How to Nail a Job Interview

One of the most important things you can do in college to build your resume and gain new skills is to get a job or internship.  Make sure you are properly prepared for your job interview with these tips:

1. Do your research
Many interviewers ask questions such as, “What do you know about our company?” or “Why do you want to work here?” Make sure you know how to answer these questions.  This may require some internet research or asking around.

2.  Practice, practice, practice!
Just like in anything else in life, practice makes perfect.  You can practice with a friend, family member, or even better, a professional. We recommend meeting with a Career Advisor at Career Services here on campus to get the best feedback. For more information on Career Services interviewing help go to: http://www.unl.edu/careers/interviews

3.  Dress the part
It’s possible to overdress or under-dress for the interview; one is worse, but try to do neither.  Under-dressing is worse because it may come off that you don’t really care about getting the job.  On the other hand, some businesses are very casual, and dressing in a suit may be unnecessary.  Just make sure to research the company or ask someone you know that works there.

4.  Arrive early
It’s common sense show up early, but make sure you are absolutely sure that you have ample time to get to your interview.  Consider that you may run into bad traffic or construction, so leave even earlier than you think you need to.  Most experts suggest checking in with the receptionist 15 minutes early.

5. Make eye contact
From the time you first shake hands and throughout the entire interview, make sure you continually make solid eye contact.  If you are being interviewed by multiple people, make sure to make eye contact with all of them throughout the interview as well.

6. Prepare for the “tough” question
You may or may not be asked the infamous “What’s your greatest weakness?” question. When you answer, don’t actually pick your greatest weakness, instead opt for one that is either irrelevant to the job or one that is easily recoverable.  After you state your weakness, follow up with how you plan to overcome it.

7. Know your strengths
A job interview is one of the few occasions where it’s ok to talk yourself up! We recommend writing down your top five biggest strengths in order as you never know how many the interviewer will ask for.  It’s important to communicate how you are a great candidate for the job based on what the company has said they need through the job description for the position. Remember: be confident, not arrogant.

8. Have questions ready
You’re almost guaranteed to be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer, and the worst thing you can reply with is “no”!  Ask about job expectations, future opportunities, and the company’s goals.  You are being interviewed to see if you’re a good fit for the company.  Don’t forget to make sure the company is a good fit for you!
For more help with your job/internship search, check out the UNL Career Services website at http://www.unl.edu/careers/gain-experience

 Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant
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5 Money Saving Tips for Wedding Guests

For some, wedding season is the best time of the year. Celebrating with friends and family, eating cake, and dancing the night away are some of the perks of getting invited to weddings. Unfortunately, weddings aren’t only expensive for the bride and groom, but for guests as well. Here are some money saving tips you need to consider.

1) Start saving now
Most engagements last anywhere from six months to two years, so start saving if you know you’re going to be in a wedding. With the wedding gift, bridesmaid dress or tux, bachelor/bachelorette party, and travel expenses, weddings can be quite expensive. It’s important to update your budget to accommodate for these new expenses and start saving ASAP.

2) Learn to say no
Are you being pressured to spend hundreds on a Vegas bachelor party or bridesmaid dress? If this is the case, don’t be afraid to respectfully say no. If you talk one-on-one with the bride/groom and explain your financial situation, she/he should be considerate of your budget and try to find a reasonable solution that works for both of you.

3) Split the gift
If you’re tight on cash, there’s nothing wrong with splitting the cost of your wedding gift with someone else. For example, instead of dropping $50 on a gift by yourself, ask a friend or two to split the cost with you. It’s a win-win; the bride and groom receive a nice gift while you save money.

4) Be travel savvy
Most couples get a block of rooms at a hotel or two which offers rooms to wedding guests at a discounted price, but that doesn’t mean it’s the cheapest hotel in the area. Do your research before booking, and pay attention to shuttle options as well. Try to find some friends that you can share a room with or carpool with.

5) Don’t buy a new outfit
This may seem obvious, but unfortunately many of us ladies fall into the trap that we have to have a different outfit for every single wedding. If it’s truly a concern, consider swapping dresses with your friends, especially if they aren’t invited to the same weddings as you.

Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant

5 Money Tips for Studying Abroad

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting parts of your college career.  Although traveling to another country can come with quite the price tag, for most students it is completely worth it.  Here are five tips to help you get the most out of your study abroad experience without spending all of your money.

1.  Make (and stick to!) a budget
This may seem obvious, but unless you actually take the time to plan and write down a budget, it’s likely that you’ll end up spending much more than you intend. Do some research as to how much food, transportation, and other living expenses cost in the country you’re visiting, and then budget according to how much you can afford.
We highly recommend downloading the budgeting app Mint or using their website Mint.com, which combines all of your bank accounts and credit cards in one place to easily track spending.

2.  Contact your bank before leaving
If you plan on using your debit or credit card in another country, it is an absolute must that you contact your bank or credit card company and let them know where you’re going and how long you’ll be there.  It is very likely that your bank or credit card company will freeze your card if they see it’s being used in a foreign country without any notice from you, so avoid this hassle by letting them know ahead of time when you’ll be out of the country.

3.  Ask for student discounts
Many museums, restaurants, stores, and transportation services offer student discounts just like they do back at home!  Make sure to carry your student ID with you to take advantage of these special offers.

4.  Utilize public transportation
Subway systems and buses are much cheaper than taxis, although you’ll want to keep a close eye on your belongings and avoid traveling alone, especially at night. You also may want to consider renting a bicycle for a cheap and fun way to explore the streets of a new city.

5.  Find free entertainment
Fortunately, there are a ton of options for activities that don’t involve spending any money.  A few ideas include visiting monuments, museums, hiking trails, and flea and/or farmers markets.  Also, going out to bars and nightclubs is common for students abroad, but this tends to be very expensive and leads to overspending.  Try convincing your friends to “stay in” several nights a week, and you can have just as much fun playing games and bonding in a smaller setting.

Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant