Time is of the essence when sitting down with a prospective employer for the first time. According to Geraldine F. Prince, coordinator of employer recruitment programs at Southern’s Career Center, a person only has 60 seconds to make a first impression – and those 60 seconds can not be taken back.
During the presentation, Prince listed three categories one should focus on when preparing for a job interview—say, wear, convey.
Prince said what a person says might not always be verbal; the way one presents him or herself can say a lot, too.
“My hands are sometimes a problem when I am in an interview,” Prince said, “so I purposely place my hands on my lap.”
Prince said when an interview is taking place, it is important to keep good eye contact with the interviewer.
“Eye contact shows the interviewer that you are focused,” Prince said. “If you’re not comfortable with looking at someone’s eyes then you could look at their nose and they won’t even know the difference.”
Prince said it’s a misconception that an interviewee needs to give an answer once a question is asked.
“You can take time to develop your answer,” Prince said. “Try to emphasize success stories.”
Prince said when preparing for an interview, one should always bring questions to ask.
“If an employer asks if you have any questions and you say ‘no,’ it makes you look like you don’t have an interest in the position,” Prince said. “Take time to research the company.”
There are many questions that are looked at as taboo if asked during the first interview.
“Never talk about salary,” Prince said. “Salary is usually brought up in a second interview if they are ready to hire you as an employee.”
When dressing for an interview, Prince said it is always good to look conservative.
“Dress for success,” Prince said. “Guys should never wear a flashy tie and women should never wear anything too revealing.”
Even if the company dress code isn’t as formal as a shirt and tie, Prince said it is important to dress formally to show respect toward the company.
Prince said first impressions could make or break an interview.
“You can’t be mediocre,” Prince said. “You have to set the bar high.”
Luke Hunter, a freshman English major, said he learned a lot from Prince.
“I liked it,” Hunter said. “I came for my ‘communications 100’ class, but I also wanted to come because I felt it is time to start thinking about preparing for a career.”
Hunter said he found it interesting when Prince mentioned the amount of opportunities Southern students have to get jobs on campus.
“I saw the banner for jobs on campus on the bridge,” Hunter said. “It really sparked my interest.”
During the presentation, Prince presented the Job Opportunities Benefiting Southern Students or the JOBS Program.
The program allows Southern students to find employment opportunities on campus or in the New Haven area. It also presents individual departments that are in need of student workers.
Matthew Corthell, a freshman business economics major, never heard of the JOBS program.
“I have been looking for a job this entire semester,” Corthell said. “I wish I knew about this before.”