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Successful Interviewing

Job Interviews are always stressful - even for the detailed job seeker who has gone on multiple interviews. The best way to reduce your stress level is to be prepared. Knowledge is power! For your convenience, below are interviewing videos as well as common interview questions relating to you, the company and the position you're seeking. Practicing your answers to these questions will only make you more confident in your next interview.

Job Interview Questions About You

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is your greatest strength? greatest weakness?
  • What motivates you?
  • What is your ideal work environment?
  • How do you evaluate success?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Describe your typical work week.
  • Do you often take your work home?
  • How would you describe the pace at which you work?
  • How do you handle stress and pressure on the job?
  • What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
  • What has been the greatest disappointment in your life?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What do people most often criticize about you?
  • When was the last time you were angry? What happened?
  • If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  • If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
  • Please state some examples of teamwork you've been involved with.
  • If you knew your boss was 100% wrong about something, how would you handle it?
  • Describe a past difficult work situation or project and how you overcame it.
  • Describe a time when your workload was greater than normal and how you handled it.

Job Interview Questions About the New Job and the Company

  • What interests you about this job?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What applicable attributes / experience do you have for this position?
  • Are you overqualified for this job?
  • What can you do for this company?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why are you the best candidate for this job?
  • What do you know about this company?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What challenges are you specifically looking for in this position?
  • What can you contribute to this company?
  • Are you willing to travel?

Questions to Ask Employers During Interviews

An interview is a two-way conversation. Don't be afraid to speak up or ask questions. The employer should provide an opportunity for you to ask questions at or near the end of the interview. Always prepare questions to ask. Having no questions prepared sends the message that you have no independent thought process. Do not ask questions that are clearly answered on the employer's web site and/or in any literature provided by the employer to you in advance. This would simply reveal that you did not prepare for the interview, and you are wasting the employer's time by asking these questions. Never ask about salary and benefits issues until those subjects are raised by the employer.

If you are having trouble developing questions, consider the following. Remember, don't ask a question unless you are truly interested in the answer. It will be obvious to the employer.

  • What are the company's strengths and weaknesses compared to its competition?
  • What is the organization's plan for the next five years, and how does this position fit in?
  • Could you explain your organizational structure?
  • How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom?
  • What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
  • Could you describe your company's management style and the type of employee who fits well with it?
  • What are some of the skills and abilities necessary for someone to succeed in this job?
  • What is the company's policy on providing seminars, workshops, and training?
  • What particular computer equipment and software do you use?
  • What kind of work can I expect to be doing the first year?
  • What percentage of routine, detailed work will I encounter?
  • Who will review my performance? How often?
  • How much opportunity will I have for decision-making in my assignments?

Interview DO'S

  • Dress appropriately for the industry. Your personal grooming and cleanliness should be impeccable.
  • Know the exact time and location of your interview; know how long it takes to get there and park. Don't be late!
  • Arrive early; 10 minutes prior to the interview start time.
  • Treat other people you encounter with courtesy and respect. Their opinions of you might be solicited during hiring decisions.
  • Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by your interviewer.
  • Listen to be sure you understand your interviewer's name and the correct pronunciation.
  • Address your interviewer by title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name, until invited to do otherwise.
  • Maintain good eye contact during the interview.
  • Sit still in your seat; avoid fidgeting and slouching.
  • Respond to questions and back up your statements about yourself with specific examples whenever possible.
  • Ask for clarification if you don't understand a question.
  • Be thorough in your responses, while being concise in your wording.
  • Be honest and be yourself. Dishonesty gets discovered and is grounds for withdrawing job offers and for firing. You want a good match between yourself and your employer. If you get hired by acting like someone other than yourself, you and your employer will both be unhappy.
  • Treat the interview seriously and as though you are truly interested in the employer and the opportunity presented.
  • Exhibit a positive attitude at all times. Remember, the interviewer is evaluating you as a potential co-worker.
  • Have intelligent questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Having done your research about the employer in advance, ask questions which you did not find answered in your research.
  • Evaluate the interviewer and the organization s/he represents. An interview is a two-way street. Conduct yourself cordially and respectfully, while thinking critically about the way you are treated and the values and priorities of the organization.
  • Make sure you understand the employer's next step in the hiring process; know when and from whom you should expect to hear next. Know what action you are expected to take next, if any.
  • When the interviewer concludes the interview, offer a firm handshake and make eye contact. Depart gracefully.
  • After the interview, make notes right away so you don't forget critical details.
  • Write a thank-you letter to your interviewer promptly.

Interview DONT'S

  • Don't make excuses. Take responsibility for your decisions and your actions.
  • Don't make negative comments about previous employers or professors (or others).
  • Don't falsify application materials or answers to interview questions.
  • Don't treat the interview casually, as if you are just shopping around or doing the interview for practice. This is an insult to the interviewer and to the organization.
  • Don't give the impression that you are only interested in an organization because of its geographic location.
  • Don't give the impression you are only interested in salary; don't ask about salary and benefits issues until the subject is brought up by your interviewer.
  • Don't act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.
  • Don't make the interviewer guess what type of work you are interested in; it is not the interviewer's job to act as a career advisor to you.
  • Don't be unprepared for typical interview questions. Being unprepared makes you look foolish.
  • A job search can be hard work and involve frustrations; don't exhibit frustrations or a negative attitude in an interview.
  • Don't go to extremes with your posture; don't slouch, and don't sit rigidly on the edge of your chair.
  • Don't assume that a female interviewer is "Mrs." or "Miss." Address her as "Ms." unless told otherwise. Her marital status is irrelevant to the purpose of the interview.
  • Don't chew gum or smell like cigarettes or alcohol.
  • Don't allow your cell phone to sound during the interview. Turn it off beforehand.
  • Don't take your parents, your pet, spouse, fiance, or friends to an interview. If you are not grown up and independent enough to attend an interview alone, you're not ready for the job!