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SKILLS - Interviewing Like a Professional Guide

Interviewing > Interviewing Like a Professional Guide

The Interview – What Is It?
The interview is one of the most important components of your job search strategy. A successful interview can be the strongest factor in an organization's decision to hire you. An ineffective interview, however, can abruptly end your candidacy for a position. With thorough preparation and practice, you can learn the necessary skills to interview effectively, thus helping you to secure the position you want.

An interview is an opportunity for employers to evaluate a candidate's qualifications and goals and how they match the organization's needs. An interview is also a learning situation that can be used to critically evaluate your performance and determine how you can improve your interview skills. It is important to keep in mind that interviewing involves a mutual exchange of information, rather than an inquisition or interrogation. This is your best opportunity to evaluate the organization and the position. As a two-way process, the interview can be informative and productive for both parties. In order for you to present yourself and your qualifications in the most effective manner, careful and thorough planning is required prior to each interview.

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Planning and Preparing for the Interview
Often an individual approaches the interviewing process with apprehension and nervousness. This is normal given the emphasis that is placed on an interview! However, with careful planning and preparation, you will avoid becoming overwhelmed, and be able to professionally and clearly present your qualifications to an employer. Consider the following areas to begin your interview preparation:

Know Yourself: It will be difficult to articulate your skills, interests, and goals to an interviewer, especially if you have difficulty articulating them to yourself. Complete a thorough self-assessment, reviewing your skills/abilities, background, values, experience, education, training, and career goals. Your goal is to determine how to best market yourself to an employer. If you have difficulty identifying your skills and qualifications, make an appointment to speak with a professional in Career Services.

Know Your Field of Interest: Employers will want to know why you selected a particular career field to pursue, what your related experience has been, and why you are interested in their position. You need to be prepared for these types of questions. Career research will help you. Explore resources in the Career Services' library and on the office website to find information about the field, industry, and position. This may include future projections, major competitors, industry trends, and characteristics of individuals in the field.

Know The Employer: Research the organization to discover the company's products, services, location(s), growth, and future prospects. Consider the following list of areas to research:

  • Products and/or Services
  • Type of Organization
  • Structures & Divisions
  • Affiliates & Subsidiaries
  • Entry-level Positions
  • Career Paths
  • Majors Considered
  • Size and number of Employees
  • Profit/Revenue/Sales
  • Competitors within Industry
  • Relationship w/ Employees
  • Professional Development
  • Performance
  • Past History or Growth
  • Present Market
  • Projections for Future
  • Reputation/Integrity
  • Training

Know The Position For Which You Have Applied: Prior to the interview, have a complete description of the job and the required skills. You need to be able to articulate your understanding of the position and the demands. By understanding the requirements of the position, you will have a glimpse of what questions may be asked, and you can prepare in advance how you will communicate what you have to offer the company. This preparation can help you gain confidence for the interview.

“Practice Makes Perfect”
You have now started the process of preparing for the interview by assessing yourself, understanding the field, researching the organization, and clarifying the position. Next you will need to focus on the interview itself. Prepare to have an effective interview and PRACTICE!! Take time to respond to common and difficult interview questions, referring to the list of Questions Often Asked By the Interviewer later in this handout. You may assume you can answer the questions, but until you attempt to verbalize your thoughts, you will be unable to determine if your responses are clear, concise, and effective. This is where practice becomes so important. Ask a friend or roommate to interview you. Professionals in Career Services will conduct mock interviews upon request, allowing you to encounter a "real" interview situation. They will provide constructive feedback and suggest possible areas of improvement for you to consider.

First Impressions
The familiar saying, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" is completely applicable to the interviewing scene. Your interview image must be buffed and polished until you have mastered a flawless presentation of yourself. Your image, of course, begins well in advance of your personal interview. All correspondence, resumes, telephone conversations and informal visits should reflect the image you want to convey while being yourself. Here is a pre-interview checklist that can help you make certain you will portray a prepared and professional image:

  • Review company information and job description thoroughly.
  • Review your resume and know what key skills, education and experience you wish to convey to the employer.
  • Prepare a list of questions that you can ask the employer.
  • Print out extra resumes to provide to interviewers.
  • Prepare any additional documentation needed by the employer such as a completed application, references, transcripts, or your portfolio (if you will be using one in the interview process).
  • Do you have directions to the employer and know how long it will take you to get there so you arrive on-time? Do you have change for any parking meters or parking ramps?

