How do I... Prepare for My Job Search
Typical Interview Questions
Tip: Interviewing is NOT a test; there is no right answer.
You can't respond only in a few words. The art of successful interviewing lies in your way of relating-of building a bond, of establishing a good fit between you and the interviewer. Employers need to know you. They have only a short time to find out your qualifications, leadership skills, initiative, motivation, goals, and personality. Their questions are designed to get quick snapshots of you in comparison to others. Therefore, each answer you give has to fulfill what they are searching for: someone they can trust with their clients and services. Therefore, you have to present your education, character, and personality to a potential employer and demonstrate by your examples that you are the best candidate.
What Employers Usually Ask and What They Really Mean:
- Tell me about yourself.
Rehearse a 2-minute review of your experience only as it relates to their organization. You can tell your main interests, hobbies, talents and some courses and projects that showcase why you are exactly who they want.
- Why are you interested in this position?
You have to describe your keen interests in the type of work and/or the field that would make this choice fulfilling-one you would want to contribute to. While you may not be perfectly sure of this, highlight the parts that compel you.
- What are your strengths? Your weaknesses?
Read your own resume again; they are listed right there. This most common question is tricky. You have to learn to brag-that is, to think of your best characteristics (organized, creative, supportive, tenacious, diligent, great at deadlines, innovative) and give an example. On the other hand, no one expects you to tell your absolute flaws or your own inner doubts about your abilities. Instead, turn this question around and find a quirk-obsessive, fanatic for getting details right, unwilling to stop until the job is completed, eager to please clients.
- What do you do in your free time?
Your answer can't be just hanging out. You have to show that you have a life-sports, culture, studying, friends, community-and explain your roles and pleasure. Ask if they share this interest; it could become a bond between you.
- What are your short-term and long-term goals?
While you are not expected to have explicit goals, you still have to answer with Plan A-that you hope to do the job well, contribute, see where you can grow and learn, and take increasing responsibility. Don't be arrogant, too modest, or unprepared for these questions.
- What have been your greatest successes, risks, failures?
Come prepared with an example of each of these and make them come to life.
These stories are not included in your resume but are your opportunity to shine. All-of us have-faced
Questions That You Can Ask:
- What are the responsibilities of the job?
- What does the organization chart look like?
- Who would I report to? Can I meet with that person?
- Is this a new position? If not, what happened to the last employee?
- What is your organization's next focus? New projects?
- What is your experience with the organization? What's your career been like? What do you like best about your job?
- How does the organization reward good work? Advance their employees?
- What is the next step in this interview process?
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- Sign up for Job Search and Interview workshops and practice sessions at the Career Center.
- Read more information about interview preparation, organizational information, and career counseling.
- Look at interview videos at the Career Center to help prepare yourself.