What does the employer hope to gain from a job interview?
The employer wants to obtain information about potential employees in order to make a good decision about hiring. The employer wants to portray their company in a positive light and inform the potential employee about the company.
What should you (the potential employee) be ready to do in an interview?
Be able to articulate your skills, abilities, and knowledge to the interviewer. Know what is on your resume. Be prepared to answer questions about anything that is on your resume. Be aware of your personality and character. Think about how you communicate. Consider your fit with the organization. What would you be doing? Who would you be working with? What are they like? Do you think you would fit-in?
What are your goals for the interview?
You want to promote your ability to do the job. You are trying to sell yourself. Present your skills, values and interests in a manner that will make them want to know more about you and possibly offer you a position. You want to be able to select the best possible opportunity for yourself. You should try to get a sense of the workplace environment when you are interviewing. Try to decide if it would be a great place for you to work in the future.
What should you do before the interview?
Research! Research the company, the position, the specific job market. It might help to talk to someone in the same field before the interview to try and prepare yourself. Researching the position will help you prepare for possible questions that you may be asked during an interview. Researching the company will help you prepare for interacting with the people that are interviewing you. This is very beneficial at a business lunch or an evening dinner with potential employers. Try to learn about the organizational environment of the company. This will help you understand where you would fit-in with the company.
How can I prepare for my interview?
- Know yourself - Know your skills and be prepared to talk about them at length. Be able to talk about your past experience and know how it relates to the position you are seeking. Have a knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses and know how you can contribute to a company or organization. Think about your short and long term goals and about the future.
- Practice - Go over sample questions and think about how you would answer them. Schedule a Mock Interview with Career Services. Practice your interview skills with friends and family.
- Develop knowledge of the employer
- Research - The position, the industry, the economy, and the general business environment -- Know about the competition, the history of the company, and the direction in which they are going. If you do not do enough research, it will show!
How do I promote myself in the interview?
It starts with how you dress. Men should wear a navy or dark suit with black shoes and a black belt preferably. Women should wear a nice dress or skirt, or business suit. Stay away from loud colors. Dark is good. You should appear neat and well-groomed. Employers pay close attention to non-verbals so be aware of what you are doing. Look like you are enjoying your self and that you want to be there. This is the one chance you get to brag about yourself. Take advantage of it. The employers want to hear about you and all of the great things that you have done.
What is informational Interviewing?
Informational interviewing can be very beneficial when looking for a job. The goal of informational interviewing is to get information not a job. This is your chance to go out and contact employers that you are interested in and gain information about their company. This is a great way to "network". The contacts that you make can be very valuable to you in the future. You should contact individuals that work in organizations you are interested in and who hold a position that you are curious about.
Can employers ask me anything?
NO! There are questions that are inappropriate for employers to ask. They should never ask questions that are not related to your ability to do a job (for example: age, marital status, national origin, affiliations, etc.)
What Can I do?
You do have a few options if someone asks you questions that are inappropriate. You could:
- Answer the question that was asked.
- Ask what relevance the question has to the interview.
- Redirect the discussion to a new topic area.
- Refuse to answer the question.
- Do not argue with the interviewer.
- You may also want to decide if you would want to work for an employer who would ask these questions.