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How to “Wow” Your Interviewer

Claudia Enriquez is a second year student receiving her Masters in Public Administration from NYU Wagner. She currently works as a Graduate Program Assistant at NYU Wasserman. She is a New Yorker at heart, growing up in Long Island, then moving to upstate New York to attend college, and now she’s back downstate and enjoying her time at NYU.

You landed the interview, now it’s time to bring out your A game and really ‘wow’ your interviewer. Follow these simple steps below and prepare to land that dream job/internship!

Research, Research, Research

Did I mention research? Check out the company’s website. Review the company’s mission statement, values, culture, goals, achievements, recent events, and the company’s products/services.  If you know anyone who works there – ask him/her to give you the inside scoop!

Practice Makes Perfect…Or at least Preparation!

Be prepared to the job interview. Practice general and challenging interview questions with your peers.  Practice in front of a mirror – don’t be shy! The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel, which will come off during the interview.  While you should practice, be authentic during the actual interview.

NYU Wasserman has plenty of great career resources.  Swing by during walk-in hours for a mini mock interview, or make an appointment with a career counselor. You can find other helpful resources on CareerNet, under the Career Resources tab. Check it out!

Get Ready and Be on Time

The night before do the following:

  • Have your outfit picked out (rule of thumb: dress one or two levels up)

  • Pack your bag

  • Print out extra copies of your resume

  • Get directions to your destination (Check alternative routes)

  • Relax and have a good night’s sleep

The day of the big interview give yourself enough time to arrive. Arrive between 5-7 minutes early. If you’re too early walk around, grab some water, etc. As soon as you walk through the door, all eyes are on you – that means, be polite to everyone, from the receptionist to the person interviewing you.  Remember to put on your best smile!

How to Answer Questions During the Interview?

During the interview make eye contact and answer questions with confidence.  Use the STAR method:

  • Situation – Describe the situation you were in (e.g., the name of the internship or course you were taking)

  • Task – Identify the specific project you were working on and briefly discuss what it entailed

  • Action – This is the most important element! Specifically identify what YOUR action was related to the question that was asked

  • Result – Close the question by stating an outcome to your situation

If you ever find yourself stuck on a question, that’s okay! Say to the interviewer ‘that’s a good question, let me think about it.’ Pause, breathe, think, and then give your answer.

Ask Meaningful Questions

At the close of the interview, the interviewer will always ask if you have any questions for them.  Have about 5-10 questions prepared, but of course, don’t ask questions already answered during the interview.

Below are good examples of what to ask the interviewer.

  1. What qualities do you think are most important for someone to excel in this position?

  2. What do you personally like most about working for this company?

  3. What would be one of the greatest challenges a person in this position would face?

  4. Can you tell me more about the team I’ll be working with?

  5. What are the next steps in the interview process?

Follow Up

Send a thank you email or a letter to your interviewer(s) 24-48 hours after the interview. If you interviewed with more than one person, send tailored individual thank you notes. Reiterate your strengths and your interest in the company. This is also an opportunity to add anything you did not discuss during the interview. As always, thank them for their time and the opportunity.

Good luck!

CARE3: Care. Connect. Community

By:  Rama Murali 

Rama Murali (NYU CAS ’00) is the Founder and Director of CARE3 (Care Cubed), a community organization composed of and supporting Family Caregivers in Chennai, India.

I moved to Chennai, India in 2012 to help my mother care for my beloved and beautiful grandmother, who was suffering, with tremendous grace and strength, from the combined effects of a massive stroke and breast cancer. I never thought of myself as a person who would be responsible for the care of another – I was focused on my career in international public health and enjoying traveling the world – but there I was, embarking on the most difficult and rewarding role of my life. It was also a role in which I felt most challenged, most alone, most in need of help.

I am a Caregiver.

Of all the groups I have identified with – a native New Yorker, an Indian- American, a public health specialist, and many more – it was as a Caregiver that I first truly felt the need to connect with others in my group. I understood first-hand the challenges that my family and I faced, and realized there must be others like me out there. I wanted to find my Caregiver community so I was not alone, and so others would not feel alone. I knew there was great potential in convening those going through the same thing and building a safe platform for sharing and support. I had no idea how to do it. Sure, I had worked with communities in health programs; but, those programs were usually part of a project of an external agency with lots of funds and resources to incentivize people coming together. I was not a community organizer. I was not a big name that could draw people. I was not even fully fluent in the local language! So I relied on the thing that made me want to reach out to others– being, and understanding what it is to be, a Caregiver.

