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Successful Interviewing. Iona College Center for Career Services. Why are Interviews Conducted?. Meet the candidate first-hand. Probe for detailed information about the candidate. Determine the candidates suitability for the position and organization.

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successful interviewing

Successful Interviewing

Iona College

Center for Career Services

why are interviews conducted
Why are Interviews Conducted?
  • Meet the candidate first-hand.
  • Probe for detailed information about the candidate.
  • Determine the candidates suitability for the position and organization.
  • Where appropriate, sell the job and the organization.
preparing for the interview
Preparing for the Interview
  • Research the organization
  • Know yourself
  • Practice interviewing
  • Dress appropriately
conduct thorough research
Conduct Thorough Research
  • Research both the position and organization.
  • Visit the company website to learn more about it’s mission, culture, job openings, and media news.
  • Know who you are interviewing with –individual(s) or a panel and the approximate length of the interview.
  • Know geographic directions and take a dry run if necessary.
know how to market yourself
Know How to Market Yourself
  • Assess your strengths including skills, knowledge, and personal traits.
  • Determine how your strengths match the employer’s needs and how they will benefit the organization.
  • Review your resume and be able to discuss in-depth. Be aware of red flags in your resume i.e. lack of G.P.A., limited work history or activities.
practice makes perfect
Practice Makes Perfect
  • Practice with Career Services Staff and schedule a mock interview.
  • Recognize your strengths in interviewing and what you need to improve upon.
  • Work on challenging areas through practice with a friend or with yourself in front of a mirror.
  • Obtain sample questions and prepare your responses (see Career Services for on-line sample questions and handouts.
how to dress
How to Dress?
  • Dress appropriately: a suit is always appropriate and is the norm for business.
  • Don’t make the mistake of dressing too casual even if the company dress code is business casual.
  • Accessories and makeup should not be overstated.
  • Hair should be neat and clothes pressed.
  • What you wear won’t get you hired but the wrong attire/presentation will often screen you out.
typical interview structure
Typical Interview Structure
  • Introduction
  • Interviewer asks detailed questions
  • Candidate asks questions
  • Closing & summary
introductions count
Introductions Count
  • Employers form first impressions early on.
  • Greet the interviewer with enthusiasm and a firm handshake.
  • Be personable and prepared to “make small talk”.
  • Be polite to support staff (their input matters).
  • First impressions can affect the rest of the interview.
non verbal factors matter
Non-Verbal FactorsMatter
  • Be aware of your non-verbal habits and expressions.
  • Maintain good eye contact, posture, and positive expressions i.e. smiling or hand gestures where appropriate.
  • Avoid fidgeting and nervous expressions.
  • Do a practice interview to assess problem areas and make improvements.
verbal factors
Verbal Factors
  • Use proper grammar and communicate in a professional manner.
  • Reflect confidence in your voice tone.
  • Try avoiding “ums” and “you knows”.
  • Know geographic directions and take a dry run if necessary.
  • Stay focused on answering the questions in a specific and succinct way.
  • Ask for clarification if you are not sure what the interviewer wants.
  • Choose responses and verbal statements that promote you.
answering interviewer questions
Answering Interviewer Questions
  • Be preparedto talk about yourself:


-Personal Traits




-Work Values

answering interviewer questions13
Answering Interviewer Questions
  • Organize your answers to commonly asked questions.
  • Try to look at the question behind the question-what is the interviewer looking for?
  • Prepare by practicing responses that reflect your strengths.
  • Practice giving examples from classroom work, extracurricular, volunteering or life experiences.
  • Be prepared for questions asking for more details than you have already given.
  • Don’t be afraid to “sell yourself”.
examples of common questions
Examples of Common Questions
  • Why do you want to work for our organization?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your strengths (and weaknesses)?
  • How did you choose your college and major?
  • What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
  • What makes you a unique candidate for this position?
new techniques in interviewing
New Techniques in Interviewing
  • Many employers use Behavioral Interviewing questions.
  • Behavioral Interviewing focuses questions on past performance.
  • The basic premise is that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.
  • Employers will probe to solicit specific examples and to get details on how you conducted yourself in a particular situation.
examples of behavioral interviewing questions
Examples of Behavioral Interviewing Questions
  • Tell me about a time where you demonstrated strong teamwork during college.
  • How did you go about exercising leadership in a part-time job or internship?
  • Give me a specific example of when you offered extraordinary service to a customer.
  • When have you felt a great deal of pressure and how

did you deal with it?

  • Describe a situation where you demonstrated the ability to multi-task.
always prepare questions
Always Prepare Questions
  • Prepare a number of questions for the end of the interview.
  • Questions should be well thought out and indicate that you did your research (View the company website to trigger questions).
  • Generate a list of questions in advance about the position, the organization and the hiring manager’s expectations.
  • Develop questions that demonstrate your level of interest and intelligence.
  • Questions should help you decide if the position is right for you.
examples of questions to ask
Examples of Questions to Ask
  • As Manager, what are your expectations for the position?
  • Describe a typical work day.
  • How will I interact with other employees and managers throughout the company?
  • What are some of the challenges facing the company and the organization?
  • What is the culture of your company?
  • What type of training will I receive?
examples of questions that reflect research
Examples of Questions that Reflect Research
  • “I read on your website that you will be acquiring businesses to increase your customer presence. How will this impact your organization?
  • “A Wall Street Journal article of 2 weeks ago stressed your

company’s commitment to innovative marketing strategies.

Can you elaborate on those strategies?”

questions to avoid initially
Questions to Avoid Initially
  • Avoid questions in the initial interview about the following:



-Health and Retirement


  • They may reflect misplaced priorities.
  • Wait until the second interview or at the job offer.
  • Time for either side to ask final questions & summarize.
  • Find out the next steps. When will you hear from them?
  • Express interest (if appropriate).

“I’ve enjoyed this interview and am excited about opportunities with your company. I hope you will invite me to the next step.”

  • Ask for a business card (necessary for follow-up and thank you notes).
after the interview
After the Interview
  • Always write a thank you note:

-Reiterate your strengths and yourenthusiasm

-Include any important omissions

-Email or send typed note through mail

  • Keep a log:

-Any follow-up items

-All the important facts

-Any advice you were given

-Your key impressions

following up
  • Take any steps suggested by the interviewer:

-Providing references

-Contacting an employee or manager

-Completing application forms or exams

  • Stay in pursuit:

-Follow-up with them if necessary

-Let them know of your interest

the telephone interview
The Telephone Interview
  • Treat the phone interview like any interview.
  • Arrange to avoid interruptions.
  • Allow plenty of time.
  • Be comfortable.
  • Keep your resume and notes at your fingertips.
group interviews
Group Interviews
  • Some interviews are conducted by several key personnel in an organization.
  • Attempt to learn who will be interviewing you and their position.
  • Address each individual’s question taking into account what is important to them based on their position.
  • Strive for consistency in your responses if your interviews are conducted separately by a number of people.
learn from your interviews
Learn from Your Interviews
  • Learn from every interview and make improvements.
  • Use the interview to assess your career interests and goals.
  • Keep a log with notes on follow-up and your impression.
additional interviewing resources
Additional Interviewing Resources
  • Mock Interview Practice (videotaping) with a Career Counselor
  • Virtual Interviews (Visit our website) Interviewing Tips hand-out
  • Sample Interviewer Questions
  • Sample Questions to Ask
  • Articles on Telephone Interviews and Successful Interviewing
contact iona college center for career services
Contact Iona College Center for Career Services
  • Visit our website at:

  • For questions or to schedule an appointment Telephone: (914)633-2462 or


  • Visit our Center at 18 President Street