Tell me about yourself…

Sounds like the perfect interview question, right? Open ended? You can talk about your life, your dog, your favorite color and who makes the best pizza in Columbus, right?

Wrong.

This is one of the hardest and most common interview questions. With some simple preparation, you can avoid this feeling after the interview:

Think about this question as a movie trailer. It’s a 2-3 minute preview of what’s to come in the interview. It gets the recruiter excited to “watch the movie” a.k.a. sit through the rest of the interview with their metaphorical popcorn on the edge of their seat.

Here are some tips to make your trailer successful:

1. Think chronologically. Start from the “beginning” (which is usually the end of high school) and work your way up to today. Recruiters want a brief timeline of your significant experiences over the last few years that leads up to why you’re sitting in a chair across from them.

2. Give an overview of your background, don’t tell them your life story. Think big picture – an overview of the greatness that is you. You will walk them through your resume, highlighting things that are unique or significant but if you find yourself telling them what you’ve had for breakfast today, you’ve gone too far.

3. Tell them why you chose OSU. Recruiters love hearing about your decision-making process for choosing this university and your major. Pro tip: Don’t say discounted football tickets as your one and only reason. Trust me.

4. Connect your activities and experience to relevant skills. Don’t just say “I played soccer.” Instead, discuss how playing soccer for 4 years gave you a strong sense of teamwork and work ethic, and how being captain of the team your senior year gave you superior leadership and motivational skills. Mention things that you’re proud of and skills you possess that you know the recruiter is looking for.

5. Be confident and genuine. Your introduction should not be scripted or forced. For all you sports fans, it should be a “highlight reel” of what you’ve done or are doing that shows you in the best light. And it should be natural and fluid.

6. PRACTICE. For some people, the only way to balance having appropriate content with perfect execution is to practice saying it out loud a few times. Then you’ll see what stands out and what sounds fake or forced.

Remember, if you need help making your movie trailer sound like a Hollywood blockbuster, stop in the Office of Career Management and set up an appointment with a career consultant. We’re here to help!

 

What exactly is business casual?

Business casual- a pretty straight forward concept right? Sure, until you show up to an event thinking you are dressed business casual and realize your perception is VERY different from everyone else.

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We have all been there. Business casual is about as specific as “Wear something dressy but not too dressy.” According to Google, business casual is, “relating to or denoting a style of clothing that is less formal than traditional business wear, but is still intended to give a professional and businesslike impression.”

What? Are you scratching your head??? Me too.

Below are a few quick tips on how to conquer the ambiguous “business casual” moniker:

1. My mother always says, “Better over-dressed than under-dressed.” Now, don’t show up wearing a ballgown or anything, but if you had the choice to talk about finance with either this guy:

Or this guy:

Who would you pick??? (All childhood biases aside)

2. Fit is key.

Your overall look should be “tailored” as in, the clothes should truly fit your body. Don’t worry about what size they are, just think about how they fit and how they feel. Clothes should never be too baggy, too long, or too tight. If you’re constantly having to adjust your clothing, it’s probably not the best choice.

Here are some great examples of two fun business casual outfits that truly fit the model.

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3. Black dress pants.
Black dress pants are always a safe bet. Add a nice tailored shirt like a button-up or a sweater to keep it business-like without being formal interviewing attire.

4. Go with comfortable and confident.
Lastly, choose what you what makes you feel good. Even the perfect business casual outfit will not work if you do not feel confident in it.

If you still need help deciding what to wear to a particular career event, don’t hesitate to stop by the Office of Career Management for additional tips!

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What does it mean to have “clammy” hands?

The first thing I do when coming out to our lobby to get a student for their QUIC interview is offer my hand up for a handshake. “Hi, I’m Audra!”

In business, a handshake can say so many things about you. The handshake needs to be firm (not death-grip firm, but firm) and with confidence and purpose.

One thing that need not be included in your handshake?? Clammy hands.

