Conduct a practice interview from your own home using a webcam. Use your Viterbo student email address to create your account and access the software; then choose Interview Prep. Select interviewer and questions. Record your answers and view results. Review sample interview questions and coaching tips. Click below to get started.
Internet Resources: Check out the following print resources
25 Tips for Job Interviewing
Frequently Asked Interview Questions and Suggested Answers
The Riley Guide
The College Grad
Internet Resources: Check out the following video resources:
About.Com.Job Interview Tips
Brian Krueger Interview Tips
College Grad Job Search Minute Videos
Education Portal Job Interview Videos
EHow Job Interviewing
How to Ace A Job Interview
Job Interview Bootcamp
Purpose of Interviewing
- To convince the employer/interviewer that you can make a contribution to the organization
- To appraise the job opportunity
- To avoid being screened out
- To land the job
Before the Interview
- Know yourself: strengths, values, interests, skills, accomplishments, goals, etc.
- Prepare your materials: resume, references, transcripts, supplemental materials.
- Prepare your interview attire: professional and conservative attire. For more information, see our Dress For Success site.
- Consider scheduling a mock interview through the Career Services office.
- Research the Employer
- Talk with faculty, alumni, other employees, etc.
- Research the organization on the web
- Find out information on ownership, products, services, new projects, location of facilities, headquarters location, recent market developments, competitors, growth patterns, reputation, size, international operations, training, evaluations, etc.
Types of Interviews
- Directed/Structured Interviews: formal and direct, guided by the interviewer, questions are mostly job related, a no-nonsense style.
- Unstructured Interviews: open-ended questions and relaxed style conducive to shedding light on candidate's personality; be assertive and stay away from 2-3 word answers, provide examples.
- Stress Interview: process designed to provoke the candidate and test his/her reaction to stress; may involve long gaps of silence, a hostile manner, or challenging the candidate. Candidates need to depersonalize the process, understand the interviewer is playing a role, and maintain their cool.
- Telephone Interview: often used to screen applicants and narrow job pool; some organizations are using webcams for this.
- Group Interview: several candidates are interviewed at the same time, sometimes used with large organizations that hire large numbers of employees or for positions involving extensive group work.
- Panel Interview: more than one interviewer posing questions, many times the same questions are asked of all candidates; helpful hint-maintain eye contact with everyone.
- Behavioral Interview: process based on the premise that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation. Employers predetermine which skills are necessary for the job and ask you to describe specific times you have demonstrated that skill in the past. Respond in a specific and detailed manner, always listen carefully to the questions and ask for clarification if necessary, your interview preparation should include identifying examples of situations where you have demonstrated specific skills and behaviors, sulch as decision making, conflict management, and effective communication.
Typical Interview Structure
- Making contact:, the time for introductions, establishing rapport and explaining interview structure
- Establishing qualifications and opportunities, the question-and-answer time
- Closing, the time for the interviewee to ask questions of the interviewer; interviewer often outlines next steps
- Administration/Preparation, the time for the interviewer to completes notEs and review of resumes, references, evaluations and other materials to make a hire decision
- Thank you letter: interviewee sends thank you note immediately
What Employers Really Want To Know
- Academic Record: often an indicator of motivation and work ethic
- Specific contributions you can make to their organization
- Demonstrated communication and interpersonal skills to get along with different types of personalities and communication effectively
- Leadership aptitude and experience, not afraid to assume responsibilities and work with minimum supervision
- Enthusiasm: attitude and behavior; alert, responsive, positive and energetic
- Flexibility: expand and change with organization
- High Energy Level: capable of handling multiple tasks; show commitment to job
- Maturity: know how to handle yourself in a leadership or difficult situation
- Special Qualities/Skills: what are your 3 most marketable strengths, your personal brand
Typical Interview Questions
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why are you applying for this job?
- What can you offer us?
- What are your strengths? weaknesses?
- What is an accomplishment you are proud of?
- What do you hope to gain from this job?
- How did you choose your academic field/career path?
- What are your career plans for the next five years?
- Describe your work style.
- Why should we hire you?
- Why did you take (or leave) your last job?
- Describe a situation in which you were successful.
- What motivates you?
- How do you handle stress?
- How do you think a professor or friend who knows you well would describe you?
- How would your current or most recent supervisor describe you?
- What you you know about our organization?
- What have you learned from your past mistakes?
