A job interview is a process in which a potential employee is evaluated by an employer for prospective employment in their company.
It is very important to be well prepared for an interview. According to the University of Delaware's career center, a common reason employers give for not hiring an applicant is the inability of the applicant to fully explain the contents of his or her résumé. Therefore it is paramount to be able to discuss in detail every item listed on one's resume, and if possible to give examples when appropriate. It is also wise to research the company before the interview. To avoid being nervous, the applicant should practice answering difficult questions. Good sources of interview questions can be found by searching the Internet.
A typical job interview has a single candidate meeting with between one and three persons representing the employer; the potential supervisor of the employee is usually involved in the interview process. A larger interview panel will often have a specialized human resources worker. While the meeting can be over in as little as 15 minutes, job interviews usually last less than two hours. The bulk of the job interview will entail the interviewers asking the candidate questions about his or her job history, personality, work style and other factors relevant to the job. The candidate will usually be given a chance to ask any questions at the end of the interview. These questions are strongly encouraged since they allow the interviewee to acquire more information about the job and the company, but they can also demonstrate the candidate's strong interest in them. A candidate should follow up the interview with a thank-you letter, expressing his or her appreciation for the opportunity to meet with the company representative. The thank you letter ensures that the candidate will stay fresh in the interviewer's mind. The primary purpose of the job interview is to assess the candidate's suitability for the job, although the candidate will also be assessing the corporate culture and demands of the job.
Job Interview Checklist
- __________ Research company – size, number of employees, type of business, what is the product(s) or service(s), new innovations, growth potential, reputation as an employer, professional development opportunities and benefits. Learn as much as possible by reading material from brochures, catalogs, annual reports, website, etc. Do you know anyone or can you question a “friend of a friend or relative” who works for the company?
- __________ Research the position (read and analyze the job description).
- __________ Find out as much information as you can about the department in which you will be interviewing.
- __________ If you are an internal candidate, interview co-workers who are employed in a similar position.
- __________ Determine possible weak areas – take a class or workshop, read a book – you may find relationships to your educational background or work experience that you had not considered.
- __________ Secure written references and ask permission to use reference names.
- __________ Brainstorm possible interview questions – ask mentors or supportive co-workers for assistance.
- __________ Have a 20-second commercial about your strengths should you get a question that you don’t know the answer to.
- __________ Review a few interview books and practice answering sample questions – remember: you don’t need to memorize sentences, but you do need to know info about yourself (transferable skills, abilities, goals, etc.)
- __________ How does your attitude rate – are you generally a positive or negative individual?
- __________ What is your current working reputation? This could be especially important for an internal candidate. Are you proud of your work ethic?
- __________ Evaluate your current health practices. Do you exercise regularly to help reduce stress related to job search and interviewing? Are you maintaining a healthy diet? Don’t go to an interview on a caffeine/sugar high.
- __________ Ahead of time, select an appropriate interview outfit and get hair cut.
- __________ Get a good night’s sleep before the interview day.
- __________ Avoid stressful situations prior to the interview.
- __________ Allow enough time to reach the interview site without rushing. Go ahead of time to see where it is (room, building, street) and time the travel distance allowing for trains, accidents, etc.
Job Interview Questions !
1. Tell me about yourself:
The most often asked question in interviews. You need to have a short
statement prepared in your mind. Be careful that it does not sound
rehearsed. Limit it to work-related items unless instructed otherwise.
Talk about things you have done and jobs you have held that relate to the position you are interviewing for. Start with the item farthest
back and work up to the present.
3. What experience do you have in this field?
Speak about specifics that relate to the position you are applying for.
If you do not have specific experience, get as close as you can.
9. Why do you want to work for this organization?
This may take some thought and certainly, should be based on the
research you have done on the organization. Sincerity is extremely
important here and will easily be sensed. Relate it to your long-term
10. Do you know anyone who works for us?
Be aware of the policy on relatives working for the organization. This
can affect your answer even though they asked about friends not
relatives. Be careful to mention a friend only if they are well thought
11. What kind of salary do you need?
A loaded question. A nasty little game that you will probably lose if
you answer first. So, do not answer it. Instead, say something like,
That’s a tough question. Can you tell me the range for this position?
In most cases, the interviewer, taken off guard, will tell you. If not,
say that it can depend on the details of the job. Then give a wide
12. Are you a team player?
You are, of course, a team player. Be sure to have examples ready.
Specifics that show you often perform for the good of the team rather
than for yourself are good evidence of your team attitude. Do not brag,
just say it in a matter-of-fact tone. This is a key point.
18. Explain how you would be an asset to this organization
You should be anxious for this question. It gives you a chance to
highlight your best points as they relate to the position being
discussed. Give a little advance thought to this relationship.
19. Why should we hire you?
Point out how your assets meet what the organization needs. Do not
mention any other candidates to make a comparison.
20. Tell me about a suggestion you have made
Have a good one ready. Be sure and use a suggestion that was accepted
and was then considered successful. One related to the type of work
applied for is a real plus.
22. What is your greatest strength?
2. Why did you leave your last job?
Stay positive regardless of the circumstances. Never refer to a major
problem with management and never speak ill of supervisors, co-workers
or the organization. If you do, you will be the one looking bad. Keep
smiling and talk about leaving for a positive reason such as an
opportunity, a chance to do something special or other forward-looking
6. What do you know about this organization?
This question is one reason to do some research on the organization
before the interview. Find out where they have been and where they are
going. What are the current issues and who are the major players?
27. What is more important to you: the money or the work?
Money is always important, but the work is the most important. There is
no better answer.
28. What would your previous supervisor say your strongest point is?
There are numerous good possibilities:
Loyalty, Energy, Positive attitude, Leadership, Team player, Expertise,
Initiative, Patience, Hard work, Creativity, Problem solver
31. Tell me about your ability to work under pressure.
You may say that you thrive under certain types of pressure. Give an
example that relates to the type of position applied for.
32. Do your skills match this job or another job more closely?
Probably this one. Do not give fuel to the suspicion that you may want
another job more than this one.
33. What motivates you to do your best on the job?
This is a personal trait that only you can say, but good examples are:
Challenge, Achievement, Recognition
34. Are you willing to work overtime? Nights? Weekends?
This is up to you. Be totally honest.
35. How would you know you were successful on this job?
Several ways are good measures:
You set high standards for yourself and meet them. Your outcomes are a
success.Your boss tell you that you are successful
37. Are you willing to put the interests of the organization ahead ofyour own?
This is a straight loyalty and dedication question. Do not worry about
the deep ethical and philosophical implications. Just say yes.
42. Do you think you are overqualified for this position?
Regardless of your qualifications, state that you are very well
qualified for the position.
46. What position do you prefer on a team working on a project?
Be honest. If you are comfortable in different roles, point that out.
47. Describe your work ethic.
Emphasize benefits to the organization. Things like, determination to
get the job done and work hard but enjoy your work are good.