Top 10 tips for a successful job interview

December 10, 2010

English course teaches how to succeed in business communication

Though mornings come awfully early on class days, the 20 students in Lisa Ricker’s 8:35 a.m. ENG 302 course will soon have an advantage over other job seekers. When these Arizona State University students graduate and begin job hunting in earnest, they’ll be equipped with insider knowledge on how best to present themselves in the work world. Download Full Image

An ASU Department of English Writing Programs course developed in partnership with the W. P. Carey School of Business, ENG 302 teaches students how to succeed at business communication, including topics such as interviews, reports and business proposals.

And, skills in this area are not just desired, but necessary for professional success. According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers rank the ability to communicate effectively first in the list of skills they seek in potential employees.

Ricker, who has an English doctoral degree in rhetoric, composition and linguistics, brings to the classroom knowledge gained from seven years working in human resources for a Phoenix nonprofit agency. In addition to learning about interview correspondence, Ricker’s students learn to polish their interviewing techniques. “In my job as a recruiter, I met with people who were ‘dead on arrival,’ completely unprepared for their interviews,” she said.

To help her students avoid a similar fate, Ricker offers these top 10 tips for a successful job interview:

1. Learn as much as possible about the company. Research its history, mission statement and future plans.

2. Clean up or restrict access to social networking accounts, especially if they have content that could make the applicant seem unprofessional. Use a professional-sounding email address when corresponding with the company.

3. Prepare responses to questions you’re likely be asked. For example, where would you like to be in five years? What strengths could you bring to this position?

4. Prepare questions to ask interviewers. In addition to getting more information about a position, this is a good way to demonstrate your knowledge and show your interest.

5. Be prepared for questions about salary requirements by doing some research on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website (; however, always wait for the interviewer to bring up the subject of money or it may seem like money is your primary concern.

6. Be prepared with any documentation you may be asked to provide. For example, copies of your resume or certification licenses. Have a pen and pad of paper to jot down notes during the interview.

7. Double-check the location of the interview and plan your route to arrive at least a few minutes early.

8. Be polite to everyone you encounter during the interview process. Interviewers often ask employees for their impressions of prospective candidates.

9. During the interview, don’t make it seem like the job is a placeholder until something better comes along.

10. Always send a thank you email or business letter to your interviewer(s) within two days of the interview. Interviewers see many candidates. Expressing your appreciation for their time and willingness to grant you an interview will make you stand out from some competitors who will not bother to send a thank you message.

Written by Sarah Fedirka (sarah.fedirka">">

Carol Hughes,">">
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

ASU scorches Gardner-Webb

December 13, 2010

Box"> Score |  Quotes ">">Quot...|  Notes">">Note...

Arizona State coasted to a 71-48 victory over the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (6-7, 1-1) Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils had three players in double figures. Ty">">Ty Abbott led all scorers with 18 points. Trent">">T... Lockett added 16 points and 7 rebounds. Freshman Kyle">">Kyle Cain grabbed 11 rebounds while adding 8 points. Download Full Image

Sloppy starts by both teams over the first few minutes of the game kept the score close but ASU was able to find some offensive rhythm and go into double digits. The Sun Devils kept a solid lead throughout the remainder of the game.

Arizona State was able to establish some offensive productivity early and maintain it. The Sun Devils shot 45 percent (25-of-56) from the field, as well as 46 percent (11-of-24) from three. Rihards">"... Kuksiks was 50 percent (4-of-8) from behind the arc as he put up 15 points. Kuksiks is 16-of-31 (.516) from beyond the arc over the last five games.

ASU's defense was too much for the Bulldogs forcing them to shoot only 30 percent (17-56) from the field and 30 percent (7-23) from behind the arc. The Bulldogs 48 points was the lowest point total put up against the Sun Devils this season as well as the biggest point differential yet this season at 23 points.

Ty">">Ty Abbott commented on the defense, "I think it was a big thing to hold them to 48. We'd been struggling defensively and we had a good hard defensive week, so it's good to see that translate to the court."

Consecutive three pointers by Abbott sealed the deal for the Sun Devils mid way through the second half. The Sun Devils (4-4) went on to claim their fourth win of the season." alt="" width="5" height="1border=0" />
Arizona State travels to Nevada next to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack Saturday, December 17 at 6 p.m. PT on ESPNU.

The"> Sun Devils are now 13-3 (.813) in the past four years when Coach Sendek and his staff have at least five full days in between games, with seven of the wins coming against teams that would make the NCAA Tournament in that same season. Included in the tilts last year were wins over MWC Tournament champion San Diego State (on a five-game win streak at the time last December), Pac-10 Tournament champion and then No. 24 Washington and a road win at Arizona. In 2008-09 the five-day layoff wins included ASU's first NCAA Tournament win since 2003 (over Temple), a win over Arizona who entered the game on a seven-game win streak and a neutral site win over a 10-0 BYU team. In 2007-08, the wins included ASU's first win in Tucson in 12 seasons, an overtime win at California in which ASU was playing as a ranked team for the first time in 13 seasons and a 22-point win over #17 Xavier in December of 2007 that is the school's largest victory margin over a ranked opponent in ASU history.

2007-2008 (4-0)
ASU 77, #17 Xavier (NCAA) 55 (Dec. 15, 2007)
ASU 95, Saint Francis (Pa.) 56 (Dec. 20, 2007)
#22 ASU 99, @California (NIT) 90, 2 OT (Jan. 17, 2008)
ASU 59, @Arizona (NCAA) 54 (Feb. 10, 2008)

2008-2009 (5-1)
#20 ASU 59, IUPUI 58, OT (Dec. 14, 2008)
#20 ASU 76, BYU (NCAA) 75 (Dec. 20, 2008 @Glendale)
#17 ASU 84, Central Connecticut State 47 (Dec. 20, 2008)
Washington State (NIT) 65, #14 ASU 55 (Jan. 28, 2009)
#14 ASU 79, Arizona (NCAA) 68 (Feb. 22, 2009)
#19 ASU 66, Temple (NCAA) 57 (Mar. 20, 2009 @NCAA)

2009-2010 (3-2)
ASU 55, San Diego State (NCAA) 52 (Dec. 19, 2009)
@UCLA 72, ASU 70 (Dec. 31, 2009)
ASU 68, #24 Washington (NCAA) 51 (Jan. 8, 2010)
Arizona 77, ASU 58 (Jan. 23, 2010)
ASU 73, @Arizona 69 (Feb. 21, 2010)

2010-2011 (1-0)
ASU 71, Gardner-Webb 48 (Dec. 11, 2010)