Interviews That Get You Working Co-op Education & Employment Resources Department 2011
Great news… You have an interview
Important Information to have:
General directions to the location
Name(s) and title(s) of interviewer(s)
Telephone number in case of emergency
Need to bring anything in particular
Special testing/practical tests?
Take good notes – thank employer for time – either via email or telephone
The secrets to interview success...
Know the position
Review the job posting/description
Know the company/organization
Check web sites, annual reports, brochures, conduct on-site visit, etc.
Know yourself, your skills and how they match the job’s requirements
Review your resume
Recall examples of skills/accomplishments
Job Search Statement
PREPARE A JOB SEARCH STATEMENT
Your one-minute commercial
Skills (transferable and/or job specific)*
*As it relates to the organization and job
Your Job Search Statement Comes in Handy…
The basis of answers to interview questions:
Tell me about yourself.
Why should I hire you?
What are your strengths?
What skills/knowledge can you
bring to this position?
Customizing resumes/cover letters
Sample Job Search Statement I am a recent graduate from the ECE Diploma Program at Centennial College. My educational background has provided me with valuable experience in learning how to develop and carry out activities for children, communicate effectively with children and their parents, and contribute to the developmental needs of children. In addition, I have completed a placement at ABC Daycare where I utilized the skills and knowledge l developed through my studies at Centennial. I am a strong team player who can demonstrate flexibility and initiative. I would love the opportunity to use my skills and experience to contribute to the programming of your Senior School Age Room.” .
Your Interview Kit… What to take with you
Additional copies of your resume
Copies of your references
Letters of recommendation
Notebook and pen
Briefcase or professional looking folder
Copies of transcripts, diplomas, certificates,
Questions for employer
You never get a second chance to make a first impression
Dressing the part...
Ensure your appearance is neat, clean and well-groomed
Select clothing appropriate to the type of organization
When in doubt, be conservative:
Suits or coordinated outfits, jacket and tie, pantsuit
Avoid excessive make-up and jewelry
No cologne or perfume, plenty of deodorant
Dark colours are always safe
Shoes and accessories are appropriate
Get everything ready the night before!
Speak without saying a word… Non-verbal cues
A Few Tips...
Always be punctual - it’s best to arrive 10 minutes early
Never eat or drink while waiting to meet the interviewer – do not smoke before/do not chew gum!
Always be polite to the receptionist/secretary
Enter with a confident and friendly smile
Maintain eye contact
Behaviour Based Interviews
Your future performance is best measured by your past performance
Based on “WHAT DID YOU DO?”
Behaviour Based Interviews
You need to determine the skills needed for the position and questions that may be asked around those skills
Think of examples or stories that exhibit these skills
When asked a question answer using one of these stories
POSSIBLE QUESTION TOPICS
Experience communicating with parents
Understanding of Behaviours and Approaches to Discipline
Creating lesson plans/overviews
Type of environment
Summer/After School Camps
Sample Behaviour Based Questions
Can you tell me about a time when you demonstrated your ability to work well with others?
Describe a time when you had to use your communication skills to deal with a difficult parent.
Have you ever been in a situation where you had several requests and duties to attend to at the same time? What did you do?
Tell me about a time when you felt intervention by a supervisor was required.
Other Sought-After Skills
Ability to work under pressure/at a fast pace
Ability to multi-task/time management
Problem-solving, decision making
Lifelong learning, adaptability
STAR Performance… Answering Behavioural Questions
When answering behaviour based questions and storytelling remember to follow the STAR method:
S - Situation
T - Task
A - Action
R - Result
Based on “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?”
One of the children in your classroom is misbehaving. How will you address the situation?
A parent comes to pick up their child and notices a bite received by another child. They become angry and demand to speak to the other child's parents. How will you handle the situation?
If a parent came to you saying that his or her child was not challenged, what would you do?
What are your salary expectations?
Try to avoid a straight answer
Give a range instead of a single number
What are your weaknesses?
Choose something that wouldn’t affect your ability to do the job
Quickly move on to explain how you are improving in that area - remain positive!
QUESTIONS TO ASK EMPLOYER
You are determining whether or not you want to work there
Suitable topics for questions:
Typical first year assignments
Remember never to initiate questions regarding salary and/or benefits
Making an exit… Closing the interview
Restate why you are the right person for the position
Clarify what the next step in the process is and when you can expect to hear from them
Thank the interviewer(s) for their time
Give a firm handshake and leave confidently
Within 2 days of the interview send a thank you letter to demonstrate:
Appreciation for the employer’s time and interest in you
Your interest in the organization and the position
Remind the employer about your qualifications
Services at the Coop Education & Employment Resources Department