INTERVIEW PREPARATION STRATEGIES

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1 INTERVIEW PREPARATION STRATEGIES Network Tips for Effective Interview Preparation Practice A LOT Provide more preparation for career advancement Focus on independence Having the information coming from the same culture is effective S Simplify resources make sure to include lots of pictures and visuals Include differing activities for varying skill levels Documentation Remind clients to prepare documentation, such as resumes and certifications Hygiene and Appearance Hygiene Hold Orientation for Hygiene Provide Clients with Hygiene Packets (deodorant & soap) Go Through Packets with Each Client Explain what each item is, what it s for, and teach how to use S Don t forget to explain the need to wash clothes Discuss Bathroom Habits Cologne Intervention keep Neutrogena makeup remover wipes at office Tips for Resource Development Partner with churches, clothing and hygiene companies to provide donations and products Post for donations and usually get a lot Interview Outfits Help clients remember what should always be covered with the Shoulders, Knees and Toes (knees and toes) game Always Keep a Set of Interview Clothes and Hygiene Products on Hand, Just in Case INNOVATIVE APPROACH (MIAMI): Have the client do research on the company and have them dress like the employees do. For example, if the uniforms are a red polo shirt with a yellow logo and khakis, have your client wear a red polo shirt and khakis to impress the interviewer

2 Tips for Resource Development Dress for Success Program for female clients Solicit Donations for Professional Attire INNOVATIVE APPROACH (TUSCON): Partner with clothing bank. If clients volunteer, they ll receive their first interview outfit. Mock Interviews The Stranger in a Suit Approach: Bring in outside people to interview clients - this will help prepare them for meeting new people Bring in other staff to play role of employer. Tell them to get into their roles Collaborate with volunteer groups to come in for mock job interviews Demonstrate Good and Bad Interviews Discuss what was good and what was bad Good: Being on time, dressed nice (pick out someone dressed appropriately) Bad: On cellphone, chewing gum, dressed casually (pick out someone dressed in Sweat pants or shorts) Record mock interview with cell phone and watch with the client Have clients come to practice dressed like they were going on an actual interview Engage the Client ask them what interviews are like in their own country and compare/contrast Have clients practice on both sides of the interview table INNOVATIVE APPROACH: Mock interviews are conducted by former refugees that are now local employers Types of Mock Interviews to Consider Speed interviews One-on-ones Panel Mock Interviews: Some hotels perform panel interviews Phone Interviews Don t forget to smile when you re on a phone interview Job Fairs are excellent practice for clients to see what it looks like Time Management Alarms Explain the importance of setting alarms and show them how to do it Tell them what time to set alarm/what time they should be dressed to be dressed/what time they should be at interview

3 Clients should be 5-10 minutes early to job interviews Transportation Show client calendar and go over bus schedule to explain the importance of being on time Go over google print out times and directions Ride bus with clients to time routes: home work home Model good time management for clients call them if you re running late Interview Q & A Questions Create a Dirty Dozen 12 questions clients might be asked at any interview But let s face it, copies of actual questions from employers are the best Translate interview questions to secure comprehension Loaded questions are opportunities (Tell me a little bit about yourself ) - tell clients to utilize Teach clients how to rephrase questions Answers Should include employment appropriate vocabulary what they ve done since they ve been here (bus system, daycare) Be careful not to give them the answer just the ideas. Let them answer first. Train clients to answer questions with a story their story. Tell clients to explain: flexibility by giving specific life examples how you re determined not to go back your goals for the future what they did to prep for the interview Addressing Weaknesses The Sandwich Approach: Have clients share their weaknesses and train them how to condition with a positive Make weaknesses into strengths No work history is invalid say something anything you are good at Client Questions Always ask questions after the interview - be sure to prep clients with questions of their own Coax questions out of clients

4 Soft Skills, Personal Space and Greetings Use physical examples (Role Play) to teach the American way for gestures and greetings Body gestures, the way you present yourself, postures, manners, etiquette Greet, but allow for respectful greeting Don t forget to ask before hugging! Chewing gum, sunglasses and other rude gestures Handshakes Practice Good & Bad Handshakes Handshakes need to be firm Eye Contact Explain how important Eye contact is, especially with females Smiling Smile. It s ok to smile. Always smile. Especially on a phone interview. Tone Work on tone overconfident vs. too quiet Work Ethic Understanding American work ethics Explain initiative employers will notice. You should always be looking for something to do Having Confidence Confidence is Key Brag about yourself. It s ok to do it here INNOVATIVE APPROACH: Spend 20 minutes with clients going over the importance of not having head down The Day of the Interview Meet with clients at least an hour before interview Go over eye contact, handshake and body language Take client to first interview Tell Clients not to smoke before interview Explain humanness of interviewer INNOVATIVE APPROACH: Public transportation representatives visit office and provide bus training to clients

5 The Interview Room If sitting in on interviews, prompt clients to give more details. Prompt by rewording & simplifying questions during interviews Teach client active listening Bring a pen to avoid fidgeting (have something in your hand) Translators/Interpreters The client needs to remember that the interview is with the employer, not the translator Use trustworthy interpreters and provide interpreter training The Role of the Service Provider Working with Clients The more enthusiasm and motivated we are, the more excitement the client has Provide positive reinforcement S Provide Consistent Messaging Stick to a Routine Repeat Routines and Details Managing Expectations Strong orientation provides clients with confidence through expectations Sell the job to the client Provide information about the position, such as wages and any specific requirements known Explain Shifts Employer Relations Build trust with the employer Employers come to us to talk to our clients about hygiene Be sure to keep notes after speaking with employers and add positive things too Warn employers about tone they re excited, not mad! If the employer is known, try to get interview questions ahead of time Get familiar with professionals and their questions S Pre-hired ethnic employees can help create comfort during interviews Build personal relationship between employer and interpreters

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