Interview Tips

You do not need to “sell” yourself in an interview. If you are in an interview, then your résumé has already highlighted your expertise, and/or you were referred by another colleague/contact. Together with that referral and your résumé, the potential employer recognizes that you possess the skills required for the position. Consequently, the components of an interview include:

  1. Personality – 90% of an interview is about personality, which includes how you are dressed (suit, shoes, jewelry), personal hygiene, what type of purse/briefcase you are carrying, eye contact, firm hand shake, general confidence, initiating questions, speaking ability/clarity and body language.
  2. Motivation – Why do you want the job? To suit your own needs or those of the company?
  3. Technical Abilities – Are you familiar with the position, the company, and its services/products?
  4. Competency – The interviewer wants to hire a competent employee. Someone he can trust with a new position and authority to fix the problem. It costs a company $10,000+ in unproductive costs to hire and bring on a new employee through interviewing and training, thus they want to hire someone who is competent, serious about the job and the company, and looking to stay on board for a while.
  5. Education, Employment Record, and References – References are critical. Your education and employment record will be verified and references will be contacted.
    • Remember: Most interviewers are not trained interviewers. They are busy with their jobs and they are taking time from their operations to conduct interviews.
    • Ask questions. You want to ensure you understand the position and its requirements—you don’t want any surprises later.
    • Take notes.
    • Ask for a timeline (i.e., when can I expect a call regarding the next phase in the interview process?).
    • Send a ‘thank you’ letter.

The 16 most frequently asked questions by interviewers

  1. Tell me about yourself?
  2. What do you know about our company?
  3. Why do you want to work for us?
  4. Tell me about a time that you failed at something, and what you did afterwards?
  5. What unique abilities or qualities would you bring to this job?
  6. What salary are you expecting?
  7. What are your major strengths /weaknesses?
  8. How long do you plan to stay at our company? Where do you see yourself in five years?
  9. Tell me about a project that you had either at work or school. Describe in detail how you managed it and what was the outcome?
  10. What do you do in your spare time?
  11. What other types of jobs or companies are you considering?
  12. Describe a time when you worked on a team project. What was your relative position on the team? Were you satisfied with your contribution? How could have it worked better?
  13. Why did you choose your school and course of study?
  14. Think back to a situation in which there was a conflict you had to resolve. Tell me how you resolved that conflict.
  15. Why should I hire you?
  16. Do you have any questions for us?

What to Ask The Interviewer

  1. What is the most pressing need that you have in the area we are interviewing about?
  2. What are you looking for in the position/person you are hiring for this position?
  3. What visible indicators of success will you use to evaluate my performance?
  4. Which resources, including decision making and funding will I have under my control?

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