Appearance:
Dress professionally and feel confident about the way you look. Err on the side of being overdressed – a basic black, blue or brown suit is the best way to go.

  • Avoid flashy colors or styles.
  • Avoid soiled, wrinkled or worn clothing or scuffed shoes
  • Don't forget to shine shoes, clean fingernails, clean glasses
  • Use make-up moderately as well as after-shaves, perfumes or colognes.
  • Well trimmed hair, mustaches and beards
  • Don't overdo use of jewelry
  • Do you have a briefcase or professional-looking portfolio/padfolio to take to the interview to carry your resume or other necessary documents?

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Types of Interviews
There are several different types of interviews. Information discussed earlier can be applied to each interview situation for planning and preparation. With each additional interview you have with a prospective employer, you will need to take an extra step in self-assessment and consider new information that has been revealed about the organization and the position for which you are being considered. Throughout the interview process, remember to constantly evaluate your interests, experience and skills related to the organization and the position.

The following types of interviews are best viewed as "phases" of the overall process rather than separate interviews. Given cost, time restraints, and staff factors, a phone interview and screening interview may be combined. In a small organization, the president or manager may even combine all phases of the interview from screening to selection into one interview.

Screening Interview: Usually the first meeting you will have with a prospective employer, it is general in format and relatively short, lasting 30-45 minutes. Examples of this include on-campus interviews and interviews conducted at recruiting fairs. The purpose of this interview is to reduce the number of candidates to a manageable number. In doing so, this person selects individuals best qualified to meet their organization's needs and eliminates candidates who are not qualified.

Follow-up or Second Interview: Once the number of candidates has been reduced to a manageable number, the purpose of this interview is to identify finalists for the position. This interview might be on-site at the employer's location and often the candidate will be interviewed by several people. Additional information about the organization and the position will be provided. The interviewers will ask more specific questions, possibly hypothetical or behavior-based in nature, to reveal certain skills and characteristics that you possess to determine an appropriate match with the organization's needs.

Final/Selection Interview: With the final candidate pool, the position's supervisor or Corporate Manager for that branch will usually be the primary interviewer; however others may be involved as well. During this interview, you will want to have all your questions answered so that you can make a decision whether you would accept the position if offered. Salary, benefits, professional development, and additional areas should be discussed at this time. The decision to offer the job to an individual is made at this stage after a review of the finalists' interviewed.

If you are the first choice, you may receive a response very quickly. However, if you are an acceptable, suitable candidate, but the second or third choice, you may not receive an immediate response as the employer is contacting and waiting for a response from the other candidates.

Interview Formats
The phases of the interview process will differ from one organization to another, just as the format or delivery of an interview may differ. Regardless of the type of interview, both the interviewer and the interviewee will have dual roles. Each person is acting as a screener and screenee. You will be presenting yourself and your qualifications, but you will also be evaluating the organization. You will need to decide if you would consider working at that organization based on information and impressions acquired in the interview. Simultaneously, the interviewer is judging your potential as an employee, as well as presenting her/his organization in an informative and attractive manner. With careful preparation within the context of the type or phase of the interview process, you can interview confidently and effectively with each employer. Note the following formats of interviews, with some additional suggestions provided for each:

Phone Interview: This could replace a screening interview or a follow up/second interview. One challenge of this interview is that the interviewers and interviewee lose all visual cues. To help you prepare in advance, ask the employer the number of individuals participating in the interview so you can anticipate the dynamics of speaking with one person or to several individuals over a speaker phone. Make arrangements so you have no distractions during the interview. Turn off call waiting if possible and do not answer another call in the middle of your interview! Have a copy of your resume available and prepare questions to ask the employer. Be careful not to rustle paper needlessly which might convey to the employer that you are unprepared. Evaluation for this type of interview is based on responses, tone of voice, enthusiasm, ease of conversation, and adaptability to the circumstances.

Group Interview: This type of interview can be threatening given the numbers of individuals involved. You may be interviewed by a group of individuals, i.e., a search committee, where you will be required to respond to questions from each person. Maintain eye contact with each person in the room when answering questions. Try to draw each individual into the interview, remembering that each person's impression counts. Ask each person if she/he has a copy of your resume, and if not, provide copies to everyone.

