What is an interview?
- An opportunity for an employer to assess your knowledge and skills as it relates to a position that you have applied.
- An interviewees opportunity to sell their knowledge and skills as it relates to a position of interest
- An interviewees opportunity to set himself apart from others with hopes of being extended a job offer
What should you expect?
- One or more interviewers will ask you questions about your work experience and skills to see if you are the best person for the job.
- Some interviews require the interviewee to deliver a presentation, showcase sample work, etc.
- You may be asked questions about what’s on your resume.
- The questions that are asked can be behavior based or task related.
- Interviewers will allow you an opportunity to ask questions.
- Interviewers will likely take notes while you are talking. Try not to be distracted; continue to make eye contact.
What are common types of interview questions?
- Standard or traditional interview questions
- Standard or traditional questions are straight forward.
- Answer the question completely and include previous experiences and examples that tie back to the job requirements.
- Behavioral based interview questions
- Utilize the STAR technique when answering questions. Situation or Task, Action you took, Results you achieved.
- The goal of the behavioral interview question is to get a sense for how you respond when placed in different situations.
- Technical interview questions
- Technical questions will help to gauge your knowledge in technical areas that are required for the position.
- Be specific. Don’t try to bluff your way through, there will likely be interviewers in the room that are knowledgeable of the subject.
What types of questions should you ask?
- Consider asking questions that you have about what was included in the job posting.
- Consider asking about the training plan for the successful candidate.
- Inquire about the expectations for the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job.
- Inquire about the makeup of the team and the organizational structure.
- You may also want to inquire about the leadership style of the hiring manager.
- Ultimately, you should ask questions that will help you in deciding on whether this is the type of company that you would like to work for.
How should you prepare?
- Research the company. Know the type of company that you are looking to be a part of and be aware of milestones or hot topics.
- Review the job posting. Complete a GAP analysis and be prepared to discuss how you are currently or plan to close the gaps.
- Spend some time reviewing your resume. Be prepared to discuss any item that you have listed.
- Identify three strengths and three areas where development is needed. Come prepared to discuss things that you are doing to improve in the areas where development is needed.
- Practice answering interview questions; behavioral based and standard questions.
- If the opportunity presents itself, complete a mock interview session prior to the interview.
What should you take to an interview?
- Professional folder or notebook with a pen
- Current copies of your resume
- Relevant samples of your work
- Notes to help jog your memory – just a few to glance at if needed
- 2-4 questions to ask the interviewer
What should you wear?
- Slacks, button down shirt, a tie, and a jacket
- Dress shoes should be clean and polished
- Slacks or skirt, a blouse, and a jacket
- Shoes should be appropriate, clean and polished
- Refrain from wearing clothing that is revealing or too tight.
What are employers looking for?
Employers are looking for:
- Candidates that have the knowledge and skills to perform the job,
- Candidates that have the capabilities to perform the job,
- Candidates that exhibit behaviors that align with the company’s culture,
- Candidates that are knowledgeable of the position, and
- Candidates that demonstrate growth potential.
- Don’t ask about pay, benefits or promotions. Save these questions for your recruiter.
- Don’t share your age or personal (family) information. Your focus should be on information that is relevant to the position.
- Don’t read from your notes. Use brief headings to jog your memory if you get off track.
- Don’t ramble and get long winded. Gauge your audience and adapt as needed.
It’s okay to:
- Take short pauses to gather your thoughts before answering questions.
- Ask for clarification or to have a question repeated.
- Ask the interviewer questions. Always come prepared to ask 2-4 questions.
- Smile and show your personality.