Category Archives: Interview

Straight from the Recruiters Part 2: Nailing your Interview

By: NinaMaria Badalamenti

In my previous blog I explained a little bit about my experience at Global Team Blue’s “The Dirt” and some insight I got from their recruiters on what they like to see in a resume. In this blog I will continue but giving you tips on what they said they like to see in an interview. So here are 3 tips on how to nail your interview.




  • Do your research.


This is a big one. Doing research on the company ahead of time is very important. Having knowledge on the company going in shows your dedication and passion for the position. The recruiters will be able to tell that you spent the time to research and want know about your prospective place of work. Just take a little bit of time to explore their website and study up on their work and achievements. This shows that you’re excited to represent the company.


  • Ask questions.


When preparing for an interview you usually brush up on clever answers to common interview questions that you expect they might ask you, but what you don’t think about is questions to ask them. By asking the interviewer questions you are showing them that you are interested in them and the position. The recruiters of GTB made a point to emphasize this step because it means a lot and they don’t see many people do it.


  • Follow up.


Following up after an interview is a very crucial step that many of us may skip. The best way to follow up is to send the interviewer a thank you email within the next 48 hours. Make sure you actually put some thought into this and not pre-write it. Make it personalized to show that you really care and appreciate the time they spent with you.

NinaMaria Badalamenti is a senior studying Communications. This is her first semester serving as VP of External Relations for EMU PRSSA.

3 tips for writing thank-you cards after a job interview

By: Anissa Gabbara

thank you card


It’s post-graduation, and many of us already have several job interviews lined up. One of the most important things you can do besides NAIL the interview is to let the interviewer know that you appreciate his or her time and consideration by sending a thank-you card. Not only is sending a thank-you card a thoughtful gesture, but it makes you stand out from other candidates. Believe it or not, your competition may not be writing thank-you cards. Plus, it gives you another opportunity to express why you’d be the perfect fit for the position.

Here are three tips on writing a great thank-you card:

  1. Keep it short and sweet.

One or two paragraphs is all you need to make a great impression on the employer. Always thank the employer in the first line, and let him or her know you enjoyed the interview and still have interest in joining the team. Additionally, you should reiterate what makes you the perfect person for the job by emphasizing your strongest skills. Wrap up the card by thanking the employer once again, and leave the door open by letting the person know how you look forward to hearing from him or her.

  1. Personalize each card for each interviewer.

Panel interviews are quite common, and if you happen to have one, be sure to write a personalized card for each person who interviewed you. Once everyone on the panel receives your cards, it’s likely they will compare what you’ve written for each person and trust me, you don’t want each card to be identical. To personalize a thank-you card, point out something each person said during the interview that sparked your interest, or just a particular moment in the conversation you enjoyed. This shows you were genuinely engaged in the conversation and employers remember that.

  1. Send it out promptly.

Mail out your thank-you cards within 24 hours of the interview to ensure the employer receives it before making a final selection. With lots of competition out there, you can be easily forgotten, so it’s crucial that you send out your thank-you card ASAP to keep yourself at the forefront of the interviewer’s mind.

Anissa Gabbara is a senior at Eastern Michigan University studying public relations with a double minor in communications and marketing. She currently serves as the vice president of public relations on EMU PRSSA’s E-board. She has an interest in celebrity PR and hopes to one day work with some of the biggest names and corporations in the entertainment world. She plans to hone her craft while becoming a valuable source of information to others. You can follow her on Twitter @AnissaGabbara.  




Meeting preview: interviewing workshop

There will be an interviewing workshop tomorrow, March 8 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in 200 McKenny. The workshop will be led by Barbara Jones, a senior corporate relations manager at EMU’s University Advising & Career Development Center (UACDC). This a great opportunity to sharpen your interviewing skills and prepare for your job search.

To learn more about the UACDC, where the workshop will be held, please visit here.

3 tips to minimize interviewing stress

By: Katie Gerweck

Interviewing can be a stressful experience, but preparing for an interview can help you get there on time and feel more confident about the process. Here are three simple tips to save you time and cut back on stress.

1. Figure out where you are going

Navigating to the company you are interviewing at can be stressful if you aren’t familiar with the area. Before the day of your interview, enter the address online or into a GPS. This will help you determine what time you need to leave, and familiarizes you with your route. If you are thinking about it, it can also be useful to ask about parking options when you set up your interview, so you know what to expect and can allow yourself time if you have to park a block away.

 2. Take out your clothes the night before

 Not only will your outfit already be assembled in the morning, saving you time, but it will also prevent last-minute panic when you realize you don’t have any clean dress pants.

