Interviews

The interview process is a conversation between an applicant (you) and the prospective employer. The purpose of the interview is to find out three things:

  • First: Can you do the job, in terms of your skills and experience?
  • Second: Will you do the job? In other words, do you possess the motivation, work ethic and energy to achieve the work objectives?
  • Third: Will you fit in? Here the employer assesses how you will fit in with the organizational dynamics of the work environment. The interview is not a one sided process, as an applicant and candidate for the position, there are steps you can take to prepare for this important conversation with a prospective employer.

Prepare

When you get the offer to interview make sure to find out all of the details: when, where, with whom, etc.

Next...

  • Research the employer.
  • Know what services the organization provides or the products they sell. Demonstrating you have researched the company or organization well will give you an edge over the competition.
  • Double-check your online professional image.
  • Prepare your outfit. You should dress for the job you want. It is a good rule to overdress rather than to underdress. For most interviews, the appropriate attire is business attire. A two-piece matching suit is recommended.

Big Interview

Big Interview Logo

We are pleased to offer you a free training system that features a new and innovative way to help you prepare more effectively for a job interview.

Big Interview is an online system that combines training AND practice to help improve your interview technique and build confidence.

You have at your disposal a variety of tools including:

  • Challenging, virtual mock interviews for all experience levels and dozens of industries
  • A database of thousands of interview questions with tips on how to answer them
  • The ability to rate and share your interview answers for feedback
  • A comprehensive video training curriculum covering all aspects of landing a job
  • A step-by-step interview Answer Builder for crafting answers to behavioral questions

How to Register

Current Students:

  1. Go to http://mercer.biginterview.com and click "Register."
  2. Enter your school email address, name, and password, and click "Create my Account."
  3. You'll then receive a confirmation email. Click "Verify" in the email, and you'll be able to start using Big Interview.

Alumni:

  1. Contact ccpd-macon@mercer.edu for the access code.
  2. Go to https://merceralumni.biginterview.com/ and click "Register."
  3. Enter your email address, name, and password, and click "Create my Account."
  4. You'll then receive a confirmation email. Click "Verify" in the email, and you'll be able to start using Big Interview.

 

Pro-Tip: S.T.A.R. Method

The S.T.A.R. Method is a technique for responding to behavioral interview questions, i.e. "tell me about a time when you..." S.T.A.R. is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. By structuring your responses by these parameters, you can feel confident that you're not only answering a question fully, but concisely. S.T.A.R. aims to help candidates answer interview questions in the way that is most helpful for interviewers to understand candidates and their experience. Set up a mock-interview with your Career Consultant to practice S.T.A.R. Watch the video below from Ohio State University about how to create your own S.T.A.R. responses.

Practice 

Many resources are available to help optimize your interview experience. Practice answering interview questions with friends or family or in front of a mirror. You can also practice interviewing online through Impress or schedule an in-person mock interview at the CCPD.

Perform

On the day of the interview: Arrive approximately 15 minutes before the scheduled interview. The interview begins as soon as you arrive on site; everything you do is up for scrutiny, so how you interact with the employer and the environment is crucial. Be nice to everyone. Offer a nice, firm hand shake: not too hard and not too soft. Smile and make eye contact. Good eye contact conveys confidence.

During the interview: Body language is just as important as the answers you deliver. Be aware of your body language; sit up straight, engage eye contact, smile and be positive. While answering questions be sure to be concise and emphasize positive characteristics. Do not talk about negative things. Deliver well thought out answers that emphasize results and impact of your skills and experience. Also be prepared to ask questions of your own. This will help demonstrate your interest in the position and the company. This is an opportunity to separate yourself from the other candidates.

At the end of the interview: There are two things to remember. First, thank the employer for the opportunity to interview and reiterate your interest in the job and why you would be a good fit for the position. Second, confirm with the employer next steps in the hiring process so that you won't have to wonder what to do next. Finally, make sure to send a personalized thank you note. An email is acceptable but a handwritten note is preferred. An email directly following the interview with a handwritten note to follow within 24 hours is recommended.