Career Services

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INTERVIEWING 

Interviews are dialogues between an employer or search committee and a candidate for a position to learn more information from each other and determine the best fit for both sides. Employers will ask questions about a candidate’s skills, education, and past experiences to determine if they are a good fit for the position.  Besides, the candidate should be gathering information about whether the employer and positions are a good fit for them and their career goals. Since interviews are generally the last chance to make an impression before a hiring decision is made, you must do your research, prepare, and practice for them.

*NEW* The Interview Guide  UNIVERSAL Mock Interview Questions UNIVERSAL Questions to Ask in a Job Interview


Types of Interviews

The purpose of an interview is for an employer and candidate to learn about one another. Employers want to evaluate your qualifications, and you should evaluate the employer's qualities as well.  

There are several types of interviews. To best prepare for your experience, inquire about the interview type before your scheduled meeting time.  

Whatever style of interview you face, preparation is key. The research and practice you do ahead of time help you feel more confident during your interview.

Phone Interview 

A phone interview is typically used for an initial prescreening to see if the employer wants to invite you to a full interview. However, there are some instances where a phone interview will be the primary/ full interview.  

 What to Expect:

The employer will most likely schedule an appointment for a phone interview; however, it's okay to ask politely for a scheduled appointment if the interviewer calls unexpectedly. You may be asked some common interview questions along with some behavioral questions. 

Tips:

  1. Have a copy of the job description,  resume, and cover letter if you need to reference them during the conversation.
  2. Prepare answers for common questions ahead of time and have a couple of questions to ask the interviewer.
  3. Make sure you are prepared to answer the phone at the time of the interview.
  4. Prepare a quiet room and do not eat, drink, or chew gum during the interview. 

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Pre-Recorded Interview (One-Way Interview) 

Pre-recorded interviews are used as a screening type of interview where candidates are given a set of interview questions and asked to record themselves answering these questions. Often a candidate is given a set amount of time to provide and upload their answers. 

What to Expect: 

Employers pre-set the questions concerning a specific job and send candidates a link through which they can record their answers within a deadline. Once a candidate submits his video, the employer can then review and evaluate it to determine if the candidate is a good fit and decide whether to invite them to a face-to-face interview. 

Tips: 

  1. Research, the company you are interviewing for and try to demonstrate this knowledge within your answers.
  2. Dress appropriately for the interview, just like you would for a face-to-face interview.
  3. Practice your answers before recording.
  4. Remember, you're not a robot, do your best to come across as natural while showing your personality. 

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Individual Face-to-Face Interview 

In an individual face-to-face interview, a candidate is interviewed by one representative of the company, most likely the position's manager. They will want to get a feel for who you are and if your skills match those of the job requirements. 

What to Expect: 

You may be asked questions about the experience on your resume and what you can bring to the company or position.  

 Tips: 

  1. Review your resume ahead of time, and be prepared to discuss how your experiences have prepared you for your interview. 
  2. Research, the company you're interviewing with and demonstrate this knowledge within your answers.
  3. Dress in professional business attire.  

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VIDEO INTERVIEW

With the rise of software like Skype, Zoom, and WebEx, video interviews are becoming increasingly common. Video interviews use technology for a "person-to-person" conversation by video, allowing people from various locations to interview you without traveling. 

What to Expect:

While a range of traditional and behavioral interview questions might arise during a video interview, you might also have to answer more questions about location or work style. For example, if you're based in Ohio, but the company is headquartered in Texas, they may want to know how quickly you can relocate. If the position is remote, they may ask about your experience working remotely, your email style, or if you're familiar with programs like Slack and MS Teams. 

Tips:

  1. Ask who is going to be on the call.
  2. Double-check the time and date of the interview, making sure to adjust for different time zones.
  3. Figure out where you'll do the interview.
  4. Choose a quiet place with a neutral background and few distractions.
  5. Do a test call to check your equipment.
  6. Print a copy of your resume and cover letter so you can refer to them quickly. 
  7. Remember to dress in professional business attire. 