In addition to this type of group interview, an organization may decide to bring a group of candidates on-site to interview. You may be asked to complete a group task, respond to certain scenarios, or to meet informally. The employer is looking for your ability to work in a group situation, the leadership style you exhibit, your adaptability and flexibility, and your decision-making style.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Interview: This type of interview can be very difficult. Meals offered during an interview can be intended as an opportunity for the candidate to relax and gather his/her thoughts for the remaining hours of the interview. Often times, the employer asks an individual(s) with the organization to join you for the meal and possibly expose you to the surrounding community. Since you are being placed in another interview situation, it is best not to concentrate on the meal, but focus on the conversation. Use proper table manners, be courteous, and if at all possible, manage to eat some of your food!


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Different Approaches to Interviews
Employers’ Approaches to Conducting Interviews
When preparing for an interview, candidates usually anticipate facing a structured interview during which the interviewer takes the lead and asks probing questions. Preparing for this type of interview is slightly different from preparing for an open-ended free flowing interview. You may want to consider the following approaches an interviewer may take so you can alter your style to effectively present yourself and your qualifications. During the first few minutes of the interview, pay close attention to the interviewer. She/he will probably take the lead in establishing the flow of the interview.

Directive Interview: The interviewer has set the agenda for the interview. She/he will gather information, providing direction to you by the questions asked or answers she/he provides. You are expected to do most of the talking. You may feel as if questions are being "fired" at you constantly. You can ease the tension by pausing before answering and taking a few moments to compose yourself and your answers. This interview can allow for an equal exchange of information if you have prepared adequately and can articulate your answers and pose intelligent questions to the interviewer as well.

Stress Interview: A confrontational style is used through which the interviewer will purposely place you in a pressure situation to see how you respond. You could be asked an unusual question such as, "Why are man hole covers round?" Organizations usually are not looking for "the right answer", but they are interested in your thought process and ability to respond to a challenging and creative question. In addition to unusual questions, organizations could stage a stress situation like an interruption or other issue that shows your flexibility and adaptability.

Non-Directive Interview: The interviewer may begin the interview with "I'd like to begin by asking you what you would like to discuss during the next 30 minutes?" This is just one of many statements that an interviewer may use to judge your level of preparation and your assertiveness. If this occurs, remember to remain calm and maintain your composure. Recognize this tactic and show the interviewer that you can respond effectively. Remember key points from your preparation and practice. Discuss a few key points about your qualifications that you would like to highlight.

In addition to this approach, some interviewers take a fairly informal approach to interviewing and therefore, they fail to provide direction to you. A casually posed question within a casual atmosphere often promotes a casual response on your behalf. Stay alert and be sure to main your professionalism. Your ultimate goal is to convey to the interviewer what she/he needs to know about you and your interest in working for the organization.

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Behavior Based Interviews:
The foundation behind behavior-based questions is “past performance predicts future behaviors.” Therefore, the interviewer will seek specific examples and responses that will give insight to your intellectual competence, leadership ability, teamwork, interpersonal skills, adaptability, motivation, communication skills, and other related skills.

One approach to answering these questions is the STAR approach (Situation, Task, Action, Result):

  • Explain the situation, or circumstances in which you were involved (S)
  • Describe the task at hand (T)
  • Describe the actions you took in that situation (A)
  • Finish answering the question by explaining the result of your actions (R)

EXAMPLE:
Employer: “Tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult customer. What did you do?”

Response: “A customer called to complain about an error in a delivery she received. I asked her to explain the situation to me, what she had ordered and what was delivered so I could understand the circumstances of her complaint. After locating the order and tracking the shipping documents, I determined it was an error within our distribution department. I was able to immediately process a request to have the correct order shipped to the customer overnight. She called me when the correct order arrived to thank me for my assistance.”

Case Study Interviews: Usually in this situation, you will be presented with a scenario and be asked to provide your input and how you would approach the situation. These types of interviews may help an employer evaluate a candidate's analytical skills, creativity and the ability to frame and structure problems. There is not necessarily a "right" or "wrong" answer; the employer will look at your problem solving abilities and the logic you used to arrive at your answer. This is a common format in the consulting industry.


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The Stages of the Interview
It is helpful for you to understand the stages of the interview process. There is a logical order of events in an interview, and knowing the order in which things typically happen can help you know what to anticipate. The following is the typical format of a standard interview:

Introductions and Breaking the Ice: Always shake hands (with a firm handshake) and introduce yourself. Relax! Most likely the opening of the interview will include small talk. Be friendly and responsive. Try to notice your surroundings and anything that might identify the interviewer as an individual. Feel free to initiate a discussion of some very general topic of conversation such as weather, travel, or comment on an object in the office. The interviewer will likely review the interviewing agenda with you.

