Many employers view the interview as the most important part of evaluating a candidate. If you are offered an interview, it means that the interview committee saw something they liked in your cover letter or resume. Everything you do and say is being evaluated so look and act your best to give yourself the best chance for getting the job. Follow these tips to increase your interviewing effectiveness:
- Be early to the appointment. 15 minutes is usually about right to make sure that you find the interview location without trouble, arriving at the office about 5 minutes early.
- Look and act professionally. For most positions, a suit and tie are appropriate for men and a dress or a blouse and dress slacks are appropriate for women.
- Bring an extra copy of your resume and cover letter. If appropriate, you can also bring examples of past work such as a portfolio.
- Be confident. Talk about your strengths and abilities with pride, but don’t be cocky or conceited. Make eye contact. Let them know you can do a good job.
- Be enthusiastic. Show that you are willing to take on the necessary job functions. If you are lacking necessary skills, show that you are willing to learn these skills to help you do the job.
- Know the position and BYU. Know the qualifications and requirements of the job and be prepared to show why you are the best match for the position. Be familiar with the unique nature of BYU and know what it means to work for BYU.
- Practice. Don’t be afraid to practice interviewing with friends or family on questions you think you might be asked. Think of examples of when you were at your best as it relates to the position. Practicing can help you be calm and confident during the interview.
- Be prepared with your own questions. Many interviewers will give the candidate the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview. Have a few good questions ready about the position responsibilities, opportunities for training or skill improvement, and other questions related to the job. Don’t ask about how much you will get paid.
- Follow up. Be sure to ask about what will happen next in the hiring process. Should you call to follow up, or will the department contact you about the next step?
Through proper preparation and conduct, you can be at your best during the interview and give yourself the best chance for success. To help you prepare, consider looking at some examples of good questions to ask in an interview.
Questions To Ask in an Interview
The questions below will help you to find out more about the position and if it is a good fit for you. These questions might also help you to think of other good questions.
- Can you explain how you let someone take a project and run with it?
- How (and how often) do you deliver feedback? Can you provide examples?
- Please explain your department's career development. What might I expect after, say, three years of excellent performance?
- What do you see for this company in the future - particularly as it might impact on career opportunities?
- What would I be expected to accomplish in the job we are discussing?*
- If I were to fill this job, can you tell me what your expectations are for the incumbent in this position?*
- What opportunities for advancement are typically available to people in this position?
- Can you tell me why this position is vacant?
- How does this position fit into the organizational structure?
- How would you describe the management philosophy of this company?
- What are this department's most important current projects?
- How much autonomy would I have in this job?
- How many subordinates would be under my direct supervision? Can you tell me something about these people?
- Will you please tell me about the person I would report to and other key people I would be dealing with?
*Note: If you can weave these questions into an early segment of the interview, chances are you will learn what is important to the interviewer; you can then tailor your presentation accordingly.