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Interview Tips

When you are called for an interview you should feel honored and confident that you have the qualifications to do the job. They would not have asked you to interview if you were not qualified. Here are some hints for preparing for this important event.

Preparing for Your Interview

1. Wear conservative attire that is probably more dressed up than what you will actually wear working. In general, this means a nice suit; and when in doubt, always err on the conservative side. Men, wear a tie. Women, be sure that shoes are closed-toed and low-heeled, and skirts do not hit above the knee if you wear one.
2. Practice answering possible questions before you go to the interview. You might practice with a friend or schedule a mock interview with the Center for Talent Development to help you. There, you can practice your responses to typical questions.
3. Arrive at the interview 15 or 20 minutes early. This will ensure that you find parking, locate the interview room and generally get yourself organized before you have to begin answering questions. Turn off your cell phone.
4. Try to be as relaxed as possible but not overly casual. Keep your answers concise and to the point; do not ramble. Follow the lead of the questioners, rather than anticipating questions.
5. After the interview, follow up with a thank you letter. This is not done often enough and is noticed and appreciated.

Commonly Asked Interview Questions

1. Tell us about yourself.
TIP: Use this question to tell about your professional and/or educational qualifications and experiences. Don't waste the opportunity by telling about where you grew up or how many points you scored in a ball game. Let them ask about those things if they want.
2. What is your greatest strength?
TIP: A very common question - have an answer prepared so you don't stammer and have to think of one. The Center for Talent Development can help coach you on how to use your Top 5 in your response.
3. What might be a weakness?
TIP: Obviously you don't tell them you drink too much, but you could say that you have a hard time saying no to volunteer committees or taking in stray animals - weaknesses that aren't hard to keep under control and that have a positive side to them as well. As with your strengths, you can use your Top 5 to answer this question positively.
4. What will you contribute to this company (school, organization) if we hire you?
5. What do you see yourself doing in five years?
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Last updated: 11/11/11
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