What Animal Would You Be: A Guide To Interviewing

We all have a picture in our head of what our dream job would be. We gain the experience, make the necessary contacts and send out the resumes, yet before landing the dream job you have to pass one final test: the interview. On February 20, 2009 at the PRSSA Chicago Regional Conference the Employer Liaison of Devry University, Lea Pupillo, shared some important interviewing tips to nail your next interview.

Before making the all important handshake with the interviewer, there are some important steps of preparation. In an interview you have to be able to summarize yourself in a very short amont of time. In order to prepare, Pupillo suggested creating your “elevator pitch”. In a thirty second time frame you want to summarize your professional life, education and passion in a way that will differentiate you from the rest of your competition. Even though this may seem like a daunting task, if you can show a strong level of confidence and enthusiasm you have succeeded in one of the most important parts of an interview. By breaking down the interview into four sections including: attitude, image and appearance, communication and job qualifications, your attitude ranks highest in importance at 40%. It is followed by image and communication at 25% and job qualifications at 10%. This is not to say that job qualifications and your image our not important, but to stress how important attitude is. Even with a confident attitude, an interview can take a lot of twists and turns.  To avoid getting caught off guard with abstract questions, Pupillo gave some helpful tips.

One of the most infamous abstract questions in an interview is, “If you were an animal, what would you be?” While this seems like a pointless question to obtain a job, what employers are really trying to discover is your ability to problem solve. Pupillo explained, “While you may think a lion would be a great answer, it can also make you look to aggressive and even if a cute litte kitten is your favorite animal, it is not what an employer wants to hear”. If you are completely at a loss, Pupillo suggests using the owl due to the fact that they are wise and observant.

Finally, make sure you research and understand the position and company you are applying for. The more you know the better off you will be. When the time comes for you to ask your own questions, ask some. The more interest you show in the company the more interest they will show in you. Once the research and preparation is done the only thing left to do is relax and take every experience as an opportunity to learn more.
By: Diana Kelter

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