Career Services

Interviewing

Practice your interviewing skills by using big interview, an online interactive tool, or call Career Services at 419.530.4341 and ask to schedule a mock interview. If you have a mock interview scheduled, be prepared with a resume and professional dress. We'll spend 20-30 minutes on questions and 20 minutes giving you feedback on your interviewing skills.

Visit big interview

Types of Interviews

  • Screening Interviews
  • Phone Interviews
  • Highly Structured Interviews
  • Group/Committee Interviews
  • On-Site Interviews 

Prepare before the interview 

Know Yourself: Examine your background to identify job-related capabilities and skills

Know the Employer: Study the job to determine possible standards the employer may use in selection.

Know the Industry or Field 

Identify Your Skills

Adaptive Skills describe personality traits and characteristics (responsible, honest, loyal).

Functional/Transferable Skills are competencies that enable you to relate or transfer abilities to many situations and tasks (written communication, decision-making, planning and organization).

Work Content Skills are abilities required to perform a specific job (program in C++). 

Know the Employer

Prepare questions and answers in advance concerning these subjects.

  • Relative size in industry
  • Number of plants, stores, outlets, etc. 
  • Organizational structure
  • Array of products or services
  • Competition
  • Position responsibilities
  • Structure of training (formal or informal) 
  • Typical career paths
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Recruiter's name 

Know the Industry

Analyze social, technological, economic and political trends that impact the industry.  

Practice Interviewing

Practice your interviewing skills by using biginterview, an online interactive tool, or call Career Services at 419.530.4341 and ask to schedule a mock interview. If you have a mock interview scheduled, be prepared with a resume and professional dress. We'll spend 20-30 minutes on questions and 20 minutes giving you feedback on your interviewing skills.

Inappropriate Pre-Employment Inquires

When inquiries are made about personal details unrelated to the position, skillfully redirect the question and continue. "I'm not sure how my race/age/gender/nationality/etc. relates to the position, but I would be happy to expand on my experience and skills."


During the Interview 

Share information about yourself using examples that demonstrate your skills, competencies, attitudes, values and feelings.

Use the STAR Model (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to prove your job-related skills and interest in the position and organization.

Interviewing Tips

  • Be punctual - 10 minutes early.
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude. 
  • Think about your responses before speaking.
  • Use good posture, clear speech and direct eye contact.
  • Emphasize strengths by using concrete examples. 
  • Keep your questions focused on key responsibilities of the job. 
  • Summarize your qualifications and interest in the position at the close of the interview. 

Stages of an Interview 

  • Icebreaker
  • Candidate qualifications and interest in the position
  • Organization and position
  • Candidate questions
  • Close and follow-up procedures

What Employers Look For

  • Communication skills (verbal and written) 
  • Honesty/integrity
  • Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)
  • Strong work ethic
  • Teamwork skills (works well with others) 
  • Analytical skills
  • Motivation/initiative
  • Flexibility/adaptability
  • Computer skills
  • Detail Oriented

Source: Job Outlook '05, National Association of Colleges and Employers, Bethlehem, PA

Prove Your Skills

  • Present concrete examples/stories.
  • Quantify by using data (percentages, volume, frequency). 
  • Emphasize results (increased profit, improved student scores, solved a problem).
  • Link your skills to the job. 

Nonverbal Communication

  • Never underestimate the power of a firm handshake. 
  • Eye contact should reflect active listening.
  • Alert, relaxed posture is important.
  • Voice tone should be warm and well-modulated, and don't be afraid of silence. 
  • Gestures should be natural and non-distracting. 
  • Know your nervous habits and control them.

Portfolios 

  • Contain your resume and reference letters.
  • Include examples of your work.
  • Use in an interview to illustrate your skills and accomplishments. 
  • Do not leave the original copy of your portfolio with an employer. 

Possible interview topics

  • Career objectives and life goals 
  • College preparation
  • Job-related skills
  • Achievements and accomplishments
  • Activities and leadership experiences
  • Geographical concerns

Questions You Might Expect

Prepare answers for the following questions related to your industry. 

Education

  • Describe your ideal teaching situation.
  • What is your teaching philosophy?
  • How would your students describe you?
  • What methods of classroom management do you employ? Describe one difficult incident with a student and how you handled it.
  • How do you individualize learning in the classroom?
  • What did you learn from a failed lesson plan?

Corporate

  • Why should my company be interested in you? 
  • What are your career goals as you graduate from college?
  • How can you contribute to the continued success of this company in the increasing global market?
  • Describe your philosophy of customer service. 

Non-profit

  • What is your philosophy of service?
  • What motivates you, externally or internally, to achieve success in what you do?
  • Describe a project that required you to elicit community support.
  • Describe your fundraising experience.

Challenging Interview Questions

  • What is your personal situation?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What are your major weaknesses?
  • What are your plans for the future?
  • Why should I hire you? 

Questions You Might Ask

  • What characteristics best describe the most successful individuals in this position?
  • How would you describe the culture and work environment?
  • What are the opportunities for professional development and advancement?
  • What is a typical day (assignment) for a __________ in your organization?
  • To whom does this position report?
  • How will my performance be evaluated?
  • What is the length and structure of training?

Interview Pitfalls

  • Lack of company knowledge
  • Lack of preparation to discuss career plans and goals
  • Limited enthusiasm
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Difficulty discussing experience
  • Late arrival
  • Lack of preparation
  • Lack of clear goals or direction and inability to clearly express thoughts
  • Insufficient evidence of achievement
  • Narrow relocation interest

After the Interview

  • Send thank you correspondence within 48 hours.
  • Keep records of follow-up dates and tasks.
  • Evaluate your performance.
    • Review and evaluate the information gained about the position and organization in relation to your career objective.
    • Determine your interest in the position.
    • Assess whether you could perform the job based on the evidence you have gathered.
Last Updated: 12/18/19