you imagine the employer asking all the questions but it’s important for you to participate as well. Before when you did some research compile a list of questions you would like to ask. This makes you look interested and eager to learn about the company and the people!
  5. Wear something nice! Ladies, this doesn’t mean your prom dress and guys, this doesn’t mean a tux. Invest in a business suit that makes you look great. If you’re on a budget, check out consignment shops or borrow from a friend—but make sure that whatever you choose fits well and looks professional! Chances are, you’ll wear it again for big meetings and future interviews.
  6. Be yourself! This might seem like the oldest and cheesiest advice but it’s true. Know yourself and what you want from the job/employer. What kind of position do you want? What can you bring to the table? How has your education and your experiences made you into the person you are today? Make sure you can state your career focus and objective (I want to obtain a job/internships in the ___ field or with ___ company to further my skills of _____). Let your personality shine and be comfortable with yourself.

Some additional tips for interviewing: Make eye contact but don’t have a staring contest, smile, have good posture, and don’t come off as over-confident or pushy.

If you would like to learn more, check out our Interview Preparation or Informational Interviewing Handout on our website (http://www.towson.edu/careercenter/students/skills/networking.asp). You can always stop by the Career Center and ask for help!

Shelby Hillers
Career Peer Advisor
The Career Center

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April: NO FOOLING!! It’s Time to Plan and Select Your Fall Courses

So maybe you have been thinking, “it must be time to register for my fall classes”…..or maybe not!  And maybe you have been hearing the anxiety of your friends and associates about getting into fall classes.  And maybe, you have been staring at 12 that  on your Student Center thinking to yourself, “what do I do now?” Well, April is the best month in which to complete your fall semester course registration.  And, while there are lots of valuable social and cultural benefits to being in college, let’s face it, academics and completing a degree program are the primary reasons you are here at Towson. Getting enrolled in courses that help you attain your goals and april_foothat meet requirements for graduation, requires a plan and you have to be the planner!  Ah yes, planning….one of those essential skills for success in college and life.  As the saying goes, “nobody plans to fail, but some people fail to plan”.  What follows is step by step approach that will help you to put together your plan and prepare to meet with a faculty or academic advisor (a must for all students!).

  1. Contact your academic advisor(s) or your academic department ASAP to set up an appointment or meeting time.  The name of your advisor is listed on the right side of your Student Center.  Need contact information for your advisor or academic department?  A campus directory is conveniently located at the top of Towson’s homepage:  www.towson.edu
  2. Prior to your appointment or meeting, review your Academic Requirements Report.  Academic Requirements shows you what requirements you have completed, which you still need to complete, and the courses that are required for your major.  Located in your Student Center, Academic Requirements is easy to use, but to get the maximum benefit of all the features see the User’s Guide which can be accessed from the Academic Advising Center web page:  http://www.towson.edu/academicadvising/index.asp .
  3. Print the PDF copy of your Academic Requirements Report.  Many advisors prefer or even require that their advisees bring that report to the advising meeting.
  4. Develop a list of 8 to 10 possible course options.  Do you still need to complete Core Curriculum Requirements?  Find a complete list at: http://www.towson.edu/academicadvising/corecurriculum.asp
  5. Move courses from your Academic Requirements Report into your Academic Planner located on the drop down menu in the Academics section of your Student Center.  Academic Planner is an awesome tool that you can use to map out your entire undergraduate degree program.
  6. Check the scheduling options and availability for your course choices.  Keep in mind that not all courses are offered each semester.   Put together.
  7. Create a few alternative schedules.
  8. Go to the meeting with your advisor feeling confident that you have done your homework and developed a plan that will work.  Your advisor may have some suggestions for modifications or improvements.
  9. By being prepared for your meeting, you and your advisor can have time to explore your other interests or goals, for example, an internship or Study Abroad or research opportunities, etc.
  10.  Congratulations!!!  You have made great strides in taking charge of your education by becoming an effective planner.

John McKusick
Director
Academic Advising Center

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