WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Trying to impress at a job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience for college seniors. While the key is to be prepared, some make critical errors in making that first and lasting impression. We get the key mistakes to avoid any job seeker can make– and ways to impress.
In a room full of nervous energy Thursday, more than 100 Wilkes University students wanted to make a great first impression. They came as potential job seekers for about 40 local businesses participating in a mock interview event. University leaders say that interaction helps achieve an important goal. “Interact with professional to start to build their professional network before they leave here,” said Bridget Turel who is Wilkes University’s Director of The Sidhu School of Business Personal and Professional Development Program.
Ms. Turel says there are three critical mistakes these students should avoid. The first is not dressing professionally. “So this is very good practice for them to, you know, dress the part.” She says don’t fail to bring hard copies of your resume to the interview. “Even if you sent that out beforehand it’s always good to have some on hand.” Another no-no is not being prepared to ask the company any questions. “Having some questions prepared on their end so that the conversation is really two-sided.”
That preparation, researching a company you’re interested in, is one of the “do’s” says Ms. Turel. “Having a lot of questions and a lot of curiosity through that process really helps.” And above all, she says, be yourself. “Just being yourself through that process and making sure that it’s a good fit for both sides.”
One other technique that may impress, when asked for a weakness offer a trait that could be perceived as a strength. It’s what Wilkes senior Christopher Rasinger did when he he told interviewers he’s over-conscientious. “They’ve given me some good feedback on my resume, on how I’m doing and just in general help me prepare better for when I actually get out in the real world and start interviewing.”
Students who spend tens of thousands of dollars to earn their degrees say the mock interview experience is invaluable. “I’ve never been on an actual interview so to sit down with two professionals it’s never wracking but I mean I’m glad I did it. It was a great learning experience,” said Wilkes senior Serina Steinbrenner.
The mock interviews for Wilkes seniors provided more than just experience. Some may get internships and even jobs with the businesses that participated in the event.