General Information Sharing: Your resume is an outline of your experiences. This part of the interview is your opportunity to provide details and fill in any gaps. You will be asked questions about your education and training, your work experience, and the skills that you possess. It is essential that you have a good idea of the aspects about yourself that you want to stress. Under no circumstances should you try to fool an interviewer with a stretched truth -- you don't know how much they already know about you!!

Further Probing of Key Characteristics: The job for which you are interviewing has certain key characteristics and requirements. The interviewer is looking for a candidate who understands what these are and who can relate past experiences and skills to the position requirements. If you have thoroughly reviewed the position description, you will know what questions to anticipate. The interviewer will be trying to gain a clearer understanding of your style and your potential for blending with the company/organization.

Solicit Questions: Although it may feel like an interrogation at times, an interview is a two way process in which both interviewer and interviewee gather information and form impressions. Certainly there are questions that you will need to ask in order to clarify your understanding of the job and the company/organization. Always have questions to ask!! A lack of questions infers that you are not interested enough or alert enough to be inquisitive. Do not ask a question concerning things that you could have learned had you done your homework. Do not ask about salary in the initial interview. If you are not invited to ask questions, politely ask if you may. Refer to the section Questions Applicants Might Ask if you need help generating questions.

Closing: It is during these final few minutes that any final questions or loose ends are addressed. Depart with a “thank you” and firm handshake.


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During the Interview
Earlier we discussed preparing for the interview and portraying a professional image through your attire. By keeping the following aspects in mind, it can help you continue to project that polished, prepared and professional image throughout the interview:

  • Arrive early
  • Carry yourself in a confident and professional manner
  • Use a firm handshake
  • Project confidence and enthusiasm and be optimistic
  • Show sincerity and commitment
  • Maintain good eye contact
  • Maintain a strong posture – no slouching, nervous fidgeting
  • Smile and be yourself, showing respect and courtesy to everyone you meet
  • Follow the interviewer’s lead

Answering Questions: Often when candidates are nervous, they stumble through basic interview questions. By mastering your nervousness and focusing on answering questions effectively, you will help hide any nervousness you might be experiencing. To help you focus, think of the following process:

  • Listen: Listen to the entire question asked by the interviewer. Do not start your response until the interviewer has finished speaking.
  • Replay: Once the interviewer has finished asking the question, replay the question in your mind so you make certain you answer the question at hand.
  • Decide: Think about your response prior to answering the question. This will only take a second or two and will help you formulate an effective response.
  • Respond: Once you have decided on your response, vocalize your answer.

Sometimes candidates are faced with a difficult question or find that they can't think of an appropriate answer. Here are a few strategies to help you:

  • Ask to have the question repeated. This can be helpful, especially when a multi-part question is asked: “Could you please repeat the question for me?”
  • Restate the question. “So you would like for me to tell you about a time I demonstrated my leadership ability?”

In the event you are not able to think of an answer to a question, you could ask “I cannot think of an answer right now – can we come back to that question?” Sometimes by moving on to the next question, you will be able to think of an answer later. Do not employ this strategy more than once in the interview, however!

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After the Interview
Although the interview may be completed, you now have another opportunity to make a good impression. Write a thank you letter as soon as possible after the interview. Many candidates forget this step, so by writing a thank you letter, it will help you stand out in a positive manner.

If you are curious about the status of your candidacy after the interview, you may contact the employer, especially after the date they had anticipated making their decision. Inquire as to the progress of the candidate search and ask about your current status. If you don't get the job, ask if they would be able to provide you any feedback. Suggestions from past interviewers can help you strengthen weak areas for future interviews.

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Evaluating Your Performance
After each interview, make notes about what occurred during the interview and the types of questions you were asked. It is critical that you review your performance and look for ways to improve for the next interview. Consider the following points for a typical interview evaluation, from Career Guide to Business by C. Randall Powell:

  • Appearance
  • Preparation
  • Expression
  • Direction
  • Maturity
  • Sincerity
  • Personality
  • Qualifications
  • Overall Evaluation

The ultimate evaluation will be the organization's response – did you receive the job offer? However, an employment rejection does not mean poor performance in the interview. Your interview may have gone quite well, but you were not the candidate that best fit the organization's needs at this point in time.

