Preparation for the Interview
Prior to an interview, you should research the company and the position for which you’re interviewing. Following which, you should create a list a list of questions for the employer. Thorough preparation demonstrates interest, excitement, and intellect. This initiative shows that you came prepared with well constructed questions.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing
- Arrive early.
- Make sure the position and responsibilities are clearly communicated.
- Highlight your strengths and accomplishments as they pertain to positions.
- Dress professionally. FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE LASTING IMPRESSIONS!
- Be conscientious of your body language; sit up straight, smile, make eye contact.
- Listen. Do not interrupt, however, do ask and answer questions at appropriate times.
- Turn your cell phone OFF.
- Bring several copies of your resume and professional references.
- Chew gum, smoke, or wear heavy perfume or cologne.
- Talk in a derogatory manner about present or past employers.
- Make yourself at home, be professional.
- Answer questions that you are not sure of the meaning, ask the employer to be more specific or repeat themselves. Think before you speak.
- Use slang-speak in proper English.
- Discuss compensation and benefit packages during first interview.
- What motivated the company to fill this position?
- What do you see for the future of this position?
- What opportunities for growth are there for myself and for the company as a whole?
- What is the company seeking in the person they will be hiring, aside from the necessary technical skills, and what type of person is successful in this department?
While the questions that will be asked during the interview process are not always going to be the same, below we have listed a few commonly asked questions for your review. Your task is to answer them in a way that convinces the potential employer that you are the right person for the job.
- Tell me a little bit about yourself. When answering this question, keep it professional and relevant to the position interviewing for.
- Why are you interested in working for our organization? How do you think you will fit into this operation? State the positive things that you have learned about the company and how they fit with your career goals. This shows the employer that you cared enough about the interview to prepare for it.
- How would your co workers describe you?
This is another way of asking “How do you think you will fit in?” You can prepare for this question before the interview by asking friends and/or people you have worked with how they would describe you.
- What are your strengths? Or, if you were hired, what ideas/talents could you contribute to the position or our company?
These questions give you an opportunity to sell yourself as the best candidate for the job. Be sure to show how your strengths could be used on the job and could benefit the company.
- What have been your most significant career accomplishments to date? Give examples of ways in which you saved the company time or money or developed an office procedure that improved efficiency.
- Give an example of how you solved a problem in the past.
It is important to be able to show the process that you go through when presented with a problem. State the problem and describe the steps that you followed to reach the solution.
- Describe a situation in which your work was criticized. Focus on how you solved the situation, and let the interviewer know how you overcame it and became a better person because of it
- Describe your best/worst boss.
Be careful not to present a negative picture of any past employers. If given a choice, always talk about your best boss. If pressed to describe the worst boss, pick a work-related characteristic that can be stated in a positive way. For example, “I had a supervisor who was vague when issuing assignments. I learned to ask questions so that I knew what was expected.”
- In a job, what interests you the most/least?
Use this question to demonstrate how well you would fit the job being discussed. When discussing what you are least interested in, try to demonstrate a positive attitude
- What have you done to develop or change in the last few years?
Use this question to show that you are willing to be challenged and to improve. Employers are looking for people who are willing to continue learning. Talk about formal and informal educational opportunities that you have pursued. Mention books and periodicals you have read that are related to your field of interest.
- Where do you see yourself in three years?
Telling the interviewer, “In your job!” is not a good idea. Instead, indicate that you hope to acquire sufficient skills and knowledge within that time to make a positive contribution to the company.
- Be sure you obtain the interviewers business card.
- Send a thank-you note with-in 24 hours.
- Shake the interviewers hand and say thank you.
- Inquire as to when a decision will be made about this position?
- Inquire about next step in the decision making process?