Building a Caregiver Community.

Rama Murali

One by one, I visited homes and met with other Caregivers. The understanding that is essential for building strong community programs – to getting people out of their homes and into a new, foreign environment where they can share things they rarely have shared before – came from sharing my experience, speaking the language of my community, and, most of all, listening. It came from months of groundwork, all with the hope of building trust and bringing people together. The experience was incredible: getting a treasured glimpse into other Caregivers’ lives, gaining greater awareness of the central challenges and joys that connected us, and learning so much from each and every Caregiver. I was educated, humbled, and strengthened by each Caregiver’s story. Here I was (a community builder!), part of a growing group of Caregivers being mobilized, becoming empowered, and forming the foundation of a connected community.

I learned that once one people came together, things began to change. I was not alone in wanting to help. The language of individual Caregivers started morphing from “I do not know how to manage some days.” to a group of Caregivers saying “We can help each other.” I learned to let go of my vision of what the community should be, and became more and more open to the shared vision of the community – something more powerful that I had envisioned.

Where are we now?

Eighteen months later, I have connected with almost 200 Caregivers and their families, impacting the lives of over 400 people in Chennai.  We have come together as CARE3 (Care Cubed), the first Caregiver network of its kind in India, and now have two meetings across the city each month. These meetings are the core of our program – allowing Caregivers to connect, while learning about self-care and community support. Some of our activities include: building a crowdsourced resource directory of health care service providers, populated with ratings and comments from Caregivers in CARE3; publishing quarterly newsletters, which include Caregiver stories and articles by members of our community; and, building a larger grassroots community of supporters across the city – including yoga centers, physiotherapy clinics, NGOs, and businesses – who donate space and resources for our meetings and help us keep costs low. Most importantly, WE (no longer me alone) are mobilizing a community that more and more Caregivers are willing to identify with, share ownership of, and take pride in. We are sharing our model freely, hoping that other Caregivers take it up and build such communities across the country. In fact, a Caregiver living in Pune, Maharashtra is starting a similar group using lessons learned from CARE3!

Movements happen from within a community – when those sharing common experiences come together and realize that their collective voice is loud and vibrant. I firmly believe that it all starts with the simple act of reaching out to others, and knowing that connecting with one person at a time can start something that makes a difference to the lives of many.


If you would like more information about CARE3 feel free to email me at RamaCare3@gmail.com or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CareCubed. Our website (www.carecubed.org) will be launched on October 13th – so please check there soon for updates and more information!

Meet Rama, hear more about her work, and gain valuable career advice at these upcoming programs:

Meet the Arts Professions Panelists: October 21st, with Cheryl Krugel-Lee, Deena Sami, Katarina Wong and Michael George

On Tuesday, October 21st, the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development will host an Arts Professions Panel for students who are interested in the arts, design and entertainment industries. Among the panelists will be Cheryl Krugel-Lee, Deena Sami, Katarina Wong and Michael George. 

Cheryl Krugel-Lee

Cheryl Krugel-Lee is a Brooklyn-based composer, arranger, and orchestrator, whose work spans both the commercial and classical worlds. Cheryl earned her Bachelor of Music from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her Master of Music degree from New York University, where she studied primarily with Ira Newborn. She has composed scores for theatre productions and films, orchestrated for musical theatre, collaborated with choreographers and created numerous works for a concert setting. Cheryl has had her music performed at Carnegie Hall, Jones Hall in Houston, Texas, Dixon Place, and The Actors Temple Theatre. Cheryl’s professional advice for students interested in careers in the arts would be:

    • To pursue their artistic goals.
    • To get involved with the arts administration of an organization as these organizations can offer opportunities from within that might not be available to people not working in that specific environment. On the other hand, in case one decides that he/she is no longer interested in pursuing a purely artistic career, having experience at an arts organization helps later on with other kinds of work.

Deena Sami

Deena Sami is currently an Associate Producer for CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360. Deena graduated with double majors in Journalism and Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies and minored in Politics. She interned anywhere she could get her feet in and gained “real world” experiences that she believes are crucial to landing a job. Deena’s passion for “everything Middle East and Egypt” led her to pursue a thesis on the 2011 Egyptian revolution. On an unrelated note: she’s an (amateur) foodie and started an (amateur) blog chronicling her creations in the kitchen! 

