It is important to practice your interview technique. Practice makes perfect. The Career Services departments are available to schedule Mock Interviews so that you are prepared to provide the best answers to employers on your interview. Here are a few questions along with preferred answers that you can use when practicing your interview skills.
- Question: Tell me about yourself? This question is usually the first question an interviewer will ask. It is important to have a “tailored answer” to this question that focuses on what is important to the interviewer. The interviewer is trying to get a feel for what the applicant deems important about themselves. They are also trying to get a sense of whether or not you truly understand which experiences, skills and abilities are relevant for the position the graduate is applying for. This is an unstructured question and one that will make or break the interview. Remember to tell our students and graduates that it’s more about the interviewer than it is about them. Focus on the skills needed to do the job they are interviewing for.
- Question: What is your strength? This question allows the candidate to focus on the good qualities that the employer may be looking for. Answering this question using positive adjectives such as reliable, punctual, dependable, or excellent communicator is the best way to demonstrate to an employer that you will be an asset to their office.
- Question: What is your weakness? For every strength, there are also weaknesses. This question sometimes causes students to seem as though they are perfect! Besides, who wants to point out the negative behaviors? The best way to answer this question is to acknowledge the weakness, but with a positive twist. Answer: “My weakness is not being able to say no. I tend to take on more task than I am able to finish. However, I am working to become more aware of this and instead of immediately saying yes, I respond by saying let me get back to you with an answer tomorrow. This gives me an opportunity to check my schedule and ensure I am not overcommitting myself.” This is a tailored answer that all students should have perfected. Whatever the weakness is, practice with your Career Services team on how to communicate it with a positive twist.
- Question: Why should I hire you? This is another opportunity to remind the employer about your strengths and any other positive attributes that may cause you to stand out from other applicants. Also be prepared to give examples of how your strength has been demonstrated. Answer: “You should hire me for this position because I am dependable. My classmates always counted on me to help them study for test and work on projects because they knew I was always in class and paying attention.”
- Question: Do you have any questions for me? This is the interviews way of bringing the interview to a close. This is also a great time to show your level of interest in the position. Answer: “Yes, I would like to know what the schedule would be.” or “Do you have a specific dress code in your office?” or “What are you looking for in an ideal employee? Do you feel I meet the requirements for the job?”
Practice makes perfect! Make an appointment with your Career Services office to learn more about how to answer interview questions. Good luck in the process!