- How do you determine or evaluate success?
- Describe your most rewarding college experience.
- Will you relocate? Do you have a geographical preference?
- How do I know you're the best candidate?
Behavioral Interview Questions
- Describe a specific time you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
- Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
- By providing examples, convince me that you can adapt to a wide variety of people, situations and environments.
- Describe a time on any job that you held in which you were faced with problems or stresses that tested your coping skills.
- Give an example of a time in which you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision.
- Tell me about a time you demonstrated good decision making skills.
- Tell me about a time in which you had to use your written communication skills in order to get an important point across.
- Give an example of an important goal which you had set in the past and tell me about your success in reaching it.
- Describe the most significant or creative presentation which you have had to complete.
- Tell me of a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.
- Give me an example of a time when you were able to successfully communicate with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you or vice versa.
- Tell me about a time when you worked under tremendous stress.
- Describe the most rewarding aspect of your previous job.
- Describe a challenging situation you encountered in you current or most recent job.
- Describe a time when you worked with a difficult person.
- Give me an example of a problem you faced on any job and how you went about solving it.
- Describe an experience when you dealt with an angry customer.
- Tell me about a time you demonstrated creativity.
- Describe a difficult decision you've had to make.
- Tell me about a time you received constructive feedback.
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
Your response to behavioral questions should include a brief description of the specific situation, the tasks and challenges of the situation, the specific action you took, and the result or outcome, including what you learned from the experience. One acronym used to guide responses is STAR:
Task or challenge
Result of action, including what you learned
Interview questions must all be job/experience related. If questions come up that are illegal or improper, such as questions about your family plans, etc, then you need to consider your options:
- Refuse to answer: this can tell the employer you think the question is improper
- Answer the question: you decide to swallow your pride and privacy
- Answer the legitimate question and ignore the illegal or improper questions
- Ask a question rather than answer the improper question. When in doubt, ask for clarification
- For more information, visit these web sites:
About.Com Illegal Interview Questions
Alexander Hamilton Institute
Questions You Ask
- What do you look for in applicants?
- What continuing education and supervision is provided?
- In what directions do you see your organization going in the near future?
- What are some current challenges here?
- What do you like most about your work here?
- I noticed on your website that _______. Could you tell me more about that?
- What makes a successful employee in your organization?
- How would I be evaluated?
- Earlier in the interview you mentioned ____. Could you tell me more about that?
- What's a normal work week like?
- Is there other information I can provide you?
- When will your hiring decisions and offers be made?
- What are the specific duties required?
- Please tell me about your experiences with this organization.
Evaluation of the Interview
The employer will likely consider all the following in evaluating your interview:
- Your handshake, attire, eye contact, etc.
- A demonstration of awareness of the company/organization
- Relevant questions asked
- Responsive listening
- Enthusiasm about the company/organization
- Ability to fit in with the company/organization
- A fit between the company's needs and your talents/skills
- Demonstrated ability to work as a team player
- Motivation and energy level
- Attitudes toward work, self and others
- Ability to lead or supervise
- Whether you seem like a good "fit" for the organization.
After the Interview
- Send a thank you letter within 24 hours of the interview. You may email or fax your letter, but it is advisable to send a hard copy, too.
- Complete any written applications and forms requested.
- Make notes to yourself.
- Write down key things that were said. These can be used in your thank you letter and may be helpful in the event of a second interview.
- Reflect about the organization and the individuals you met. Evaluate whether this would be a good fit for you and your career plans.
- Focus your energy toward the employer and remember the non-verbals: a good strong handshake and body language.
- The eyes have it! Look at the employer when you speak and listen.
- Be aware of fidgeting. Watch for nervous habits.
- Plan well ahead. Get your materials in order and do your research.
- Practice!! Set up a mock interview with a career counselor.
- Arrive at the interview early.
- Be yourself during the interview and be honest.
- Ask questions. Prepare your list and bring it to the interview.
- Remember to dress for the interview, not the job.
- Bring extra copies of your resume and reference list.
- Keep your answers concise and on track. Don't fall into a rambling trap.
- Give your own views, not what you think you are expected to say.
- Be enthusiastic, but don't oversell yourself. Express genuine interest in the job and the organization.
- Ask yourself the following questions: Can I do the job? Do I have a good work ethic? How interested am I in this kind of work? Will I fit into the company? Why do I want to work for this company?