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Legal Issues and Pre-Employment Inquiries
When conducting a job search it is important to recognize that Federal Legislation prohibits interviewers from making hiring decisions based upon information gained through asking illegal questions. Examples include questions concerning age, national origin, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, citizenship and certain physical data.

Please refer to the list of Appropriate Pre-employment Inquiries developed by legal representatives from professional associations in career planning and employment. You will note that each inquiry area provides a proper and improper questioning format. Before any interview, become familiar with these legal areas of inquiry. If you have questions or concerns, contact a staff member in Career Services.

What To Do If Asked An Illegal Question: If you were asked, "Are you planning to become engaged or married within the next year?" Are you prepared to respond? Although it is up to you whether you answer the question or not, we suggest that you plan a response.

Responding to Illegal Questions: An appropriate response to the above question could be: "Can you please explain how this question relates to the qualifications for the position or its responsibilities? If you could explain how it is related, I would be able to respond." Try to avoid being confrontational.

Alert Career Services Immediately: If you are asked an illegal question by an employer, please notify a staff member in Career Services. Our staff will follow up with the employer or keep the matter confidential if you desire.

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Questions Often Asked by an Interviewer
The following section is a compiled list of various questions you might encounter during an interview. Before answering interview questions, it is important to remember that most interviewers will be looking for three things in your response: 1) your answer; 2) how well you can organize your thoughts, and 3) how well you express yourself.

Breaking the Ice

  • The campus looks very busy. How is your semester going?
  • I see you are involved in sports. How is your season going?
  • I have an extra hour and it's my first visit to the area. What should I see?

Personal Assessment

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are three strengths you possess related to this position?
  • What is one of your weaknesses?
  • What have you done that shows initiative and willingness to work?
  • Has your work ever been criticized? * How do you react to criticism?
  • How would your best friend describe you?
  • Describe yourself using one-word adjectives. *
  • What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
  • What kind of people do you enjoy working with?
  • What types of people rub you the wrong way?
  • What frustrates you? What makes you angry?
  • How do you spend your spare time? What are your hobbies?
  • Tell me about someone who has influenced you personally or professionally. *
  • When you are in a group situation are you the leader, technical expert, creative, responsible one? Provide examples. *
  • Have you had any work experience related to this position?
  • Tell me about the most satisfying job you ever held. The least satisfying.
  • What was most rewarding about your previous job? Most frustrating? *
  • What was your most significant accomplishment in your last position? *
  • What kind of work interests you the most?
  • What were you doing during the period of time not covered in your resume?
  • Tell me about a time you made your mind up too quickly. *
  • Tell me about an experience you had in customer service that went badly and how did you handle it? *
  • Have you ever failed at something? What did you do? *
  • Describe a situation in which you and a co-worker disagreed. How did you work it out? *
  • Tell me about a time when you took charge as a leader in a work situation without being formally assigned to that role by your boss. *
  • Tell me about a time when you felt you went beyond the call of duty in helping a customer. *
  • Describe what you liked and disliked about how you were managed in previous positions. *
  • Have you ever worked with someone who has had excessive absences? *
  • Have you ever stolen anything from a company? *
  • Tell me about the last time you broke the rules. *
  • What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you? *
  • What was your most interesting project or job? *
  • Tell me how you increased teamwork among a previous group with whom you worked. *
  • Why are you leaving (or did leave) your present (former) position? *

Education

  • Can you summarize your educational background for me?
  • Why did you decide to attend the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay?
  • Why did you major in _____________?
  • Tell me about your grades...overall and grades in your major.
  • What courses did you like the most? The least? Why?
  • Do you feel your grades accurately reflect your academic ability?
  • Describe for me your most rewarding accomplishment since you've started college.
  • Describe your study habits.
  • How did you finance your education?
  • Do you feel you received a good general education?
  • Why did you drop out of school for a year?
  • How do you spend college vacations?
  • What extra-curricular activities are you involved in? What have you gained from these experiences?
  • Do you have plans for furthering your education?
  • If you could start college over, what would you do differently?

