14+ Tips To Get You Interview Ready

Interview Tips

Job Interview Do’s:

Dress the part of someone who is successful in your chosen field. Make sure your clothing fits well, is neatly pressed, and is appropriate for the work environment.

Greet your interviewer with a firm – but not bone crunching – handshake, and a warm smile.  Sit up straight and lean slightly forward during the interview.

Make regular – but not piercing or staring – eye contact.  Show some energy and enthusiasm through your vocal tone.

Analyze the requirements for your target job and be prepared to share at least five compelling reasons as to why you should be hired.

Prepare anecdotes, stories and examples that show how you have tapped those strengths to be successful in your past jobs, internships, classes and activities.  Describe specific situations or challenges, the actions you took to intervene, and the results which you generated.

Pay particular attention to how you have positively impacted the bottom line in your past jobs – whether that was saving money, increasing sales, retaining staff, recruiting employees, securing funding or improving quality.

Listen carefully to each question before jumping in with your response.  Ask for clarification if you are unsure of what the interviewer is getting at.

Carefully review your resume and be prepared to discuss challenges and successes in each position listed in your document.

Rehearse answers to some typical interview questions, including the dreaded inquiry about your weaknesses.

Be ready to explain in as positive a manner as possible why you left, or why you were asked to leave, any position on your resume.

Make sure you research the employer thoroughly and know why you would like to work there.

Let the interviewer know at the close of your meeting that you are highly interested in the job based on what you learned through the process. Make it clear that you would welcome the opportunity to work with them, or continue on in the process.

Secure the name and email of each interviewer prior to leaving the premises.

As soon as possible after departing, send a follow up email, card or letter which expresses your gratitude, briefly summarizes how the job is a good fit and references your heightened interest in the position.

What to Avoid During a Job Interview

In addition to being sure that you are doing all the right things, it’s important not to do the wrong things during a job interview. Acting inappropriately during a job interview, or saying something that causes concern for the interviewer will hinder your chances of getting hired. Here are some things not to do when you’re interviewing.

Job Interview Don’ts:

  • Criticize any previous employer, co-worker or supervisor.
  • Make any false statements that could be discovered by your employer in the future.
  • Share any weaknesses which are central to your target job.
  • Make vague, unsubstantiated assertions about your qualifications.
  • Show a preference for any single interviewer in a group interview situation.
  • Act like a know it all.
  • Check your cell phone during your interview.
  • Arrive late for your interview.
  • Enter the employer’s facility more than 20 minutes prior to the interview.
  • Dress in too casual a manner.
  • Act like you could take or leave the job.
  • Talk too much.
  • Joke around excessively.

Common Interview Questions About You

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • How will your greatest strength help you perform?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Tell me about something that’s not on your resume.
  • How do you handle failure?
  • How do you handle success?
  • Do you consider yourself successful? Why?
  • Are you lucky?
  • Are you nice?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • Describe a typical work week.
  • Describe your work style.
  • Do you work well with other people?
  • Do you take work home with you?
  • How are you different from the competition?
  • How do you view yourself? Who do you compare yourself to?
  • How does this job fit in with your career plan?
  • How many hours do you normally work?
  • How would you adjust to working for a new company?
  • How would you describe the pace at which you work?
  • How do you handle stress and pressure?
  • Is there anything else we should know about you?
  • What motivates you?
  • Are you a self-motivator?
  • What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
  • What has been the greatest disappointment in your life?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What are your pet peeves?
  • What do people most often criticize about you?
  • What is the biggest criticism you received from your boss?
  • What is the worst thing that you have ever gotten away with?
  • What is your dream job?
  • What is your professional development plan?
  • What makes you angry?
  • What strategies would you use to motivate your team?
  • What will you miss most about your last job?
  • What won’t you miss about your last job?
  • What would you be looking for in an applicant?
  • When was the last time you were angry? What happened?
  • Would you rather be liked or respected?
  • Why did you choose your major?
  • Why did you go back to school?
  • Why should I take a risk on you?
  • If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  • If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?
  • Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
  • Give some examples of teamwork.
  • More teamwork interview questions.
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • How do you evaluate success?
  • If you know your boss is 100% wrong about something how would you handle it?
  • Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it.
  • Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.

Common Interview Questions About Your Qualifications

  • Are you overqualified for this job?
  • Describe how you managed a problem employee.
  • How did you impact the bottom line?
  • Interview questions about your abilities.
  • What applicable attributes / experience do you have?
  • What can you do better for us than the other candidates for the job?
  • What part of the job will be the least challenging for you?
  • Which parts of this job are the most challenging for you?
  • What philosophy guides your work?
  • What strength will help you the most to succeed?
  • Why are you interested in taking a lower level job?
  • Why are you interested in a non-management job?

Common Interview Questions About Your Work History

  • Name of company, position title and description, dates of employment.
  • Questions about your resume.
  • What were your expectations for the job and to what extent were they met?
  • What were your responsibilities?
  • What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them?
  • What have you learned from your mistakes?
  • What did you like or dislike about your previous job?
  • Which was most / least rewarding?
  • What was the biggest accomplishment / failure in this position?
  • Questions about job demotions.
  • Questions about your supervisors and co-workers.
  • What was it like working for your supervisor?
  • What do you expect from a supervisor?
  • What problems have you encountered at work?
  • Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager?
  • Have you worked with someone who didn’t like your work?
  • How did you fit in with the company culture?
  • How have you impacted worker safety?
  • Who was your best boss and who was the worst?
  • Describe your ideal boss.
  • Describe the gap in your employment history.
  • Tell me about something you would have done differently at work.
  • Why are you leaving your job?
  • Why do you want to change jobs?
  • Why were you fired?
  • Why were you laid-off?
  • Why did you quit your job?
  • Why did you resign?
  • What have you been doing since your last job?
  • Why have you been out of work so long?
  • Why weren’t you promoted at your last job?

Common Interview Questions About Money

  • What were your starting and final levels of compensation?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What are your salary requirements – both short-term and long-term?
  • Why would you take a job for less money?

Common Interview Questions About the New Job and the Company

  • How is our company better than your current employer?
  • Should employees use social media at work?
  • What interests you about this job?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What can you do for this company?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why shouldn’t we hire you?
  • Why should we hire you instead of the other applicants for the job?
  • Why are you the best person for the job?
  • What do you know about this company?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What challenges are you looking for in a position?
  • What can we expect from you in the first 60 days on the job?
  • What can you contribute to this company?
  • What do you see yourself doing within the first 30 days on the job?
  • What would you do if you found out the company was doing something illegal?
  • Are you willing to travel?
  • What are the most significant trends in your field?
  • What is good customer service?
  • What would be your ideal company culture?
  • How long do you expect to remain employed with this company?
  • When could you start work?
  • Please rate me as an interviewer.
  • Is there anything I haven’t told you about the job or company that you would like to know?

Common Interview Questions About the Future

  • What are you looking for in your next job? What is important to you?
  • Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  • What are your goals for the next five years / ten years?
  • How do you plan to achieve those goals?
  • How would you feel about working for a younger manager?
  • More questions about your career goals.
  • What will you do if you don’t get this position?
  • Where else are you interviewing?

Behavioral Interview Questions In addition to being ready to answer these standard questions, prepare for behavior-based interview questions. This is based on the premise that a candidate’s past performance is the best predictor of future performance. You will need to be prepared to provide detailed responses including specific examples of your work experiences.

– Author: Alan Drage (People Services, Director)