First Major Interview Tomorrow....Advice?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 16, 2009 2:25 AM GMT
    I graduated from college in May and until August or so I kept working at my on-campus job (phone survey interviewer). I graduated with a degree in geography and I've been unsure of my next step in life. I'm already applying for grad school for next fall, but in the meantime I do need a serious, big-boy job.

    The job is to be a customer care rep at The Hartford, a major insurance company. Essentially, it's another phone job, only inbound this time, and I don't plan on it being a career. The pay is 30k a year with benefits (~$14+/hour, compared to $9 at uconn w/out benefits).

    Basically in the interview, I know I have to appear eager, have specific examples in mind which show my qualifications, and not imply that I don't plan on staying with the company long. I've spent the last few days preparing ideas for commonly asked questions, and I have a list of questions to ask the interviewer. I'm incredibly nervous, however, that I'm going to freeze up on a question or give poor answers. I just really want this to work out because it's close to home, it's something that I'm good at, and I don't want to have to face endless interviews and job searching.

    Any last minute advice?
  • islander24

    Posts: 161

    Sep 16, 2009 3:22 AM GMT
    Firm handshake.
    Look em in the eye
    Be sincere and as honest as possible.

    Don't lie - they'll catch you !
    Stress your customer service experience . While perhaps not the best job in the world, the pay is pretty good for a recent grad unless you can pull out the PhD or something out of the hat and then the interviewer would likely say " over qualified".
    Who knows it may open the door to some other job within the company that pays more after they get to know you.

    Good luck.........
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Sep 16, 2009 4:31 AM GMT
    There is nothing wrong with being completely honest by telling them this is your first real interview and you're a bit nervous. I'm sure they've seen your resume and know this, but it can help to set the bar for you.

    Be upbeat. Try to be aware of your speech patterns. It's a phone job, so you are the voice of the company for them. Are you speaking clearly? Are you speaking too quickly? Try to exude confidence and calm.

    I'd bet those are the qualities they're looking for.
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    Sep 16, 2009 4:35 AM GMT
    (:
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 16, 2009 4:45 AM GMT
    Erik brings up an excellent point. As a manager, I definitely would give the benefit of the doubt to someone who was nervous at the first interview. Basically grading on a curve versus someone who I would expect to have more experience.
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    Sep 16, 2009 5:59 AM GMT
    Just be yourself, comfortable in your in skin, if you are doing in-bound, you will most likely be expected to deal with "difficult" customers, polite and quick in your responses and COMPLETELY honest in your answers, the hiring team will sniff out any BS instantly.

    Good luck!
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    Sep 16, 2009 6:14 AM GMT
    At my centre some of our standard questions are things like "what are two of your strengths?","what are two of your weaknesses?" and "where do you see yourself in 5 years time?" You may get stuff like that.

    Have a question or two prepared for them; something like "is there room to move to other roles?" or are there opportunities for training.

    Take your time answering questions; think about them before opening your mouth. Don't try (too much) to pre-prepare answers to quetions; people then try and spend time fitting those answers in anywhere. And look people in the eye when you're speaking to them.

    Good luck!
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Sep 16, 2009 6:16 AM GMT
    Dress appropriately and maybe educate yourself a bit about the history of the company

    Good luck :-)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 16, 2009 6:31 AM GMT
    Good eye contact is essential. Also, learn about the company so you can ask questions about it. If you are interested in the company and actually seem like you want to work there, that goes a long way. Also, even if you think you've given a bad answer to a question, just keep going.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 16, 2009 6:43 AM GMT
    Don´t wear lipstick. Take JP up on his offer if it´s not too late

    Good luck.

    icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 16, 2009 6:53 AM GMT
    Remember to smile when you first meet your interviewer.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 16, 2009 7:02 AM GMT
    Because you got the interview, they are already pretty convinced that you are qualified for the job. Interviews are conducted to see if you'll fit-in in the work place. Are you cool or a weirdo? Are you polite or a weirdo? Are you easy to get along with or a weirdo? You don't seem like a weirdo. So, relax, be yourself, and get to know your interviewers. When they see that you are relaxed and confident, they'll want you to be part of their work environment. You're going to do great!
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    Sep 16, 2009 4:55 PM GMT
    Thanks everyone...I just got back. I think it went really well, I was interviewed by 2 people at once which sort of took the edge off actually. I think I was confident and gave great answers. It lasted an hour and 15 minutes but it went by very fast. I slipped in a couple laughs when appropiate that went over well.

    All in all, productive! They will get back to me by Friday for a final decision...fingers crossed so I can end this job search and focus on grad school. The training would start at the end of October. I'm working on thank you emails to the interviewers right now.

    It's never as bad as you think it'll be
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    Sep 16, 2009 4:56 PM GMT
    Although I did have wicked pit stains lol....I have tried every deodorant known to man and I just can't avoid it. icon_redface.gif