Basic Interview Skills

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Basic Interview Skills

  1. 1. Basic Interview Skills An Overview
  2. 2. What is an interview? <ul><li>An interview is a… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Structured meeting between you and the employer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviewing is a skill to be developed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practice makes perfect </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The purpose of an interview is to </li></ul><ul><li>Allow you to assess the position and nature of the organization to determine if there’s a fit between your professional goals and the job </li></ul><ul><li>Allow the Interviewer to gather information regarding your interests, skills, & abilities to determine if you will meet their needs </li></ul>
  3. 3. Interview Formats <ul><li>Phone or Screening Interview: Used to narrow the field </li></ul><ul><li>One-on-One Interview: Most common type; usually conducted by hiring official </li></ul><ul><li>Group/Panel Interview: Conducted by several people at once </li></ul><ul><li>Meal Interview: Used to see how you interact in a social situation </li></ul><ul><li>Second/Site Interview: Tour of the workplace, meet the staff, and asked additional questions by employer; usually ½ or full day </li></ul>
  4. 4. Before for the Interview <ul><li>Research the company and position </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Company website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information sessions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Know yourself and be able to articulate (sell yourself): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengths </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accomplishments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Career goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Areas of development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why you should be hired </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Based on your research and knowledge of yourself, communicate your “fit” with the company </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to ask and answer questions and provide specific examples </li></ul><ul><li>Be prompt and prepared </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scout location/parking prior to interview date </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring extra copies of resume </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring Reference List (name, title, complete address, telephone, and e-mail) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring list of questions for interviewer </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Professional Dress <ul><li>Men </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two-piece suit; single or double breasted (dark blue or gray; avoid brown or sport coats) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solid colors and tighter-woven fabric </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple pattered tie </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Polished shoes with socks high enough so no skin is visible when sitting or crossing legs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Neatly groomed hair and beard/mustache </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid strong colognes, earrings and body piercings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Women </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conservative, tailored suit or suit dress (skirt length: top of knee down) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple tailor blouse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessories should be simple </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic medium/low heeled pumps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conservative jewelry coordinated with outfit (no dangles) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handbag should be small and appropriate with outfit </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What to Take to the Interview <ul><li>Nice notepad in leather folder </li></ul><ul><li>Good pen </li></ul><ul><li>Any completed application materials </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Performance pieces (audio, video, live performance) </li></ul><ul><li>Your own business cards </li></ul><ul><li>Breath mints </li></ul><ul><li>Extra money for parking garage or public transportation </li></ul>
  7. 7. Body Language <ul><li>Tips for projecting a positive image </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When entering the room, give the appearance of high energy and self-confidence. Walk briskly and SMILE! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shake hands firmly but don’t crush bones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain eye contact throughout the interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sit up straight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate that you are listening intently to the interviewer – occasionally nod your head </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t let your hands or fingers fidget (with themselves or other objects such as a pen, paper, or your hair) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid folding your arms across your chest </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Stages of the Interview <ul><li>Introduction – Interviewer will attempt to establish a rapport with you – 1 st impression very important </li></ul><ul><li>Review – Background (education and experience), interests, abilities, career goals, traditional or behavioral questions </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion – Potential opportunities and how you can possibly fit (present & future) </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion – Points can be clarified by both parties and questions asked and answered by each – Interviewer may explain procedural matters and discuss how and when further contact will be made </li></ul>
  9. 9. Behavior-Based Interviews <ul><li>Behavior-Based </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on the idea that past behavior is the best predictor of future success </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relies less on general questions and more on specifics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions usually begin with </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“Tell me about a time when. . . “ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“Give me an example of . . . “ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Targeted Skills: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alertness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assertiveness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Commitment to task </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coping </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creativity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Decision making </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Goal setting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Listening </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Organization/planning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Perception </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Problem solving </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Team building </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Interview Techniques <ul><li>How to answer behavior-based questions (storytelling) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SAR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>S ituation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A ction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>R esult </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review your resume for examples and write down potential answers to major skill areas </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. After the Interview <ul><li>Thank you notes/letters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Send thank you note to each individual with whom you interviewed (business cards) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each note should be individualized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should be sent within 24 to 48 hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handwritten notes are still the norm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail thank you is acceptable if you know interviewer will not be in his/her office to receive your note in a timely fashion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make Notes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What did you like? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What didn’t you like? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evaluate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Determine if the job is right for you? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Location </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A good fit will lead to a more successful, fulfilling career </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Reasons for Rejection may Include <ul><li>Inability to express self clearly and/or poor communication skills </li></ul><ul><li>Uncertainty about future goals and/or career plans or unrealistic goals </li></ul><ul><li>Poor personal appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of enthusiasm or interest in the jobs or organization (failure to ask questions) </li></ul><ul><li>Excessive interest in salary, benefits, and vacation </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of courtesy, maturity, or tact </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of knowledge about the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of confidence or over-confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Evasiveness </li></ul>
  13. 13. Remember <ul><li>Behave professionally </li></ul><ul><li>Practice initial greeting and handshake (firm) </li></ul><ul><li>Smile </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>Remain calm and confident </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain a business card from each interview (thank you letters) </li></ul><ul><li>Dress professionally </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to talk about yourself and your experiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteer/community service </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learn to be a storyteller </li></ul><ul><li>Provide specific, concrete examples of results & accomplishments </li></ul><ul><li>Remain positive, enthusiastic, poised and confident throughout the entire process </li></ul><ul><li>An interview is a formal conversation – avoid filler words such as “um,” “ah,” and “you know.” </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid indecisive phrases such as “I think,” “I guess,” “probably,” or “pretty good” </li></ul><ul><li>If you do not hear or understand a question, ask interviewer to repeat or clarify </li></ul>

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