T
he Interview

1. Be prepared to present your qualifications and skills to the employer in a positive manner. Mentally review your accomplishments before the interview.

2. Do some homework. Learn about the employer. Know the companyís full name, location, purpose and products. Research and find out any accomplishments or problems the company may have or had. Have some questions ready to ask the employer about the company.

3. Know what position you are applying for and the skills required.

4. Know the exact time and location of the job interview. Find out the interviewerís name and how to pronounce it (if possible). Be on time.

5. Bring your professionally prepared resume (see Yellow Pages), portfolio, sales figures, or whatever
materials you need for the interview.

6. Appearance contributes to the overall impression you can make and can influence the employerís decision. Dress neatly and wear attire appropriate to the position you are applying for.

Know the facts . . .
1. Name of company or organization:

2. Age of company or organization:

3. Products or services of company or organization:

4. Growth history of company or organization:

5. Anticipated growth of company or organization:

6. Current problems of company or organization:

7. Location of plants, offices, and stores of company or organization:

8. Parent company of company or organization:

9. Subsidiaries of company or organization:

10. Major activity of company or organization:

11. Description of position for which I am applying:

12. Major duties of the position:

13. Geographical location of position:

14. Minimum requirements for the position:

15. Deadline for application and starting date of position:

16. Salary range:

17. My related experience:

18. My related training:

19. My indirectly-related experience:

20. My indirectly-related training:

21. My community or school activities as they relate to the position:


BEGINNING THE INTERVIEW

1. First impressions are important. Smile, shake hands firmly, and introduce yourself.  Beginning the conversation with small talk about the weather, pictures on the wall, etc. are good ice breakers

2. Throughout the interview maintain eye contact, but donít stare. Speak clearly and slowly.

3. Body language conveys the way you feel about yourself. Sit up comfortably but donít sprawl, slump over or hold your body rigidly. Donít let your hands betray nervousness; donít drum with them or tap a pencil.

4. Think positively. Lack of enthusiasm about yourself and the job leave a poor impression. Be
interested and alert.

EXCHANGING INFORMATION

1. In the interview, the interviewer will want to know about your skills, training, experience, and education. Be prepared to talk about your past accomplishments and your potential (how can you fulfill the needs and expectations of his/her company?). Know why the employer should hire you.

2. Interviewers may ask you surprise questions like, Where do you want to be in five years? Tell me about yourself. etc. Be prepared to answer these questions but donít be afraid to ask for some clarification. For example, if an employer says, Tell me about yourself, you might ask, Would you like to know about my experience, my interests, or my hobbies.... ?

3. Having questions for the interviewer about the job and the company will demonstrate your
enthusiasm for the job.

4. If you left a job under unfavorable circumstances or were fired, frankness is important. Tell the interviewer you learned from your mistakes. However, NEVER make unfavorable references to past employers.

5. Find out the salary range for the job ahead of time, if possible. If not, you can ask the interviewer the salary range and you can say that you are willing to negotiate your situation and your financial needs. Also, look at a companyís benefits such as health insurance, vacations, etc.

Closing The INTERVIEW

1. Summarize why you are interested in the position.

2. You may close by asking, "Are my qualifications and my experience what you are looking for?"

3. Thank the interviewer and find out when you will be contacted about the position.

4. If you are offered the position during the interview and are unaware about your answer, tell the interviewer that you would like to consider the offer and get back to him/her within a specific
period of time


FOLLOWING UP

1. (Optional) Write a thank you letter to the interviewer and/or other people you met with during your visit to their company. Thank them for the opportunity of speaking with them and that you are still very interested in obtaining a position with his/her company.

Questions to ask a prospective employer

1. Why is the job available?

2. What academic training or majors do you prefer?

3. How many people have had this job in the past 5 years?

4. Could I talk with the person who held this job most recently?

5. What new skills will I learn?

6. Does your organization offer retirement, health insurance, sick leave, vacations
with pay and profit sharing?

7. Where does this job fit into the organizational chart?

8. How much travel is normally expected?

9. Is it possible to move through the training program faster?

10. How positive is the demand or outlook for the goods and/or services you provide?

11. How often are performance reviews given?

12. What will I have to do to earn a promotion?

13. What personal characteristics do you expect in your employees?

14. How much decision - making authority is given after one year?

15. Do employees normally work many hours of overtime?

WARNING! It is considered rude (and possibly illegal) for an interviewer to ask you certain questions, but it is also rude not to answer questions being asked! BE PREPARED!  Think about how you will respond to these questions without being rude or giving the appearance of being overly evasive.

Questions NOT to ask:
1. "Do you have a boyfriend?" "Do you drink?" "Do you smoke?" "Sexual preference?"

2. "What about your spouse/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend?"
" Their education, training, school, location", "Their feelings about you working", "Why did you get married if you wanted a career?", "How can you be a good wife if you work?"

3. "Do you have children?" "How do you plan to care for them?" Age, in relation to
"they are old enough to take care of themselves?"

4. Your relationships - "Have you been divorced?" "Are you living with your boyfriend?"

5. "What is a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?" "You are so sweet and young, why are you interested in this?"

6. Questions regarding values and sexual mores. "Are you a womenís libber?"
"How do you feel about birth control? ... the ERA? ...abortion?"

7. Tokenism: "Donít worry about your skills or competence." "We want a woman" "Too bad you arenít Black/Chicano/Indian." "How can you compete with a man?"

8. Age questions: "Arenít you too young/old for this job?

 

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