What is an
A job interview is a process in which a
potential employee is evaluated by an employer for prospective employment in
their company, organization, or firm. It is your chance to show an employer what
kind of employee he or she will get if you are hired. That is why it is
essential to be well prepared for the job interview. Preparing means knowing
about the industry, the company you are applying for and yourself.
Initial Screening interview: It is a short session, which might be conducted
either over the telephone or in-person with one person or several. The objective
is to narrow the number of job applicants.
Follow-up interview: It is an interview conducted in person and can last from1
hour to 1 or 2 days. It can involve either a single interview or a series of
sequential interviews with individuals and groups.
Telephone interview: It is important to speak clearly and more slowly than you
might in person. Don't be shy about asking the interviewer to repeat something
you are not sure you heard or understood. Show your level of interest by the
inflection in your voice and what you say, e.g. "I'm excited to be considered
for this position".
One-on-one interview: One person interviews the candidate and makes the hiring
decision. These interviews can range from being very informal and conversational
to being more formal and structured. Show enthusiasm, maintain good eye contact
and be professional.
Panel interview: If you are being interviewed by a group of people, remember to
make eye contact with all of your interviewers. Connect first with the person
who asked you the question and then glance at the others in the room to gauge
their responses and interest, finally, re-connect with the person who initially
asked you the question. Try to link your answers to others that were asked and
get the interviewers to talk among themselves. Make sure you get the names and
roles of all of those who participated in the interview.
Do some research on the organization before the interview.
Go alone. Do not take children or friends.
Greet the interviewer.
Make frequent eye contact.
Smile, be polite, and try to relax.
Listen carefully to the questions asked. Ask the interviewer to restate a question
if you are confused.
Answer questions as directly as possible.
Be positive and make positive statements.
If you've worked before, talk about what you learned from it.
Use examples of how your skills and abilities would fit the job.
What the employer may ask you?
Tell me about yourself. (This is often an ice-breaker question. Keep the answer
job or skill related.)
What do you know about the type of work we do? (This is your chance to tell what
you know from the research you completed ahead of time.)
What is your weakness? (Always make this a positive answer. For example, "My
spelling is not always perfect, so I always use a spell checker.")
What are your strengths? (Describe your skills in a way that will show you as a
desirable employee for the company.)
Why did you leave your last job? (Answer with a positive statement. Try not to
say: "I was fired," "terminated," "quit," or "couldn't get along with coworkers
or supervisor". However, you can say: "new job," "contract ended," "seasonal,"
"temporary," "career change," "returned to school," to raise a family," or
Why have you been unemployed for such a long time? (Tell the truth. Emphasize
that you were looking for a good company where you can settle and make a
Why should we hire you? (Make a positive statement, such as "I would like the
opportunity to work with you and believe that I can do the work.")
Do you have references? (It is most important that you contact your references
ahead of time and have their name, current address, and telephone numbers.)
Questions To Ask the Employer
Who would supervise me?
When are you going to make a hiring decision?
What are the opportunities for development?
What kind of training is provided or available?
Is there a dress code?
At the end of Interview
Thank the interviewers for their time.
Request a business card.
Shake hands if possible.
Two or three days after the interview send a thank you letter addressed to the
Thank You Letter Tips
your interview, be sure to write a thank you note to the employer or
interviewer. This is very important because a thank you note gives you one more
chance to remind the employer about the special skills that you can bring to the
Neatly handwrite or type the note.
Address the note to the interviewer or the lead interviewer.
Keep it short. (No longer than one page.)
First paragraph: Thank the employer for the interview. Also, mention that
interested in the position.
Second paragraph: Briefly state a few of your skills without repeating the information on your resume word for word. Include any important information not mentioned at the interview.
Third paragraph: Provide your contact information, telephone number with area
code, and an e-mail address, if available.
Sign the note with your first and last name.
Proofread the note to check for spelling or grammar errors. Ask another person
to proofread the note.
Mail the note within two to three days after your interview.
Thank You Letter Sample
Dear Mr. /Ms. “Recipient’s Last Name”,
you for meeting with me yesterday to discuss the summer marketing internship
with Greenhouse Marketing Company. I am very interested in this opportunity and
feel that my experience meets all of the qualifications we discussed in our
meeting. I can see how my previous internships have prepared me for this
position and I know I will make a positive contribution to your
am especially excited about the internship research project you discussed since
it would be something I would enjoy taking part in as well as a way to add to my
knowledge and experience in marketing. I appreciate the time you spent
discussing the project planned for this summer and I have already developed some
ideas on what areas we would need to research before beginning the project.
you again for your time and consideration and, as we discussed, I will
next week to follow up on the interview.