Ace That Interview!

It’s natural to be nervous before a job interview.  But did you know there are some simple tricks you can use to calm your nerves?  In an article on Forbes.com, a group of renowned career experts give excellent advice on how to calm your nerves before and during an important job interview.  Follow these simple tips and you’re sure to do great!

 1.  Be Prepared.

  • Do research: on the company, their products, their competition, on the position you’re applying for, anything!  The more you know the more confident you’ll sound.

2.  Plan.

  • Work out little details beforehand, instead of the morning of.  Print your resume, iron you pants and shirt, map out your route and check traffic reports.  Don’t let unexpected delays catch you off guard.

3.  Rehearse.

  • You don’t need to memorize a script, but preparing what you would like to say can be a big help.  Remember, practice makes perfect!

4.  Eliminate the Unknown.

  • If you’re not sure about the company’s dress code, call their HR department and ask.  The fear of the unknown can make you unnecessarily nervous so sort out any uncertainties before your interview.

5.  Arrive Early and Relax.

  • Allow yourself plenty of time.  Before going inside, take a few minutes to sit in your car and gather your thoughts. 

6.  Think of the Interview as a Conversation.

  • If you think of the interview more like a conversation between two people it is easier to stay calm.  Both of you are trying to get to know each other and access whether you would be a good fit for each other. 

7.  Think Positive and Be Confident.

  • Don’t let negative thoughts of doing poorly wreck your interview before you even start.  Visualize yourself doing a great job, and it’s more likely to come true!

8.  Think Friend, Not Foe.

  • Remember that the interviewer is not your enemy.  They simply want to know if you will be a good fit for their company.  Taking the time to learn a little bit about the person who will be interviewing you will help you to visualize them as just a regular person.

9.  Sit Up Straight and Don’t Fidget.

  • It’s no secret that you appear more confident when you are sitting up straight, but it also helps project your voice and make you sound better, too! 

10.  Normalize.

  • Realizing that it’s normal to be nervous is a big step in helping to calm your nerves.  Don’t sweat it!

11.  Focus on Your Strengths and Your Purpose.

  • Try this: Imagine you already got the job.  Why is that?  By thinking about all of your strong points you can focus on portraying yourself the way you want the interviewer to see you instead of worrying about inadequacies. 

12.  Breathe and Take Your Time.

  • Deep breathing increases the oxygen going to your brain and helps calm your nerves.  If you need time to gather your thoughts before answering a question, take a deep breath, even jot down a few notes.  It will help to keep you on track.

13.  Accept the Fact that Mistakes Will Happen.

  • We all know nobody is perfect.  And truthfully employers aren’t looking for perfection either.  If you remember this it will be easier to take the pressure of and focus on doing your best.

14.  Remember There Are Other Jobs Out There.

  • It’s easy to get caught up thinking that if this interview doesn’t go well you’re doomed to unemployment forever.  But don’t put all your eggs in one basket!  There will be other jobs!

               To read the full article and get more information go to http://www.forbes.com/pictures/efkk45ehgee/how-to-stay-calm-during-a-job-interview/ 

Make sure you check out the Career Services webpage for more interview tips.  You can also attend Interviewing Basics-Make a Good Impression on April 17th.  There we can provide you with even more information about how to effectively answer questions and ace your interview!

Welcome Back from Career Services!

The spring semester is upon us once again and it’s time to get back into the swing of things.  In all the chaos, Career Services would like to remind students of the amazing programs that will also be happening this semester.  A wide variety of events are planned to help students with anything from writing a resume or cover letter to networking and professionalism. 

The events are as follows:

Feb. 6 – Creating a Resume 101

Feb. 12 – Interview Basics – Make a Great Impression

Feb. 12  – Speed Networking 101

  • Get the opportunity to speak with UWGB alumni about understanding fields, jobs, careers and the basics of professionalism!  Early registration is required.

Feb. 25 – Nuts & Bolts of Professionalism

  • Listen to successful recent alumni and young professionals offer their insights into what mistakes to avoid on your resume, how to use LinkedIn, why networking is important and much more.

Feb. 27 – Spring Job & Internship Fair

Feb. 28 – Don’t Be “That” Candidate – Employer Panel

  • Employer representatives will be available to share stories about what they have experienced screening and interviewing candidates so you can learn what NOT to do as a candidate in the job search. Registration is encouraged.

