Now that you have attended the Career Fair, followed up with employers, and been offered an interview, it is time to prepare yourself for the actual interview. Interviews are one of the most nerve-racking experiences you will have to go through in your job search. The secret to effective interviewing is similar to learning how to play a sport or musical instrument….PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! The more you practice the easier and more natural interviewing will become.
While all jobs and all interviewers are not the same, there are certain questions that are usually asked of candidates during an interview. These questions fall into two categories: “the getting to know you” questions and “the why do you want this job” questions. While companies are looking for different things, most employers look for candidates with the following characteristics:
1. Communication skills (verbal/written)
3. Teamwork skills (works well with others)
4. Motivated/ willing to take initiative
5. Strong work ethic
6. Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)7. Analytical skills
9. Computer skills
11. Leadership skills
12. Organization skills
*Skills provided by 2007 NACE Job Choices Employer Survey
A common method for employers to check and see if you possess these skills is through behavioral interview questions. Behavioral based interviewers believe that past behavior is an accurate predictor of future behavior. They concentrate many of their questions on situations that candidates have encountered in the past. What they want to hear is an illustration of your behavior. To maximize the effectiveness of your answers, try using the STAR method.
S = Describe a situation.
T = Talk about the task.
A = Explain the action you took.R = Talk about the positive results, quantifying if possible.
(RESULTS are very important, but commonly forgotten)
COMMON BEHAVIORAL QUESTIONS YOU COULD BE ASKED:
· What is the most challenging situation that you have faced?
· What accomplishment has been given you the greatest satisfaction?
· What are three of your strengths? (Provide an example for each using the STAR method)
· What are three of your weaknesses? (Reflect how you already have or can improve)
· Describe a time when you have disagreed with colleagues, how did you handle it?
Once you have practiced and feel confident in your ability to accurately and passionately share your experiences, be a STAR and rock the interview!
CHECKOUT ADDITIONAL INTERVIEWING ADVICE BY CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOW OR CALL (414) 288-7423 TO SCHEDULE A MOCK INTERVIEW WITH A CAREER COUNSELOR TODAY!