Clammy hands, also known as sweaty palms, are a common occurrence with interviewees. Their nerves get the best of them, and those nerves can manifest through hand perspiration. But don’t worry – it happens to the best of us!!!

An easy tip? Shortly before your scheduled interview time, simply (but thoroughly) wipe the backs and front of your hands on your pants. It is better to have your nervous perspiration on your own pants than on the recruiter’s hands. For obvious reasons.

Microsoft Word Resume Formatting Hacks

By Julianne Wallace, Practicum Student

Let’s face it-creating the perfect resume can be frustrating. Not just the content of the resume, which is an art form in and of itself, but also with formatting. Templates can seem like an easy fix but can become troublesome when updating the document to meet your individual needs. How many times have you tried to format your resume template in Word and felt like this?

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To help you out, because, you know, we’ve been there, here are a few Microsoft Word hacks to ease your formatting frustrations.

ADDING A LINE

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Underlining section headers can increase readability. Select the Underline Tool (Ctrl +U). Type your header, then hit tab (space bar will not work) until you reach the end of the line. Bold will increase the line’s thickness.

ADDING BULLETS IN-BETWEEN TEXT ON THE SAME LINE

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Click the space in where you want the bullet. Select the Insert tab at the top of the page.

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Select Symbol, then choose Advanced Symbol. Choose your desired the symbol. To change the size of the symbol, highlight it and change the font size.

ALIGNING DATES TO THE RIGHT

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 Type your date, then click the space before the date. Hit the Space bar until the date hits the next line, then delete one space.

DECREASING THE SPACE BETWEEN LINES

From this…

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To this…

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Highlight the area that needs line spacing reduced. On the Home tab, choose the Character Spacing tab. Choose Line Spacing Options.

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 Set your Before and After Spacing at 0pt. To further reduce line spacing, select Line Spacing: Single.

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Happy resume building!

Telling Your Story

“When I was hiking in the Appalachian mountains, I came across a wild bear. I wrestled him to the ground and saved my family. This experience taught me how to perform well under pressure.”

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^^^ WHAT?????

Simply put, people who interview well are great story tellers.  Essentially, we are telling our story when we are interviewing for a new job. Yet, most of us don’t see it this way when we are preparing for the big interview.  We think about the questions we’ll need to answer and then come up with answers to plug-in when we are asked these questions.  When we look at the questions separately and the answers we develop for these questions as separate from all the other interview questions we will be asked, we fail to prepare a theme.  In this separation we forget to set up, share and then drive home the themes as to why we are the best candidate to hire.

The best advice I have ever received about building a theme for my story was from a public speaking course I took.  The advice was, first, tell them what you’re going to tell them, then tell them about it, then wrap up by telling them what you told them. The key is the clear progress of theme for your story.  This clarity can lead to success in educating a recruiter as to why you are the candidate for the job.

Here’s how to put this idea to work with building your story for interview success.  First, think of three reasons you are great fit for the job.  For example, you are applying for a sales position and your three reasons are that you are resilient, enjoy building new relationships, and you are organized.  These three reasons are the themes for your story.  So when the recruiters says “Tell me about yourself,” make sure you tell them you are resilient, organized and enjoy meeting new people.  Then throughout the interview look for opportunities to discuss each of these ideas on who you are through a story about your experiences.  If you are asked why they should hire you, tell them you have three reasons and then share these three characteristics with a brief example to back each up.  Finally, when the interview is wrapping up remind them you are organized, enjoy building new connections, and are resilient. There you have it – you told them what you were going to tell them, you told them, and then you told them what you told them.  It would be impossible for the recruiter to walk away from your interview and not know you are resilient, organized and outgoing.  They will know your story as to why you are great fit for the sales position.

When preparing for your next interview, think big picture and develop a theme for the answers you are putting together for those typical interview questions. We all love stories and stories are how we explain who we are to others.  If you story has a set of themes, your story has a consistent and clear quality that will help people remember you for all the right reasons.  Good luck with your story – it is yours to write.