Preparing for a job interview
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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?