Mar. 4 – Dine Like a Professional Etiquette Lunch

Mar. 7 – Mock Interview Day

 You can find more information and register for events by signing into your PRO account. If you have additional questions, feel free to check out the Career Services webpage or visit us in Student Services 1600.  We look forward to seeing you!

Major Questions?

               This past week, I received an email telling me that there had been a hold put on my UWGB account and I would not be allowed to register for classes until I declared a major.  This usually happens by the time you reach 45 credit hours.  How could that be?  I had no idea that I was that far along with my studies and the thought of actually declaring a major is a little scary.  It’s a good thing I have a plan!  With the help of Career Services, you too can develop a plan of action for declaring your major (even if you don’t know what it might be yet). 

               If you are unsure about which major is right for you, it is definitely a great idea to check out the Majors Fair happening Thursday, October 18th in the Phoenix Rooms.  The Fair will be held from 11 AM to 1 PM and is a great opportunity to explore the majors offered at UWGB and meet people in these programs.   Professors and students from various departments will be in attendance to answer any and all questions you may have.  You can also check out the Career Services Facebook and Twitter pages for more information on the event.

               Declaring a major is one of the most important things you will do here at UWGB.  It sets you up for your future education and career goals.  But contrary to popular belief, your academic major and career choice are not one and the same.  It is true that major selection plays a role in career planning, but some career choices do not require a specific major.  Entry into these positions requires a bachelor’s degree, but focus on practical skills and experience.  This can include internships and other experience in the desired field.  To find out more information, attend the Majors Fair or make an appointment to speak with a Career Services professional.  They can help you assess your own skills and interests, as well as your career goals, to find a major that is a good fit for you.

               If you have already decided on a major but are not sure how to declare, go the Registrar’s website to fill out the necessary forms.  Some programs to require you to apply (including Business, Communication, Education, or Social Work), while others have pre-declaration form requirements (like Human Development and Psychology).  Be sure to check the specific requirements of your program of study.  Career Services would be happy to assist you in any way possible.

Get LinkedIn to Success!

          Have you ever wished you hadn’t been tagged in an unflattering photo on Facebook?  Ever posted something that you later regretted?  Now imagine if your potential employer saw your Facebook profile or Twitter feed.  Do you think they would still hire you?  Like it or not, employers are using social media as a tool in the interview process.  There are things you can do to help yourself, though.

               First, it may sound silly, but Google yourself.  This is the best way to see what kind of information is out there about you.  This will show you exactly what a potential employer might see if they search you.  Next you should carefully comb through your uploads and posts, deleting anything that may be offensive or derogatory.  Changing your profile settings to private is also highly recommended.  Another tip that is sometimes overlooked is your email address.  We can all remember when we were younger and thought it was cool to have a silly email address, but when applying for a job, it can be embarrassing.  Make sure your email is professional and appropriate.  For a full list of social networking tips check out this link.

               In addition to monitoring your social media use, it is also a good idea to utilize the networking site LinkedIn.  LinkedIn is an online network that connects over 175 million members in 200 countries around the world.  Their goal is to create a professional social media site that would allow job seekers to connect with potential employers and companies.  You can create and customize your profile with your educational background, specific skills set, resume, and so much more.  This is a great way to present yourself in a professional manner and make connections with potential employers.  Go to www.linkedin.com and get started creating your own profile.  Career Services is also planning 2 informative programs on the LinkedIn process.  Attend these seminars on October 23 or November 12th from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM in the 1965 Room of the University Union.

          Contact Career Services for more information on LinkedIn and the wonders it can do for you and your job search!

Fall Job and Internship Fair 2012

As students get back into the swing of things with classes, Career Services is busy getting ready for the Fall Job and Internship Fair.  This is a great event in which to meet area employers to discuss full-time, part-time, and internship opportunities.

The Job and Internship Fair will be held Wednesday, September 26 from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM.  Be sure to prepare for the Fair by updating and printing copies of your resume.  Make an appointment with a Career Services professional if you would like help making sure your resume will stand out to employers.  It is also important to dress appropriately for the Job and Internship Fair.  SKIP THE JEANS!  A pair of neatly ironed dress pants and a button-down shirt with a tie for gentlemen, and a pants suit or knee-length skirt and blouse for ladies is always a safe bet.  Remember conservative business attire will help you appear professional and hirable.  This is the first time you will be meeting with a potential employer and first impressions are key.  For more information on appropriate Job and Internship Fair attire, visit the Career Services webpage and click “Dress for Success.”

