Employers are human beings that bring their biases with them.
Are the qualifications listed on your resumes true?
Interviewing workshop 2013
Interviewing: Would you hire you?
What are some of the goals of a job
to get a job offer
to figure out if a position is right for you
to provide potential employers with a stronger
sense of why they should hire you, your skills, how
you stand out
to figure out if you “fit” into the culture of their
How can you best prepare for a job
Dress appropriately - depends upon business;
“dress for the job you want”
Back up documents - e.g., writing samples, copy of
resume, transcripts, references; letters of
Research the company - Google the company, talk
to people about what they know, BBB, Chamber of
Directions- make sure you know how to get there
Understanding What to Expect
Types of Interviews: Conversational (Traditional)
typically a question-and-answer discussion
usually a relatively short interview (e.g., 1 hour)
interviewer’s main goals are to:
assess whether or not the job-seeker has the skills and abilities to
perform the job
evaluate whether or not the job-seeker possesses the enthusiasm
and work ethic that the employer expects
analyze whether or not the job-seeker is a team player and will fit
into the organization
Types of Interviews: Phone Interviews
Brief interview to see if you can present your qualification verbally
with minimal time and effort.
Interviewer’s goals are to:
Determine if interviewee is worthy of an in person interview.
Investigate whether you communicate information that would
weed you out of the applicant pool. (e.g. Unrealistic salary
requirements, personal preferences).
Types of Interviews: Behavioral
interviewer’s main goals are to:
assess candidate’s behaviors and approaches by exploring
analyze past behavior to try to predict future performance
interviewers will expect to hear about specific situations
Ex: “Tell me about a work situation in which their was a conflict
that you had to resolve and how you resolved it.”
Answering Situational Questions
identify the skill or type of situation sought so that you can best focus
give a STAR answer:
Situation—what was the circumstance?
Task—what was the specific problem or need?
Action—what did you do? (produce, write, create, etc.)
Results/resolution—what did you learn? what skills did you develop?
Can you tell me about a time from your work experience when
your manager or supervisor was unavailable and a problem
quickly explain the situation—what happened? who was
involved (e.g., clients, coworkers, customers)?
what was the particular problem that needed to be
what specific action did you take to resolve the problem?
what did you do or produce?
what were the results of your action? what did you take
from this experience?
Before the Interview
choose your clothes the night before
prepare the materials you want to bring with you—
ideally, this is done long before the interview
End of Interview
Thank all interviewers for their time (Thank you
Make sure they know you want the position
Ask about the next step in the hiring process
What is the time frame in which you can expect a
“Tell me about yourself.”
Hint: They’re not asking for your life story. Give a brief statement of your professional
status and career objective
Why do you want to work here?
Hint: Provide information about the company gathered from research and let them
know you fit into the culture of their organization
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Hint: Choose and strength and weakness before the interview. The weakness may be
a characteristic or skills you’re lacking; always indicate how you are improving the
Why should we hire you?
Hint: This is the time for your 30 second commercial. Reiterate your strengths and
My name is Tom Smith and I will be receiving my Bachelor of Science
degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology, with a minor in Drafting
from the University of Houston, in May of 2013. During this past summer,
I held an internship with FormTex where I designed and developed
innovative packaging for food, medical, and utility products.
I am a team-player and a leader holding officer positions in several honor
societies and professional associations. As I look toward graduation, I am
very interested in utilizing my education and drafting skills within the
engineering industry. I researched your organization and believe that my
strengths will fit well within your Manufacturing division. I am open and
interested in any suggestions that you believe will benefit me and my
Top Interview Bloopers
1. Poor handshake and poor eye contact
2. Talking too much (talking too long/not answering direct
3. Talking negatively about current or past teams, coworkers,
4. Showing up late or way too early
5. Treating the receptionist rudely
6. Asking about benefits, vacation time, or salary in an initial
7. Not preparing for the interview
8. Verbal ticks (“uhmm”, “like”, “you know”)
Cynthia E. Olmedo
University of Houston
College of Technology