Levett Career Center

Assessing Interviewing Skills

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Research and practice are key to a successful interview. Just as your resume and cover letter are tailored to specific employers and fields, so should be the traits you choose to emphasize in your interview.

Evaluate the strength of your interviewing skills:

Hanover alumni in human resources tell us the behaviors below are particularly important when they interview candidates.

If you have already had a formal job interview, rate how you did at that time; if not, rate how well you think you are able to demonstrate these behaviors given your current knowledge and experience.

For each skill, use the slider to indicate a range of your skill strength between low and high. Try to give an honest and accurate assessment of your strength on each item. Those in italics are considered essential for mastery of this competency.

The closer to low your rating, the less accomplished the skill (e.g. incompletely, unsuccessfully, or never).

The closer to high your rating, the more you have accomplished the skill (e.g. completely, successfully, or every time).

Low Rating High Interviewing Skills Factor
You create a good first impression:
You arrive ten minutes early, and have turned your phone off.
Your clothing and grooming are appropriate for the field.
Your eye contact is good.
You demonstrate self-confidence, poise and attentiveness.
You provide a targeted resume (or grad school application materials, if applicable).
You demonstrate strong communication skills:
You speak smoothly and confidently.
You provide the appropriate level of detail.
You use proper grammar.
You avoid verbal tics ("like," "um," etc.).
You use first person singular when providing examples from your past experience.
You express enthusiasm for and suitedness to the position:
You demonstrate specific knowledge of the organization and position.
You describe skills, traits and experience that emphasize key qualifications for the specific position and organization.
You are able to explain your resume clearly and highlight its strength relative to the position.
You link your answers to their relevance to the specific organization and position.
You provide varied and relevant illustrations of strengths drawn from past activities (behavioral interviewing).
When discussing weaknesses, you choose an example that is not central to the position and describe ways you have addressed it.
You bring well-researched, written questions for the recruiter with you to the interview and ask them.
You close the interview effectively :
You conclude the interview by expressing interest in the position.
You request information about the proper follow-up process and time frame.
 

Additional tips to build your interviewing skills:

  • Review your responses to the Transferable Skills tool to help you identify your main strengths, which will become the 'agenda' in your interview.
  • Refer to the Career Center's The Art of Interviewing Guide for specific strategies and sample questions.
  • Request a mock interview at the Career Center to gain practice tailored to the industry and position you are seeking.
  • Ask your campus employer to give you an interview for your position or a mock interview if you have already been hired.
  • Aim to have at least four practice interviews in order to gain a good sense of what to expect, to learn how to prepare for professional interviews, and to develop comfort in talking about yourself and your strengths.
  • See the Career Center's Informational Interviewing brochure for tips on quick conversations you can have with alumni and others who can answer many of your job-related questions and provide you advice to get started.

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