Spend time researching and thinking about yourself, the occupation, and questions you might ask at the end of the interview.
Perform a thorough self-assessment so that you will know what you have to offer.
10 most marketable skills
- Communication skills
- Teamwork skills
- Leadership skills
- Academic achievement
- Interpersonal skills
- Technical skills
- Work ethic
- Analytical/Problem solving skills
These skills have been developed in numerous settings. Don't overlook any abilities and experiences that you have. Consider these questions...
- How have I demonstrated the skills required for this position?
- What are my strong and weak points?
- What can I offer this employer?
- Apart from my skills and experience, what can I bring to this position?
Know the Occupation and Organization
To present a convincing argument that you have the experience and skills required for the position, you must first know what those requirements are and information about the organization.
- Conduct information interviews with people working in the field
- Know the size of the organization
- What is its history?
- Have there been any recent changes?
Practice, Practice, Practice
It is better to fix it now...not later
- Prepare responses to possible questions
- Prepare a list of questions to ask
- Participate in Video Mock Interview or Peer Critique
First impressions are lasting
- Review your resume
- Arrive 10 minutes early
- Eat something before the interview
- Dress appropriately
- Take a copy of your resume, credential file and portfolio (education), pen and paper
- Shake hands — offer yours if they don't first
- Wait until the interviewer sits or offers you a seat before sitting down
- Keep nervous habits and body language in check
- Thank the interviewer for their time and consideration
- Ask when you should expect to hear from them
Answering Interview Questions
- Smile and maintain eye contact — watch for clues from interviewer
- Be aware of body language (yours and the interviewers)
- Take time to quickly plan responses by pausing a couple of seconds before responding
- If you don't understand a question, ask for clarification
- Always expand...never answer a question with a "yes" or "no"
- Always tie responses back to the position
- Sell yourself and back up your responses with examples
- Take care not to oversell
- Be honest
- Be very positive and avoid negative words
- Don't complain about anything
- Don't apologize that you don't have experience — sell what experience you do have
- Don't be afraid to repeat important facts
- Expect the unexpected
- Questions should elicit positive responses from the employer
- Ask questions for which the answer was not readily available in literature or provided during the interview
- Be careful to not ask too many questions
- Avoid sounding critical by mentioning negative information you have gathered
Sample Questions (Be Prepared to Answer)
- What are your long-range career goals, when and why did you establish these goals, and how are you preparing to achieve them?
- What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?
- What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- How would you describe yourself?
- How would a colleague describe you?
- How has your college experience prepared you for a career?
- Why should I hire you?
- What qualifications do you have that make you think you will be successful?
- In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our organization?
- Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and subordinates.
- What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction?
- What led you to choose your major field of study?
- What have you learned from participation in extra-curricular activities?
- In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?
- Describe your part-time or summer jobs and explain what you learned from them.
- How would you describe the ideal job for you following graduation?
- What do you know about our organization?
- What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
- What criteria are you using to evaluate prospective employers?
- Do you have a geographical preference? and Why?
- Will you relocate?
- Describe a major problem you encountered and how you dealt with it.
Sample Questions to Ask Employer
- Are there professional growth opportunities for a person in this position?
- What do you consider to be the strengths of this department/office?
- How do administrators offer support if the need arises?
- How would you characterize your department’s morale?
- When will you be notifying candidates of your hiring decision?
- What are your expectations for new hires?
- What characteristics does a successful person have at your organization?