How To Prepare
1. Identify, and be comfortable being able to discuss, your qualifications, strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities.
2. Review your resume. Be very familiar with everything on it and be prepared to talk about any of it.
3. Analyze the position. What do you want from the job: personal and intellectual growth, travel, flexibility, financial security, or a particular geographic area?
4. Research the organization. Learn as much as possible about the size, location, products/services, and benefits by reading everything you can. The organization's website is a great place to start. Also, become familiar with recent events affecting the industry as a whole.
5. Think about how your experience, education, and interests relate to the position. Your responses will reflect your self-confidence, ability to communicate effectively, and interpersonal skills. This process will be helpful when answering questions like "Why are you interested in the organization?" or "Tell me something about yourself."
6. Practice interviewing. Talk to friends, discuss techniques with people in the field, practice in front of a mirror. And schedule a practice interview with a career adviser in CCI. Call ext. 5100 to arrange this.
7. Upon receiving an invitation to interview, verify the specifics such as names and positions of those who will be conducting the interview(s), dates, times, and location. Determine who will bear the costs of transportation, meals, and overnight lodging associated with the interview, if necessary.
8. Be prepared for a drug-screening test. This might be requested at any time throughout the search process. Drug screening should not be taken lightly, as positive test results or an affirmative answer to questions regarding illegal drug use can severely limit your employment prospects. Talk with a career adviser in CCI if you have questions about this.
Phone Interviews - special considerations:
If you are having a telephone interview, keep a few things in mind:
- Your interviewer cannot see your body language, including posture, eye contact, and facial expressions, all of which make up a large part of communication. Therefore, pay extra attention to your rate of speech, and be sensitive to pauses and breaks in the conversation.
- It is important to convey energy through your voice; if you are soft-spoken, be sure to speak up. And even though it sounds funny, make sure that your breathing is not too heavy.
- If possible, ask beforehand if you will be on speakerphone to a room full of people or just in a one-on-one conversation.
- Take advantage of the fact that you are not "seen" by having all your notes in front of you so that you can refer to them during the interview. This includes your resume, cover letter, job description, and any interview notes you have prepared.
- Find a quiet place where you will be free of distraction. If you are in your room, ask your roommates not to enter the room during the interview. Put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on your door, if needed!
- Some people find it relaxing to wear comfortable clothes, thereby avoiding the formality and perhaps nervousness that comes with traditional interview attire. On the other hand, some people find it puts them in the proper mindset to wear interview clothing, even though it obviously does not matter on the phone. In any case, you want to be in a posture where you can be alert, professional, and at the top of your game. This energy will translate through the phone!
- If you're using a cell phone, make sure it is charged and has good coverage.