The DOs and DONT's of Job Interviews


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Prof. Fabiana Hernández

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The DOs and DONT's of Job Interviews

  1. 1. ESPACIO EMPLEO – LATU – OCTOBER 20,2009 THE DOs & DON’Ts OF A JOB INTERVIEW Table of Contents ABSTRACT 1. INTRODUCTION 2. BEFORE THE INTERVIEW: a) Personal Appearance b) Preparation 3. DURING THE INTERVIEW: a) Most Common Questions & How to Answer Them b) Should You Ask Questions? c) Finishing the Interview 4. AFTER THE INTERVIEW: a) Keep Showing Interest
  2. 2. ESPACIO EMPLEO – LATU – OCTOBER 20,2009 THE DOs & DON’Ts OF A JOB INTERVIEW ABSTRACT: There is only one opportunity to make a great first impression. Adequately preparing yourself for a job interview is the first step to success. What are they going to ask me? How should I answer? What should I ask? How can I prepare myself for it? This workshop will focus on answering these questions with practical suggestions for those who are just starting off in the job market. INTRODUCTION How many of you have been in a job interview? Have you had any previous preparation? In a 2002 book called: “Libro de la Entrevista de Trabajo” by Moreno Puchol, there is some interesting information to take into account. The book mentions that it has been statistically proven that when someone sends his or her CV in answer to a classified ad, probably 200 people have also answered to it. From those 200 candidates, only 20 will be taken into consideration for a job interview. This shows the importance of having, first of all, a well prepared CV. Basically, these 20 candidates theoretically have the same qualifications to do the job. However, in the majority of the cases, from those 20 candidates only 1 will actually get the job. This proves the relevance of devoting time and effort to the preparation of a job interview. There is no doubt that this first impression is your passport to failure or success.
  3. 3. ESPACIO EMPLEO – LATU – OCTOBER 20,2009 1. BEFORE THE INTERVIEW: a) Personal Appearance ♦ Be well groomed ♦ Dress appropriately ♦ Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early ♦ Maintain a professional image (1) Do not chew gum or smoke (2) Turn off your cell phone (3) Treat all people with kindness – firm handshake and eye contact – SMILE - (4) Be aware of your posture and gestures (5) Don’t ever interrupt the interviewer – Listen carefully! (6) Address the interviewer by “Mr. / Ms. Last name” b) Preparation ♦ Learn about the organization – This will help you make intelligent questions and answer why you would like to work there. It shows interest. ♦ Have a specific job or jobs in mind
  4. 4. ESPACIO EMPLEO – LATU – OCTOBER 20,2009 ♦ Prepare papers for your interview in advance (1) CV and copies (2) Job reference lists or Recommendation letters (3) Note pads or agenda! ♦ Review your CV and qualifications for the job ♦ Prepare answers to general questions about yourself ♦ Practice an interview with a friend or relative 3. DURING THE INTERVIEW: a) Most Common Questions & How to Answer Them The interviewer already knows that you are qualified for the position, so now he or she wants to know how you are as a person and how you might be as an employee. Therefore, it is your job at the interview to convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the position. Some tips for answering questions are: first, listen carefully and ask for clarification if needed, second, think before answering, focus on your successes, always offer positive and truthful information, finally get directly to the point unless you are asked to go into detail. Before paying a look at some common questions, I would like to go over some useful expressions when answering questions in English:
  5. 5. ESPACIO EMPLEO – LATU – OCTOBER 20,2009 - I believe that… - From my experience… - I would say that… - Well, that’s an interesting question… - To begin with, … - I feel that… - To be honest with you… - Let me think about that for a minute… Common Questions: ♦ Tell me about yourself ♦ What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? ♦ Why should I hire you? / Why do you believe you are the best candidate for this position? ♦ Why do you want to work here? ♦ Are you considering other positions at this time? ♦ How does this job compare with them? ♦ What motivates you? ♦ Tell me about your greatest achievement and greatest disappointment ♦ What are your short and long-term goals and how do you expect to achieve them? ♦ Do you prefer working independently or as part of a team? ♦ How soon would you be able to start this position if we offer it to you? ♦ What is the minimum salary you will accept? / What salary range are you wishing to be considered for?
  6. 6. ESPACIO EMPLEO – LATU – OCTOBER 20,2009 b) Should You Ask Questions? When in an interview, your two main objectives are to “sell” yourself and to evaluate the position it is being offered. By asking questions, you gain knowledge about the organization to make a better, more informed decision. Besides, you make a good impression by showing the employer that you are indeed interested in the position. ♦ Can you describe a typical day for someone in this position? ♦ What will be the greatest challenge in the job? ♦ How many people have held this job in the last five years? Where are they now? ♦ If this position is offered to me, why should I accept it? ♦ What qualities do you prize the most in those who report directly to you? ♦ Do you offer any benefits? ♦ What is the salary range? c) Finishing the Interview ♦ Make sure you understand the next step in the hiring process: who is going to contact you and when; are you expected to do something else after the interview? ♦ Thank the interviewer for his or her time and establish a follow- up plan. (handshake & eye contact) 4. AFTER THE INTERVIEW ♦ Make notes right away not to forget crucial information. ♦ 3 or 4 days after the interview send a thank you e-mail or give the interviewer a phone call. Thank them again for the opportunity and let them know that you are still interested. If another candidate was already hired, show your interest in case another position opens in the future. GOOD LUCK! Prof. Fabiana Hernández