BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
Most sources agree that the most important part of an interview is the preparation that is conducted before hand. Make sure that you know something about yourself, your employer and the position you are applying for. This will prepare you to answer questions and even ask appropriate ones when given the opportunity.
Know yourself. Take time to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Take time to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Be prepared to articulate your skills and how they relate to the position. Be aware of how you react in interview situations and work at making it better.
Know the employer. There are many ways to research information about an employer. A good starting point is the company website. Also, talking to people who work there and attending career fairs as well as visiting websites of professional associations are just some of the other resources available. Keep in mind that the more informed you are about the company, the better you will do at the interview.
Know the position. Try to find a copy of the detailed job description for the position. Being familiar with the responsibilities will allow you to better match your skills and abilities with those required for the position.
Before you go to the interview, make sure you have extra copies of all applicable documents including cover letters, resumés, and references.
How Should You Dress?
Dress according to the type of position you applied for. It is usually a safe assumption to dress business casual. Whatever you wear, make sure that it is smart, clean and pressed. Wear simple jewelry and keep makeup minimal.
There are many sample interview questions and responses available online. The following questions are a good starting point.
- Tell us about yourself?
- What would you say your strengths and weaknesses are?
- Why did you choose this career?
- What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
- What quality do you feel will most contribute to your career success?
- What motivates you?
- To what extent would you be willing to travel for the job?
- Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
- Can you think of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree?
- Can you think of a time when you had to deal with a difficult patient and how you handled it?
It is always a good idea to write a thank you letter to the interviewer within 24 hours of your interview. Ensure that you know the correct spelling of the names of your interviewer(s) as well as their titles. Thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you, while emphasizing your interest in the position. Keep it short, professional and ensure that you use proper business format.
In the event that you are rejected, it is worth contacting the employer to ask for some feedback on your performance in the interview. Use the feedback to improve your technique and prepare for next time.
Follow-up again in writing or by telephone to keep your name before the employer.
Quick Reference List
- Always be on time for your interview. Try to be there 10-15 minutes prior to your scheduled interview.
- Bring extra copies of relevant documents such as your resumé, cover letter, etc.
- First impressions count! Shake hands firmly and present yourself confidently.
- Make eye contact at all times and avoid looking at your watch or other things that may make you seem distracted.
- Give yourself a moment before answering questions.
- Do not interrupt your interviewer.
- Be positive, professional, and enthusiastic. Never speak badly about your past employer(s).
- Remember to follow up and thank your interviewer.