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Interview Tips

Congratulations on reaching this point in your career search! Before you have an interview with your prospective employer, AurStaff will help prepare you for this final step by providing you with comprehensive information about the company, walking through the interview process, and coaching you on potential interview questions.

Here are some tips to get you started.

General Interview Pointers
  • Be prepared to sell your skills and strengths by planning ahead.
  • Know your resume. Your prospective employer will have a copy in hand so you need to be prepared to answer questions related to the profile you provided.
  • Be confident in your skills and abilities! After all, you’ve made it this far, which means the prospective employer has shown an interest in your resume.
  • Don’t focus on the money and benefits – leave questions and discussion for the latter portion of the interview process, preferably after an offer has been made.
  • Reference the research you have on the company, which shows your interest in the position and your ability to be a proactive employee.
  • Avoid simple yes or no responses – use this opportunity to sell yourself.
  • Avoid ah, er, um – these habits are especially noticeable on the telephone. Practice!
  • Avoid interrupting or dominating the interview. Be a good listener!
  • If it becomes apparent that there are specific skills required that you don’t excel in, change the focus of the interview by emphasizing your strengths.
  • Let the prospective employer know you want the position – but be careful not to beg.
  • Prepare several questions you would like to ask your prospective employer.
  • As the interview approaches conclusion, ask if your skills and abilities meet the company’s needs. The response may provide you with an opportunity to clarify concerns or provide additional information.

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Phone Interview Tips

Interviewing over the phone can be tricky because you only have your voice to sell yourself – that and your resume the interviewer will have in hand. Think you’re at a disadvantage? Not in the least – as long as you are prepared and well organized.

  • Prepare your environment for the phone interview. Choose a room away from distractions such as doorbells, pets, and family noises.
  • Keep a copy of your resume in front of you at all times.
  • Have a pen and paper ready to take notes.
  • Smile – it will come through in your voice!
  • Speak directly into the phone.
  • Don’t smoke, chew gum, eat, or drink anything during your phone interview.
  • If you need time to think about an answer to the question, say so to avoid “dead air time”.

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Face-to-Face Interview Tips

How you present yourself, both verbally and visually, is important when interviewing face-to-face with your prospective employer.

  • First impressions are important! Dress at the level of, or a step above, the required daily dress of the company. For more information, see Dress for Success.
  • Have a pen and paper ready to take notes. Keep a copy of your resume in front of you – you may need to refer to it during the interview.
  • Avoid smoking just before your interview. Smoke will stick to your clothing and may be distracting for some.
  • Do not chew gum during your interview. Chewing gum is not a professional activity and should never be done in a professional and serious environment.
  • Smile and make eye contact with your prospective employer!
  • Know your route to the interview and arrive at least 15 minutes early. You never know when you will encounter a traffic jam, a car problem, or hit every red light in town. None of these should ever be used as an excuse for arriving late for an interview!

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Potential Interview Questions

We want your interview to be successful, so we’ll coach you on potential questions that you may be asked and offer you some valuable pointers. You may also have questions you would like to ask your potential employer that we have not already answered for you. Remember, AurStaff will have obtained much information from the company before you have your final interview. You will not want to ask questions if you already know the answer.

It’s always a good idea to prepare answers to questions ahead of time.

Common Interview Questions Asked By Employers

This is your opportunity to show the potential employer who you are and what you can bring to their company. Take time to think of how you would respond to questions you are asked during your interview. This is the time for you to shine!

Remember – keep the interview focused on the positives of what you will bring to the company. When asked about challenges and weaknesses, turn them into a positive response!

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What are your long-range and short-range career goals? How are you preparing to achieve them?
  • What are your non-career related goals?
  • What is your greatest strength and weakness?
  • What was the greatest challenge you ever faced? How did you handle it?
  • What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction in your job? Why?
  • How do you think a friend or co-worker would describe you?
  • What is more important to you – money or the type of job?
  • What qualifications do you have that make you think you will be successful in your career/in this company?
  • Why did you choose this career?
  • Why would you like to work for this company?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What do you feel you will be able to contribute to our organization?
  • What specific skills do you bring with you?
  • What two or three things are most important to you in your job?
  • What do you think it takes to be successful in a company like ours?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • How do you determine or evaluate success?
  • How well do you perform under pressure?
  • What have you learned from your mistakes?
  • What do you see yourself doing five years from now?

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Questions You May Ask an Employer

While the purpose of the interview is to show the potential employer what you can bring to the company, this is also a time for you to get to know the employer. There will likely be an opportunity for you to ask questions. Doing so will show that you are proactive and interested in the position.

Remember - do not ask questions if you already know the answer. Focus on obtaining additional information about the employer so you can learn as much as you can about the company and how you would fit into its structure.

  • Is this a new position?
  • What is the most important responsibility in this job?
  • What characteristics do you most look for in a person for this assignment? What characteristics does a successful person have at your company?
  • Where is the last person who held this position working now?
  • Are there regular performance evaluations? How is job performance measured?
  • What are the opportunities for advancement for someone with my skills?
  • What is the overall department structure where the position is located?
  • Could you tell me about the primary people I would be working with?
  • What has been the attrition rate in this department in the last five years?
  • Describe the work environment.
  • What is the company’s management style?
  • Will the company use formal or on-the-job training? Please explain.
  • Is there anything unusually demanding about the job that I should know about?
  • What do you forecast as future industry trends?
  • What makes your company different from its competitors?
  • Why do you enjoy working for the company?
  • Is there anything else I can tell you about my qualifications?

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