Interviewing Strategies

What is the objective of an interview?

    • To see if your paper image stands up in real life
    • To see if you are a "match" for the position at hand or the organization

What are the different kinds of interviews?

    • Informational interview
    • Screening interview (also called first-cut interview)
    • Selection interview (also called decision interview)

What is the general sequence of an interview?

    • Greetings
    • Social niceties
    • Stated purpose of the meeting
    • Broad questions/answers
    • Specific questions/answers
    • In-depth discussion of organization, job and opportunity
    • Summarizing information given and received
    • Indication as to next steps

How do I make an impression?

    • Be yourself
    • Smile
    • Establish rapport
    • Use a firm handshake and frequent eye contact
    • Be conscious of non-verbal language, maintain an upright body posture
    • Elaborate on information that indicates you will work out well
    • Project yourself into the job as much as possible
    • Be enthusiastic
    • Be confident yet modest

Do I have to dress up?

    • YES!
    • Dress to the standards of the organization - find out what they wear
    • Dress at least one step up from the daily office-wear of your future co-workers
    • Wear a conservative (not trendy) business suit (typically not a sports coat or blouse and skirt)
    • Shine shoes, clean nails, neat haircut, fresh breath, nothing low-cut or tight fitting
    • Light cologne/perfume if any at all
    • When in doubt, dress up to show you take the interview seriously

What should I bring?

    • Anything that can support your case, but share at appropriate times in the conversation
    • Extra copies of your resume
    • Papers and projects, portfolio
    • Possibly a professional briefcase to carry samples of work, etc.
    • Writing utensil and neat folder for holding resumes
    • Transcript(s)
    • Letters of recommendation
    • List of references

What are inappropriate questions?

  • Questions related to age, religion, handicaps, race, color, gender, national origin, marital status, children and child care arrangements are illegal.

What if I am asked a question I can not answer?

  • Ask for clarification or an example (if you don't know, say so)

When asked "Do you have any questions?"

    • You should have questions, develop a set of questions before the interview
    • Request a copy of a job description
    • Don't ask about salary/benefits at the first interview

How is the interview concluded?

    • Last impression counts
    • Summarize why you want the job, why you are qualified, and what you can offer
    • May want to offer references or inform the interviewer they are on file at the CDC
    • Thank the interviewer for his/her time

What should I do after the interview?

    • Organize the information collected
    • Write down notes from the interview
    • Record the date of your next contact
    • Immediately send a thank you letter to each person with whom you interviewed
    • Never burn a lead or a source-if uninterested in a position, politely say so