Monday, October 28, 2013

Bring Your Best to the Table - How to Succeed at a Dinner Interview

By Deanna Baker, Career Services Center Intern

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, professionalism is defined “the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.” As a student at Ashland University I have behaved in a professional manner throughout my interviews for internships. It is the foundation on which we acquire and maintain our future employment status. However, my recent interviewing experience allowed me to view professionalism in a different setting… at the dinner table.

Normally, preparing for and interacting in interviews come naturally to me. I enjoy talking with people and building a connection. Upon hearing back from the company I was most interested in, I was ecstatic! They asked to meet with me again, except this time it was not going to be a one-on-one interview, they wanted me to attend a second interview session at a restaurant. I had never gone on a dining interview session before, and frankly, I was quite nervous. Thus started my anxious inquiries: How should I act? What do I order? Do I dress business casual or professional? Fortunately, recalling the informational etiquette dinner workshop I attended last year, as well as obtaining some valuable advice from my supervisors at Career Services, allowed me to better prepare and feel more poised during my meeting. 

First and foremost, let the best of your personally shine! Dinner and lunch interviews are all about getting to know you as a person. Typically employers have already witnessed your professional side, but more importantly, they want to know how you maintain a tactful composure in a relaxed atmosphere with co-workers. It is important to be as respectful as possible, but if you are a huge Cleveland sports fanatic, and so is the person you are conversing with, let the conversation flow! Employers want to come in to work every day knowing that they get along with most of the people they work with. Knowing you can converse easily with them shows you would be a great fit for their office. Just keep in mind that these may be your future bosses and co-workers, so keep it classy and tasteful.

While some interviews come across as informal remember that you are still merely a candidate, not an official employee. Like any other formal meeting come prepared! This means bring extra copies of your resume and any references, further research the company beforehand (in case a product or service they offer comes up in conversation you can chime in with what you know), and dress just as if you were going to the first interview. It’s better to be overly prepared than not.

Go in with the impression that you are not there to eat the food, no matter how nice of a restaurant it is. If it helps, eat something beforehand or directly after. You are there to converse, not lick the plate clean. Deciding on what to order should be important. If you are not familiar with the restaurant you will be attending, look up their location and menu ahead of time. This way you don’t waste time finding the place or contemplating on what to eat. Order something that is easy to eat and won’t make you look like a toddler trying to eat Spaghetti-O’s. I recommend something that involves minimal cutting, nothing that involves eating with your hands and nothing that is overly saucy. Pasta with smaller noodles such as rigatoni, macaroni, and penne are perfect. Foods that can be easily placed on a fork and you can chew subtly are also highly appropriate.

Finally, always execute proper table manners. This is fairly practical, but placing your napkin in your lap, chewing with your mouth closed, and never reaching over someone for the salt and pepper should be kept in mind. For further information about table-side etiquette I highly recommend attending Ashland University’s Etiquette Dinner on November 12th. Space is limited so register for the event by Tues., Nov. 5th. It truly is a fun experience and all the information that will be given is extremely useful. I would like to think this advice helped me obtain the internship of my dreams.

I hope this info is helpful and I wish everyone the best on their interviews! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Invitation to University of Akron Speech Language Pathology & Audiology Open House

Representatives from the University of Akron's College of Health Professions, who attended our Career, Internship, and Graduate School fair, were pleasantly surprised how many Ashland University students were interested in their Speech Language Pathology and Audiology programs and extended an invitation to Ashland University students to attend their upcoming open house:

On behalf of our School of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, I would like to invite your students to attend the school’s Graduate Fall Open House taking place on Saturday, November 2 from 11am to 1pm. Attached is an event flyer and driving directions that you can post and/or circulate in your career center, advising offices and related academic departments.  

Registration and questions may be directed to Robin Angell, SLPA Instructor, at or 330-972-7965.  For more information about the SLP and Au.D programs, feel free to visit our college’s website at
If you are interested in attending, please download the flyer and directions to the event below.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Katy Higaki - September Intern of the Month

The Career Services Center would like to congratulate senior Katy Higaki as September’s Intern of the Month! Katy is a Digital Media Production major and completed her internship with the Cleveland Clinic Main Campus. Katy says, “For other students who are looking for a worthwhile internship, I would suggest to utilize your resources and networking to find something that you could potentially see yourself doing for the rest of your life.” Along with many other activities on campus, Katy is involved in the Honors Program, Greek Life, The Collegian, Newman Ministries, and AUGIVS. Congratulations, Katy!

Friday, October 4, 2013

How Can I Benefit from Attending the AU Career Fair?

by Deanna Baker, Intern at the Career Services Center

Ashland University will be hosting its Fall Career, Internship, and Graduate School Fair on Tuesday, October 8th. However, working with the Career Services Center, we have been receiving a number of inquiries as to why it is important to attend, especially if a student isn't seeking a job right then. Whether you are an underclassman, or an experienced professional, here are some following reasons as to how attending recruiting events will benefit you:
  1. Get your name out there! – Talking with a number of recruiters never hurts to expand your network. You never know when you will be looking for a second internship experience or a full time position. Introducing yourself professionally can help you make a strong first impression.
  2. Practice makes perfect – Even if the company that is your first choice is not attending the career event, come anyways! It can give you more experience when you actually do talk to your desired company. Talking with businesses that you have never heard of will expand your knowledge of what they have to offer and provide you with more opportunities. Additionally, it will solidify what position is a good fit for you, but you may surprise yourself…
  3. Start to build a relationships through repeat visits – Believe it or not, employers actually do remember who they talk to! If you are really interested in a company, and you have previously interviewed with them, talk with them again. This shows that you are really attracted to their company and you will be a good fit. If this career fair is your first-time experience, recruiters will also remember you at future events. First impressions are extremely important, but continually taking the time to speak with them will show your progression into a professional, and businesses are always pleased to know that you take the time to learn more each time you talk with them.
  4. Make your own opportunities – Even if it may not appear that there are opportunities available in your major or in your desired career field, taking the time to talk to ask employers whether there could be future opportunities available in that career field could open doors. In the video below, Alison Biro talks about how her internship, which she received by talking to companies even though none had advertised opportunities in her field:

I hope these details encourage you to attend the Fall Job/Internship/Grad School Fair. You can read more about how the AU Career Fair would be beneficial for all students, of all majors in a previous blog.

Good luck at the career fair! Pre-registration ends Sunday, so be sure to log onto Career Connect and register. As always, please contact Career Services if you have any questions! We are always happy to help with resumes, cover letters, and even follow-up thank you notes!