Prepare and Practice
- Prepare responses to frequently asked interview questions.
- Look up the company on the web to familiarize yourself with the service they perform or product they manufacture.
- Take some time to think about what you are looking for in a job. What values are important to you? What’s your salary expectation? (When a salary range has been given to you by us, do not try to negotiate a better salary for yourself during the interview. That’s a sure way not to get the job.) What are your short term and long term goals?
Pay Attention to Details
- A black or navy suit, white or cream blouse, excellent grooming, simple, tasteful jewelry, black shoes and bag. Even if it’s a very casual environment, dress for the interview. It shows respect.
- For the men, suit and tie, polished shoes, excellent personal grooming, easy on the cologne.
- Always bring a hard copy of your resume along with a list of references or letters of reference in case the interviewer asks for them.
- Concentrate on what the interviewer is saying and, if you don’t understand a question, say so.
- Never, NEVER, bad-mouth a former employer. That’s a sure way not to get the job.
- Try not to mention little ailments ie: PMS, migraine headaches, allergies, etc. You don’t want to mention anything that might turn off the potential employer.
Factors interviewers attempt to uncover:
- Personal impression – are you professional?
- Competence – can you do the job?
- Likeability – will you get along with others?
- Motivation/enthusiasm/commitment – how much do you want this job?
- Leadership – will you take responsibility?
- Communication skills – can you write and speak clearly?
- Poise and maturity – can you handle yourself under pressure?
- Outside interests – do you pursue activities outside work?
- Your relationships – are you a sociable person?
Questions to get ready for
- What do you like about the program you’re studying in school?
- What do you hope to accomplish in the next three to five years?
- Why are you interested in a career in this field?
- What salary do you expect?
Don’t get trapped into this one. Be non-committal. “I’m flexible” is a good answer
or you may state the minimum you will accept.
If you’re working through an agency, chances are you will be told the wage range.
- What can you offer our organization?
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- How would your best friend describe you?
- If you could have changed one thing about your last job what would it have been?
- Why do you think you’d be good for this position?
Questions to ask
- Tell me about your organization’s vision for the future.
- How would you describe the culture of your organization?
- What are the greatest challenges and opportunities facing you organization?
- How often is an employee’s performance evaluated and what criteria are used?
- How will you select the candidate for the position?
- What might a typical day be like for a person in this position?
- What are your human resource policies about salary, vacation, promotions, bonuses, benefits and flexible work hours?
- What value do other departments place on the work performed by employees in this positions?
- How does this department measure success for individuals and the team?
- What types of positions do people who have experience in this position move to?
Winding down the Interview
You want to leave the interviewer with a positive impression. End the interview by summarizing your key strengths, why you want the job and what you can offer. If there’s anything you didn’t get a chance to mention earlier, do it now.
Send a thank-you note within a few days of your interview. You may wish to briefly mention what impressed you in the interview and why you’d like to pursue this career opportunity.