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Panel Interviews 

Panel interviews are the same as  individual interviews, but with two or more interviewers in the room. The panel may consist of representatives from the company, such as human resources, management, and employees. Each interviewer will pick up on various characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. 

What to Expect: 

Three or more people will ask you questions about your qualifications and evaluate how you fit in.  

Tips: 

  1. During a panel interview, make a point to address everyone in the room.
  2. Begin your answers by first making eye contact with the person who asked the question and then making eye contact with other group members.
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Group Interview 

Companies will often conduct a group interview to quickly prescreen candidates for a job opening, giving the candidates the chance to learn about the company in return. Often a group interview will begin with a short presentation about the company followed by the interview. Employers are trying to observe how well a candidate interacts with other candidates.  

What to Expect:

 Interviews can be conducted in two different ways. One, interviewers may be asked the same questions that would be asked in an individual interview, but  the question will be to the whole group, allowing candidates the chance to compete to impress. Or two, after a brief introduction, the interviewers will challenge candidates with group tasks and activities. 

Tips:

  1. Direct your answer to the person who asked the question, but try to maintain eye contact with all group members.
  2. If other candidates are present, introduce yourself and be polite.
  3. Volunteer to respond first to a few questions but do not dominate the entire interview.
  4. Compliment another candidate's response and then build on it with your thoughts. 

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Interview Prep

Your preparation for your interview will go a long way towards determining how well you do in your interview and consequentially if you’ll get the position. In addition, good preparation will help put your mind at ease on the day of the interview allowing you to focus on the task at hand.  

RESEARCH

Before your interview, you will want to research both the organization and the position. You will want to be clear on the organization’s mission, its major products or services, and how the position contributes to the organization’s mission. You’ll also want to be very familiar with the job description and be sure you understand the technical terms and expected essential duties of the position.  

Tips:

  1. Research the organization's website and look up its mission statement.
  2. Google news and trade articles about the organization.
  3. Research some of the organization’s competitors and peers.
  4. If you know who you’ll be interviewing with, look them up on the organization’s website and be familiar with their roles.  

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Practice

Make sure you know the format of your interview and take the opportunity to practice several times before the actual interview day comes. The old saying goes: practice makes perfect. You may not be perfect but you’ll be much more relaxed and confident on the day of your interview if you take the time to practice ahead of time.  

TIPS: 

  1. Utilize Big Interview to practice answering sample interview questions.
  2. Schedule an appointment with Career Services to do a mock interview.
  3. Ask friends, family, co-workers, and faculty members to practice with you and give you honest constructive feedback.
  4. Review your resume and know your strong areas; particularly as it relates to the position.    

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QUESTIONS TO PREPARE

An interview is a two-way street. The organization is interviewing you to see if you are a good fit for them but you should be interviewing them to determine if they are a good fit for you and your career goals. Having questions prepared ahead of time to ask during the interview not only helps you make the determination about how well you’d fit in the position and organization, but it also shows your level of preparedness for the interview.   

Tips:

  1. Know yourself and your values.
  2. Ask yourself what you need from a position and formulate appropriate questions based on these needs. 
  3. Be sure you are asking questions about the interviewers to see the organization and the position fitting into its broader mission.
  4. Ask them what they like best about working there.   

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Professional Attire 

You never get a second chance to make a first impression and the first impression most people form of you is based on your dress and appearance. You should always dress professionally for an interview you are part of and it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Tips: 

  1. Two-piece suit for men and pantsuit or skirt and blouse with a blazer for women.
  2. Conservative colors and patterns.
  3. Less is more; light or no scents, conservative makeup, little jewelry.   

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Interview Practice 

 

Interview Practice 

The more you practice, the better your interview skills will be, and the better prepared you’ll feel when it’s time to interview. Reviewing interview tips, taking the time to review possible interview questions, taking part in a mock interview, and practicing on your own, will help to reduce interview stress and boost confidence.  