Katarina Wong

Katarina studied Classics and Philosophy at St. John’s College and, until recently, was the Director of Community and Curatorial Engagement at Edelman, the largest global PR firm, where she started their corporate art collection and art gallery as a Curator. Katarina will be launching her new business MADE on 10/16, which is dedicated to making art collecting more social.

Her personal and professional advice to students is:

  • Follow your curiosity even if it leads out of your primary area of specialty.
  • Be generous with your colleagues, whether it’s sharing information, donating your time or being supportive. In fact, on a networking level, artists, freelance designers, and many others in the arts industry are small business owners, so be smart.
  • Be knowledgeable. Don’t shy away from learning about marketing, legal issues that affect your future work (e.g., contracts, consignment agreements), taxes (and deductions!), etc.

Michael George

Michael George is a freelance editorial portrait and travel photographer based in Brooklyn, who graduated with a degree in Photography & Imaging from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts in 2011. Michael currently runs his own business and works for clients such as WIRED, Runner’s World, and Hello Mr. magazine. Mr. George’s career advice for aspiring artists is:

  • To pursue personal projects alongside the work that helps keep financial stability. As you keep your passion alive for the work you really care about, eventually your paid and personal work will be one in the same.
  • Prove your skills to a possible hiring manager. For example, if you want to make travel work, pinch your pennies and travel.
  • Be patient. You will invest a lot and you will often fail, but you have to give yourself the necessary time as every industry forces you into years of paying your dues before you feel like your head is above water. Not everyone is going to be the next Ryan McGinley. Success is a strange mix of luck, networking, and incredibly hard work.

To hear more from these great panelists, make sure to RSVP  for the Arts Professions Panel (Tuesday, October 21st, 12:30-1:30) through CareerNet!

All About NYU Wasserman


Professional Networking Tips from Treatings

Hayden Williams is Co-Founder and CEO of Treatings. Treatings is a professional networking platform that facilitates one-on-one meetups over coffee. Prior to Treatings, Hayden spent four years as an investment banker at BofA Merrill Lynch. He graduated from Vanderbilt in 2008 with a degree in Economics and Corporate Strategy.

My first job out of college was in investment banking. While Vanderbilt’s Career Center was a great resource in securing the job, it was the individual relationships I’d built the summer after my junior year that were most helpful in deciding what I wanted to do.

I was living in New York doing an internship in Consulting. I realized that I didn’t want to work in Consulting after graduating, so I had to figure out an alternative career path. I started reaching out to all of the Vanderbilt alumni I could find who were working in roles I was interested in, asking people out for coffee so I could learn about their job.

The most helpful conversations I had were with junior people working at the level I would be starting in. I wasn’t looking for a job offer, just access to information about what certain roles were like and what types of people succeeded in them. I found it more difficult to find junior people than senior people. Young professionals aren’t prominently displayed on company websites and often don’t think to open themselves up on alumni networks. But, by the end of the summer I’d met enough people in investment banking that I decided the transferable financial skills I’d pick up as an Analyst would make for a good place to start my career.

Fast forward three years later and I was promoted to Associate. I had learned a lot and worked with great people, but realized that I didn’t want to remain in investment banking forever. I wasn’t passionate about the work and my skill set was getting narrower. I wanted to leave the finance industry and potentially work at a start-up, but I didn’t know how viable that would be given my lack of technical expertise.

My best friend (and now co-founder), Paul, was in a similar situation. We both wanted to leave our finance jobs, but didn’t want to blindly transition to a job that wouldn’t be a great fit. We wanted to talk to peers who had made career transitions we were interested in. I found that existing professional networking tools were helpful in documenting and leveraging my professional network, but not reaching outside of it. This was a problem because no one in my network worked at a start-up.

Paul and I decided there should be a professional networking equivalent to online dating sites, where people could go when they wanted to meet people outside their network. So, we quit our jobs to build Treatings, a local professional network where everyone is open to meeting over coffee to share ideas and opportunities.

The core value that Treatings offers is access to knowledge. We believe that people’s insights and career experiences have as much latent value as any physical good they own, so we’re always looking to reduce the friction of knowledge transfer.

We’re a peer-to-peer networking site. We don’t differentiate between “consumers” of knowledge and “producers” of it. Most people sign up for Treatings as a consumer, not imagining that people would be interested in their insights. People are often surprised and flattered to hear they can be a producer of knowledge when they are asked by fellow members to talk about their work. People have been using Treatings to find collaborators, meet people with shared interests and learn about new skills.

