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Interviewing Skills. UNLV Career Services 301 Student Services Complex 895-3495 http://hire.unlv.edu. Purpose of an Interview. The mutual exchange of information relevant to the employment opportunity and the candidate’s qualifications – a two-way conversation. Your Role in the Interview.

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Interviewing Skills

UNLV Career Services

301 Student Services Complex

895-3495

http://hire.unlv.edu


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Purpose of an Interview

  • The mutual exchange of information relevant to the employment opportunity and the candidate’s qualifications – a two-way conversation


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Your Role in the Interview

  • Highlight experience, skills, personality traits, and potential contributions

  • Evaluate the position and organization

  • Get a glimpse of your possible supervisor and co-workers


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Employer’s Role

  • Assess your qualifications

  • Evaluate your communication skills (both verbal and non-verbal), appearance, and how well you fit with the position and organization


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Before the Interview –Be Prepared!

  • Know yourself – review your skills, experiences, and personality traits in relation to the position and organization

  • Know the organization – research products, services, new projects, competitors, fiscal health, etc.


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Before the Interview – Be Prepared!

  • Logistics – confirm interview time and length, place, and personnel

  • Logistics – map out and run through route to the location of interview (should arrive 10 – 15 minutes early)

  • Have extra copies of your resume and references (and any other requested material)


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The Interview - Opening

  • Arrival – prepare yourself mentally and physically

  • Greetings/Introductions - first impressions are both verbal and non-verbal (handshake, smile, eye contact, general body language)

  • Small Talk – weather, parking, etc.


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The Interview - Body

  • Candidate’s background and qualifications for position

  • Overview of position and organization

  • Questions from candidate


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Sample Interview Questions

  • Tell me about yourself

  • What attracts you to this field/position?

  • What are your strengths?/weaknesses?

  • Tell me about an accomplishment that you are proud of


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Sample Interview Questions

  • What motivates you?

  • What are your tactics for working under pressure?

  • Talk about a mistake you made, and what you learned from it

  • Why should I hire you over the other candidates I will be interviewing?


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Behavior-based Questions

  • The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior

  • “Tell me about a time when you had to…”

    • Work as part of a team

    • Meet a deadline

    • Deal with a difficult customer


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Answering Behavior-based Questions

  • “Tell a story” that:

    • Explains the situation/sets the scene

    • Illustrates your approach to the situation

    • Highlights results/outcomes


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Answering Questions in General

  • Develop and rehearse your responses

  • Know yourself well, and how you fit with the position and organization

  • Support your answers with solid examples

  • Incorporate skills and personal qualities/attributes into your answers


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Answering Questions in General

  • Be confident and enthusiastic

  • Relax and smile – an interview is a conversation

  • Actively listen – follow the lead of the interviewer


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Personal Questions

  • Questions should focus on functions of the position

  • Do not volunteer personal information such as age, medical background, marital status, religion, etc.

    • Focus on your qualifications for the position


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Responding to Personal Questions

  • You can answer the question

    • You are giving information that isn’t related to the job

  • You can refuse to answer the question

    • You may risk appearing uncooperative or confrontational


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Responding to Personal Questions

  • You can analyze the question for its intent and respond with an answer as it may apply to the job

    • Personal Question - “How old are your children?”

    • Intent of Question – “Would you be able to travel as needed for the job?”

    • Answer – “I can meet the travel schedule that this job requires”

Source: Rochelle Kaplan, NACE


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Questions From the Candidate

  • You are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you

  • Be prepared with a list of questions


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Questions From the Candidate

  • Questions to ask may include:

    • How is the orientation and training structured/How much training?

    • How will I receive feedback about my performance, and how often?

    • How did this position become available?


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Questions From the Candidate

  • Questions to ask may include:

    • What are some of the challenges the organization faces?

    • What are you looking for in the ideal candidate?

    • What do you like about working here?


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The Interview - Close

  • Clarify follow-up procedures

    • Timeline for hiring

    • Additional materials needed

    • Get a business card from interviewer(s)


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The Interview - Close

  • Leave with a positive impression

    • Reiterate your qualifications and fit for the position

    • Reiterate your enthusiasm for the position


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After the Interview

  • Send a thank-you note (within 24-48 hours is best)

    • Personalize it (specific topic discussed, etc.)

    • Reiterate interest and qualifications for the position

    • Determine format (e-mail, typed on paper, hand-written on stationery)


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After the Interview

  • Keep records

    • Evaluate yourself

    • Follow-up timeline


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Phone Interviews

  • Organizations conduct phone interviews as a cost-savings technique

  • Phone interviews can be one-on-one or with a panel

  • Phone interviews can last anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour

  • Phone interviews do not provide the opportunity for non-verbal feedback


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Phone Interview Tips

  • Be prepared for the call

    • Fifteen minutes before actual time (account for time zone differences)

    • Create a quiet zone

    • Have documents and notes in front of you – resume, cover letter, job description, paper for note taking, etc.


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Phone Interview Tips

  • Be prepared for the call

    • If using a cordless or a cell phone, make sure it is charged

    • Have water handy to wet your mouth


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Phone Interview Tips

  • During the call

    • Greet everyone by name when introduced

    • Smile when you talk – your enthusiasm will be heard by the interviewer

    • Speak loud enough and at an understandable pace

    • Don’t eat, chew gum, or smoke


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Phone Interview Tips

  • During the call

    • Don’t walk around the room – it may affect your signal

    • Don’t get distracted by using a computer, having other people in the room, etc.

    • Thank everybody at the conclusion of the interview – first impressions are conveyed over the phone as well


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Interview Apparel

  • Women

    • Dark coordinated suits (skirt or pants) with matching dress blouse

    • Skirt length no more than one inch above the knee

    • Dress shoes with moderate heel (no open toe)

    • Neutral colored hose


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Interview Apparel

  • Women

    • Dress watch

    • Minimal, conservative jewelry

    • Hair past shoulder length pulled away from face

    • Natural looking make-up

    • Clear or conservatively colored nail polish


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Interview Apparel

  • Men

    • Dark suits

    • Dark dress shoes (no loafers)

    • Dark dress socks

    • Conservative neck tie

    • Dress watch


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Interview Apparel

  • Men

    • Well-groomed facial hair

    • Nails – trimmed and clean


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Both Men and Women

  • No visible tattoos

  • No visible body piercing

  • No purple, green, etc. colored hair

  • No heavy cologne/perfume

  • Fresh breath

  • Freshly showered (use deodorant)

  • Freshly pressed clothing


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UNLV Career Services

  • Mock Interview

  • Individual Counseling Appointment

  • SSC 301

  • 895-3495

  • http://hire.unlv.edu


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