RI Department of Labor and Training

Eye contact can make or break an interview, advises netWORKri
> Free interviewing workshop offered in Newport on Monday, May 9

May 4, 2011

NEWPORT: A counselor at the netWORKri one-stop career system wants job seekers to look up and pay attention.

That advice comes from netWORKri counselor Gisele Patenaude, who will host a free interviewing workshop for Newport County residents at 8:45 to 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 9 at the Florence Gray Center, One York St., Newport. Pre-registration for the interview workshop is mandatory and may be completed by telephone at (401) 828-6162.

“Body language is very important,” Patenaude advises job seekers. “If you make eye contact, you show that you are interested and paying attention to the interviewer. If you avoid eye contact, you look like you are insecure or hiding something.”

Other interviewing tips the netWORKri counselor offers job seekers are to research their prospective employer and to practice their personal pitch.

“You need to know about the company before you walk into the interview,” Patenaude advises. She suggests not only perusing the company’s web site for important information, but also “googling” the company to discover any issues that it may be facing. Researching the company’s industry sector is also a helpful way to learn the latest news and business trends, she says.
As for a personal pitch, Patenaude tells job seekers to focus on their unique strengths and to hone their delivery through practice. “The interview is the opportunity to tell an employer what you offer, and why you are better than your competition,” she says.

Also as part of any interview preparation, she advises customers to consider their answers to tricky questions, such as “What is your greatest weakness?” According to Patenaude, job seekers should choose their weaknesses wisely, focusing on those that have minimal impact on the job for which they are applying and that can be portrayed as learning experiences. “Any time you can turn a negative into a positive, you are starting to take control of an interview situation,” she explains.

The format of the interviewing workshop is interactive, and material covered includes interview types, common questions and basic etiquette. A companion workshop on résumé writing is scheduled for June 6. While the Newport-based workshops are open to all Rhode Island job seekers, their primary audience is Newport County residents who are unable or do not wish to travel to one of the state’s five full-time netWORKri career centers.

The netWORKri one-stop career system offers employment services to both job seekers and area employers throughout the state. Managed and operated by the RI Department of Labor and Training, netWORKri has offices in Providence, Pawtucket, Wakefield, West Warwick and Woonsocket, and represents a consortium of partners including Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston; the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island; the RI Dept. of Education; the RI Dept. of Human Services; the RI Dept. of Children, Youth and Families; the RI Dept. of Corrections; the Office of Rehabilitation Services; Goodwill Industries; and SER-Jobs for Progress. For more information on netWORKri, visit www.networkri.org. Job seekers may also visit EmployRI, the department's virtual one-stop for job opportunities at www.employri.org.



ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunity to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island’s workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information on the programs and services available to all Rhode Islanders, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov