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Preparing for the Interview

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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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