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Preparing for the Interview


Congratulations! You got an interview. Perhaps the hardest part of the job search in today’s economy is simply standing out enough from the pack of resumes to earn a coveted spot in the interview line up. To help you develop information about “you,” ask yourself these questions:

Your Qualifications
• What qualifications do you have that relate to the position?
• What skills or abilities have you developed recently?
• What are some examples from a previous job where you’ve shown initiative?
• What have been your greatest accomplishments?
• What is important to you in a job?
• What motivates you in your work?
• What qualities do you find important in a manager or a coworker?

Your Career Goals
• What would you like to be doing five years from now?
• How will you judge yourself to be a success? How will you achieve success?
• What type of position are you interested in?
• How will this job fit in your career plans?
• What do you expect from this job?
• When can you start?

Your Work Experience
• What have you learned from your past jobs?
• What are/were your major responsibilities?
• What specific skills used in previous jobs relate to this position?
• How does your previous experience relate to this position?
• What did you like most/least about your last job?

Your Education
• How has your education prepared you for this position?
• What were your favorite classes/activities at school?
• Why did you choose your major?
• Do you plan to continue your education?

Behavior Based Interviewing
A Behavior Based Interview (BBI) is based on the belief that past performance is the best predictor of future performance. Therefore, expect to be asked to describe a situation or task you encountered, what action you took, and what the outcome was. We commonly refer to this as the STAR approach:
S= Situation
T= Task
A= Action
R= Results

Interviews are a two-way process so you should ask questions to learn more about the job and the organization. Below are questions for you to ask:
• Where does this job fit into the organizational structure?
• What qualities do the people possess that have already been successful in this job?
• What kind of orientation and training are available to new employees?

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