Preparing to Interview
Preparation can have an enormous impact on the success of an interview. If you are able to anticipate and prepare for possible questions, you are more likely to make a convincing case for getting the job. There are four main areas to concentrate on prior to your initial interview
Know about the organization:
- Identify its principal clients or customers and primary products or services.
- Learn about the nature of the business, location, and names of contacts.
- Discover its basic philosophy and history (reputation, competitors, and organizational structure).
- Find out about its plans for the future
Know about the specific job:
- Identify the specific tasks, skills, personality traits, education and training the job requires.
- Learn how the job fits into the corporate structure.
- Consider related jobs you'd enjoy.
- Research the salary range and hours.
Know about yourself:
- Assess your career goals and objectives and how you plan to achieve them.
- Summarize the reasons you chose Hanover and your major.
- Identify your functional skills and find examples of them in action. Thus, it is not enough to say that you have strong organizational skills; you should discuss the results of your skills: "I implemented a new filing system which allowed us to tell at a glance how current our files were."
- Identify your work values (what you need from a job and what you want to avoid on the job).
- Summarize your work experience, extracurricular activities, and course work as they relate to your career interests.
- Memorize your résumé; the interviewer will expect this.
Know about interviewing:
- Download the Career Center's Guide, The Art of Interviewing, for detailed tips, worksheets, practice questions and more.
- Plan your strategy: list 3 - 4 points about your skills, experience, and interests that the recruiter should know. Think of stories of them in action.
- Write down your answers to common questions, remembering to focus on those aspects of your background that correspond most closely with the needs of the job.
- Familiarize yourself with interview evaluation criteria.
- Learn about the various styles of interviews including behavioral, panel, series, individual, stress, and situational.
- Learn to listen carefully to questions, to answer clearly and precisely, citing examples, then to STOP.
- Dress appropriately for the interview in business attire unless you are told otherwise.