It is a mistake to praise yourself during an interview without proving your accomplishments


When asked, “Why should we hire you?”  It is a mistake to answer, “Because I am the best candidate!”  At this point, you are not in a position to say whether you are the best candidate or not.  You have not even met the other candidates.

You need to say something more substantial.  You need to cover your accomplishments and you need to state your accomplishments in a “prove it” statement kind of way.  By that I mean, state your accomplishments with statements that prove that you have the skill and ability it takes to get the job done.

In order to do that, you need to have done your research ahead of time. If the job posting is not very descriptive, ask for a job description.  Research the company by taking a look at the company website.  Do some deep thinking about how you can state your skills and abilities with examples and use the words of a third party.  For example:  “My current supervisor, Mark Browne, has stated that I am the best employer he has ever had in the position that I currently hold.”  Or, “A co-worker of mine tells me that its been a long time since she has seen anyone relate to the customers as positively has I have.”  Or, “My supervisor complimented me just the other day for my problem solving abilities.”

On top of that suggestion, have stories ready to tell that prove your capabilities in three key areas:  1) Your ambition on the job, 2) Your ability to get along with others on the job, and 3) Your ability to problem solve on the job.

If you have stories ready that prove you have those capabilities, you’ve come a long way towards preparing for the job interview.


More on Interviewing


You have graduated. You likely polished off the third and final draft of your resume as part of an assignment here at Western Technical College. Congratulations! Now to worry about interviewing. If you are lucky, one of your instructors had someone from Career Services come in to talk about the art of interviewing. We would have shared an awesome tool that can be found on our website at:

Some tell us that “Perfect Interview” isn’t a real interview, so how can practicing in that program help? I can guarantee you that if you take the program seriously and sincerely practice with it, it WILL help you feel more confident in an interview.

How can I confidently say that? Because I know through experience that feeling confident in an interview is all about practice. Practice talking about yourself and your skills. To feel confident, you must talk out loud about your skills and abilities and say them again and again. No memorizing mind you. That is not what I mean. If you memorize, that will be obvious to the interviewer. Just practice answering interview questions out loud at home. You can use “Perfect Interview” on our website, or you can get a good book on interviewing (recommendation: Knock Em Dead Job Interview: How to turn Job Interviews into Job Offers, by Martin Yate)and practice answering questions. Please remember that you do not want to use “canned” answers. By that I mean make your answers YOUR answers to the questions. That is what I like about Martin Yate’s book. Rather than give you canned answers, he talks to you about what the employer is looking for and why he/she asked the question so that you can give your best answer from your perspective. Plus he provides help for every question you can think of. Once you spend some time practicing, your confidence sours! It is all about practice.

Below, another awesome article from CareerSherpa – by Hannah Morgan

Interviewing: Preparation and Practice are the keys



What two words describe what is necessary for a successful job interview? I would have to say, “Preparation” and “Practice.” I really can’t say enough about either of those two words when it comes to being ready for a job interview.

Let’s start with “Preparation.” When I interviewed for the Career Services Advisor position that I currently hold at Western, I had a portfolio ready to show that included extra copies of my resume, copies of college transcripts, letters of recommendation, and recent certificates of seminar completion that I thought would be of interest to those on the team that interviewed me. I also had notes to help me remember my strong points, written out on a 3X5 card and tucked into the portfolio’s inside pocket.

As soon as I found out I had landed an interview, I spent over an hour thinking through my strong points and comparing them to what Western Technical College was looking for in an employee. Then I had several days to think over what I had come up with and was able to add to my notes. I really feel going through that process with myself helped immensely.

On to “Practice.” You can practice talking about yourself, out loud. Either talk to your mirror at home, or talk to your dog or cat, but talk out loud about yourself and your strengths. Tell some of the stories that the author in the below article suggests you come up with. Tell the stories out loud.  Practice, Practice, Practice. I had key words jotted down on that 3X5 card to help me remember my stories. The below link will guide you to an excellent article that Barb, our Career Services Manager found on line. Just like us in Career Services here at Western, he/she does a lot of mock interviews with students. Not only will the author help you look at the big picture, he/she will tell you how to practice and he/she will give you tips on Skype or phone interviews.  More employers are using Skype and phone interviews in round one today than ever before. Enjoy!

PS:  The author talks about how the interview starts in the parking lot….he/she is not kidding!  They really do!  I have heard this from more than one professional.

PPS: I also noticed he/she suggests using a video program to video tape yourself answering questions!  Go to our website at: and try out “Perfect Interview,” our online interview practicing tool!

What to avoid during an interview



This posting is going to be short and quick. This is the busiest time in the year for us in Career Services.

A reminder: As a Western Technical College student you qualify for our services for life! Whenever you feel the need to talk about your job search or have your resume looked at again, please do come in. We are a walk in center. Monday through Thursdays 8 am to 4 pm and Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm. Once you have earned your degree, there is absolutely no reason why you should not land a job in your field. If you are not getting interviews, please come in! I can guarantee that you can learn something more about doing an effective job search!

I found another good article for you to read. This one is about what NOT to do in a job interview. Some of these you have heard before I am sure, but there were a few that had not occurred to me! Definitely a fun article to read. Don’t miss it.