3. Prep yourself for the interview questions

There’s no way of knowing what you will be asked, but typing “common interview questions” into a search engine can send you in the right direction. Go through the questions yourself or have a friend play the role of the interviewer to practice what you will say. Remember to research the company beforehand so you can be specific in your answers.

Interviewing can be stressful, but preparing ahead of time can help you feel more confident. Although you can’t anticipate every question or traffic jam, these tips can help you prevent a last-minute problem.

Katie Gerweck is a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in journalism. She is the editor-in-chief for EMU PRSSA, and also works as a copy editor for the Eastern Echo. She was the copy chief for the Echo during the summer of 2015.


Interview tips and advice from SDC

There was much to learn at the Eastern Michigan University 2014 Student Development Conference held by the Public Relations Student Society of American on December 5th. There were three guest speakers who discussed different aspects of public relations and after lunch there was a panel of three professionals who answered questions about interviews and provided students with feedback about their resumes. The three professionals that joined us and shared their advice were; Kevin Devine, who is the director of Student Media at EMU and advisor of the student newspaper The Eastern Eco; Kelli Cesarz, digital public relations and social media director for Moncur and from Team Detroit Daniel Blenman. I learned a lot from the three panel members and they offered great advice for interviews and gave great advice on adjusting my resume.

There was much to learn during the question and answer portion of the SDC and I can see myself using this advice every time I have an interview now.

  • Always do your research. There are so many ways to research information about the company, employers and employees, that will not only prepare you more for the interview but will also look good to the employers.
  • Do use words like “expert” or “specialist” but don’t undersell yourself either.
  • Recognize that everyone have weaknesses and you are no different but you are willing to learn from those weaknesses which can turn negative aspects of the job in to positive aspects.
  • Don’t include any political views or church involvement since not everyone has the same political views and those aspects could offend someone.
  • Ask about future involvement in the company.
  • Don’t be afraid to leave home. There are many times people don’t make an interview because of fear or being unsure about moving out of state but the majority of the time business’s are able to provide help to future employees to move.
  • Be conscious of hygiene, perfume or cologne, and clothing options.
Source: Huffington Post

Source: Huffington Post

I suggest that everyone should use these tips for interviews because these tips show employers that you are willing to put in the work and dedicate yourself to the job. Even if you don’t get the job, it is a good idea to still reach out to the employer and thank them for taking the time to interview you and ask for advice about your interview skills. On top of these interview tips the panel also shared advice about typing, organizing, and preparing a resume.

  • Put all the knowledge gained from school projects, papers, role plays, etc in the skills area of your resume.
  • Develop multiple versions of your resume and cover letters to reflect on which position you are applying for.
  • Always double, triple, and quadruple check spelling and grammar.

After receiving all this advice I had the opportunity to sit down and show Ms. Cesarz and provide her a copy of my resume that I received critiques about.

  • I do not have very much experience in the public relations field since every job I’ve had has been in a restaurant, but Ms. Cesarz suggested keeping only two of the five jobs I had listed and provide aspects from those jobs that I could relate to the public relations.
  • I removed my high school education from the education portion of my resume and just kept EMU in there and included my date of graduation.
  • Under my skills portion I included projects that I had recently done in some of my classes such as creating a website and making videos.

By making these small adjustments to my resume I feel as if my resume takes my lack of work experience and really describes who I am and shows that I am a hard worker. Also by reworking some portions of my resume I removed some unneeded information that freed up space to include skills that relate more to the public relations field. It is important to remove unneeded information from resumes because an employer looks at a resume for about two seconds and having aspects that aren’t about the job can immediately eliminate your resume. Also creating more than one copy of a resume can come in handy when applying for multiple jobs. When applying for different jobs having different copies of your resume can highlight the reason you are qualified for that specific job.

I learned a lot from the SDC and will be using all the advice I was given when looking and applying for internships over the next couple months. I would suggest to anyone looking for a new job to use all the tips and advice provided.

 Kaitlyn Branum
Guest Blogger
EMU PR Student

Three ways to nail your interview

Fact: few things are more uncomfortable than a bad interview.

You have to sell yourself to a potential employer.

While you’re stuck in a room with your interviewer, it’s your chance to show your charisma, your experience, and your ability to adapt to the culture of the company. But, it doesn’t have to be terrifying. Here’s a few quick (but important!) things to remember on your big day to guarantee you’ll walk out with a smile.

1. Practice makes perfect!

Prepare in advance by researching a variety of interview questions. Jot down your responses. Highlight specific areas you want to emphasize, like your strengths, key skills, how you can contribute to the company or how you would handle a situation. Don’t forget credibility. Always provide examples or experience to support your answers.

