Interview Skills

There is no formula for predicting the format of employment interviews. Interviewers’ styles vary and, consequently, there exists a range of approaches, from structured to non-directive.

Whether you encounter a structured or non-directive style interview, the key to selling yourself in the interview involves preparation. Set an agenda of key points that you want the interviewer to know about you, and energetically articulate these points in the interview. Provide the interviewer with compelling reasons to select you over other candidates.

Preparation

  • Research the job or position being interviewed for.
  • Determine the skills required.
  • Self – Assessment: Know your own interests, skills and values.
  • Rehearse answers to basic questions. Be prepared for surprises. Be prepared to provide examples of occasions when results were different than expected.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice! Make an appointment to do a Mock Interview with a team member of Career Education or practice with friends and family.

Don’t underestimate transferable skills!

Even if your past experience does not seem to be directly relevant to a position that you are applying for, do not assume that you will not be able to use the skills that you have gained.

Decoding Interview Questions

Interview questions can fool you because they all seem to be about you. People who don’t get the job spend too much of their limited time talking about their interests and their goals. Truth is, all the questions are attempts to discover what you can do for them. Both general and behavioral interview questions focus on your skill-set, experience, and employer research.

 Questions to ask interviewers

Remember to always ask a few questions at the end of your interview to show your interest in the organization and to learn a little more about the opportunity. Below are a list of example questions to ask interviewers.

  1. What are the responsibilities and objectives of the position?
  2. What skills have you found to be valuable in this position?
  3. What improvements would you like to see in these area?
  4. Who will evaluate my performance? In what way?
  5. Can I provide you with any other information to help you in the decision-making process?
  6. How soon can I expect to hear from you?

 Thank you letter
Be sure to immediately follow-up any interview you have with a thank you letter or email. Thank you letters should be written immediately, no later than the next day. Examples of thank you letters are available in the Professional Documents Guidebook.