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Interviewing Tips

The job interview is a crucial step in your job search. How you handle yourself in an interview can make or break your chances of getting the job you want. The interview is an opportunity to display your skills, abilities and enthusiasm – if you know how!

down arrow Invitation to the interview

Know what questions to ask when they call you for the interview. Where will it take place (building, room, etc.)? By whom will you be interviewed? Will you be tested? Are there additional materials that you should take?

down arrowPrepare for the interview

  • Research the organization. Know their products, company size, key people, etc.
  • Organize your thoughts. Practice questions and answers
  • Gather pertinent materials to take (resume, transcript, portfolio, pen, etc.)
  • Reassure yourself. Have confidence
  • Expect to encounter many questions and the opportunity to ask questions
  • Dress professionally
  • Arrive approximately 10 minutes prior to the interview
  • Practice! Practice! Practice!

down arrowPhases of an interview

  • Beginning/Introduction – introduce yourself, offer a handshake, smile, and pay attention to the interviewer’s name
  • Getting started – expect small talk
  • Qualifications discussion – relate your qualifications to the job
  • Information gathering/clarification – gather necessary information to make informed decision upon offer
  • Ending/conclusion – leave them with a positive impression

down arrowGeneral advice for interviewees

  • Be prepared (recruiters will quickly sense if you are not)
  • Be aware of your non-verbal communication (slouching, tapping feet/fingers, looking at watch)
  • Don’t be a know-it-all (the manager will be paying you to do things his way)
  • Be confident, but not pushy or desperate.
  • Remember the interview is a dialogue (more than just “yes” and “no” from you)
  • Be yourself!
  • Always follow up

down arrowQuestions you may encounter

  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • What does success mean to you?
  • Why did you choose this major?
  • What achievements have given you the most satisfaction and why?
  • What did you like most about your major? Least?
  • What did you like most about your last job? Least?
    What was your g.p.a in college? Are you satisfied with it?
  • Are you at your best when working alone or with a group?
  • Do you work well under pressure?
  • What do you do to relieve stress?
  • What did you leave your last job?
  • Have you ever had a personality conflict?
  • Give me an example of a major problem you faced and how you handled it.
  • How can you contribute to this company?

down arrowSome questions you may want to ask the interviewer

  • Is this a new position? How long has this position existed?
  • What would my responsibilities and duties be (if you don’t already know)?
  • Could you describe your training program?
  • What is your company’s turnover rate?
  • What do you consider to be the company's strengths and weaknesses?
  • How would my performance be evaluated and how often?
  • Once I’ve proven myself, will there be opportunities for advancement?
  • What do you like about working for this company?
  • When will you be making your decision?

Behavior Based Interviews

Behavior based interviewing is a technique used by employers in an attempt to predict a potential employee’s future success based on actual past behaviors, instead of based on responses to hypothetical questions. Candidates are asked to provide specific examples rather than rehearsed or general responses.

down arrowExamples of behavior based interview questions

  • Give an example of a time when you had to make a quick decision.
  • Give an example of an important goal you set and explain the progress in reaching that goal.
  • Describe the most creative work-related project you have completed.
  • Give me an example of a problem you faced on the job, and tell me how you solved it.
  • Tell me about a situation in the past year in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker.
  • Give me an example of when you had to show good leadership.
  • Provide an example of a project for which you felt under qualified.
  • Describe a situation in which you have encountered poor judgment.
  • Give an example of a time when you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision.
  • Give me an example of an important goal you had to set and tell me about your progress in reaching that goal.
  • Describe the most creative work-related project you have completed.
  • Give me an example of a problem you faced on the job, and tell me how you solved it.
  • Tell me about a situation in the past year in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker.
  • Give me an example of when you had to show good leadership.

Last Updated: 1/10/12