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Business English: Preparing for a Job Interview - LSC-Kingwood

The Job Hunt


POFT 1301: Business English 
Final Exam Project


For the final exam project, each student will compile a portfolio in preparation for a job interview.  For his or her portfolio, each student will create:

  • A cover letter to accompany the resume for a job application for a specific job.  The student will use a job ad from a newspaper or the internet.  A copy or typed description of the ad must be submitted with the portfolio. (20 pts.)
  • Student’s resume tailored to the job for which you are applying. (20 pts)
  • A list of 10 questions the student anticipates will be asked during the interview and his or her prepared answers. (20 pts.)
  • A follow-up letter thanking the interviewer for the interview.  (20 pts.)
  • A minimum one-page report on business etiquette including manners and dress.  (20 pts.)

All work must be completed with attention to properly structured and grammatically correct sentences.  Utilize correct punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and appropriately used vocabulary throughout the project.


Librarian talk . . . About Getting Started!

As you begin searching for resources, consider keywords that will help you find the information you need. Use the following keywords and subject headings to locate information in the library catalog, in electronic databases, and on the internet.

resumes |  job hunting  | employment  |  interviews 
vocational guidance (can combine with specific career areas)
cover letters | business etiquette

More about Choosing Keywords (30 sec.)


Watch these educational videos from the Films on Demand database to get background information on the interview process and useful tips for successful job interview strategies:

The Job InterviewWhat mistakes do ex-offenders commonly make during a job interview? This program is designed to help prepare job candidates to make the most of their meetings with prospective employers. Topics in this thorough job-hunting tool include dressing for success, using body language to convey positive messages, clearly articulating pertinent skills and abilities, coping with difficult questions, and negotiating salary and benefits. A Cambridge Educational Production. (22 minutes)
Finding a Job:  This program discusses the many ways a person can find job openings through a wide variety of job search methods—online job boards, want ads, state and private employment services, networking, informational interviews, the Yellow Pages, and more. A Cambridge Educational Production. (13 minutes)


Librarian Talk . . .About Books!

You will need a Lone Star College Student ID/Library card in order to check out books.  Use the 14-digit barcode number from the back of your Student ID/library card to:
1) Place a Hold on a book and have it sent to the library closest to you
2) Access Research Databases from home
3) Access E-Books from eBook Collection.

  • The library catalog is online.
  • Online or Electronic E-Books are available in the eBook Collection.  Use the barcode number from your Lone Star College ID/library card to log in from off-campus.
More about...Finding Books (31 sec.)

Check out these titles in the LSC-Kingwood Library to find background information, tips on preparing for interviews and specific examples of resumes and cover letters. Search the library catalog - you will find other titles that target a particular industry or company:

Circulating Books to check out from LSC-Kingwood Library:

HF5382.7 .B64 What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles
Workbook and resource guide providing practical tips for job-hunters & career changers.

HF5383 .B69 Amazing Resumes: What employers want to see -- and how to say it - by Jim Bright and Joanne Earl
Resource for writing cover letters and resumes, as well as tips for "selling yourself".

HF5383 .Y378 Knock 'em Dead Cover Letters: Great Letter Techniques and Samples for Every Step of your Research - by Martin Yate
An in-depth look at that other vital component of the job search: the cover letter. Each of these cover letters was used successfully to obtain a job. 

HF5549.5.I6 Y37 Knock 'em Dead 2011: the ultimate job search guide - by Martin Yate
Praised by the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today as one of the best career books on the market. This book gives readers useful interviewing strategies.

HF5389 .C468 The Essential Guide to Business Etiquette - by Lillian Chaney & Jeanette St. Clair Martin
A practical guide for business etiquette for almost every situation.

HF5549.5.I6 F368 Next-day job interview: prepare tonight and get the job tomorrow - by Michael Farr & Dick Gaither
Provides quick tips to help you prepare for an interview, research the employer, make a lasting impression, and follow up.

HF5549.5.I6 L36 Ditch the flip-flops: ace your job interview fresh out of college - by Sylvia Landy
Interviewing strategies from HR heads for acing your job interview.

HF5718.H 298 10 Make-or-Break Career Moments - by Casey Hawley
Identifies the 10 most-critical moments in a person's career and provides communication strategies for navigating them with clarity and conviction.

E-Books from eBook Collection (Use the 14-digit barcode number from your Student ID/library card to login from off-campus):

America's Top Resumes for America's Top Jobs - by J. Michael Farr
Useful help on writing and (more importantly) using your resume.

Cover Letter Magic: trade secrets of professional resume writers - by Wendy Enelow & Louise Kursmark
Creating and distributing your cover letters -- Cover letter formats and types for every situation.

Top 100 Careers for College Graduates: Your Complete Guidebook to Major Jobs in Many Fields - by J. Michael Farr [Hint: look for other titles by this author in the NetLibrary database!]
Explore all your options with help from this guide.

Job Search Handbook for People with Disabilities - by Daniel J. Ryan
A complete career planning and job search guide to help identify your strengths and abilities; to write powerful resumes, cover letters, and follow-up correspondence.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Etiquette - by Mary Mitchell
Step-by-step guidelines on business communication-from introductions and phone etiquette to e-mail and pagers. Failsafe tips for interviews, presentations, dining and entertaining, playing on an office sports team-and every other situation related to the complex new workplace.