Practice in front of the mirror (cliché, but helpful!), in front of friends or family, or even ask a professor or classmate to run through some interview questions with you. Record and listen to yourself speaking to help you to focus on articulating more clearly and confidently.

Source: Mint

Source: Mint

2. Know your company!

Do your research on the company you’re applying to. Be prepared to discuss why you want to work for this employer and why you chose them over their competitors. Pick a few reasons why you genuinely want to represent this company (the mission, the business, the leadership, the product, the culture, etc.) and incorporate those reasons into some of your other responses, too.

3. Always ask questions!

When your interviewer finally asks, “Do you have any questions?” that’s your queue to make a lasting impression. Consider this your final opportunity to prove that you’re interested in the company and your own professional development. Being prepared and asking well thought out questions also shows your dedication to the applied position and allows the interviewer to offer some insight on the company’s team culture and expectations.

Remember, the job market today is fast-paced and more demanding than ever. Being part of the competitive millennial generation means you need to go that extra mile to set yourself apart from your competitors. Whether you’re applying for a full-time job right after graduation or for a part-time job to pay your way through college, keep in mind the ways to sell yourself to your potential employers.

Lauren Baker
Guest Blogger
EMU PR Student

How to Answer the #1 Interview Question

What is the number interview question?

“What are your strengths?”

“Uhhh” and “well” should not be a part of your vocabulary when answering this question.

Why is this question asked?

Well, for starters, the interviewer needs to know if you will be able to perform well in the position and if you are compatible with the team.

  • Do your strengths align with the company’s needs?
  • Can you perform the job well Are you the best available option?
  • Do you have qualities, skills and/or experience that will set you apart from the competition?
  • Are you someone who will make an excellent addition to the team?
Source: Glass Door

Source: Glass Door

Common Mistakes

Too many people think this is an easy question, but it is only easy if you really know how to answer it and how to answer it well. This is the opportune time for you to brag about yourself. You do know yourself, right?

  •  Be sure your strengths correlate with the job you are going for. If you do not know your strengths, keep reading because we will discuss a strength seeking activity.
  • Do NOT be modest. Brag as much as you can. Remember: you are selling yourself to the interviewer. If you get nervous – prepare in advance. You can brag in a way that seems modest and natural with practice.
  • Do not choose lame strengths. Lame strengths can make you seem bland and unoriginal. They will not set you a part from the rest of the competition, therefore making you an unlikely candidate for the position.

How to talk about strengths.

Nothing but feeling comfortable with your answer and applying it to yourself with examples can give you a smooth, confident appearance.

  • Practice, practice, practice!
  • Give examples.
  • Apply a personal story or two!

Choosing your Strengths with Strengths Finder 2.0

It begins from birth and follows us into the workplace. It is human nature to practice what we lack until competence is obtained. “Strengths Finder 2.0”, a book by Tim Rath, suggests otherwise.

“We tend to devote more time to our shortcomings than to our strengths,” Tim Rath.

Sometimes people can be unsure or just utterly wrong about a strength they believe they possess. Without having to go through the tedious process of trial and error and irreversible mistakes, “Strength Finder 2.0” can give you an accurate valuation on your top five strengths.

The book is a small read that informs you how to focus on your wellbeing and finding your strengths. After reading, you will take an assessment where you will have 20 seconds to answer each question. The assessment measures your five strengths (and weaknesses) based on how you answer the questions given.

Gradually, companies are beginning to adopt this assessment into their hiring process. For example, United Way, a company that works for the common good of others in the area, is known for having potential candidates for job positions read the book and take the assessment.

By adapting this test into their hiring process, they create their own culture of employees. Based on the test and the interviewers results, the company hires those with specific strengths and create their own cultural dynamic of strengths within the company.

This past summer, I read the book and took the assessment because I had heard so many great things about it. For my own personal knowledge I wanted to discover my strengths. Though I believed to know what strengths I posses, but I found it difficult to sit down and give an accurate list. I began second guessing myself. My test results gave me a more accurate description of my top five. What I need to do now is build on them and learn how to successfully work with others who have the same strengths.

Here are my five:

  • Responsibility
  • Futuristic
  • Strategic
  • Achiever
  • Significance

This test was an eye opener for me and provided great information that I will be able to refer back to for years to come. What are your top five strengths?

Get the book, discover your strengths, and be prepared when you are asked about your strengths at your next interview! Check your local bookstore or Amazon for your own copy.

Gabrielle Burgess-Smith
Vice President of Public Relations