Prepare yourself in order to impress your interviewer
Right now you may be focused on doing your best in a career training program, but those job interviews in your chosen field might be just around the corner. Starting your job interview preparation now will put you ahead of the curve. It’s a process to find your dream job!
A typical job interview might begin with the interviewer giving you an introduction about the company and then focusing on the requirements of the position. The interviewer is likely to ask you about your professional background, training, and qualifications.
Think ahead about how best to present yourself to answer these questions—and practice! But there will usually be an opportunity for more conversation. In case the prospective employer asks if you have any follow-up questions, be sure to prepare some in advance. If he or she doesn’t ask, you can usually find a polite way to ask one or two questions before the interview is over. It shows initiative on your part.
Where to begin?
- Take a look at the company website. Are there things you want to know that you don’t see covered there? You can always ask for more detail or explanation about something you read.
- If they have a newsletter, read a few articles that might pertain to the kind of work you’d be doing. You can mention one and say you’re curious to learn more about a certain aspect of how the company operates.
- Does the website list staff members with bios about their backgrounds and/or current job responsibilities? This can be useful, given that it’s good to get clarity on exactly whom you’d be reporting to in this position, any details about their expectations, and what kind of management style they have.
- If you or your friends and family know anyone at the company itself, or at any of their other offices or partner organizations, you might want to ask them before the interview what you should ask more about.
Once you’ve done this research, think about how to ask the questions. Write the clearest, most open-ended version of the questions down, and bring that list with you to the interview (along with a pen—which proves you are both seriousness and prepared.
Here are some sample questions you might consider asking:
- How would you describe the day-to-day activities of this position?
- Who is the supervisor that this position reports to? What is their working style?
- Would it be possible for me to meet some other staff members that work with the person in this role?
- Are there opportunities for the person in this position to increase his/her responsibilities over time?
- How soon are you looking for the person who takes this position to begin working?
- How do you help orient new staff members?
- How often does this position meet with the team as a group?
- What should be the goals for someone in this position during the first 30, 60, or 90 days?
- What inspired you to join this company?
- What is the next step in the interview process?
Asking questions is an important part of showing that you’re serious about the job, have done some research, and are fully engaged in the interview. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know if the position is a good match for you. It’s a huge advantage to go into a new job knowing as much as possible about the work culture as well as the company’s expectations. We wish you the best of luck in your search!
This article is part of the Harris Casel Institute’s weekly blog. We conveniently offer many career training programs at our campus in Melbourne, FL. Contact us online for more info!