Reference Books to Use in LSC-Kingwood Library:

REF HF5381.A1036 Occupational Outlook Handbook - Published by the U.S. Dept. of Labor every two years, this reference source gives a thumbnail sketch of approximately 250 occupations, including a description of what the employee does on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects. Also available online.

REF HF5381.E52 Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational guidance (vol. 1-5) - This work includes accessible, accurate information about almost 1000 occupations.

REF HF5382.5.U5 D8 The Career Guide: Dun & Bradstreet's Opportunities Directory - A professional employment guide providing current coverage on employers and career opportunities.

REF HG4057.A33 Hoover's Handbook of Emerging Companies -  Published by Hoover's Business Press, this popular publication profiles America's most exciting growth enterprises.

NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, & JOURNALS Newspapers, magazines, and business journals can be the best source for finding current job ads.  The library has print copies of many current newspapers and magazines, or you can access publications through the online databases.  Below are useful links:Wall Street Journal
  • Houston Business Journal - A weekly newspaper also available in print format in the library, where you'll find the latest breaking business news and the week's top stories from in and around the Houston area. Archives on the internet include from 1996 to date.

  • Financial Times  - Read in the library and search using the InfoTrac Newsstand database from 1999 to date. The Financial Times is published in London and is distributed to over 25 cities around the globe.  It covers business, financial, and economic news worldwide. Selected current content available on the internet.

  • The Wall Street Journal - Available in print format and in the Proquest Newspapers database from 1984 to date, the WSJ is the flagship newspaper of Dow Jones & Co. WSJ ranks as the #1 daily paper in the U.S., with a circulation of more than 2 million.  The paper devotes itself to covering global business news as well as in-depth news stories and features.  Selected current content available on the internet.

  • The New York Times - Available from the Proquest Newspapers database beginning in June 1980, The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded, and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, and its website is the most popular American online newspaper website, receiving more than 30 million visits per month .



Librarian Talk . . . About Finding Electronic Database Articles!

Electronic databases are purchased by the libraries for your research use. To find articles in newspapers and journals, letters, reference books, illustrations, photographs and more, use the following databases. All are excellent sources for this topic. 

HINT: Explore the full list of business research databases and use the barcode number from your Lone Star College Student ID/library card to login from off-campus.
More about searching databases (25 sec.)
  • Plunkett Research Online - Industry statistics, trends, reports, and in-depth analysis of top companies. 

  • Business Source Complete- Business journal articles, market research reports and SWOT analyses. Updated daily. 

  • Westlaw Campus Research - Campus Research is an online research service that provides a comprehensive collection of news, business, and law related information for students, and includes a link to Hoover's Company Records.


Librarian Talk . . . About the Internet!

The Internet can be a wonderful source of original documents. Browse the sites we have suggested below. Remember, you need to find reputable sites. Look at:

  1. Accuracy - The information should be researched and should show proof that it has been.
  2. Currency - The information should be current and should show proof of the date it was updated.
  3. Source - Who wrote the information? Look at the domain.  (.edu .gov. org .net are valid research sources.)
  4. Authority - What are the author's credentials?  (Don't quote from another college freshman's paper.)
  5. Coverage - Does the page have the information you need for your research?
  6. Objectivity - If a work is biased, use it - just make sure your professor knows YOU know. And offer both sides of issues, where applicable.
 More about finding internet sources (25 sec.)

Recommended web sites

UT at Austin's ECAC (Engineering Career Assistance Center)
Provides useful information and examples of cover letters, resumes, interview techniques, dress codes, follow-ups, correspondence and more.

Occupational Outlook Handbook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website provides guidelines and links for anyone entering the job market, changing jobs, or needing information on occupations of interest.

A website designed by the Employee Development Department for the State of California to help prepare for and find a new job; includes guidelines for filling out an application, writing a resume, and conducting a successful interview.

A U.S. Department of Labor-sponsored Web site that offers career resources and workforce information to job seekers, students, businesses, and workforce professionals.

Emerging and Evolving Occupations in Texas - Texas Workforce Commission site with links to lists of occupations not defined by standard occupational sources, as well as to state-specific information for job seekers, parents, students and more.

A "Top" or "Best" site for job hunting and careers according to US News & World Report, Forbes, and PC Magazine. Includes Help and Links to over 10,000 Employers & Job Search Resources.


Librarian Talk about getting help!

Support for a successful paper is more than finding the right resources. Putting it all together takes time and effort. Sometimes it takes additional help from the librarians or tutors. Please consider the following resources if you need additional help. Remember, the expert on the assignment is your professor; use your My Lonestar in-class email to contact them.

 More about getting help (25 sec.)

Citing Sources Using MLA Style | Lone Star College-Kingwood Library guide. Examples of both paper and electronic citations.

Avoiding Plagiarism  |   Excellent information and guide on how to avoid plagiarism from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University.

The Learning Center   |   Check the TLC hours for in-house tutoring.

Page created by Julie Nelson Clark & Jimmi Fischer Rushing, June 2010; updated 4/2012 sh/jfr