Job Search Tools – Interview Information

Most employers make hiring decisions during the first interview, so the way you present your skills and abilities is very important. It pays to be well prepared. This portion of our web site contains tips to help you ace your next interview. Please feel free to visit any one of our Centres to register for an in-depth workshop that will give you the opportunity to practice.

The primary objectives of an interview are to:

  • Supply information about yourself that is not in your resume
  • Enable the employer to evaluate your personality, attitudes, skills and qualifications in terms of the position and company
  • Allow you to gain information about the company and the position
  • Give you and the employer the opportunity to discuss an offer of employment

Plan, Prepare, and Practice

Keep paper and pens handy by the phone so that you may take notes when the call comes.

Ask other people who may be answering the phone to be polite when answering and transferring the calls to you.

If possible try to get as much of the following information as possible:

  • Date of the interview
  • Time and length of the interview
  • Number of interviewers and their names
  • Interview location and any special directions
  • Contact phone number in case of emergency
  • Details regarding any testing
  • Anything you should bring to the interview

Learn About the Company

WHY?

  • To show the employer that you are very prepared
  • To be ready for specific questions such as, “Given our clientele, how would you suggest we sell our product?”
  • To determine whether or not the company is right for you
  • To be prepared for any questions concerning salary

HOW?

  • Checking out company websites, industry websites, newspapers, company newsletters, product information/literature, current or past employees, suppliers or customers

Think About Your Skills

  • Job-specific tools and tasks
  • Skills that can be used in a variety of jobs
  • Self-management skills that you use to fit in with the personality of the company, adapt to situations and solve problems
  • Tell the Employer about the skills you think are most important for the job and give examples of times you used those skills to resolve a problem, or handle a challenging situation

Appearance and Non-Verbal Communication

  • Dress one step above what you know employees are already wearing on the job
  • 38% of your message is vocal (pitch, tone, volume); 58% is visual (clothing, eye contact posture expressions); 7% is verbal

References

Can be:

  • Past or present employers
  • Instructor, teacher, supplier, customer
  • Volunteer supervisor
  • Character reference (person in a position of trust within your community)
  • Personal reference (friends, co-workers)
  • Relatives and family members are not valid

Questions

The interviewer will be asking you all kinds of questions, all meant as a way to determine if you: Can do the job, will do the job, help the company or create more problems, and how much will you cost.

You should also be prepared to ask some questions of your own to convey interest in the position.

Our workshop coaches participants on how to handle tough and or illegal interview questions, gives you the opportunity to practice winning answers, and to think about questions you may like to ask. Please drop in!

After the Interview

Be sure to send a short thank you letter within 24 hours.

If the interviewer hasn’t contacted you when they said they would, wait until that day passes then contact them the next day to inquire about the decision process.

No job offer?

Even if the employer states they hired someone “more qualified” it is a good idea to objectively review how things went and consider areas you can improve upon.

The Centre for Employment and Learning is a good place to get help with this. We hope to see you soon.

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