Marymount University: Addressing the Interview & Hiring Process

Posted by Kathleen Smith

I was invited to speak as one of various panelists at a Marymount University event for students right before dashing out on vacation. The event, Hiring Managers Panel & Networking, was primarily geared towards undergraduate students looking forward to the workfoce (as they think about applying for internships and career positions) and what they can expect during the interview and hiring process. 

I took (very) rough notes of all I shared with the audience because I felt much of it was relevant to our own cleared job seeking community.


Q & A

What do hiring managers look for in applicants for entry-level positions in the business sector? Hiring managers are looking for initiative, problem solving, people skills. 

What are the most common mistakes you see on resumes?
Spell check, bad grammar, too lengthy. Remember that the resumes are read by computers first. Clean and simple.

What makes a good cover letter?
Customized, short and sweet with one or two selling points that are above and beyond the resume.

What should students be doing during college to make themselves more qualified applicants?

  • Remember that social media can work with you or against you.Utilizing the social networks to connect with people and to showcase particular talent, connecting with thought leaders on blogs, following industry leaders on Twitter or in Facebook, but also making sure that the privacy controls are utilized in Facebook and only showing the beer parties to close friends.
  • Languages are definitely making a comeback as business community maintains being very international. Be sure that you are clear in your diction and grammar with both your native tongue and your second language.

What can students do to be best-prepared for an interview?

  • Students can make sure that they have done a full review of the company, the type of work it does, what the department does in the scheme of the overall company, who the competitors and partners are for the business. Show an overall business awareness rather than just position awareness. Ask what the position does for the overall company.
  • Remember thank you notes for every person that you meet. Sum up one or two points from the interview and add in a final selling point.
  • Remember you are always interviewing from the moment you answer the first email or phone call to the final thank you notes.

Security clearance considerations: How does the process work? What is the timeframe? What should students keep in mind now if they will need a security clearance later?

  • Some of the things to think about is making sure that your financial history is in order and clearing away your debt and keeping your credit history clean.
  • When considering doing something, ask your self is this likely to cause me to have a criminal record? Also look at any foreign travel and realize that this will be a red flag if the travel is to a hot spot such as the Middle East, Africa or Southeast Asia.
  • Realizing that the security clearance process take a very long time and to be patient and diligent. And making sure that your answers are completely truthful.
  • Getting a clearances or working in the government is a major career decisions and one not to take lightly. I have very high respect and admiration for those in our government and military who make many sacrifices to serve the public.

Do certificates (in addition to an undergraduate degree) make students more marketable?
Yes, they do if they are industry specific.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 25, 2010 11:43 pm

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