Preparing for the Interview

What is an interview?

  • An opportunity for an employer to assess your knowledge and skills as it relates to a position that you have applied.
  • An interviewees opportunity to sell their knowledge and skills as it relates to a position of interest
  • An interviewees opportunity to set himself apart from others with hopes of being extended a job offer


What should you expect?

  • One or more interviewers will ask you questions about your work experience and skills to see if you are the best person for the job.
  • Some interviews require the interviewee to deliver a presentation, showcase sample work, etc.
  • You may be asked questions about what’s on your resume.
  • The questions that are asked can be behavior based or task related.
  • Interviewers will allow you an opportunity to ask questions.
  • Interviewers will likely take notes while you are talking. Try not to be distracted; continue to make eye contact.


What are common types of interview questions?

  • Standard or traditional interview questions
    • Standard or traditional questions are straight forward.
    • Answer the question completely and include previous experiences and examples that tie back to the job requirements.
  • Behavioral based interview questions
    • Utilize the STAR technique when answering questions. Situation or Task, Action you took, Results you achieved.
    • The goal of the behavioral interview question is to get a sense for how you respond when placed in different situations.
  • Technical interview questions
    • Technical questions will help to gauge your knowledge in technical areas that are required for the position.
    • Be specific. Don’t try to bluff your way through, there will likely be interviewers in the room that are knowledgeable of the subject.


What types of questions should you ask?

  • Consider asking questions that you have about what was included in the job posting.
  • Consider asking about the training plan for the successful candidate.
  • Inquire about the expectations for the first 30, 60, and 90 days on the job.
  • Inquire about the makeup of the team and the organizational structure.
  • You may also want to inquire about the leadership style of the hiring manager.
  • Ultimately, you should ask questions that will help you in deciding on whether this is the type of company that you would like to work for.


How should you prepare?

  • Research the company. Know the type of company that you are looking to be a part of and be aware of milestones or hot topics.
  • Review the job posting. Complete a GAP analysis and be prepared to discuss how you are currently or plan to close the gaps.
  • Spend some time reviewing your resume. Be prepared to discuss any item that you have listed.
  • Identify three strengths and three areas where development is needed. Come prepared to discuss things that you are doing to improve in the areas where development is needed.
  • Practice answering interview questions; behavioral based and standard questions.
  • If the opportunity presents itself, complete a mock interview session prior to the interview.


What should you take to an interview?

  • Professional folder or notebook with a pen
  • Current copies of your resume
  • Relevant samples of your work
  • Notes to help jog your memory – just a few to glance at if needed
  • 2-4 questions to ask the interviewer


What should you wear?

Business Attire

  • Men
    • Slacks, button down shirt, a tie, and a jacket
    • Dress shoes should be clean and polished
  • Women
    • Slacks or skirt, a blouse, and a jacket
    • Shoes should be appropriate, clean and polished
    • Refrain from wearing clothing that is revealing or too tight.


What are employers looking for?

Employers are looking for:

  • Candidates that have the knowledge and skills to perform the job,
  • Candidates that have the capabilities to perform the job,
  • Candidates that exhibit behaviors that align with the company’s culture,
  • Candidates that are knowledgeable of the position, and
  • Candidates that demonstrate growth potential.

Interview Don’ts

  • Don’t ask about pay, benefits or promotions. Save these questions for your recruiter.
  • Don’t share your age or personal (family) information. Your focus should be on information that is relevant to the position.
  • Don’t read from your notes. Use brief headings to jog your memory if you get off track.
  • Don’t ramble and get long winded. Gauge your audience and adapt as needed.

It’s okay to:

  • Take short pauses to gather your thoughts before answering questions.
  • Ask for clarification or to have a question repeated.
  • Ask the interviewer questions. Always come prepared to ask 2-4 questions.
  • Smile and show your personality.