Preparation - Interview Tips

Preparing for a job interview
Know yourself
  • Spend time thinking about your goals, talents, skills, abilities…what do you do well? Write it down. This is the first step in developing a resume.
  • Think about your participation in organizations, teams, clubs and programs. What positive stories can you tell about being a player or member?
  • How about people that have had an influence on your life. Who are they? How did you meet them? Why are they important?
  • Prepare a 2-5 minute sales pitch about yourself and rehearse with a friend or family. Practice responding to questions the interviewer may ask.
Know the job or organization
  • Research before you go. Find literature or information on line about the organization and its products so you are well informed.
  • Make a list of 5 questions to ask the interviewer about the organization and position.
Know the interview process
  • Arrive early
  • Complete application neatly and carefully
  • Bring IDs
  • Go alone
  • Shake the interviewer’s hand. Sit and/or stand up straight. Maintain eye contact
  • Answer questions clearly and succinctly. Try not to ramble
  • Talk and think about the future rather than the past
  • Indicate you are flexible and ready to learn
  • Ask prepared questions
  • Do not discuss salary or benefits
  • Thank the interviewer for his/ her time at the end
  • Dress for success
    • Hair- clean, trimmed and combed
      Fingernails- trimmed and clean
      Shoes- clean and shined, no holes
      Men- solid colored or lightly pin-striped shirt, grey, blue or brown dress slacks, a tie, jacket or vest will make you look even better
      Women- a nice dress or blouse and skirt or dress pants, avoid distracting jewelry, perfume or make-up
Some commonly asked job interview questions
  • Tell me about yourself means describe your education (favorite classes, projects, teachers, programs or trips); mention your jobs or volunteer positions in terms of accomplishments or what you did well.
  • List 3 adjective that best describe you.
  • Do you work well with others?
  • Are you self motivated? means can you successfully work on a task with little or no supervision
  • What are your strengths? (ex. organized, creative, competitive, good speaking or writing skills, hard worker)
  • What are your weaknesses? (this is a tough question but one that is often asked. Think of one and answer the questions in 1 or 2 sentences)
  • What types of activities do you do for fun? Think of fun, positive things you do in your spare time.
  • What is customer service?
  • Do you have short term goals? What are your long term goals?
  • Why do you think you’d be good at this job?
  • What questions do you have for me? Have 3-5 questions prepared to ask the interviewer about the job or the company.
Creating questions to ask the interviewerEmployers like to be interviewed too!

General questioning guidelines
  • Have questions written on a list
  • Focus your questions on the job
  • Ask questions that require an extended answer or explanation
  • Don’t interrupt during a response
  • Avoid questions relating to salary, benefits, vacations or retirement
Some ideas for questions:
  • Ask about the job; what are the duties, tasks, or responsibilities?
  • Ask for a description of a typical day on the job
  • Ask about the expectations of you in the position 6-12 months from now
  • Have questions about the specific company or organization (after you’ve
  • done the research and read about it, right?)
  • Are there opportunities to further your education/ skills? Be promoted?
  • Is there travel involved? If so, how much?
  • If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be?


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