Interview Prep Steps

Prepare for your interview…

Step 1: Self-Preparation

Your goal is to present yourself as the kind of candidate the employer is looking for:  someone with a good knowledge of self, capabilities and shortcomings, someone with a clear vision of goals and opportunities.  Your answers to the potential employer’s questions should all benefit the company.

Step 2: Research the Employer

Find out as much as you can about the potential employer.  We will provide you with as much information as possible, but it is always helpful to find out more.  Doing so will allow you to match your unique skills and qualifications to the employer’s needs.  Find out who they are, where they have offices, and what their major products/services are.  Compose specific questions based on your research.  Helpful places to look are the library and internet.

Step 3: Positive Attitude

Project a favorable image to the interviewer by arriving early, dressing appropriately (always a suit, unless otherwise advised), and behaving in a courteous manner to everyone at the company (you never know who will have input in the final decision).  Be poised and enthusiastic about your opportunities with the employer, and confident in your abilities.  This helps ensure that you make a good impression, especially in the first five minutes of the interview, during which time an interviewer frequently determines whether or not you are a serious candidate.

Step 4: Interview Awareness

Prepare for the kinds of questions the interviewer might ask.  Familiarize yourself with interview questions in general and formulate several ways you might answer them.  When asked a question, listen carefully and respond directly.  Some interviewers rely heavily upon body language.  Be conscious of your posture and do not shy away from direct eye contact.

Common Questions Asked by Employers:

  • What do you consider to be your greatest strengths?  Can you name some weaknesses?
  • Define success/failure.
  • Have you ever had any failures? What did you learn from them?
  • Have you ever spoken before a group of people?  How large?
  • What can you offer us?
  • Why did you choose to attend your school/college/trade school?
  • Why did you choose your major?
  • What do you expect to learn from this position?
  • Where do you hope to be in five years?
  • Give an example of a situation in which you provided a solution to an employer.
  • Give an example of a time in which you worked under deadline pressure.
  • How do you think your former supervisor would describe your work?
  • What did you enjoy most about your last employment?  Least?
  • How do you feel about working in a structured environment?
  • Are you able to work on several assignments at once?
  • What motivates you?
  • How do you feel about working overtime/travel/relocation?
  • Would you be successful working with a team?
  • Describe your responsibilities at each position you have had.
  • Salary questions – tell them you are in the range and ASSURANCE will handle all negotiations.

Questions to Ask an Employer:

  • What is the largest single problem facing your staff/department right now?
  • What kinds of assignments might I expect during the first six months on the job?
  • Please describe the duties of the job for me.
  • What are growth projections for the next year? For company?  For position?
  • What do you like best about your job/company?
  • Is there a lot of team/project work?
  • Where does this position fit into the organizational structure?
  • What skills are especially important for someone in this position?