Feeling stressed thinking about an upcoming interview? You are not alone. There are ways to combat this, though, and Center for Career Readiness is here to help.
- Tips for Interviewing
1. Research the company/organization - and any employees you might engage with during the interview process.
- Look into the company's values, mission statement, strategic planning, etc.
- Take notes while you are researching and bring up any relevant points that align with your skills during the interview.
2. Consider experiences and skills you have that are relevant to the position and solid examples.
- Use resources like the questions below or meet with a career counselor if you need help getting started with brainstorming your examples.
3. Use the BAR technique
- Using this technique will help round out your answers and make sure you present your
examples in a concise manner:
- B - Background (set the stage)
- A - Action (what did YOU do)
- R - Result (outcome or what was learned)
- Using this technique will help round out your answers and make sure you present your examples in a concise manner:
4. Prepare for the interview itself
- If virtual, check your internet connection and your visible background ahead of time, and find a quiet space where you can focus without distractions
- If in-person, check to see where the interview will be held and allot extra time in case of traffic or if you have trouble finding the location.
- Common Questions
- Tell me about yourself and why you are interested in this position.
- What are your long-range and short-range career goals?
- How have your previous experiences prepared you for this job?
- What questions do you have for me?
- What is a weakness of yours as it relates to this position?
- What does it mean for your to have a commitment to diversity? How have your demonstrated that commitment previously and how would you see yourself demonstrating it here?
- What do you consider your 3 greatest strengths? Provide me an example of when you used your strengths.
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Please describe how your qualifications would make you successful in this position?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why did you decide to pursue a career in this field/industry?
- Where would you like to see yourself five years from now?
- Why are you interested in working with this organization?
- Tell me about any professional development you have completed and how this impacted your work.
- In what type of work environment do you perform best? How would you change your previous work environment to make it more productive?
- What role do you typically play on a team?
- What do you look for in a supervisor? How does this compare to how you supervise?
- Which value of the company do you most closely align with?
- Tell me about a time when you had competing priorities? How did you manage these deadlines?
- Give me an example of a conflict or problem that you experienced in a previous work setting and how you handled it.
- Tell me about a time you took initiative with a project or task. What was the outcome?
- Describe your time management system.
- What Questions Do You Have for Me?
Remember that you are also interviewing THEM, so ask the questions YOU want to know the answers to. Here are some general examples, but make sure to do your research ahead of the interview and write down questions that come to mind.
- What characteristics does a successful person in your organization possess?
- What are some of the achievements made by employees in this position in the past?
- How would you describe the overall work atmosphere?
- What opportunities exist for professional development or advancement?
- How would you define integrity in this organization?
- What is the next step in the hiring process?
- When do you hope to have the position filled?
- What would a typical day’s work look like in this position?
- Will I work as part of team and if so, who will be in the group?
- How does this position align with the organization’s strategic plan?
Questions to Avoid
Avoid asking specific questions on salary, benefits, perks, vacation time, or focus too much on the compensation during the preliminary interview process.
- Practice, Practice, Practice
Conduct mock interviews with our staff by making an appointment through Handshake, solidify your examples, and use these questions to practice on your own or with a friend.
- Approaching Illegal or Inappropriate Questions
It is illegal for an employer to ask you any questions regarding protected class during an application or interview process (protected class includes: birthplace, nationality, descent of applicant/applicant's spouse/partners, sex or martial status including pregnancy/birth control/child or dependent-care, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion or religious days observed, disability or genetic factors). Please note, the voluntary disclosure you might see when submitting an application is allowed as it is separate from hiring considerations.
If you are asked an illegal or inappropriate question, you can decide how you would like to respond. Some potential options you have could be:
- Choosing to answer
- Refusing to answer
- Asking why they are asking you the question
- Ignoring the question
- Ending the interview/remove yourself from the process
- Making a report to the Human Resources department for the company/organization