Interview Myths and Facts

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By Collin Urban, Business Assistant

The NJIT Career Development Services held a seminar regarding the various myths, pitfalls, and common issues related to resumes and interviews that students face as they enter the work force. The goal of the seminar was to inform those in attendance how to handle submitting a resume and going through the interview process. The primary goal of the event was to dispel various myths that have been ingrained in the minds of students throughout the years. With the career fair approaching, the provided information will prove useful to students as they interview for jobs and internships.

For example, the presenter gave an example of a myth, in this case, “The most qualified person gets the job”, and then stated the reality of the situation is more complex than that. In truth, personality plays a large role. Interviewers are human, and if they can sense that the interviewee is especially motivated, in tune with the company philosophy, or a pleasure to work with, that can tip the scales in favor of that candidate.

The recommendation is to do research on the “why” of a company. Why does the company make the products it does? Why does the company operate the way it does? Why does the company have the mission statement that they do? Knowing the answers to these questions, and attuning one’s self to these values can help the prospective employee resonate with the interviewer.

Often times, people looking to enter the workforce are intimidated by the interview process. To help with this, the presenter advised making some small talk before the interview begins. Shake the interviewer’s hand, ask him or her how their day has been these small questions serve to lubricate the situation and ease nerves. When the interviewer asks questions, make the answers short and to the point.

Don’t be afraid to tell an interviewer about the lack of a certain skill set; it is better to be honest, and admit a lack of knowledge. From there, it is possible to demonstrate how easy it would be to learn a new skill set. Any examples of learning skills on the job in the past are vital at this point. Make a connection between skills, such as learning another programming language.

It is important to never tell outright lies to an interviewer. There is an immediate risk, because the interviewer could ask for some type of proof. Even if the initial lie goes undetected, it is likely to be found out later on. A good first impression is important, and that means being honest and presenting one’s self in a professional manner.

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Collin Urban

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