Mastering the art of interviewing
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Mastering the Art of Interviewing. Career Center. Qualifications and the Interview. “Was I judged on my qualifications for the job or on how well I performed in the interview?”

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Qualifications and the interview
Qualifications and the Interview

  • “Was I judged on my qualifications for the job or on how well I performed in the interview?”

  • Careful preparation and effective communication could give the applicant an edge over the competition and help the applicant get that job.

Advantages to being prepared
Advantages to Being Prepared

  • If you know what you want to say ahead of time, you can usually articulate it better.

  • If you know something about the organization to which you are applying, you will have a better idea as to how to frame questions and answers.

  • Being prepared will give you more confidence and boost your overall performance.

How to prepare
How to Prepare:

  • Write out answers to sample questions

  • Videotapes

  • Give answers to friend, mirror, tape recorder

  • Attend professional events

  • Practice Interview

  • Mock Interview

  • Research the company or organization that is interviewing you

  • Ask people you know questions about the organization you are applying to

  • Next comes library and internet research

What to look for
What to look for:

  • Age of the organization

  • Products or Services it offers

  • Past and anticipated growth

  • Current problems or needs

  • Location of plants, offices, and stores

  • Does it have a parent organization or subsidiaries?

  • Identify information which coincides with your education, interests, or experiences.

What to look for cont
What to Look For: (cont.)

  • Key people in the organization

  • Size in terms of sales and employees

  • Organizational structure of the company

  • Major competitors

  • Reputation

  • Assets and earnings

  • Types of customers

Keep in mind
Keep In Mind

  • Why do you want to work for this organization?

  • What interests you about the products or services the organization provides?

  • What do you know about the organization?

  • Why do you think you would like this job?

Find out ahead of time
Find Out Ahead of Time

  • Salary information: range

  • Nature of the position: duties involved, and how the position fits into the overall structure of the organization

  • Information about your interviewer:

    -name, title, pronunciation, and position

    * When you are finished with your research, draw up a list of questions on the organization or position

Review your r sum and portfolio
Review Your Résumé and Portfolio

  • Review your résumé:

    -find what you want to highlight in your interview

    -pick most relevant experiences and note these on a separate piece of paper

    -note personal strengths or accomplishments not mentioned in your résumé

    -recall any positive work habits developed at work or in school

  • Review your portfolio:

    -leave only the most relevant examples of your work in it

    -add any pertinent information

    -determine how these might be presented during the interview

Self confidence

  • Mental preparation is just as important as library/internet research.

  • A self-confident applicant communicates to the interviewer by demeanor as well as words.

The day before the interview
The Day Before the Interview

  • Decide what you are going to wear and lay it out.

  • Have all your materials organized and ready to go.

  • Schedule sufficient travel time to allow you 5-10 minutes in the waiting room.

    * you may want to travel to the location the day before to be sure you know where you’re going.

Dress to impress


Clean, pressed business suit

Light shirt

Conservative tie

Matching socks

Shined shoes

Clean, trimmed head and facial hair

Fresh shave

Minimal or no cologne

No food, gum, or cigarettes

Clean nails

Empty pockets


Clean, pressed suit or tailored dress

Conservative hosiery without runs

Polished pumps in good repair

Carry either a purse or attache case

Attractive, controlled hair style

Minimal make-up and perfume

Moderate jewelry

Clean fingernails with no chipped polish

No gum, food, or cigarettes

Positive attitude

Dress to Impress

What to bring
What to Bring:

  • Portfolio

  • Extra resumes

  • Transcript

  • List of references

  • 3-5 key strengths

  • List of questions

  • Interview portfolio - if you have one

Behavior based interviewing bbi
Behavior-Based Interviewing (BBI)

  • Behavior-based interviewing is based on the premise that an applicant’s past behavior will predict how he or she will respond in similar situations in the future.

  • BBI focuses on determining how you, the interviewee, have actively applied your skills.

  • The interviewer is looking for proof that you can demonstrate the desired capabilities in the real world.

