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How to Have a Successful InterviewBy: Shawnetta ReeceandEricka Williams
OBJECTIVESPlease refer to your objectives handout and read all objectives before continuing with this tutorial.
So what is an interview anyway?An interview is a formal meeting between an employer (interviewer) and an applicant (interviewee).For more definitions, please follow the links below:
So whats the big deal?Interviews are important because they allow the applicantan opportunity to share their talents and skills with the interviewer, they allow the interviewer to get to know the applicant, and it provides the applicant an opportunity to obtain a job to earn money. A bad interview will leave youwith nothing.
Okay. What is the first step?Prepare by researching, practicing, and being punctual !!
Prior to your interview, prepare answers to common questions the interviewer is likely to ask, such as What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why do you want to work here? Why should we hire you? and the ever popular Tell me about yourself.
Research the company.Research the company beforehand so that you can showcase that knowledge during the interview. This will boost your credibility with the interviewer and will help you to formulate intelligent questions to ask him or her.
Ready. Now I cant be late.
Be PunctualBe sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before the interview.Visit the restroom and check your appearance in the mirror. Announce yourself to the receptionist to let him or her know that you have arrived and that you have an appointment.
Wait! What about my appearance?Wear suit or dressIron clothesMake sure clothes are clean and free from stains and soilsIf wearing a shirt, tuck it in and wear a beltDo not wear flip-flops or sandalsAvoid perfumes or colognes
Hair should be neatly groomed and cutIf a male, face should be cleanly shavedNails should be at an appropriate length and cleanJewelry should be kept to a minimum (one ring per hand and no facial rings)
Ahh! This Looks Good.
Whats wrong with this picture?Name two dressing mistakes in the picture below.
Answers may beFace not cleanly shavedInterviewee is wearing a tank topHair is not neatly groomed or cut
But how do I answer those tough interview questions?What are your weaknesses?Why are you interested in this position?Why are you the perfect candidate for this job?
What are my weaknesses?Even though none of us really want to admit we have weaknesses or focus on them, its always best to be prepared for this type of question.All of us have areas where wecould use some improvement you can be somewhat creativewith the response to this question.
What are my weaknesses?Try not to divulge too much and make sure you stick with weaknesses that are related to employment. Its also a good idea if you can turn the weakness you mention into a strength.EXAMPLE: I feel as though I could improve on my communication skills. I plan to do so by
Why are you interested in this position?The correct answer does not have anything to do with salary and benefits even though that is probably your real motivation.
You also shouldnt respond by saying you simply need a job. Most people, unless they are independently wealthy, need a job.
Why are you interested in this position?Most employers realize that the most productive employees are those who are interested in and satisfied with their work. This question is meant to find out whether this position will meet your needs and result in you being a highly efficient and productive employee or whether you will be looking for a better job as soon as another opportunity comes along and meanwhile just doing enough to get by.
Why are you the perfect candidate for this job?Focus on your unique experience, skills and education. Keep your answer to a couple of concise sentences that reflect what you believe to be your strongest ability.
EXAMPLE: I have always been very interested in (your product/service). I believe that the experience and skills I have obtained will allow me to help your organization meet their goals.
Time to practiceTake about 3 minutes to work with a partner to come up with a response to each question that is right for you.
What about attitude and body language?Guidelines:
Eye contact means you are paying attention, a firm handshake means you are confident, and nodding your head shows that you are thinking.
Your voice should be clear and confident and always listen attentively. Speak clearly and enunciate all words.
In addition, make sure you demonstrate that you are honest, work well with others, understand other peoples feelings, and display good manners.
In other wordsHave an enthusiastic and positive attitudeSmileHave good postureHave good eye contactFirm handshakeSpeak clearly and enunciate all wordsUse Standard EnglishBe honestBe a team playerBe courteous to othersDemonstrate good manners
Time to practiceView the following pictures and identify mistakes dealing with attitude and body language during an interview.
AnswersDead fish handshakeNo enthusiasm, no smileSlouched in chair, dressed in jeans and tennis shoes, wearing headphones while waiting and eating a sucker.
After an interview, am I done?NO!!! You should reflect on what happened during an interview by jotting down some notes about how it went. The more you are able to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of an interview the more successful you will become.
