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INTERVIEWS

TEST YOUR INTERVIEW SAVVY

So you're in the thick of the job hunt, but are you ready to tackle the interview? Here's a brief test of basics to see if you're up to the task. Just in case, we've provided the answers so you can study for the real thing.

  1. Before the interview:
  1. Do a breath check.
  2. Prepare copies of your work.
  3. Turn the ringer off on your cell phone.
  4. All of the above.

Answer: "d" - It's the little things that make a big impact, especially if done wrong. Bad breath, not having a copy of your resume, or your phone ringing with the "Dukes of Hazzard" theme song can make a bad impression on the interviewer. Don't let these no-brainers kill your chances for a job.

  1. What should you wear to the interview?
  1. Check the company dress code and dress accordingly. This will show how you'll fit in.
  2. Wear what makes you comfy - if you're relaxed, the interview will go well.
  3. A suit, it's professional.
  4. Your lucky underwear (they never fail).

Answer: Always "c" - no ifs, ands or buts. It doesn't matter if your interview is on Wall Street or Bourbon Street, a suit conveys professionalism. Anything else will tell the interviewer that you aren't serious about the interview and won't be serious on the job.

  1. Upon arriving at the interview:
  1. Walk into the reception area and hang around until someone notices you.
  2. Tell the receptionist your name, who you are seeing and why you are there.
  3. Find out exactly where the interviewer's office is and barge in on them.
  4. Waltz in and announce, "I'm Here! When do I start?"

Answer: "b" - The receptionist is the gatekeeper. He or she may announce your arrival to the interviewer, give you an application to complete, take your coat, or direct you where to go. Remember to be polite - you might be working with this person someday.

  1. What should you bring to the interview?
  1. Several copies of your resume, your portfolio, and pen and paper for note-taking.
  2. A book to read and a can of pop while you're waiting.
  3. Your mother.
  4. A portable TV so you don't miss the soaps.

Answer: "a" - You can give additional resumes to people who you meet at the interview. Your portfolio will be a visual tool to demonstrate your abilities and accomplishments. Taking notes will help you identify key needs and responsibilities and also help you craft questions for your interviewer.

  1. Q: "Tell me about yourself." A:
  1. "I was born in Milwaukee and grew up in Tucson. My twin sister and I attended an all-girls high school. I love to go running and am learning how to knit. And my favorite thing to do is spend time with my Chihuahua Tulip who comes with me everywhere. He's right here in my bag as a matter of fact."
  2. "I'm single but no worries because the online dating scene is hoppin'! Your company has Internet access, doesn't it?"
  3. "I have four years professional experience in the industry, plus two years at an internship during college. My success includes ABC and XYZ."

Answer: "c" - The interviewer wants to know what type of worker you are. You should discuss your work history, skills and accomplishments. This is not the time to tell the story of how you met your spouse or hobbies not related to the job.

  1. Q: "Why are you looking for a new job?" A:
  1. "I'm sick of the commute."
  2. "I need more money to support my shopping habit/ social life/ wig fetish."
  3. "I feel I've mastered the skills of my current position and there isn't an opportunity for advancement."
  4. "I HATE my boss - she is evil and I need to get away from the witch. Listen to what she did . . ."

Answer: "c" - Remember, this person is not your buddy. Although people are motivated to pursue a job search for different reasons, your answer should be professional. The interviewer is looking for the person who can contribute to the company. In your reason, it is good to imply what you can accomplish in a new job.

  1. Before you leave, ask:
  1. "Can I work from home?"
  2. "What are the next steps in this process?"
  3. "What does the job pay?"
  4. "How's the vacation time?"

Answer: "b" - The answer to this question will ease your mind without being too intrusive. The hiring manager should be able to tell you how many candidates they are speaking to, when they will be calling back for second interviews, and the timeline for the search. Asking questions about benefits and perks should not come up in a first interview - this is a discussion for a later interview and should be initiated by the hiring manager.

  1. After the interview:
  1. Send an email or written thank you to everyone you met that day - immediately.
  2. Call the interviewer every day and ask if a decision has been made.
  3. Keep looking for other jobs. If you got this one, they'll let you know.
  4. Meet your friends at the movies.

Answer: "a" - Always send a thank you. It used to be that a written note was best, but with the immediacy of the Internet and the speed of the search process, sending an email thank you is acceptable. Even though it is email, treat it as a professional letter and don't be too casual. If you do send a written thank you, write it immediately and take it to the post office before the last pick up of the day.

By Kate Lorenz, MSN Careers


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Behavioural Interviews

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Types of Interviews

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Sample Questions

Behavioural Interview Questions    Traditional Interview Questions    Case Interview Questions
Education    Previous Jobs    Company / Job    Questions determining your Competence
Questions on Wages / Salaries    Personal Characteristics    Your Community Involvement

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Questions You Can Ask

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Questions Not to Ask


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5 employer concerns

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Before the interview
    
Commonly asked questions in a traditional interview
    Commonly asked questions in a behavioural interview
    Questions to Ask
    Questions Not to Ask
    References
    Dress for the Interview
    Anxiety

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Researching before your interview

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During the interview

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After the interview
     Thank You Letters

Interviews