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5.3: The Interview – Tips for Success

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    The Introduction

    One of the most overlooked opportunities in an interview is when you are invited to “Tell us about yourself.” This is usually the first impression the employer will have of you.

    Make the most of this opportunity by preparing a one- to two-minute self-profile. Consider the following TEES model:

    T = type of job you are seeking

    E = education and training

    E = experience and qualifications

    S = strengths and skills

    Strengths and Weaknesses

    Everyone can talk about their strengths, but you’ll be asked about your weaknesses as well. Learn to phrase your weaknesses in a way that sounds positive:

    • Although I have limited direct management experience, in my previous position I served in the absence of a manager for two months when my supervisor was ill. I’ve also taken many college courses related to human resources and management.”
    • “I was never interested in math until I got the job as a cashier; suddenly, some of the concepts I didn’t learn in school made sense. The job improved my skills and confidence.”

    Behavior-Based Interviewing

    Be prepared for behavior-based prompts (“Describe a time when you disagreed with a supervisor and how you handled that situation”). Employers use your past behaviors to predict your future conduct. Apply the STAR model when answering behavior-based questions:

    S = describe the situation with relevant details

    T = identify the tasks you had to overcome or complete

    A = describe the action(s) you took to resolve the situation

    R = share the end results of this experience

    Doing Your Homework

    It takes only a few minutes online to find information about the company with which you are interviewing. Knowing the company’s mission statement, annual sales, or product history is often impressive to a prospective employer. It also will give you a chance to ask your own questions when the opportunity arises during the interview: “I noticed from your website that...” or “I read an article about your contributions to...”

    “Why Should I Hire You?”

    It all comes down to this one question. You must provide compelling reasons why you are the right person for this position. Have concise reasons why you are the best candidate. Do everything you can to make a positive impression. Dress well and arrive on time. Speak correctly and make eye contact. Be yourself on your best day. Good luck!

    This page titled 5.3: The Interview – Tips for Success is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Frost & Samra et al..

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