Interview questions — Joyce’s Career Tip of the Week
Many of the companies attending the Fulton Schools Career Fair on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be conducting on-campus interviews at the end of the week. It is impossible to over-prepare for an interview! In addition to knowing about the company, the position, and the industry you really need to do some serious introspection so that you are aware of what is genuinely important to you.
You will have to be prepared to talk about your accomplishments. You need to have stories that will illustrate the technical skills and interpersonal qualities that the interviewer is seeking. Be prepared to discuss your weaknesses (and how you have improved in those areas) and failures (show what you have learned) as well as your strengths.
Remember that the interview is not an oral exam, but a conversation. The interview is an opportunity for you to gather information and evaluate the opportunity in terms of what is important to you. Interviewers will always ask, “Do you have any questions for us?” The candidate who has none will be seen as unprepared and disinterested.
You don’t want to ask about salary, benefits or time off. When you are in the process of seeking a job or internship, everything you say has to show the interviewers the advantages and benefits they will have by hiring you. It is all about “what’s in it for them” — the company. However, the questions you decide to ask can give you some insights on topics that are important to you.
- How do you define success for this job?
- Can you show me examples of projects I’d be working on?
- What are the skills and experiences you’re looking for in an ideal candidate?
- What are the most immediate projects that need to be addressed?
- What attributes does someone need to have in order to be really successful in this position?
- What are additional important skills I will need to do this job well?
- What do you like best about working here?
You can Google “best questions for applicants to ask employer” and get lots of suggestions. Be sure to be genuine and select those that are the most meaningful for you.
Joyce Donahue is a Certified Career Counselor who works in the Fulton Schools Career Center.