Below are several ways Career Services can help you practice your interview skills.  

Big Interview 

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Big Interview is a tool that will enhance your job interviewing skills and develop an edge over the competition. Through this interactive tool, you can video record your responses to practice interview questions and review them or share them with others. There are tips, sample interview questions, and answers spanning more than 140 industries.  In addition, there are other resources to help you prepare for that big interview. Get both expert training and unlimited interview practice.  

Learn MoreCreate an account 

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Schedule a Mock Interview with a Career Consultant 

Career Services is available to help you practice your interview skills while giving you on-the-spot feedback and advice. There are several ways to schedule a mock interview.  

Stop by the Career Services Office in the Student Union, Room 1533 to schedule an appointment   

Call the Career Services Office at 419.530.4341 and ask to schedule a Mock Interview  

Schedule an appointment via Handshake following the directions below:  

    • Visit https://utoledo.joinhandshake.com/appointments.  
    • Click the “University of Toledo- Handshake Login” button.  
    • Sign in with your organizational account information. (your UTAD@rockets.utoledo.edu)  
    • Click “Schedule a new appointment.”  
    • When Choosing a Category, select your college.  
    •  When Choosing an Appointment type, select “Mock Interview.” 
    • Select the date and time you would like to schedule an appointment.  

Once you have scheduled your appointment, you will receive a reminder email via Handshake.  

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Request a Mock Interview Workshop for a Group 

 Does your student organization or group want to improve their interview skills? Have Career Services present at your next meeting. 

Schedule a Group Workshop or Presentation

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Practice Behavioral Questions & S.T.A.R. Method

S.T.A.R. Method for Interview Questions 

Interviews can be a stressful experience, especially when faced with behavioral-based interview questions. A behavioral question is a question that aims at learning about your past “behaviors” in specific work situations and how you would handle similar situations in the future. Behavioral questions help a hiring manager determine if a candidate also has the skills and experience required.  

The S.T.A.R. Methodis a simple acronym that offers a straightforward format that can be used to answer behavioral-based interview questions. 

What is the S.T.A.R. Method? 

SITUATION:

Open with a brief description of the situation and context of the success story (who, what, where, when, how). 

TASK:

Explain the task you had to complete highlighting any specific challenges or constraints (e.g., deadlines, costs, other issues). 

ACTION:

Describe the specific actions that you took to complete the task. These should highlight desirable traits without needing to state them (initiative, intelligence, dedication, leadership, understanding, etc.) 

RESULTS:

 Close with the outcome of your efforts. Include figures to quantify the result if possible. 

Before going in for your interview, make sure you take a good look at the job you’re applying for and use clues from that to prepare your S.T.A.R answers. By picking out what skills the company is specifically looking for or are required for the job, you can target your success stories. 

Practice using S.T.A.R Method via Big Interview

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COMMON BEHAVIOR BASED QUESTION CATEGORIES:

 Teamwork Oriented 

Problem Solving 

Initiative/Leadership 

Interpersonal Skills 

Challenge/ Stress/ Pressure 

 

 

 

 

Interview Follow-Up 
Tips: 

During the interview get the business cards of everyone you interview with, to be sure to have their email addresses. 

During the interview, be sure to make notes of interesting points each person mentions. 

Send a personalized thank you to each person you interviewed with mentioning a particular point each one made that you connected with or resonated with you.

Be sure to both restate your interest and thank them for their time and consideration.   

 

Following up after the interview can mean the difference between doing well in an interview and getting the offer and doing well in an interview and not getting an offer. Following up gives you the opportunity to both restate your qualifications and interest in the position and to thank those you interviewed with for the opportunity.    

 

Thank You Notes: 

Thank you notes are the most common and accepted form of interview follow-up. Generally a thank you email sent within 48 hours of an interview will suffice but some people will send a thank you email and then a handwritten thank you note as well.   

 

                                                                                                           

 

Last Updated: 6/27/22