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Work-Study Interview Tips
Prepare for success.
- Research the area you are interviewing for.
- Dress Appropriately- Dress to project the image of confidence and success; your total appearance should be appropriate to the job. REMEMBER FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNTS!
- Be on Time- Arrive 10-15 minutes early. Remember to adjust for traffic.
- Plan ahead by thinking about what you want the employer to know about you. Prepare key points you want to communicate about yourself and how you plan to make them.
- Take 1-2 copies of your resume with you and any Letter of Recommendations.
During the interview:
- First, build rapport with the front desk staff or receptionist who greets you.
- Think positively! If you don’t think you are the best candidate for the job, you will not get hired.
- Be sure to give a firm handshake.
- Your eye contact should be open and direct when listening, asking and responding to questions.
- Your posture should be well-balanced, upright, relaxed, forward-facing, and open. Know your nervous habits and practice controlling them.
- Place briefcase/purse on the floor.
- Create a dialogue with the employer by asking questions related to the current topic.
- Remember to SMILE.
End the Interview:
- Ask interviewer for his/her business card.
- Ask if there is anything else you can provide, such as references, background information or work samples.
- Ask about the next step in the process. It’s important for you to know the next step so you can follow up.
- Thank the interviewer.
- Give a firm handshake.
Questions Employers Might Ask You.
- Tell me about yourself You need to pretend that the employer asked you “Tell me about yourself and why you are interested in this job?” You might answer this question mentioning your relevant background, experience, and skills and then explaining why you believe the job would be a good fit for you.
- What do you know about this department/area of Texas Southmost College? Provide an answer that indicates that you have researched the company before the interview. Example: “I have been talking to employers and they feel that this is a good company to work for because.,.” or “I have been reading that TSC is …”
- What is your greatest strength? This is one of the questions that employers most of the time ask. When you are asked about your greatest strengths, it’s important to discuss the attributes that will qualify you for the specific job and set you apart from the other candidates. You can give examples of your strengths if you wish (e.g. “I’m an excellent writer. Most of my teachers have commented on my ability to organize my thoughts and communicate with a variety of audiences.”)
- What is your greatest weakness? This is another typical question interviewers will ask. Do your best to frame your answers around positive aspects of your skills and abilities. With your weaknesses, explain how you work with them or try to strengthen them. Avoid sharing a weakness that directly relates to the job’s requirements.
- Tell me about a time with you worked as a part of a team. Pick a specific example that has a “happy ending” and of which you are proud.
- How would your best friend describe you? A popular variation of this question is to state three adjectives that describe you- short but informative.
- Why should we hire you? When the interviewer asks you this question, you need to ask you. Are you the best candidate for the job? Be prepared to say why. Make your response a concise sales pitch that explains what you have to offer the employer, and why you should get the job. You may want to say something like “I think there are three main reasons you should hire me. First…” Three main selling points will stick in the interview’s mind.
- Describe a difficult work situation/project and how you overcame it. The interviewer wants to know what you do when you have a difficult decision. Be prepared to share an example of what you did in a tough situation.
- What are you looking for in a new position? Ideally, the same things that this position has to offer. Be specific.
- Do you have any questions? At the close of the interview, most interviewers will ask you whether you have any questions about the job or company. It will be a good idea to have a list of questions ready. For example:
- How would you describe the duties of the position?
- How would you describe a typical day and/or a typical week in this position?
- What specific qualities and skills are you looking for the job candidate?
- Do you work with our school schedule?
- What type of training do you provide?
- What is the dress code for this position?
- What is the next step? When do you think you will be making a decision?
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Student Employment Manual
Sample interviewing questions.
Clearly explain responsibilities of the position, performance expectations and work schedule during the job interview.
- Do you have a résumé or transcript you'd like to share?
- What program are you studying here at MCC?
- How many semesters do you have left?
- Do you have any other training, education, or work experience that would benefit your performance in this position?
- Out of all the positions available at the college, why did you choose this one?
- Do you have reliable transportation?
- Or - What three positive characteristics would your friends use to describe you?
- Or - What are three areas that you would improve upon, either personal or that may have been sited by a previous employer?
- What are the qualities you possess that would help you in this position?
- Explain your last work situation, the responsibilities and reason for leaving?
- Is there anything you think we should know in considering you for this position?
- Considering your school studies and personal obligations what hours and days are you available to work?
- Tell me what experience you have with computers, ie programs that you've used or classes that you've successfully completed?
- Do you have any questions or concerns you'd like to ask?
If the candidate does not supply references, ask them to provide a list of at least three references, including a minimum of one professional reference. Avoid asking personal questions or making personal statements, even if it piggy backs on a statement the candidate may have offered about children, marriage status, race, religion or like topics. These topics may come out naturally, but it is up to the interviewer to direct it back to the professional questions which are relevant in considering them for the position.