Preparing for the Interview
- Effective planning and preparation
- Know yourself, Know the company
- How to create your “elevator speech”
- Answering questions effectively
- Practice makes… better
- What to do after the interview
- How to write a thank you letter
Before the Interview
- Know your strengths and weaknesses and be able to articulate them.
- Know where you might fit in to the organization.
- Don’t expect the interviewer to know. You know yourself better than anyone.
- Identify your skills, abilities and experience.
- Be able to talk about them.
Know the Company
- Take time to research the company.
- Their website, Facebook page, Twitter feed and LinkedIn profile are all good resources.
Develop a 60 second “commercial” about yourself, practice it.
In it you will cover…
- Background - Education and/or how you began in the world of work.
- Skills, strengths and accomplishments
- Job focus and future career plans.
- Men: A suit is usually best. Wear a long sleeve white shirt, conservative tie and dark socks. If you don't own a suit, wear a dark sport coat and dress slacks.
- Women: A suit is also best. If you don't own one, a business-like dress or skirt and blouse is recommended. Wear flesh colored hose, no tights or patterns.
- If in doubt what to wear, call the company and ask
Arrive On Time
- How early?
- 10 minutes is good. 30 minutes is too early. You could be inconveniencing the interviewer.
- Where is the interview?
- Consider doing a “dry run” if you’re going somewhere you’re not familiar with. Use a map or GPS
- What time is the interview?
- How long does it take to get there?
- What is traffic like that time of day?
- Who is interviewing you?
- Know their name, how to pronounce it and their title.
What to Bring With You
- Professional portfolio folder
- Extra copies of your resume (one for each person if interviewed by committee).
- A notepad and black or blue pen.
- List of questions for the interviewer.
- Anything the interviewer has asked you to bring.
2 Main Types of Interviews
- Questions deal with hypothetical situations.
- “What would you do if… “
- Discuss past work experience.
- Go over your resume. Again, know what’s in it.
- Ask traditional resume questions.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- What are your 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses?
- Uses your answers to make predictions of future performance based on past behaviors.
- Situation: Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. Be specific.
- Task: What goal were you working toward?
- Action: What specific steps did you take and what was your contribution?
- Result: What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? Make sure your answer contains multiple positive results.
- It’s important to practice how you would respond to both types of questions so you won’t feel caught off guard.
During the Interview
Question: When does the interview start?
Your interview could start when you park your car.
- Check yourself in a mirror.
- Smile warmly and make good eye contact with everyone you meet.
- The receptionist DOES have influence over the hiring decision so don’t blow it by being rude.
- Give a firm handshake.
- Don’t be a “cold fish”. Practice if necessary.
- Powerful Responses
- Use the Short Story Technique of answering questions. Don't simply say yes or no. WOW the interviewer with your experience!
- Be Positive
- When answering questions, dwell on the positive even when asked a negative question, phrase your answer in a positive way.
- Sell Yourself - Non-verbally
- Be aware of your non-verbal communication! Watch your actions when you're talking. Nervous gestures can distract the interviewer. Sit up straight! This will help you appear (and feel) more poised and confident.
- Prepare at least 5-10 to ask, (write them down) it is probable the interviewer will answer some of them during the interview.
- You will only ask 1-3 of the questions you have written down.
- Be sure to get a business card from each person with whom you speak. These will come in handy when you write those all-important thank you notes.
- If they are not offered to you by the interviewer, ask for one.
- Thank everyone in the room for their time.
After the Interview
- Following up on a job interview is crucial. It gives you the opportunity to sell yourself again.
- In a perfect world, all your interviews will go smoothly. Send a thank you note after each one.
- Even if you blow the interview, it pays to get in touch after the fact.
Thank You letters
- Objective: To inform the employer of your interest in the position and to summarize
your chief credentials.
- Thank the interviewer for their time.
- Show enthusiasm for the position.
- Explain how you can help them with challenges mentioned during the interview.
- Express your desire to be included in the next step of the hiring process.
* If you receive a letter informing you that you did not get the job, you still need to follow-up with a note to the person who interviewed you.
Brush yourself and get back on your feet. For every rejection you receive you are one step closer to a job offer.
- Get into pairs and practice. Switch roles
- Get into another pair and practice again
- Get into yet another pair and practice
- What went well?
- What did you learn?
- What do you need to practice more?