General interviewing tips by adam25


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									                                                                           - Vol. 1, Number 1


                                       The job interview is usually the most
                                       anxiety-producing aspect of the job
                                       search process. No two interviews are
                                       alike. They vary in style and format de-
                                       pending upon the interviewer and the ap-
                                       plicant. The content, however, typically
                                       centers on two issues: what you can of-
                                       fer the employer and what the employer               Please enter your email
                                       can offer you. Careful preparation will              address and press Submit.
                                       enable you to be more confident and to
                                       present yourself as an attractive poten-
                                       tial employee. You should remember that                      Submit
                                       successful interviewing takes practice,
                                       patience, feedback, and good humor.

Research the employer: Only request interviews with employers in which you
have a genuine interest. Review all available information on the employer and            Work is either
formulate intelligent questions to ask during the interview. Demonstrate that            fun or drudgery.
you’ve done your homework and you’ll make a strong impression. The Internet is
a great research tool as many employers have their own Web sites.                        It depends on
                                                                                         your attitude. I
Review your resume: Be prepared to discuss anything included on your re-
sume, such as schools attended, courses taken, experiences, activities, and              like fun.
interests. Bring extra copies of your resume, transcript, references, and writing
sample in case the interviewer asks for these.
                                                                                         - Colleen Barrett
                                                                                         Page 2 of 4

Dress professionally: Arrive 5-10 minutes in advance of your interview. Take a
few minutes to freshen up, compose yourself, and gather your thoughts.

Be conscious of body language: Begin the interview with a solid handshake.
Sit tall with your shoulders back, not stiff, and head erect. Sitting up properly
makes you appear visually strong and interested in what’s going on. Avoid
intimidating gestures such as stabbing with a finger or winking. Maintain
eye contact and don’t take notes during the interview. Also, don’t forget to

Speak clearly: Enunciating and putting forth the best possible image is
important. Avoid fillers such as “um” and “you know.” Use your voice effec-
tively and positively. Answer questions with confidence and clarity. Make a
conscious effort to slow down your speaking tempo. Speak in declarative
sentences and be as direct as possible.

Listen to the questions: Answer questions directly and take time to think
before answering, but do not digress or talk too long. If an interviewer asks
a vague question, do not struggle and make a lame attempt to provide an
answer. Rather, ask the interviewer to repeat or clarify the question. If it still
isn’t clear, don’t be afraid to say you don’t understand what is being asked.

Ask intelligent, pertinent questions: Always have questions prepared.
These should relate to the employer, the interviewer, and the position for
which you are applying. You can avoid painful silences by being prepared
with questions and having done your research on the employer.

Remember that it is not generally a good idea to ask about salary or ben-
efits during an initial interview.

Be prepared to talk about grades: Discuss them honestly and realistically.
Highlight qualities that may not be reflected in your GPA. Mention specific
accomplishments that demonstrate your skills. If appropriate, talk about
circumstances that might have contributed to a lower grade point in a given

Be yourself: Personality is important. Relax and try to convey confi-
dence, sincerity, and maturity. Inject any relevant information about yourself
that has not been covered, but which you feel is important to mention. If
a potential employer has agreed to interview you, you have already im-
pressed that employer with your credentials. You must then establish a
personal rapport with the interviewer. Show some life and enthusiasm.

                                                                 - Vol. 1, Number 1
                                                                                          Page 3 of 4

You may want to prepare for job interviews by reviewing the following
typical interview questions and formulating concise, intelligent, yet unre-
hearsed, answers. You should always answer an interviewer’s question
with more than a simple “yes” or “no.” You might want to offer concrete
examples to support your points. Every interview question gives you the
opportunity to present additional information that you want the interviewer
to have. In this way, you can focus on your greatest strengths.

•What are your short- and long-term goals?
•What are your strengths and weaknesses?
•What motivates you?
•What accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction?
•What courses did you like best and least? Why?
•Are your grades a good indication of your academic achievement?
•Who else are you interviewing with?
•Why are you interviewing with us?
•What can I tell you about our organization?
•How can you contribute to our organization?
•What two or three things are most important to you in a job?
•What have you learned from your work experiences?
•Describe the ideal job for you.

Solid preparation for any interview also dictates that you formulate some
questions for the interviewer. You should ask these with honesty and sin-
cerity and show real interest in hearing the answers.

General Questions
•Why did you choose the type of work that you do?
•What is the growth plans for the firm, company or agency?
•How and when are the hiring decisions made?
•When can I expect to hear back from you?
•What do you see as the benefits/drawbacks of working at a firm your
•What type of client base does the firm have? Does it rely heavily on one
•How would you describe the firm culture?
•How are promotions made? What will a typical career pattern look like?
•How common are transfers?
•What type of evaluation process do you have?
•If I accept the offer, will I have a voice in choosing the kind of work I do?

                                                                  - Vol. 1, Number 1
                                                                                       Page 4 of 4


The single most important guideline for lawful interviewing is for interviewers
to focus on job - related questions that can be asked of all applicants. Inter-
viewers should take steps to avoid any questions that would be asked of only
one group of applicants.

Generally, employers are not trying to be discriminatory; sometimes they ask
inappropriate questions out of ignorance or to promote conversation. If you
are having a good interview and are asked an inappropriate question, answer
it only if you feel comfortable. You should never, however, feel pressured to
answer an illegal question. If you feel an employer is deliberately asking dis-
criminatory questions, you have every right to confront him or her about it. Al-
ways try to understand the interviewer’s motivation. If you choose to respond
to an offensive question, answer positively and focus on your professionalism
and job ability. Your demeanor and handling of an offensive question could
work in your favor and let the employer know why you are such a good candi-

                                                                - Vol. 1, Number 1

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