Interviewing for a Position
Job Interview Tips

An interview gives you the opportunity to showcase your qualifications to an employer, so it pays to be well prepared.  The following information provides some helpful hints.

Preparation:

  • Learn about the organization.
  • Have a specific job or jobs in mind.
  • Review your qualifications for the job.
  • Be ready to briefly describe your experience, showing how it relates to the job.
  • Be ready to answer broad questions, such as "Why should I hire you?" "Why do you want this job?" "What are strengths and weaknesses?"
  • Practice an interview with a friend or relative.

Personal appearance:

  • Be well groomed.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Do not chew gum or smoke.

The interview:

  • Be early.
  • Learn the name of your interviewer and greet him or her with a firm handshake.
  • Use good manners with everyone you meet.
  • Relax and answer each question concisely.
  • Use proper English-avoid slang.
  • Be cooperative and enthusiastic.
  • Use body language to show interest-use eye contact and don't slouch.
  • Ask questions about the position and the organization, but avoid questions whose answers can easily be found on the company website.
  • Avoid asking questions about salary and benefits unless a job offer is made.
  • Thank the interviewer when you leave and shake hands.
  • Send a short thank you note.

Information to bring to an interview:

  • Social Security Number.
  • Government-issued identification (driver license).
  • Resume or application.  Although not all employers require a resume, you should be able ot furnish the interviewer information about your education, training, and previous employment.
  • References.  Employers typically require three references.  Get permission before using anyone as a reference.  Make sure that they will give you a good reference.  Try to avoid using relatives as references.
  • Transcripts.  Employers may require an official copy of transcripts to verify grades, coursework, dates of attendance, and highest grade completed or degree awarded.

 

Courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Common Interview Questions

Most people consider interviews to be an unpleasant situation.  True, they can be among the most nerve-wracking events that we face.  However, being prepared can help you to overcome being overly anxious.  Remember as you review the following frequently asked interview questions, your prospective employer is trying to determine if you will be a productive and dependable employee.  Form your answers in a way that demonstrates that you are that employee.

  1. Tell me about yourself?
  2. What is your major strengths?
  3. What is your major weakness?
  4. What would your previous boss say about you?
  5. Why did you leave (or why are you leaving) your job?
  6. Tell me about your proudest achievement?
  7. What is your greatest failure, and what did you learn from it?
  8. Tell me about a time where you had to deal with conflict on the job?
  9. Tell me about you organizational skills?
  10. What is the biggest obstacle you have had to face in the workplace and how did you overcome it?

Be sure to practice these questions and do it out loud.  Listen to your responses from the interviewer's standpoint.  Sometimes our answers do not sound as convincing or sincere when we hear them spoken.  It is an opportunity to adjust our responses before it comes out in an interview.

Courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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