Research the Company
You can research the employer by looking on their website or utilizing tools such as CareerSearch. You can learn information that relates to the mission and goals of the organization, size of organization, location of facilities and history of the company. You will also want to research types of clients or customers, annual or media reports and primary competitors and product lines or services. Find out the types of training offered and whether relocation/other policies important to you. Consider how the organization links to your current or future career plans.
Know Your Resume
Prepare several examples of relevant past accomplishments
Be able to articulate why you are interested in the specific position and the company
Evaluate problem areas in your background
Practice, Practice, Practice
Know the job description: connect your background to the job
Have a thirty second introduction ready, practice in front of a mirror
Prepare 3-4 key points
Prepare answers to common questions
Do a mock interview (link to Perfect Interview)
Analyze Yourself and Know Your Interview Goals
Analyze your strengths and skills; identify transferable skills.
To fully understand the job
To match your skills, experience and knowledge to the critical aspects of the job
To demonstrate that you are a good "fit"
Employer's Interview Goals
To assess your knowledge, skills, abilities
To evaluate your "fit" with the job and the organization
To hire the best candidate for the job
Dress for Success!
Types of interviews
Intern/Co-op Interviews are usually conducted by an employer interviewing someone with little or no experience. The interview focuses on potential, achievements, skills, strengths/weaknesses, and goals. Displaying good communication and interpersonal skills is critical.
Usually conducted over the phone by a gatekeeper such as a human resources person or recruiter. They are trying to judge whether you are a viable candidate for the position.
Initial Face-to-Face Interview
This focuses on goals, achievements, skills, strengths/weaknesses, and team fit. Displaying good communication and interpersonal skills is critical.
Also called a situational interview, and used to determine how you might perform in their situation by looking at past experiences and behavior. Being concise and giving answers using real-world examples is the best approach.
This type of interview is common in many fields.
It is important to anticipate a variety of questions and personalities and engage with all members of the panel.
This addresses how well you match the job requirements and organizational culture. Questions could target past achievements, skills, strengths and aspirations. You will be measured against other candidates and the focus may be on areas of weakness.
Used to assess your reactions under pressure using difficult questioning. The interviewer is trying to identify how well you think on your feet and react to stressful situations.
Inappropriate interview questions include those that could lead to job discrimination based on age, marital status, handicap, sexual orientation, national origin or religion. Questions should address your skills, experience and knowledge as they relate to the job responsibilities. If you are unclear about how a question relates to the job, ask for clarification.
Focuses on areas of concern for either party. It may involve salary and benefits questioning. Display your interest in the job and company, and ask relevant questions.
This interview is for those who have extensive work experience and may want to move up in an organization after receiving a new degree or changing careers as a result of their degree. The interview focuses on non-technical managerial skills.
General Graduate School Interview
This interview focuses on scholastic achievements, strengths/weaknesses, fit within the graduate program, exposure to the field, and career goals. Using specific examples and demonstrating knowledge of the program is critical.
This focuses on problem-solving ability, experience in research or special projects, and identifying strengths/weaknesses. Using examples from coursework, internships, jobs, and research opportunities is critical.
Questions to Ask Employer
Closing and Follow-up
Summarize qualifications and express enthusiasm for the position
Ask about post-interview procedures
Follow up with a thank you note
Do a personal debriefing and evaluate your performance