There are also several other ways to prepare for the Fall Job and Internship Fair.  The Career Services webpage offers videos and articles from Career Spots that explain anything from making a great first impression to tips on how to successfully pitch yourself to a potential employer and more.  Be sure to check these out!

Spring Job & Internship Fair

It’s that time of year again!  The Spring Job and Internship Fair is right around the corner on Wednesday, March 7, 2012.  You may be wondering, “What is the best way to prepare for it?”  Well, there are a few simple things you should do to make sure you are absolutely ready for the Job and Internship Fair. 

First of all, you are going to want to make sure your resume is updated.  A good resume is paramount to the job search.  It is the first glance that an employer will get of your background and credentials, so you want it to be neat and tidy.  You want to make sure you include your most recent employer and possibly take out any information that may be irrelevant.  For help with your resume you can find helpful information on the Career Services website, or you can always schedule an appointment with a Career Services professional.  They can guide you step by step; making sure everything is in order and giving you useful suggestions on how you can improve the professional appearance of your resume.  Once you have your resume in tip-top shape, you should print off several copies to hand out to the employers you speak to at the Job Fair.

The second thing you should do is to make sure you have appropriate professional attire.  It is important to remember that the Job Fair is just like a job interview: you want to make the best first impression possible.   Here are a few of the basic tips on professional attire.

For guys…

  • Wear nice dress pants that are clean and pressed with a buttoned up shirt and tie.
  • Choose a solid-color button down shirt that is wrinkle-proof.
  • If you can’t afford a suit, purchase a single-breasted, black, two-button blazer that will go with several of your dress pants.
  • Black leather laced shoes are another “must have” that can be worn with a variety of outfits.

And for ladies…

  • If you don’t own a suit, you could wear a skirt (knee length or below) with a sweater set or nice blouse.
  • Avoid heels unless you need the height and are comfortable wearing (and walking!) in them. Remember – closed-toed shoes.
  • Ideally, blouses should not reveal any cleavage or undergarments (bra straps, etc.).

It is important for everyone to remember that as a general rule, jeans are a no!  If you are having trouble figuring out what to wear, always err on the side of caution and go for being over-dressed.  Also, be sparing with make-up, perfumes, and colognes.  More information can be found on the UW-Green Bay Career Services’ website.

Once you have your resume finalized and your outfit picked out, the last thing you should do is do your homework!  Research the companies that will be at the Job and Internship Fair and get to know a little bit about the ones you would like to speak with.  It is a great way to make a good impression and you will be more relaxed knowing you will have something to talk about with the employers.  The company representatives will also be impressed that you took the time and effort; just another way to stand out in the crowd!  A full list of the employers attending can be found on the PRO website – and if you log into PRO, you can view all of the information submitted by the employers, including informatino about their organization and the types of positions which they are hiring.  There are 66 employers signed up to attend so you will have many diverse options.

So don’t forget to mark your calendars for March 7th, 2012.  Get your resumes ready, get out your pants suits and sports coats, and brush up on your interview skills.  The Spring Job and Internship Fair 2012 is almost here!

Business Week 2012

     If you have been in the Career Services Office lately you might have noticed a buzz of excitement.  That’s because we are currently getting ready for Business Week, coming February 27th through March 7th.  This is an opportunity for students of ALL majors to explore areas in business, particularly the job search.  With many events, there is sure to be something for everyone.

     Business Week kicks off on February 27th with a special LinkedIn Speaker.  Some students may have heard of this social media site that aids in the job search, but far fewer utilize it.  UWGB Career Services is excited to welcome Dana VanDen Heuvel, a renowned blogger, author, and speaker to our Business Week festivities.  VanDen Heuvel is the founder of The MarketingSavant, a business-to-business marketing firm specially designed to use social media to promote business and hiring.  She will demonstrate the usefulness of the LinkedIn site and its benefits as a new, interactive marketing trend.  The event is free to all students and runs from 12:00pm to 1:30pm on Monday, February 27th in the Phoenix Room B.

