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Interviewing Skills

1. Set up a mock interview: This is a general practice that all candidates are encouraged to pursue prior to attending any placement conference, telephone, or on-campus interview. Mock interviews can be conducted by your mentor. Schedule an appointment with the Director or designee for an interview. Candidate should come properly attired for the interview and may choose to bring an additional resume (it is sometimes viewed as unsustainable to print resumes for each interview; be mindful of the values of the institution you are working for). This interview is to not be taken lightly and the Director or designee should provide constructive feedback to assist the candidate.

2. Research the desired institution: There is nothing worse than a candidate seeking the opportunity to interview with a desired institution and not knowing the values of a department or institution. Attempt to learn something about the culture of the institution(s) you are hoping to interview with (or have already established and pre-scheduled interview(s). This clearly shows you have made a serious investment into learning about the institution and their program. Most institutions’ websites can be found through most web search engines.

3. Take the tools for a successful interview: Candidates may want to prepare a portfolio that will represent a cross–section of their paraprofessional skills obtained. If taking this route, provide copies to leave with employers. Additionally, candidates should have bring any other proper tools to complete an interview.

4. Stay focused on the interview: Sometimes, candidates can become discouraged or distracted during the interview; however, candidates must stay focused in order to complete the interview process. Whether or not the interview was what you hoped for, it is essential that all efforts are exhibited as the interview process convenes.

6. Don’t Burn Bridges: Candidates should avoid discrediting any individual or institution during the interview. The old cliché, “This is a large profession with a small network,” definitely applies here and your comments will show a lack of professional courtesy and maturity.

7. Pace yourself when scheduling interviews at conferences: Candidates should avoid scheduling as many interviews as they can, rather they should pace themselves and minimize fatigue - which an employer may see as a red flag.

8. Always ask questions of the interviewer at any opportunity during the interview process: This demonstrates interest in the position and the institution. Remember, you yourself are Interviewing the Employer.