Preparing a job interview

Know Yourself

What are my skills and abilities? What are my strengths?
How do my skills and experiences relate to the position and employers’ needs?
What contributions will I bring to the employer?
Am I willing to relocate?
How do my values compare to the philosophy of the organization?
What points do I want to be sure to get across during the interview?
How does this position fit into my career goals?
If interviewing in a country other than your home country, do you understand the cultural expectations?

Prepare Yourself

Obtain a copy of the job description.
Use the employer information and the employer’s websites to gather information (annual reports, employee handbooks, policy statements, employee newsletters) on the organization.
Locate the employer’s home page on the Internet.
Conduct informational interviews with persons in similar positions to learn about the career field and how

your skills may apply.
Develop a list of appropriate questions that reflect your research.
Be sure to know the culture of the country where you are interviewing. U. S. employers are expecting you to articulate your future career goals and past accomplishments. They are assessing you according to American values such as self-confidence, initiative, directness, and individualism.

Practice

Review attached list of questions most asked during an interview as well as list of questions to prospective employers.
Practice answering interview questions (out loud).
Schedule a mock interview, through the Office of Career Services, to gain experience and feedback.
Be aware of your body language…what is your body language under pressure?
Remember to smile and be yourself!

Checklist

Confirm date, time and place of interview.
Pack several copies of your resume; a list of references, including names, titles, addresses and telephone numbers; writing samples if appropriate; and letters of recommendation.
Dress appropriately (conservative business attire).
Be punctual. Plan to arrive early.

Research the Occupation:

Know the area in which you are interested:

Read articles written by people who are in the field.
Inform yourself about future trends.
Check if your interests and abilities compare to the requirements of the position.
Find out the average income earned by people in the occupation.

Some methods of finding this information include:

Conduct information interviews.
Reading the information in the Connection Centre (Student Life & Career Services), either through Internet or hard copy publications.
Talking to friends, relatives or others.

Researching the Organization:

Before the job interview, you should research the organization. It is easier to convince an employer that you would be of benefit to the organization if you are knowledgeable about it. In addition, information obtained through research can help you decide whether you want to work for a specific organization.

General areas to research:

How old is the organization, and what is its history of development?
Where are the plants, offices, or stores located?
What are its products or services?
If the organization sells, what are its markets? Retailers? Wholesalers?
What are its new products?
Is it a public or non-profit organization? What purpose does it serve? How is it funded? Whom does it serve? What functions does it perform?
How does this organization rank in the industry?
What is the financial status of the company? Last year’s sales? Growth record?
Are there any plans for expansion?



Preparing a job interview