     The second event to look forward to is the Dine Like a Professional Etiquette Lunch.  This event will give students the unique chance to speak with UWGB alumni and community members and develop professional table manners.  The free event will be led by registered dietitian and Associate Director of Dining Services at St. Norbert College, Matthew Doyle.  Doyle will share his insight on professional dining and proper etiquette.  Students must pre-register by noon on February 21st for this event.  Students will be charged $15 if they do not attend or fail to cancel registration before February 21st.  To register click on the following link, http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/skills/etiquette-program.asp.   Professional attire is highly recommended.

     Wednesday, February 29th begins bright and early with the Mock Interview Day.  This event will help students brush up on their interviewing skills by meeting for 20 minutes with a professional from various Green Bay area businesses.  It is a no-risk setting that allows students to get tips and feedback about their interview style and how effectively they communicate their strengths and qualifications.  Registration is required for the Mock Interview Day and you also must have a resume loaded onto the PRO website.  Time slots are available from 8:00am to 4:30pm and will be given on a first-come, first-served basis, so don’t wait!  Register today!

  1. Navigate to www.uwgb.edu/careers to access PRO.
  2. Your username is your UW-Green Bay 9-digit campus ID number in this format: uwgb_123456789
    Your password is your birth date in this format: ##/##/## – (2 digit month/2 digit date/ 2 digit year)
  3. Go to “Campus Interviews” and click on Schedule ID# 402- Mock Interview Day for February 29, 2012.
  4. Click on a session to view the available time slots. Click “Sign Up” to submit your resume and select a time slot. There are multiple sessions; you may need to view several sessions to find a time slot that works with your schedule.
  5. You MUST have a resume uploaded into PRO to sign up for a mock interview.
  6. The deadline to sign up for a mock interview is 11:59 p.m. on February 26.

     And if you want to know what employers are really looking for in a potential employee, you’re not going to want to miss Insider Tips on the Job Search From Area Employers on March 5, 2012.  A panel of experts including, Tonia Gibeault (Senior Human Resource Specialist, ACUITY), Linda Johanek (HR Professional and Adjunct Instructor), Cassandra Anick (HR/Sales Capability Associate, Frito-Lay/PespiCo), and Geoffrey Rullend (Human Capital Leader, Humana), will take your questions on anything from resumes and interviewing to networking.  The program will be held from 12:00pm to 1:15pm in the Phoenix Room B.

     Business Week will wrap up with the Spring Job and Internship Fair on Wednesday, March 7th.  Dress professionally and don’t forget to bring your resume! You can find more information and RSVP the Business Week events by Liking the Career Services Facebook page.  If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact Career Services, SS1600, or at (920) 465-2163.  Hope to see you all at Business Week 2012, and remember it is open to ALL students!

2011 Job & Internship Fair

In case you didn’t see the countless posters and Facebook and Twitter posts, the Fall Job & Internship Fair was held at UWGB last week on September 28th.  Now, being a first-year student, I really didn’t know what it was all about.  The professionals in the Career Services office were tangibly excited, but the students on the other hand, were terrified.  The idea of walking into a room full of potential employers was almost as scary as meeting up with a band of monsters.  But if there is one thing I learned from watching Scooby Doo it’s that there is always a person behind that mask.  So I set out for the Job & Internship Fair with one goal in mind: to solve the mystery of the Job Fair Scare!

Why are students so intimidated when it comes to interviewing?  Is it the fear of answering a question wrong?  Of being ill-prepared?  These are the questions I asked myself as I began to investigate the topic.  The Career Services website had tons (literally, TONS!) of advice on what to wear, how to sell yourself, and so many other ways to be prepared for the Job Fair, but students were still nervous.  The nerves were even starting to get to me!  At 10:30 AM, I arrived at the Job Fair wearing my best business attire and a brave face (I thought it best to skip the bell-bottoms and ascot).  Not surprisingly, there were no cobwebs, no eerie fog, and NO masked ghouls anywhere.  It didn’t seem like this was going to be as eventful as anything Scooby and the gang encountered, but the mystery was still unfolding…

