‘Never, ever wing an interview,’ speaker says

To rock their job interview, students should be well- researched, prepared and professional, said Daniel Hallak, who led a workshop during Senior Week.

The interview workshop, held in Eaton 112 and attended by nearly 50 students, was an interactive discussion on how to interview well.

“Many people think they already know how to interview well,” Hallak said. “When it comes down to it, they don’t possess all the knowledge they originally thought.”

Hallak is an expert in job searching, career counseling and  resume writing. His firm, Next Step Career Consulting, has coached hundreds of students, alumni and seasoned professionals alike. Currently Hallak is working on his Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology at SPU.

Hallak listed several key concepts when it comes to a good interview and broke them down into three parts: Before the interview, during the interview and after the interview.

Hallak said before the interview, students should research the company or person who will be conducting the interview.

He said that networking connections are a great way to do this.

“Look up past and recent employees on LinkedIn and get connected,” Hallak said.

Hallak said during the interview, students should dress appropriately and come prepared.

“If you are going to be competing for a job or an internship after graduation, know your strengths and weaknesses and articulate yourself well,” Hallak said. “Never, ever wing an interview.”

Students should also take into account the interviewer’s body language.

“Know when to wrap it up and stop talking,” said Suzie Locke, one of Hallak research assistants. “If they’re looking at their watch or interrupting you, that’s a pretty good indication.”

Hallak said students should find out what employers are looking for and know their value to them.

Employers are usually looking for employees that can benefit them by making money, saving money or making life easier.

Hallak said students should never badmouth a past employer, because this increases the chances they won’t get hired.

Hallak said employers will often ask if the student has any questions for them. If the interviewee doesn’t, it could make them look less informed about the job, or convey that they’re not that interested.

“I have seen poor interviews that have been saved by great questions and great interviews that tanked because of poor questions,” Hallak said. “Good questions are the most important ways you can ace an interview.”

After the interview is over, Hallak said students should send a thank-you note. Even if the interview did not go well, a thank you note can make someone memorable and demonstrate that they are a respectful professional.

“I can tell you from experience, the thank-you note works,” said Tiffany Lumley, another of Hallak’s research assistants. “I’ve gotten several jobs that way.”

A successful interview requires the right tools, connections and questions.

“Confidence and self-awareness are very important,” Lumley said. “You’ll be sure to rock your next interview if you keep those in mind.”

This article was posted in the section News.