What exactly should I reflect on?Example: After the interview, Michael Jones felt really good about the interview. However, he was concerned with a few things such as
he should have spoke clearly and slowly because the interviewer had to ask him to repeat himself several times throughout the interview and
he was not able to give an example of why he would be the best candidate for this job because he was not sure what his strengths were.
What exactly should I reflect on?Other reflection questions to ask yourself:
Did I demonstrate good manners?
Did I dress properly for the interview?
Did I state that I work as a team player?
Did I answer all questions that the interviewer asked?
Did I display proper body language such as gestures, posture, and eye contact?
Time to practiceRead the following scenario and explain three strengths and three weaknesses of the interview.Part 1:Mary Adams and Luke Jones meet for the first time. Luke Jones works in the Human Resource Department for Daisy, Inc. He asks Mary Adams to come into his office for an interview. Mrs. Adams gives Mr. Jones a firm handshake and is smiling from ear to ear. Mr. Jones also notices that Mrs. Adams is wearing jeans and her hair is not very neat or combed. Even though Mrs. Adams gets nervous during interviews, rather than chewing gum, she takes a deep breath by counting down from 10 to 1.
Time to practice (cont.)Part 2:
Mrs. Adams is very excited about the job she is being interviewed for and Mr. Jones can tell by her body language and the way she speaks about why she would be the best candidate for the job. When Mr. Jones is interviewing Mrs. Adams during the interview, she uses proper English and speaks with confidence when responding to his questions. However, Mr. Jones is getting annoyed with the loud noise that Mrs. Adamss bracelets are making when she moves.
Time to practice (cont.)Part 3:Mrs. Adams answers most of the questions that Mr. Jones asks, but she could not answer what her strengths are except that she is a hard worker. Another question that Mr. Jones asks is she a team player. Mrs. Adams states that she prefers to complete all projects on her own without assistance. She also prefers to work alone rather than depending on others. At the end of the interview, they both stand and shake hands. Mr. Jones asks Mrs. Adams for her resume which she gives him. He finally states that he would be in contact with her in a few days through email.** Take 5 minutes to evaluate this scenario and name three strengths and weakness of the interview.
Answers: StrengthsO Enthusiastic and positive attitudeSmiled and was very energetic and excited about the jobO Used proper Standard EnglishDid not use any slangO Demonstrated good manners Very respectful by greeting the interviewer with a firm handshake and did not chew gum
Answers: WeaknessesO Could not provide a full explanation to an answer that was askedOnly provided one or two words (i.e., hard worker) rather than elaborating and providing examples of how she is a hard workerO Preferred to work aloneStated that she could solve problems without any assistance from anyoneO Did not dress properlyWore jeans, hair was not combed, and wore jewelry that was distracting
CONGRATULATIONS!! YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS!!!
Title Page**You are being presented with a complete tutorial on how you can land the job of your dreams by learning how to have a successful interview.*The cartoon is provided to add some humor and maintain the learners attention.*You will practice mock interviews with a partner to help you better prepare.
*Look the part. Your clothing should be neat, pressed, and professional looking. As it can be difficult to know the culture of the office environment beforehand, err on the side of conservative. Even if everyones wearing jeans when you arrive, youre still probably better off having shown up in a suit or dress. However, dont be afraid to inject some personality into your look, and dont neglect the details. Make sure to have a fresh haircut and clean, manicured nails. Do not overdo jewelry, perfume/cologne or make-up.
*Give students approximately 30 seconds to name two mistakes.*Remember the examples that are provided are there for you to use as the basic structure for formulating your own answers. While the specifics of each reply may not apply to you, try to follow the basic structure of the answer from the perspective of the interviewer. Answer the questions behaviorally, with specific examples that show clear evidence backs up what you are saying about yourself. Always provide information that shows you want to become the very best _____ for the company and that you have specifically prepared yourself to become exactly that. They want to be sold. They are waiting to be sold. Don't disappoint them!
*Most job candidates are prepared to discuss their skills and strengths but aredumbfounded when employers ask about their weaknesses.
*This is probably one of the most difficult questions to answer, especially if you dont know exactly what the employer is looking for and what the other candidates have to offer.