CATS Career Development - Interviewing Essentials
Arrive on time, if not a few minutes early, for your interview. If you show up to a job interview late, ill prepared, or dressed inappropriately, you could be sealing your own fate. It may sound old fashioned, but a neat, professional appearance is always apropos for a job interview. Walk tall, smile, make eye contact, and present a firm handshake -- this goes for men and women. Bring at least two flat copies of your resume to the interview. Rehearse with a friend, relative, or co-worker a day or two before the interview to sharpen your communication skills. (See )
Answer questions clearly and concisely. Don't get long winded or meander into personal details that are just not appropriate to discuss. Try to keep the interview on target and focused on you. Be prepared to sell yourself in person by highlighting your strengths, your accomplishments on your present or previous jobs, and your eagerness to work for this potential employer. No need to apologize for anything, just accentuate the positive, relevant information instead.
Display an attitude of "humble egotism.” Psyche yourself up into creating the impression that "I'm great, I know I'm great, but I know I have more to learn" and "I want this job more than anything else in the world and if I don't get a job offer, I'm just going to lay down and die". Show your enthusiasm, dedication, and ambition through your words and body language. If you come in with an attitude of "show me why I should work for this company" and halfway through the interview you think you might want to, it's too late. The most important goal of the job interview is to get a job offer. You can always think it over and turn it down later, but the name of the game is to get that job offer above all other candidates!
Try not to fidget in your chair, pick at your cuticles, hum, chew gum, tap your foot or do anything else that might give the impression that you are a nervous, neurotic mess. If the interviewer asks an open-ended question, "How do you feel about status reports?" try to narrow down the focus by asking a more specific question in return, "Would you like to know how I handle deadlines and maintain an organized data base"? An interview is not the appropriate place to haggle over money -- it's best to conduct salary negotiations only when you actually get the job offer as well as ask questions about benefits, personal days, or vacation time.
When the job interview is concluded, stand up and extend your hand, and thank the interviewer for his/her time and consideration of you as a qualified candidate for this position. Leave gracefully -- you may ask when the decision is anticipated but don't offer to call back or give your cell phone and pager numbers -- just walk out as confidently as you entered.
These interview tips can help you but we do strongly recommend that you use our service to truly see the results of being better prepared. If we could give you one word of advice, it would be "be yourself" this has never been more important than in the job hunting process. Examine your best attributes and HOW to sell yourself to the marketplace.
Employers are looking for energy, ambition, good personality, confidence, competency, maturity and professional appearance.
Research the company--I can't stress this enough. Find out as much as possible about this industry, it's changes, who the president is and the number of years in business. If you can help the company solve problems, you are that much closer to getting hired.
Fifty Standard Entry Level Interview Questions
1. Tell me about yourself.
LAND THE JOB WITH A SECOND INTERVIEW
You successfully presented yourself in your initial interview, and you receive a phone call or a letter inviting you to a second interview (also known as the office visit, on-site interview, or plant interview). You now know that an employer is very interested in you and you are one of the finalists in the selection process!
At the end of the first interview and during the second interview, you may be asked if you have questions for the interviewers. Ask questions! The interviewers will not be offended if you ask them good questions. The following list provides examples of the types of questions that are appropriate.
Prepare for Behavioral Interviews
Behavioral based interviews are very popular with employers. These involve questions where you will be asked for examples of past situations which demonstrate you have the job skills and work behaviors the employer wants. The questions are unpredictable. It is easier to answer behavioral based questions if you analyze the job description and know what skills are required. Then you can identify situations where you have demonstrated the required skills and work behaviors. Give specific examples in three part story-like form, describing the situation/challenge, your actions/behavior, and the results or outcome.
Meal Interview Do's and Don'ts
You may find yourself on a breakfast, lunch, or dinner interview (or "eating meeting") during your company-site visit. This is usually a good sign that you are under strong consideration. Following are some of the basic do's and don'ts: