The Job Interview
Jeff Steele, ABOC,
Understand the nature of the job interview
Know commonly ask questions and how to
Land your dream job!
The field of vision care is highly professional-
you will be in constant contact with patients
representing not only the doctor, but the
entire office. You will also be working with
very expensive equipment. Expect your
interview to very tough and very thorough
You will be rewarded with an outstanding
career in an outstanding field!
Steps to Success
Your excellent cover letter and resume has
served its purpose; landed you a job
Gives your potential employer a chance to
learn more about you
Gives you a chance to learn more about the
employer/company and the job
Follow these simple steps to success!
Before the Interview
There are numerous ways you can prepare
yourself for the interview process
The more prepared you are, the less nervous
you will be!
Find out who the key people involved in the
organization is, including the partners of the
doctor and what their specialties might be
Even if the interviewer decides you are not
right for the particular job you have been
applying for, you may be referred on to one
of the partners!
Products and Services
Know the nature of the doctor’s practice,
including the type of products sold (contacts,
Understanding the products and services will
help you better understand the types of
patients likely to frequent that office
Before the Interview
Prepare in advance. The better prepared you are, the less
anxious you will be and the greater your chances for success.
Role play. Find someone to role play the interview with you.
This person should be someone with whom you feel
comfortable and with whom you can discuss your weaknesses
freely. The person should be objective and knowledgeable
Use a mirror or video camera when you role play to see what
kind of image you project.
Assess your interviewing skills. What are your strengths and
weaknesses? Work on correcting your weaknesses, such as
speaking rapidly, talking too loudly or softly and nervous habits
such as shaking hands or inappropriate facial expressions.
Learn the questions that are commonly asked and
prepare answers to them. Practice giving answers
which are brief but thorough.
Decide what questions you would like to ask and
practice politely interjecting them at different points
in the interview.
Evaluate your strengths. Evaluate your skills,
abilities, and education as they relate to the type of
job you are seeking
Assess your over-all appearance.
Your clothes should be clean and pressed,
and your shoes polished.
Make sure your hair is neat, your nails clean,
and you are generally well groomed
Have extra copies of your résumé available to take
on the interview. The interviewer may ask you for
Make sure you bring along the same version of your
résumé that you originally sent the company. You
can also refer to your résumé to complete
applications that ask for job history information (e.g.,
dates of employment, names of former employers
and their telephone numbers, job responsibilities,
Arrive On Time
If you have to, drive to the place of your
interview the day before, so you can
approximate how long it will take you to get
Arrive at least 15 minutes early and
announce your arrival with the
Introduce yourself in a courteous manner!
Stand, state your full name and offer your
hand for a firm handshake
In The Waiting Room
Read company materials while you wait
This can give you a better understanding of
what the doctor/office is all about and also
give you a chance to ask questions or
provide knowledge concerning
products/services used at the office
Be sure to listen carefully:
Names of interviewers
A common mistake is to go over your interview
answers in your head at the expense of missing
important information such as the name of your
interviewer and even the questions!
Your body language can say as much as
Listen with your entire body:
Direct eye contact
Give an occasional nod of the head and
other non-verbal feedback to the interviewer
During the closing phase of an interview, you
will be asked whether you have any other
Ask any relevant question that has not yet
Highlight any of your strengths that have not
Upon completion of formal questioning, ask
about the next step in the interview process
Time frame until decision is made?
THANK THE INTERVIEWER!
Send a follow-up thank you card
Handling Illegal Questions
There are certain questions that are not lawful for an
employer to ask, such as age, children, marital status,
If asked an illegal question, you have three options:
1. Answer the question- you’re free to do so, but understand that
your answer could hurt you
2. Refuse to answer, but phrase your refusal carefully, without
seeming uncooperative or confrontational
3. Examine the question for context and answer in a way
pertaining to the nature of the job. Example: “Do you have
someone to care for children if asked to travel” Answer: “I can
meet the work and travel schedule that this job requires”
The following are samples of illegal questions, and their legal
counterparts (Illegal vs. Legal)
Do you have any disabilities? Vs. Are you able to perform the essential
functions of the job?
Are you able to sit? Vs. Can you sit for four hours at a time? (Assuming this is
an essential function of the job.)
Can you carry objects? Vs. Can you carry three-pound boxes to the copier?
(Assuming this is an essential function of the job)
Are you color blind? Vs. Can you distinguish between color bands? (Assuming
this is an essential function of the job.)
What is your corrected vision? Vs. Do you have 20/20 vision? (If this is a job
Do you see a psychiatrist for stress? Vs. How well can you handle stress?
There are literally thousands of questions that may
be asked of you at an interview.
Some questions may be geared to see the extent of
your knowledge, while others may be intentionally
designed to agitate or stress you, to see how you
We will explore some of the common questions you
may be asked, including strategies for successfully
fielding these questions!
"Tell me about yourself."
Briefly describe your experience and
background. If you are unsure what
information the interviewer is seeking, say,
"Are there any areas in particular you'd like to
"What is your weakest point?" (A
Mention something that is actually a strength. Some
"I'm something of a perfectionist."
"I'm a stickler for punctuality."
NEVER give an actual weakness! This is a trick
Give a specific situation from your previous job to
illustrate your point, if possible
"What is your strongest point?"
Here is your chance to impress!
"I work well under pressure."
"I am organized and manage my time well."
If you have just graduated from college you might
"I am eager to learn, and I don't have to unlearn old
Give a specific example to illustrate your point
"What do you hope to be doing five
years from now?"
This question has two purposes:
1. What are your goals/ambitions
2. Do those goals/ambitions meet the needs of
the office you are applying for?
"I hope I will still be working here and have
increased my level of responsibility based
on my performance and abilities."
"Why have you been out of work for so
long?" (A stress question)
"I spent some time re-evaluating my past
experience and the current job market to see
what direction I wanted to take".
"I had some offers but I'm not just looking for
another job; I'm looking for a career, that’s
why I enrolled in the Vision Care Technology
program at SCC”
"What is your greatest
If you have just graduated from college, try to
find some accomplishment from your school
work, part-time jobs, or extra-curricular
activities. (For example, your Spectrum Club
experience and how it “showed you how
rewarding caring for patients can be…”
"Why should we hire you?" (A stress
Highlight your background based on the
company's current needs. Recap your
qualifications keeping the interviewer's job
description in mind. If you don't have much
experience, talk about how your education
and training prepared you for this job.
"Tell me about a problem you had in
your last job and how you resolved it."
The employer wants to assess your
analytical skills and see if you are a team
player. Select a problem from your last job
and explain how you solved it.
Some Questions You Should Ask
"What are the company's current
"Could you give me a more detailed job
"Why is this position open?"
"Are there opportunities for advancement?"
"To whom would I report?"
Be sincere and direct
Be attentive and polite
Ask relevant questions
Answer questions concisely
Use specific examples to illustrate points
Try to control the entire interview
Bring up salary, benefits or working hours
Be too serious
Let your depression or discouragement show
Make negative comments about anyone or
anything, including former employers
Look at your watch
Take extensive notes
If you were not told during the interview when a hiring decision
will be made, call after one week. At that time, if you learn that
the decision has not been made, find out whether you are still
under consideration for the job.
Ask if there are any other questions the interviewer might have
about your qualifications and offer to come in for another
interview if necessary. Reiterate that you are very interested in
If you learn that you did not get the job, try to find out why. You
might also inquire whether the interviewer can think of anyone
else who might be able to use someone with your abilities