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University of Sharjah
Job Interview Guide
Resume Writing Guide
Cover Letter Writing Guide
Cover Letter Samples
Job Interview Guide
Job Interview Guide
What is an interview?
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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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".
4. 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.
5. 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.
1. Do some research on the organization before the interview.
2. Practice interviewing.
3. Go alone. Do not take children or friends.
4. Greet the interviewer.
5. Make frequent eye contact.
6. Smile, be polite, and try to relax.
7. Listen carefully to the questions asked. Ask the interviewer to restate a question if you are confused.
8. Answer questions as directly as possible.
9. Be positive and make positive statements.
10. If you've worked before, talk about what you learned from it.
11. Use examples of how your skills and abilities would fit the job.
What the employer may ask you?
1. Tell me about yourself. (This is often an ice-breaker question. Keep the answer job or skill related.)
2. 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.)
3. 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.")
4. What are your strengths? (Describe your skills in a way that will show you as a desirable employee for the company.)
5. 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 "relocated.")
6. 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 contribution.)
7. 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.")
8. 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
1. Who would supervise me?
2. When are you going to make a hiring decision?
3. What are the opportunities for development?
4. What kind of training is provided or available?
5. Is there a dress code?
At the end of Interview
1. Thank the interviewers for their time.
2. Request a business card.
3. Shake hands if possible.
4. Two or three days after the interview send a thank you letter addressed to the interviewers.
Thank You Letter Tips
After 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 company.
1. Neatly handwrite or type the note.
2. Address the note to the interviewer or the lead interviewer.
3. Keep it short. (No longer than one page.)
4. First paragraph: Thank the employer for the interview. Also, mention that you are interested in the position.
5. 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.
6. Third paragraph: Provide your contact information, telephone number with area code, and an e-mail address, if available.
7. Sign the note with your first and last name.
8. Proofread the note to check for spelling or grammar errors. Ask another person to proofread the note.
9. Mail the note within two to three days after your interview.
Thank You Letter Sample
March 23, 200X
Dear Mr. /Ms. “Recipient’s Last Name”,
Thank 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 organization.
I 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.
Thank you again for your time and consideration and, as we discussed, I will contact you next week to follow up on the interview.