1. Job Posting
- Read the job posting you are applying for
- Understand the requirements, qualifications, and job duties listed
- Look up anything that you don’t know what it is
- Learn about the department/company: mission, services, products, news
2. Resume – Know Your Qualifications
- Education: classes, concepts, books, projects, clubs, trainings, workshops
- Experience: jobs/job duties, internships, volunteer service
- Skills such as languages and computers
- Professional licenses or certifications held
3. Interview Questions
- Look at the list of interview questions (see Interview Questions below)
- Begin to formulate answers – a good answer is 30 seconds to 2 minutes
- Anticipate questions you can expect for the job you are interviewing for
- Google questions and answers for the questions you are anticipating
- Write down complete answers to interview questions you expect
- Practice your answers out loud without stopping (keep going if you mess up)
- Use a mirror to see yourself and/or a voice recorder to record yourself
1. Do a full mock interview with a friend, family member, or professional
- Use all questions you anticipate and others the interviewers come up with
- Conduct any activity required for the interview, ex: 10-minute presentation
- Record the full interview/presentation using a recorder (smart phone)
2. Self-Assessment & Feedback
- Self-Assess – what did you like about your performance, what needs work
- Feedback – get positive tips and constructive feedback from interviewer
- Watch video for further insight: body language, affect, speech, answers
3. Do another full mock interview
- Repeat the process from MOCK INTERVIEW step 1.
- How do you feel? You will know when you are interviewing well. If not certain, do another mock interview.
Below are questions common in interviews. Many people say they are nervous because they don’t know what they’ll be asked but really they’re nervous because they don’t know what they’ll say.
These are the questions you will be asked, or some variation of them – develop solid answers to these questions so that you can go prepared with exactly what you will say. All interviews ultimately get at 2 things: 1) can you do the job (qualified with education and experience), and 2) are you pleasant to work with (good people skills).
Be thorough in your answers, remember 30 seconds to 2 minutes, using relevant examples – always give examples!
Common Interview Questions:
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. How has your education prepared you for this job?
3. What experience do you have that relates to the position you are interviewing for?
4. Why do you want to work for our organization?
5. What are your strengths?
6. What are your weaknesses?
7. What are the most important traits of being a _______________________? (ex: teacher)
8. Why should we hire you? Why are you the best candidate?
9. What motivates you to work?
10. What are your career goals?
11. How do you handle stress?
12. Give an example of a time you had a conflict with someone and how you resolved it.
It can be a good idea to ask questions during an interview – it shows you are thinking about the job and genuinely interested. However, you DO NOT have to ask questions. If you ask a question simply because you have been told you need to it will come off as insincere.
If you have a question – ask it, but if you really don’t then it is better to thank them for their time and let them know you have no questions. Below are just a few questions you could ask, never ask a question that is self-serving, for example: “When do I get my first raise?”
Questions to Ask at an Interview:
1. What qualities are you most desiring in the person you hire?
2. If I were offered the position, what could I do to prepare for starting the job?
3. Is there anything else you would like to ask me or like me to elaborate on further?
4. What do you like most about working at this company?
5. How would you describe the culture/climate of the organization?