Strategies for Interview Success
1. Learn about the position you are applying for. Get job descriptions,
know the application process and procedures, and any "unpublished"
data you can find, like who is on the search committee, who you would
report to, and a general salary range and associated benefits. This
will help you determine if this is the right position for you. Scout
out the location and leave yourself extra time to get there.
2. Learn about the company or organization, including its
history, staff, and leadership. Access web sites and any
published materials you can, like annual reports, press releases.
Use company web sites, the Internet and informational interviewing
to learn more about the company. Its current and future financial
status, as well as the overall staff morale, is an important factor
3. Anticipate typical and atypical questions and prepare
your responses. Most employers will ask you to "Tell me
about yourself", "Why do you want this job," "What makes you the
best candidate?", "Where do you see yourself in several years?"
"What are your strengths and weaknesses?" and "What do you know
about our company?" Atypical questions may focus on how you would
handle a particular problem or issue or specifics about what you
would do if hired. You may get some personal and/or inappropriate
questions, depending on the skills or experience of the interviewers.
Be truthful, keep your answers short and uncomplicated and don't
show you are rattled, annoyed or nervous, even if you are. In general,
keep a positive focus and don't badmouth anybody, no matter how
terrible an employer or boss you once had.
4. Have a list of your own questions about the position. Don't go into
small details, and don't belabor issues such as salary and benefits in the first
interview. Relate interviewer responses to your own assets and contributions to
the employer. Don't turn it into an interrogation- that suggests you did not do
enough homework about the job and organization. Enjoy the interview process --
it should be viewed as a challenge with a potentially rewarding outcome.
5. Get very good references and prepare them by telling them
what you are applying for and why. Send them a copy of your
resume, and bring a list of their names, email and regular mail
address along with their phone numbers to the interview. It can
be helpful to send your references a job description to understand
what is expected of you.