The bbi process
The BBI Process

  • The interviewer’s questions will be designed to elicit detailed descriptions from you on how you handled yourself in certain situations.

  • BBI challenges you to recall (in detail) what you did, thought, and felt in key situations as if you were reliving them.

  • This helps the interviewer better understand your thought process, decision-making skills, and emotional state- as well as the results of your actions.

How to respond
How to Respond:

  • You will be expected to give detailed, but focused, descriptions of actual circumstances.

  • Expect to think-often in painstaking detail-under pressure.

  • Take your time in formulating your response.

  • Be thorough, yet direct.

Create a s t a r story
Create a S.T.A.R. story

  • Situation: describe an overview of the situation

  • Task: talk about the task

  • Action: describe the action you took

  • Result: positive result

Commonly asked questions in the bbi interview
Commonly Asked Questions in the BBI Interview

  • Describe a creative/innovative idea that you produced which led to a significant contribution to the success of an activity or project.

  • What was the most complex assignment you have had? What was your role?

  • Tell me about a suggestion you made to improve the way job processes/operations worked. What was the result?

  • What are three effective leadership qualities you think are important? How have you demonstrated these qualities in your past/current situation?

  • Give me a specific example of a time when you did not meet a deadline. How did you handle the subsequent situation?

Stages of the interview
Stages of the Interview

  • Introductory Stage: 2-5 minutes

  • Qualification/Background Assessment Stage: 15-20 minutes

  • Organizational Information Stage: 10-20 min.

  • Termination Stage: 1-2 minutes

Introductory stage
Introductory Stage

  • Shake hands

  • Use interviewer’s name

  • Assure interviewer has resume

  • Project positive attitude-enthusiasm

Qualification background assessment stage
Qualification/Background Assessment Stage

  • Questions regarding goals, objectives, education, experience, interests, activities

  • Listen actively

  • Watch for cues for feedback

  • Pride in past performances

  • Answer complete, clear, concise, true

  • No “yes” or “no” answers

Common interview questions
Common Interview Questions

  • Tell me a little about yourself:

  • Why are you interested in working for this organization?

  • Why have you chosen this particular field?

  • Describe your best/worst boss.

  • What is your major strength/weakness?

  • Give me an example of a problem you encountered either in school or at work, explain how you solved it.

  • Where do you see yourself in three years?

  • Describe an experience in which you worked as a part of a team.

  • If you could be an animal, which would it be and why?

  • What was the last book you read?

  • Do you have any questions for me?

  • More Questions

Organizational information stage
Organizational Information Stage

  • Listen.

  • Clarify any questions about job-organization.

    *What aspects of the job would you like to see improved?

    * What are the key challenges and/or problems facing the person in the position?

    *Is there room for professional growth and upward mobility?

    *When, how, and by whom would I be evaluated? What are the performance criteria?

    *What is the department’s environment/culture like?

  • Prepare 3 Thought-Provoking questions.

Questions to ask
Questions to Ask

  • How do you like working for XYZ organization/company?

  • How are new projects or jobs determined or evaluated?

  • Tell me about your background and how working at XYZ has helped satisfy your career desires.

Termination stage
Termination Stage

  • Briefly summarize your strongest qualifications

  • Express enthusiasm for the job

  • Make certain you understand the next step (follow-up interview, etc.)

  • Thank the interviewer

    *Make sure you have the interview’s name and address so you can send a thank you letter.

Interviewing rule of three
Interviewing Rule of Three

  • List three strengths

  • List three weakness

  • List three reasons why an employer should hire you

  • List three reasons why you want the job

Interview checklist
Interview Checklist

  • Research

  • Practice

  • Be prompt and prepared

  • Act professionally

  • Converse

  • Be enthusiastic

  • Thank the interviewer

  • Follow-up

  • Write a thank you letter to anyone you have spoken to

  • Review the interview process and your performance

  • Evaluate

Thank you for coming
Thank You for Coming!

Career Center

201 Behmler Hall