Thursday, October 7, 2010 myBiz Blog
Got Interviews? Check out these tips! by Kelly Cuene

If you have upcoming interviews, be sure to read on for excellent interviewing advice from a Greg Reed, a Badger alum (MS 1988, BA 1984) who is currently Vice President - Senior Analyst at Moody's Investors Service:

  • Have an answer readily available for “tell me about yourself”.  Here’s the perfect opportunity to define yourself in terms of what you want, what you’re all about and what defines you as a person.  Practice answers to this out loud and in front of the mirror, friends, roommates, classmates - anyone!  
  • Be prepared to answer the question “why should we hire you?”
  • Send thank you notes via email within 24 hours of your interview if quick decisions are being made about 2nd round interviews. 
  • Maintain eye contact if a face-to-face interview but do not engage in a stare down either. 
  • Conduct telephone interviews in a quiet place away from any distractions including computer screens and email.  Turn off cell phones in all interview settings! 
  • Do your homework on the company – especially current events
  • Ask questions about the interviewer’s role within the company and what it’s like to work there  
  • Do not use inappropriate language or speak negatively about competitive firms, classmates, former employers etc.  Avoid “ya know” and other slang expressions. 
  • Show up on time but not so early as to inconvenience your interviewer's schedule (usually 10 minutes early is enough).  Give yourself enough time to get to the interview so that you are relaxed. 
  • Wash your hands and clean your fingernails and keep your hands above the table.  Make sure your breath is palatable and don’t chew gum during the interview. 
  • Take a deep breath and relax. 
  • If asked for references, have them readily available and make sure you contact people ahead of time to get their permission to be a reference. 
  • Set up a LinkedIn account for yourself and connect with others – it is a useful tool for others searching for candidates, a good way to find alumni and current employees and a good networking tool. 
  • Read the Wall Street Journal, NY Times or other local newspaper headlines on a regular basis to show you are on top of current events.  Someone may ask you what you thought about something in the paper – especially if it pertains to the role, company or market.
  • Be prepared for a possible background check and drug test
  • It might also be helpful to know what one's credit/FICO score is as well.  To some employers, a history of poor financial management or high indebtedness may be a red flag - especially if your future role is managing someone else's money. That said, being able to say that one put themselves through school is always commendable.