With my name tag on, I decided to begin my investigation with a little observation.  The Fair was already in full swing: smartly dressed students were everywhere (obviously they checked out Career Services’ “Dress for Success” tips!).  And as I watched the many tentative (and some bolder) students work up the courage to approach the company reps, I wondered, “What are they afraid of?”  “It’s so nerve-wracking,” one girl said.  “They just seem so intimidating.”  The employers at every single booth were standing, smiling, and practically begging to be approached.  Their tables held enticing goodies like candy, snacks, pencils, pens and other free stuff; anything they thought would lure in students.  It was obvious that they wanted to be engaged, but they were waiting for students to make the first move.  When a student approached, the interactions always started the same way: a firm handshake, the exchange of names and the four-word phrase that can make or break you in any job interview—“Tell me about yourself.”   Jinkies!   My first clue!  It was time to dig deeper. 

I wanted to get some insight from employers, so I approached a table for WS Packaging Group, Inc.  I spoke with a representative who told me what she thought the most important thing to do before an interview was.  “I feel that when we read resumes, applicants are not looking at the job description and the qualifications.” She felt it was extremely important to research the position and its requirements before you apply.  Don’t apply for a science-related position if you are an English major that hated your science classes.  A representative from the Wisconsin State Government expressed concern that students and graduates looking for jobs “think they can jump right into an advising position.” Students seem to be so confident in their abilities and eager to climb the career ladder that they forget they do have to start on the bottom rung.  She said they must remember that no matter how smart they are, going from graduation to management is simply not (or at least very rarely) going to happen.  When I asked employers about skills their company was looking for in a potential employee the responses were pretty much what you would expect: communication and writing skills, work ethic, leadership, and education among the most common.  I realize that many students may think that these skills are obvious.  They already know they must possess the vast majority if they even want to be considered for a job.  That’s when I knew I had found my second clue.

I stumbled upon my third clue in a much more subtle way.  There is no doubt that the company representatives are all very good at their jobs and that they know what they are doing, so it’s easy to see why students are intimidated at the thought of speaking to these employers.  But who would be surprised to know that the employers were just as nervous?  It’s true!  When I first approached a booth, I would introduce myself, telling them I was an intern with UWGB Career Services, and ask if they would mind answering a few questions.  Almost immediately, there was a change.  Their eyes widened a little, smiles faltered for just a split-second, and I knew right then that I had made a breakthrough.  I had definitely caught them off guard: most of the representatives came to the Job & Internship Fair to interview students, but in an ironic turn of events, they found themselves in the middle of an interview.  They answered my questions and were very helpful, but I could tell that it was quite unexpected.

At that point I had gathered enough information.  I couldn’t help feeling a little like Velma as I went through my list of clues, but I was definitely ready to solve the Job Fair Scare.  First of all, I wondered, why do employers ask such a broad question to start the interview?  Such openness makes some students very nervous.  They aren’t sure exactly what to say, but above all, they want to avoid rambling.  Employers do this because they want to know about you.  They generally look for the student to speak first at a job fair because their main objective is to get an idea of whether or not you would be right for their company.  The representative is never going to try to embarrass you or make you look stupid.  Just be confident and professional, but most of all, be you. 

Secondly, it is one thing to have the skills employers are looking for, but it is entirely another to actually know what to do with those skills.  A professor in one of my classes once said, “Interviewers are really thinking, ‘I know you have the skills.  So what?  How is it going to help my company?’”  I think this is a really important question that students should ask themselves as they prepare for a job fair or interview.  If you can tell employers a specific example of how you can help their company, it is a much more impressive answer and will definitely help you stand out.

Finally, the third, and I feel most important thing I learned at the Job and Internship Fair, is that everyone is nervous about being interviewed!  Even professionals that are very knowledgeable about their field and position are susceptible to the butterflies and stutters that come with this natural fear of speaking publically.  It’s important for you as a future job applicant to realize that it is natural to feel a bit on edge—everybody does!  No matter if you’re eighteen, twenty-two, or forty-three, the nerves get to us all.  This doesn’t mean we have to let it get the best of us, and miss important opportunities:  no, it just means that we can recognize the nervousness and easily learn to push it aside.

So, jinkies, that’s that!  Mystery solved.  There were no ghosts, goblins, or monsters running booths at the Job and Internship Fair; just normal professional people with the same emotions as students.  So now that all of your fears are put to rest, start your own job search today!  Go to http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/skills/job-search.asp to get started!