Interviewing Tips


Introducing Yourself

The job interview is your chance to impress the interviewer with your skills and confidence. Introduce yourself with a smile and firm handshake. Maintain good eye contact during the conversation. Demonstrate to the employer what you can do for them, based on your research of the employer and the job description. Offer them a two-minute digest of what you can offer them today.

  • Show interest in what the interviewer is saying by nodding your head and being engaged.
  • Give positive answers to negative-based questions.
  • Ask the employer prepared questions.
  • Ask for the employer's business card for future contact.
  • Immediately after the interview make notes of the important points of discussion.
  • Within 24-hours, follow up with an email or hand-written note thanking the employer for his or her time.

Before the Interview

Before your interview find out everything you can about the company. Re-read your application, thinking through your own career and the questions they might ask you. Anticipate the general questions they will ask and also prepare some questions to ask them.

To do well you will need to convince the interviewer you are technically qualified to do the job. You will also need to show that you are motivated to get the job done well and that you will fit in with the company's organizational structure and the team in which you will work.

Many employers will use your resume as a guide to their line of questions. Review your resume prior to the interview and be able to develop answers to questions that relate to your employment and educational experience. Be prepared to discuss any gaps in your employment. You must be able to demonstrate the skills you stated on your resume. Focus your answers on the skills and experience that will be most useful to the position you are interviewing for.

Researching the company you are interviewing with and the position you are pursuing demonstrates genuine interest and initiative. It will be obvious to the interviewer whether you did your research or not. Many interviewers will focus questions on finding out how much preparation you did for the interview.

  • Review the job duties included in the job description.
  • Research the department.
  • Bring extra copies of your resume.
  • Bring a pen and paper to write down any information you might need to remember.
  • Prepare a few questions to ask the interviewer.
  • Prepare answers to any questions you think you might be asked

At the Interview

  • The "Tell me about yourself" Question

Most interviewers will ask a question such as "Tell me about yourself." This simple question allows the job seeker to share with the interviewer the most important thing they want to know – "Why they should hire you."

Personal and Education Questions

During this discussion, the interviewer may ask you for relevant information concerning your educational background, but will not include personal information such as marital status, children, etc. You may be asked for information about your hometown and/or personal goals. Focus this discussion on the latest education obtained and/or major field relevant to the job objective.

  • Early Career & Life Experiences Question

This discussion should be about your past work and life experiences that are relevant to the job objective.

  • Recent Work History & Life Experiences Question

This is the time for you to relate to the employer your accomplishments and why you are the best candidate for the position.

Before the Interview

  • Arrive early if possible.
  • Try to relax and be yourself.
  • Show self-confidence: Make eye contact; answer questions in a clear voice.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Think before answering questions. Try to make your answers as clear as possible.
  • Avoid negative body language – crossing your arms, swinging your foot or leg, slouching, covering your mouth while speaking.
  • When given a chance, ask any questions that you have prepared in advance. You can also follow up on anything that the interviewer tells you during the interview.
After the Interview
  • End the interview with a handshake and thank the interviewer for his or her time.
  • Find out when the employer plans to make a hiring decision.
  • Follow up with a short "thank you for the interview" note.
Common Interview Questions
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Tell me what interested you in this job.
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What are some of your strengths?
  • What are some of your weaknesses?
  • Describe your work-style. Do you prefer to work by yourself or with others?
  • What are your career plans? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What supervisory experience have you had?
  • Tell me about your favorite supervisor.
  • Why should I hire you?
Questions for an Applicant to ask in the Interview
  • What level of responsibility can I expect in this position?
  • Why is this job available?
  • What training programs do you have for new employees?
  • Is there a typical career path for a person in this position?
  • How are employees evaluated?
  • Do you like working here?
  • Tell me about a typical day in this department.

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