We have incorporated a filter into Treatings that makes it easy for NYU alumni and students to connect with each other. You can sign up for the platform and follow companies and skills you’re interested in. You’re then matched with other members based on shared interests and can propose coffee meetings with whomever you’d like.

We think networking should be a routine part of people’s lives, but it doesn’t have to be boring or formal. Treatings is all about taking conversations about your work out of the office. We hope you get the opportunity to meet fellow members of the NYU community over coffee (or the beverage of your choice!).

Sign up today! treatings.co

On-Campus Recruitment (OCR) Survival Guide

By Dario Salvato NYU CAS, 2014

My name is Dario Salvato, and I just finished my internship at Goldman Sachs, where I received and accepted my full time offer in Investment Banking Compliance. Let me start off by saying that if you are using OCR, you are in the right place. All the companies that recruit through our OCR program do it because they specifically want people from our school to work for them. This can greatly work to your benefit if you put in the time and effort to capitalize on the opportunity.

In the remainder of this post I want to give you a bit of advice, first on the OCR process, and then on getting the full time offer once you have your internship.

OCR Process

When I arrived on my first day of work on May 30th after receiving my internship offer through OCR, they told me that “I was one of the only people they interviewed who they knew hands down they were going to extend an offer to for the summer,” and looking back on my OCR experience, I think I know a few of the reasons why, and I want to pass them on to you so that you can focus on those aspects of the process:

-While your resume is extremely important for getting the interview, it won’t get you further than that: Your resume is no doubt the single most important thing for getting you the initial interview you want, so you really need to perfect it, but you also need to realize that once you have the interview, your resume will not help you get the internship–how well you interview will get you the internship. So realize that once you get the interview opportunity, the work isn’t over, it has just begun; now you just know what company/position you need to focus on preparing for.

-Prepare, prepare, prepare: I cannot emphasize enough the importance of preparation. Learn everything you can about the company and about the position–why is this company different from the others in their industry, and what is unique to this position within this company. If you are honest with yourself, you probably aren’t inherently very interested in the actual work of the position, so become interested, by learning about it. In your interviews, you probably won’t have to use 95% of the information you learn about the company and the position, but just knowing it makes you visibly more comfortable, confident, and engaged, which is extremely important for a successful interview.

-Prepare for the inevitable questions: There are a few questions that are inevitable in any OCR interview, and because you know they are coming, they are actually a huge opportunity for you to shine and set yourself apart from the other candidates. You should know what these three crucial questions are:

Tell me about yourself/walk me through your resume

Why do you want to work at [Company Name]?

Why do you want to work in [Position Name]?

Prepare for these questions until you know the answers like the back of your hand–rehearse them in the mirror, record yourself on video, etc.. whatever works for you.

-Prepare for that first question “tell me about yourself”: This is by far the most common interview question, and it is also most likely the first one they will ask you. That means you know it’s coming and you know that the answer you give is going to be their first impression of you. Your first impression is incredibly important, and it also sets the tone for the rest of the interview, so prepare your answer to this question.

So there you have it, prepare your way to an internship offer. Other than preparation, just be polite, smile, and sit up straight in your interviewing chair!

Getting the Full Time Offer at the End of Your Summer Internship

I actually received an “unofficial” full time offer almost three weeks before the end of my internship, and like with OCR, I think I know a few reasons why, and want to pass that insight on to you so that you can succeed in your internship as well.

While your internship really is like a ten week interview, what it takes to be successful during your internship is different than what it takes to be successful in the interviews.

There are four things that I found extremely important for receiving a full time offer:

-Hit the ground running: Just like in the interview, first impressions are crucial. And while it is natural to want to ease yourself into your new position–and a lot of interns do–don’t. Be the intern that starts at 100%, doing excellent work from day 1. Making that first impression will put you ahead of the game, and make your life easier when all of the other interns are trying to make their impressions starting week three and four.

-Be like a sponge; absorb everything you can: As an incoming intern they do not expect you to know much about their business, but they do expect you to have a huge learning capacity. Showing your capacity to learn over the course of your ten week internship is crucial if you want a full time offer–they want to see that you know significantly more at the end of the summer than you did at the beginning. So once again, be like a sponge.

-Go above and beyond what is asked of you, and anticipate the future needs of the people you are working for: If you are asked to do A, do A+, and also do B if you know that you will be asked to do that next. Doing just A (the thing you are asked to do) makes for an average intern, doing A+ (the thing you were asked to do, but exceptionally well) makes for a good intern, and doing A+ and B (the thing you were asked to do, but exceptionally well, and the thing you know you will be asked to do next) makes for a truly exceptional intern.