Leadership and Supervision

  • Describe your supervisory experience.
  • Have you ever trained a co-worker and what steps did you take? *
  • Every manager has to learn to delegate well. Describe a work situation in which you delegated responsibility successfully. Then tell me about a time when your delegation of responsibility did not work out well. How did you handle that situation? *
  • What kind of boss do you prefer? Tell me about your favorite and least favorite boss.
  • What qualities does a successful (manager, teacher, counselor, etc.) possess?
  • Can you get recommendations from previous employers? Professors?
  • What will your current employer tell me about you? *
  • How would your former supervisors/co-workers describe your performance? *
  • Would your boss be surprised that you are interviewing? *
  • Tell me about a time you have disagreed with your boss. How did you handle it? *

Career Ambitions and Plans

  • Why did you choose this career field?
  • What type of position are you seeking?
  • What are your long-range and short-range goals and objectives? When and why did you establish these goals? How are you preparing to achieve them?
  • What are your career goals for the next 5 years? *
  • What specific goals, other than those related to your occupation, have you established for yourself in the next five years?
  • List the first 5 things you would accomplish in 2 weeks if you took on this role? *
  • What do you know about opportunities in your field?
  • What are the most important rewards you expect from your career?
  • What would you be giving up in your present job to take our position? *
  • What was the worst career mistake you've ever made and what have you learned from it? *
  • Tell me the position you’ve held that has been most meaningful to you and why. *
  • What improvements would you have made in your last job? *
  • What kind of challenge are you looking for?
  • What do you think determines a person's progress within a company?
  • How do you determine or evaluate success?
  • How much money do you hope to earn five years from now?

Company Organization

  • Why do you want to work for this organization?
  • What do you know about our organization?
  • What prompted you to apply with our company?*
  • What section (service or product) are you most interested in?
  • Do you prefer large or small organizations? Why?
  • What do you think it takes to be successful in an organization such as ours?
  • In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our organization?
  • Have you ever been a member of a union? Worked with union members?
  • How long would you expect to work here?
  • Are you willing to work overtime?
  • Are you willing to relocate?
  • What type of work environment are you most comfortable with?
  • Why do you think you might like to live in the community in which our organization is located?
  • Why should we hire you instead of any of the other well-qualified candidates? *

Closing

  • What are your salary expectations?
  • When could you start work?
  • Is there anything else I should know about you?
  • Do you have any other questions?


* Source: Questions taken from the Green Bay Area Chapter, Society for Human Resource Management, November/December 2000

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Questions Applicants Might Ask
Remember - research the position and organization to avoid questions you could have found through research!

Job Description/History

  • Can you provide me with a detailed job description?
  • What specific responsibilities would I be expected to carry out? Are there particular requirements or quotas to be met?
  • Is there any flexibility in how this position is defined?
  • May I ask why the position is currently open?
  • Is this a regular, long-standing position, or has it been newly created?
  • What might a typical work day in this job be like?
  • What types of career paths do people typically follow when they leave this position?

Supervision

  • How closely would I be supervised?
  • Who would my immediate supervisor be?
  • With whom would I be working?
  • Is there a clear progression in the amount of responsibility I will be allowed?
  • To what extent will I be working independently or as a team member?

The Department

  • How large is the department?
  • Does the organization have any long range plans for this department?
  • What new projects or ventures are contemplated in the near future?
  • Who makes the final hiring decision for this position?

Organization/Training

  • Is there a training program or orientation program for new employees?
  • I was reading about your training program in your brochure. Can you explain it in greater detail?
  • What is the best way for me to become familiar with your organization's policies?
  • I was reading about ___ in your organization's literature and was interested in learning more. What can you tell me?
  • What is your policy on continuing education? Are employees encouraged to take courses or graduate study?
  • Do employees participate in any professional associations or conferences?
  • What new products or services are planned or anticipated in the near future?
  • How would my performance as an employee be evaluated?

Criteria for Hiring

  • Ideally what kind of associate, trainee, etc. are you looking to hire?
  • Is there any area of my experience that you want to know more about?
  • Is there anything in my resume or background that you feel is problematic? If so I'd like to discuss with you. (This shows self-confidence and forthrightness.)
  • When will I be notified of your decision?

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Appropriate Pre-Employment Inquiries

Age
Acceptable: Are you over the age of 18? If hired, can you furnish proof of age?
Unacceptable: What is your date of birth? How old are you?

Citizenship
Acceptable: If hired, can you provide papers that show you're legally able to work in the U.S.?
Unacceptable: In what country were you born?

Physical Condition or Disability
Acceptable: Can you perform all of the duties outlined in the job description?
Unacceptable: Do you have any physical disabilities? Other questions on general medical condition.

Character
Acceptable: Have you ever been convicted of any crime?
Unacceptable: Have you even been arrested?

Ethnicity or National Origin
Acceptable: What languages can you read, speak, write fluently?
Unacceptable: What is your native language? What nationality are you?


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