Career Planning Center at Thomas More College
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Parts of the Interview

This will provide a general guideline of the parts of an interview. Each individual should tailor the tool to his/her own employment needs. The Career Planning Center can review any part and provide feedback.

Before the Interview

Become Knowledgeable About Yourself
Assess your strengths and define your value to the potential employer. Consider these points: personal accomplishments, innovative problem-solving skills, evidence of leadership in critical situations, interpersonal flexibility. Critically review your resume and be prepared to answer questions about the information. Know your values and goals.

Become Knowledgeable About the Potential Employer
Researching a company is a lot of work that will help you make an informed decision about working for the company as well as impress the interviewer with your knowledge.

Information to look for includes:

  • Types of products or services it provides
  • Size of the company, growth or potential for growth
  • Geographical location of local and parent sites
  • Competitors
  • Organizational structure
  • Future plans
  • Opportunities for professional development or training
  • Evaluation, promotion, and relocation policies

Use directories in the public library, various Internet Resources, and the Career Resource Room to find company information.

During the Interview

The job interview is structured so the greatest exchange of information can take place in the least amount of time. It usually consists of three distinct parts: the introduction, the body and the close.

The introduction is the "ice-breaking" portion of the interview. You and the interviewer need to establish positive rapport from the moment the interviewer greets you.

To get the job you must look and act the part. Dressing professionally means a business suit or dress, polished shoes, conservative haircut and jewelry, and no wrinkled or revealing clothes. Acting professionally means a firm handshake, smiling, polite language, and no fidgeting, chewing gum, slang terms, or late arrivals.

The interviewer may briefly describe the job responsibilities, which, if you listen carefully, will help you answer questions to fit the interviewer's needs.

The body is the time for specific exchange of information via questions and answers.

Most interviewers will focus on three primary concerns: your willingness to do the job, your ability to successfully complete the work, and how well you fit with the organization. Responses to difficult and probing questions can be prepared in advance by practicing answers to typical interview questions.

You, too, should ask some key questions. These questions should flow naturally out of the conversation and involve expansion on topics about which you are genuinely concerned. They may also show your knowledge of the company. Be sure not to ask questions that are obviously answered in corporate literature you should have reviewed prior to the interview.

The Career Resource Room also has books and videos about interviewing.