Networking is important, but it should absolutely not be a focus of your internship: A couple of interns I worked with fell into the trap of getting too absorbed with networking, and they ultimately did not receive a full time offer. Yes, it is important to meet the people at your firm, talk to them, and make good impressions, but the fact of the matter is that meeting people will not get you a full time offer–the exceptional quality of your work will get you the full time offer. Would you hire someone “because they are good at networking”? No. You would hire someone because they are good at their work. So remember, your number one priority is doing you work, and doing it exceptionally well. Networking is useful, but its importance is minimal when compared to the quality of work you produce, and in my opinion it should fall lower on your priority list than these next points as well.

Be personable and be likeable: You want the people you work for to like the work you produce, but you also want them to like you as a person. One of the things that are important in hiring someone is whether or not people will actually enjoy working with you. Do you have a positive attitude? Are you polite and kind to people?

While these things alone will not get you a full time offer, they are a great supplement to producing excellent work.

Lastly, be humble: Let people brag about your work for you. Positive talk about your work sounds better coming from other people than it does coming from you. Doing excellent work and being humble about it is not easy, but it is another thing that will set you apart from the majority.

That’s all I have for you. And I would say best of luck with OCR, but after reading this post, you probably know that I think luck has little to do with it!

Recovering from an Embarrassing Moment

By Michelle Tillis Lederman, author of The 11 Laws of Likability

It was the first class of the semester teaching the part-time MBA Business Communications class at NYU.  I had a room full of business professionals and I decided to climb up on top of a table to make a point.  I had everyone’s attention, I was setting the tone for the class – it was a moment.  And then it was an entirely different kind of moment.

Getting up onto the table was no problem, but coming down was a different story.  I had been nursing a knee injury and was careful about just how much weight I was putting on that leg.  So, as I’m trying my hardest to step down as gingerly as possible, BOOM – the table flips up behind me sending all my papers flying into the air while I struggled to stay vertical. I didn’t fall on my face, but as the students so eloquently put it, “I surfed off the table.”

This is kind of an embarrassing moment, don’t you think?  The kind of moment that shows up in work-related nightmares or even keeps some people from speaking in front of groups all together.  So, what does a professor of public speaking do?  I steadied the table upright while a gallant male student leaped to help.  I picked up a few of the papers and turned to the class with a big grin on my face and said, “Wasn’t that awesome?”  We all shared a quick laugh, but they were still tentative.

I continued, “This is one of the best moments in a classroom for me.”  Now they were entirely confused.  I went on to explain that there’s no better way to teach a lesson on how to handle things when they don’t go as planned than by example. Now they were starting to get it.  I then polled the class and asked if they were embarrassed for me.  The resounding answer was, “No, we weren’t.”

“That‘s exactly the point,” I said. “If I am not embarrassed for me, then you are not going to be embarrassed for me either.”  As the speaker, you set the tone and participants follow your lead. It’s inevitable that at numerous points in all of our lives, we will fall upon some rather embarrassing moments.  Whether we forget what we are talking about mid-sentence, trip in front someone we want to make a good impression on or bump into a wall, these situations are unavoidable.

It’s not about being perfect all the time. After all, there really is no such thing as perfect. It’s really about how we recover when we do something that’s not perfect.  The fact that I was comfortable with what happened made everyone else comfortable, too.  And, ultimately, this kept all of us focused on the class.

Think about it, when was the last time you did something embarrassing and then let that one moment dominate an entire situation?  How could you have handled that situation differently?  What could you have done to stay in control of your ‘recovery?’ Share your story with me on on Facebook or on Twitter.

Guest post by Michelle Tillis Lederman, author of The 11 Laws of Likability. Michelle Tillis Lederman is the author of The 11 Laws of Likability and founder of Executive Essentials, a training company that provides communications, leadership, and team-building programs, as well as executive coaching services. Also an Adjunct Professor at NYU, Michelle believes real relationships lead to real results and specializes in teaching people how to communicate to connect. She has appeared on CBS, Gayle King, NPR, and Martha Stewart Living and her work has been featured on New York Times, Working Mother, MSNBC, Monster.com, USA Today, AOL, Forbes, CNBC, and About.com. Connect with Michelle on Facebook or on Twitter.