Never wear a backward baseball cap to an interview unless applying for the job of umpire. - Dan Zevin
Three basic questions are at the heart of every interview:
- Can you do the job?
- Do you want the job?
- Will you fit in?
Remember that the person who gets the job offer is not always the most qualified candidate. In fact, the hiring decision is often based on how the interviewer “feels” about you and how well they think you will fit into the company and department. The interviewer will not only be assessing your verbal responses to their questions, they will also be looking for non-verbal clues like your demeanor, attitude, attire, and manners.
How do you convince an interviewer that you are the best person for the job? The steps below will help build your interviewing skills and get you ready to ace your next interview.
- 3 Steps to Interview Success Video - For a brief overview of some important tools and techniques to help you succeed in interviews, including information on behavioral interviewing.
- Interview Tips for Teachers Video - Angela Besendorfer, Chancellor of WGU Missouri and former teacher, principal, and superintendent, shares tips for interview success.
- Interview Types - An employer may invite you for a phone interview, a case study, a group interview, or a video interview. As a candidate you will want to know how to successfully manage each type of interview. CareerBeam has great information and tips on all types of interviews.
- Interview Questions Library - CareerBeam’s Interview Question Library is a great resource for researching common interview questions and strategies for answering them.
- Tell Me About Yourself Blog - This is a question that will most likely be asked in almost every interview. Arrive prepared!
Covering the Essentials
Once you are familiar with some basic interviewing strategies and techniques, the following steps will help you prepare for your next interview.
- Employer Research Resources - You need to do as much research as possible into the company in order to answer and ask questions during the interview. Reviewing the company website is a good place to start, but don’t stop there. You should also read their annual report, search the internet for press releases, and speak with former and current employees.
- Interview Preparation Worksheet - You want to align your skills, experience, and education with the requirements of the position and with the organization. This worksheet will help you be prepared to cite specific examples when you answer the interviewer’s questions.
- SWOT Analysis - Use this tool to analyze your strengths and experiences in terms of the position you are interviewing for.
- Teacher Portfolio Preparation Worksheet - Review this handout to learn more about potential content to include in your portfolio and how to present your portfolio in an interview.
Putting It All Together
Be sure to practice your interview skills and get constructive feedback from a knowledgeable expert before your next interview.
- Practice Interview Software - Once you record your practice interview, you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of WGU’s career services specialists will review your recording and share feedback with you.
- Interview Tips - Become familiar with important do’s and don’ts for successful interviewing.
- Questions You Can Ask - At the end of every interview the employer will turn to you and ask, “Do you have any questions for me?” You want to prepare thoughtful questions that allow the employer to see you as a valuable member of their team. CareerBeam has great sample questions that you can ask during your interview.
- Thank You Letter - Thank you letters are one of the most important and least used tools in a job search. Always send a thank you letter (a formal e-mail is fine) to everyone who interviewed you within 24 hours of your interview.