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Interview

It is important to be on time for an interview; it is best if you arrive about 15 minutes early. This will give you time to relax and fill out an application, if necessary. It may be a good idea to drive the route to the building a day or two early, at the same time of day as your scheduled interview so you know how much time to allow for traffic. Be sure you are in Professional Attire

If you have not already completed an application, you may be asked to complete a job application either before or after your interview. Be prepared - have everything you will need with you

Interview Tips:

  • Research the potential employer before the interview
  • Go alone. Do not take spouse, children or friends
  • Greet the employer with a handshake
  • Make frequent eye contact
  • Smile, be polite, and try to relax
  • Listen carefully to the questions asked. Ask the interviewer to restate a question if you are confused
  • Answer questions as directly as possible
  • Be upbeat and make positive statements
  • If you've worked before, talk about what you learned from it
  • Use examples of how your skills and abilities would fit the job
  • Bring your "Fact Sheet" with telephone numbers and addresses of your references and former employers
  • Bring copies of transcripts, certifications, or other documentation which may be requested
  • Bring a copy of your resume and your References list

As you prepare for your interview, try to anticipate what questions the employer might ask. All interview questions basically fall into one of 3 categories: Can you do the job? (Strengths); Will you love the job? (Motivation); Can we tolerate working with you? (Fit)

Questions to Expect:

  • Tell me about yourself. (This is often an ice-breaker question. Keep the answer job or skill related.)
  • What do you know about the type of work we do? (This is your chance to tell what you know from the research you completed ahead of time.)
  • What is your weakness? (Always make this a positive answer. For example, "My spelling is not always perfect, so I always use a spell checker.")
  • What are your strengths? (Describe your skills in a way that will show you as a desirable employee for the company.)
  • Why did you leave your last job? (Answer with a positive statement. Try not to say: "I was fired," "terminated," "quit," "had no babysitter," or "couldn't get along with coworkers or supervisor".  However, you can say: "new job," "contract ended," "seasonal," "temporary," "career change," "returned to school," "to raise a family," or "relocated.") Click Here for more answers for this question
  • Why have you been unemployed for such a long time? (Tell the truth. Emphasize that you were looking for a good company where you can settle and make a contribution.)
  • Why should we hire you? (Make a positive statement, such as "I would like the opportunity to work with you and believe that I can do the work.")
  • Do you have references? (It is important that you contact your references ahead of time and have their name, current address, and telephone numbers.)

At the end of the formal interview the employer will ask if you have any questions.           
Sample Questions to Ask:

  • Who would supervise me?
  • When are you going to make a hiring decision?
  • What are the opportunities for advancement?
  • What kind of training is provided or available?
  • Why is the position vacant? 

Closing - At the end of the interview:

  • Thank the interviewer/s for their time
  • Request business card/s
  • Shake hands 
  • Send a thank you note addressed to the interviewers  Click here for information on Thank You Letters

Pitfalls (Reasons Why People Don't Get Hired):

  • Untidy personal appearance
  • Inability to express information clearly
  • Lack of genuine interest or enthusiasm
  • Unwillingness to start at the bottom
  • Negative attitude
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Incomplete or sloppy application
  • Being late for the interview

Make each interview a learning experience; ask yourself these questions:

  • What points did I make that seemed to interest the employer?
  • Did I present my qualifications well?
  • Did I overlook qualifications that were important for the job?
  • Did I learn all I needed to know about the job?
  • Did I ask questions I had about the job?
  • Did I talk too much? Too little?
  • Was I too tense? Too relaxed?
  • Was I too aggressive? Assertive enough?
  • Was I dressed appropriately?
  • Did I effectively close the interview?

Make a list of specific ways you can improve your next interview

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