Interviews differ depending on the purpose and where they are held. On-campus interviews are usually half-hour interviews conducted by professional interviewers who are screening candidates for additional interviews. A positive on-campus interview can result in an invitation for a selection interview at the employment site. Off-campus interviews that you develop on your own may be very different in length and type of person interviewing you. Interviews conducted at personnel offices are typically screening interviews similar to on-campus ones, while interviews with department heads are more likely to be longer, less structured selection interviews.
(The interview starts long before you appear in the interviewer's office.)
Research the Employer-
Thoroughly research the organization to impress those with whom you meet and allow more time for you to tell your story and discuss specifics of the position. Some of the information you will want to know includes:
It is also important to research issues, trends, problems, and jargon of the field. Such information can be obtained from people in the field, company literature, public and career libraries, trade journals, newsletters, business magazines, and directories. Prepare a list of well-researched questions for the interviewer.
Know Yourself -
Prepare Yourself -
Before the interview you should have considered WHAT you want to communicate and HOW you are going to communicate. What you will want to communicate are: personal qualities, functional skills, and special areas of knowledge that relate to the particular interviewer or organization. Your attitude, nonverbal behaviors and verbal responses indicate how you communicate those personal attributes and background facts.
A GD is generally of 15-20 minutes duration.
Your first task will be to help build rapport with the interviewer(s). The characteristics of building rapport involve your :
(1) Your attitude should be one of openness or sensitivity to interviewer’s style and a feeling of mutual responsibility for creating a comfortable atmosphere, establishing a common ground. You should be thinking positively. (If you don’t think you are the best candidate for the job, how can you hope to convince the employer you are?)
(2) The nonverbal behaviors that contribute to rapport are: dress and posture, eye contact, handshake, voice level, and gestures
(3) The verbal behaviors contributing to rapport building include: courteous observations, initiation of discussion, disclosure of personal qualities
Be aware of your body language, how you communicate non-verbally. You will want to convey sincerity, a dedication to achievement, confidence and a high energy level. These attributes are communicated through your attitude and actions as well as through your verbal responses.
Congruence between the nonverbal and verbal messages is very important to an effective interview. The nonverbal behaviors that are important in an interview include:
How you communicate verbally involves your ability:
* To use active verbs.
* To use concrete examples.
* To be concise and complete.
* To summarize and make transitions.
* To be positive and “own” what you have done and what you know.
Your knowledge of what contributes to a “strong answer” also contributes to effectiveness. A strong answer does not create more questions than it answers. The components of a strong answer include:
* Backing up a statement with a specific example.
* Sharing your role (the challenges and accomplishments).
* Sharing the outcome or solution.
* Summarizing to emphasize your strengths.
Strong answers can also be described as frank, open, thoughtful, complete, concise (complete your thoughts efficiently-know when to stop) and “uncanned”.
Be ready to ask questions from your prepared list. Techniques for asking good questions begin with the use of who, what, when, where, why, and how. Questions should be developed ahead of time and should reflect the amount of research you have done rather than your lack of research. Refer to the list of “questions to ask” to help you develop your own list.
Salary questions are usually inappropriate in the first interview. However, you should research the salary range for the job/field ahead of time, consider how much the job is worth to you, and recognize that the pay raise structure of an organization is just as important as the entry level rate in assessing an offer.
Be alert to and evaluate management style, organizational structure, turnover, job responsibilities and growth potential, work atmosphere, staff/supervisor and coworker relationships.
At the end of the interview set parameters for the next contact.
* State positive feeling-”I’m very interested. When may I expect to hear from you?”
* “What is the next step in the process?”