Before the interview:
- Research the employer. Know what kind of company they are, and any news that has happened recently. Be prepared to discuss any questions or concerns with the potential employer.
- Be on top of current events in your industry. Be able to discuss them.
- Determine your strengths and weaknesses and how to address them in an interview. You will likely be asked to describe them.
- Anticipate the types of questions you may be asked, and practice interviewing with family member or friend.
Tell me about yourself
. – Do not talk about your personal life. Focus on your career strengths and how they are valuable qualities (i.e. “I am reliable, punctual and a creative problem solver.”)
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
– Give an example for a time you used your strengths. Be honest about your weaknesses, but follow up with a developed strategy on how you plan to improve or compensate for the weakness.
Where do you see yourself in five to 10 years?
– Again, answer this question concerning your professional life, not your personal life.
Describe your ideal job.
– Hopefully some of your description will match the job for which you are applying.
Why should I hire you?
– Be honest, and use this opportunity to re-emphasize your strengths and how the company will benefit from your employment.
- Know how you will be interviewed, whether one-on-one, in a group or in front of a board. Know how long the interview will last. Make sure to ask these questions when the interview is scheduled.
- Prepare a list of questions about the job, work environment and management style. Ask about the chain of command and structure of the company.
- It is better to overdress than under dress. Inspect your wardrobe the day before the interview. Make sure the outfit fits and that it is pressed and shoes are shined.
At the interview:
- Be yourself.
- Arrive early and prepared.
- Give a firm handshake and make eye contact.
- Tailor your responses to the job and emphasize how you are a good fit.
- If you can’t think of an immediate response to a question, ask the interviewer for more time.
- Ask the interviewer for a business card.
After the interview:
- Write a thank you note within 24 hours of the interview. Send it immediately.
- Express appreciation for the interviewer’s time, but also use the opportunity to reemphasize your qualifications and interest in the position.
- Handwritten notes are most effective.