Interview Preparation List
A job interview can be stressful, between worrying about how you look and what you say. The process is often quite long, with enough questions to make your head spin. But if you put some time, thought and effort into getting ready for it, it can be a much more pleasant experience. I start preparing even before I have an interview booked. Once I do have one, I look over the questions again, to make sure my answers are specific to the job.
To start getting ready, I think about:
My image. Is there anything that I should do to make myself more presentable?
My outfit: It is imperative that you dress appropriately. I look over my wardrobe, browse the internet for ideas on how to dress, and book a date to buy anything I need at the store to complete my outfit. Beforehand, I also try everything on, so there are no last-minute surprises.
Possible interview questions, and my answers. I put the most effort into this. Recently I looked through many articles to come up with possible questions, and I browsed the advice given. During the process I also evaluated myself. Even if you think you know yourself very well, it can be surprising how one unexpected question can make you pause. There are some things we don't put much thought into, but the interview is a very good reason to think abut it in depth.
The company and the job. It is possible they will ask you questions that require knowledge of the company and/or the job, but even if they don't, it is good information to have. I don't like to leap into a situation blindly. You also want to make sure you are familiar with the location, and know how to get there before your interview.
My salary expectations. It is good to research salaries in the field you are looking to work, keeping in mind location and your experience and qualifications.
A Great Article On Dressing To Impress
- Perfecting Your Professional Image at Work
Your professional image at work contributes to your success. Your office may not have a dress code, but knowing what is appropriate does reflect your attitude and ambition to others. Learn how to dress to present your best image.
When you are getting ready to consider possible interview questions, there are some things you should consider:
- Who are you?
- What are your skills?
- What are your accomplishments?
- What are your personality traits?
- What do you want from life?
- What do you want from your job/career?
- How well do you get along with people?
- How do you handle various situations?
- How do you evaluate success?
- Why do you think you should get the job? What sets you apart from other people? How can you contribute to the company, and to the job?
- Evaluate your last/current job. What you did, for how long, how well you worked with others. If applicable, why you left the company.
- Tell me about yourself.
- What is your greatest strength?
- How will your greatest strength help you perform?
- What is your greatest weakness? (Whatever it is, it is important that you are working on improving it)
- Do you work well with other people?
- Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
- Give some examples of teamwork.
- Tell me about a time when you had to accomplish a task with someone who was particularly hard to get along with.
- How do you feel about working on a team/in a team environment?
- What type of work environment do you prefer?
- Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager?
- If your boss was wrong, how would you handle it?
- How would you describe yourself?
- How would you describe the pace at which you work?
- Describe a typical workday.
- Describe a typical workweek.
- Do you take work home with you?
- How many hours do you typically work?
- Tell me about a time when you had a heavy workload. How did you complete it?
- What aspects of your current/last job do/did you like the most?
- What aspects of your current/last job do/did you like the least?
- Of all of the work you have done, where have you been the most successful?
- What do you consider your most important accomplishments?
- How do you evaluate success?
- Why did you leave your last job?
- What did you do during your gap in employment?
- How do you handle stress and pressure?
- What motivates you?
- Are you a self-motivator?
- What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
- Describe a difficult situation, and how you overcame it.
- What has been the biggest disappointment in your life?
- What would you do if you could start your working life over?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are your pet peeves?
- What do people most often criticize about you?
- When was the last time you were angry, and what happened?
- If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
- What led you to this point in your life?
- If the people that knew you best were asked why you should be hired, what would they say?
- Why are you interested in working at this company? Why are you interested in this position?
- What could you do for us that someone else couldn't?
- What about this position do you find most attractive? Least attractive?
- How long would it take for you to make a meaningful contribution?
- How do you describe your personality?
- What would you say are the major personality traits/qualities that this job demands?
- What are the three most important responsibilities of this position?
- Describe to me how this job would relate to the overall goals of the company.
- If you were hiring for this job, what would you look for?
- How do you make yourself indispensable to a company?
- What do you look for in a job?
- How long would you stay in a position like this?
- What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?
- What would your most recent employer say about you if we asked?
- Have you ever been asked to leave a position?
- Why should we hire you?
- What are your salary expectations?
- Do you have any questions for us?
Questions to Ask Them:
I think it is very important to take the time to ask questions. What you ask greatly varies, but here are a few common ones:
- What does a typical work day/week look like for this position?
- How many hours is typical of this job?
- Which shift is this for?
- How long is a typical shift?
- Is overtime expected?
- What kind of training is provided or required?
- What is the dress code?
- Who does this position report to?
- Are there opportunities for advancement?
- Would you like a list of references?
I always take the time to write out a list of questions as I think of them, and type up and print out a copy before the interview. The list is easy to refer to when I'm given the chance to respond.
It is good to get enough sleep the night before the interview, have something good to eat to provide you with energy, stay hydrated, and make sure you don't leave anything behind that you mean to bring. You will want to look presentable, and be as confident as you can.
Remember to bring a copy of your resume, as well as any other information they may need from you, including references. I have a portfolio to organize them in, and I include interview notes to refer to beforehand, my list of questions for them, and a notebook and pen.
Have a good attitude, smile, watch your posture, and remember that this could be the start of a new job!
The Day of the Interview:
Do you feel like you are prepared when you go to a job interview?
© 2013 Kathryn