Preparing for the job interview can be one of the most stressful parts of the job search. Luckily, there are a number of tools and techniques to make this task easier.
The key to any interview is being well prepared. It is important to write down, in advance, the answer to questions you are likely to be asked. This will help you focus your thoughts.
In a word, the interview atmosphere should be POSITIVE. Learn to articulate your strengths and emphasize the positive contributions you can make.
The phrase "crisp and professional" comes to mind when describing appropriate dress and grooming standards for an interview. First impressions are largely determined by dress and grooming, and a positive first impression is critical.
With the advent of the World Wide Web, employers assume that you have researched the company and are familiar with the corporate Web page. Your knowledge of the company will come in very handy during the interview.
Learn as much as possible about the particular position for which you are applying. Familiarity with the job description is desirable.
Arrive early with a smile on your face.
It is not acceptable to be late for an interview. Arrive early, "freshen up", and relax. Plant a smile on your face, and execute your best firm, dry handshake.
Listen to the questions. Answer the questions asked.
Be attentive to the question being asked so that you answer the question to the best of your ability. Stay focused on the issue at hand rather than on issues that may arise later in the interview.
Sell your skills, experience and education.
Be prepared to articulate your quantifiable strengths as determined by such things as skill, experience, and education.
Be able to back up your resume.
Be truthful. An interviewer will often refer to your resume when posing questions to you. Be prepared to amplify items mentioned on your resume.
Be prepared when they ask, "Do you have questions for me?"
It is expected that you will ask questions. Prepare several questions as some will be answered during the natural course of the interview.
It is important that you send a thank you note to the person with whom you interviewed. The note should be sent immediately following the interview.
It is important to remain enthusiastic during a second, (and subsequent), interview. You may have to restate your positive merits. Do so with energy, confidence and enthusiasm just as you did during the first interview.
The questions below are divided into two categories, traditional and behavior-based. You will recognize the difference between the two types of questions immediately. You will need to be prepared for both types of interview questions. The library in the Career Development Office has several books containing additional interview questions. One book contains 1800 questions if you want lots of practice!