Big Interview Tomorrow Any Suggestions and Advice?

Updated on May 20, 2010
L.J. asks from Blacksburg, VA
10 answers

I have a big interview tomorrow for a position I REALLY want. Any advice ? suggestions?

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So What Happened?

Hi mamas! I found out today that I did not get the part time position I interviewed for. I was told at the interview that they would also be hiring for a full time position, in the letter I recieved today it said that they were not able to fill the full time position at this time but, that when they do fill it the director is interested in talking to me. Keep your fingers crossed for me, maybe it will work out after all. Thank you for all of the wonderful advice. They did tell me that I interviewed really well.

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answers from Chicago on

I'm not sure what type of position you're interviewing for, but as a former HR professional (recruiter to manager), I've interviewed & made offers to anyone from a general office clerk making $10 an hour to corporate officers making over $400k. Ask them what are the most important things they expect this person to accomplish in the short and long runs. Remember what they want and be what they want. Don't be shy about asking for the job. Don't walk away wondering how you stack up. Tell them simply and directly that you'd really like to be a part of this team and why you feel you're a good fit. Ask them what you have that their other applicants don't and what do other applicants have that you don't. It's your chance to even the playing field with the competition and make sure they haven't missed anything on you. Sell yourself on the way out. Remember those important things? If you still want the job, tell them dead on that you will exceed their expectations if given the opportunity and that you hope to hear from them soon. These are just a couple of things I've seen in the best of the best interviews and have always taken to my own. Be prepared to answer anything with confidence, including salary questions. Whenever possible SHOW them what you can do by giving specific examples of things you've already done. Don't speak in general terms. A lot of people do. When you don't, you tend to stand out. Good luck!

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answers from Los Angeles on

I just wrote this to a friend interviewing at a creative school. Maybe there are tips here that might be helpful and good reminders for you too.

Don't know if I ever told you that part of my job in my previous life was as a career counselor. I wanted to share a few interview tips and thoughts to inspire you and help you think about your upcoming meeting.

Interviewers are listening for buzz words. Whenever you can, I suggest you use these phrases and expressions: creative, artistic, hands on, learning styles, caring, nurturing, every child is unique, teaching to the student, interactive, inquisitive, supportive, encouraging, get to relate to, character, spiritual, community, tradition, fun learning...

When they ask you what are your weaknesses it should always be able to be turned around to be seen as strengths as well. I care too much, I take a students struggles personally and I end up spending a lot of extra time trying to get them to get it, to the detriment of preparing for a class lesson... I take it personally when a student doesn't click with the material and I keep struggling with how to get that student to get it. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to a lesson and I get caught-up in the small details.

An interviewer will almost always ask, do you have any questions for me? That's a chance to show that you've done your research. I read on your website about the cross curriculum program, it sounds intriguing, can you please tell me more about it.

You never know what is going to catch an interviewer's ear or heart. I once hired someone after feeling a connection about a program she had attended that I used to work for. I knew the quality of that program and the type of people they looked for, so that one piece of information told me a lot about who she is and how she has learned to learn. I was intrigued and open to you because you used !!! in your e-mail and I could sense that you had enthusiasm.

This maybe stating the obvious, neat clean clothes, no lipstick on the teeth, look them in the eye, solid hand-shake, thank them for their time and state that you want to join them, I am very impressed with this school, I would love to be in such a creative and supportive environment. I look forward to hearing from you. Then, that evening immediately after the meeting, send a hand-written note that is neat and error-free, and ask for the job -- I would love to be part of such a caring and creative learning community. It would be an honor to work with such a terrific teaching team. Thank you for spending so much time introducing me to the amazing world of your style of education.... Be clear that you want to be invited to become part of them.

Good luck, be you, be the best you that you can be, because if you are not you, and you are offered a position, they are getting someone that they didn't expect, and you are not being fair to you or them.

We believe in you!!!!!!

Hope this helped. Good Luck.

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answers from Chicago on

I find that the job candidates that really stand out are the ones that have excellent examples (quick stories) of how they have successfully overcome common work issues (gaining consensus amongst a group, managing to a changing deadline, etc.), as well as hard-and-fast quantification of the impact you have made at prior positions. ("Increased sales by X.X% over a 3 month period," etc.)

As a previous poster mentioned, having questions to ask about the business is critical. But, if at all possible, make the questions something specific about the job you would be doing. You want to show your potential employer that you are already thinking about the job and how you would do it -- so give them a sample of your smarts and your creativity!

Go get 'em!

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answers from Sioux Falls on

Be confident above all else! Smile and be proud of your accomplishments. Dress the part, and do your homework on the company you are trying to get into. They are really impressed if you know stuff about them and are able to tell them why you want a position there.
Good Luck!

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answers from Chicago on

Everyone had really great advice so far.

The only thing I would add is be concise with purpose, do not ramble on. Someone mentioned to practice and I agree. Pause before answering so that you can give a well thought out answer. It will sound like forever but it isn't.

Good luck and smile.

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answers from Washington DC on

CONGRATULATIONS on your interview!!! In today's tough market - it's great that you got the interview!!

As a recruiter, I cannot stress enough how important it is to be yourself.

1. Make sure you've done some research on the company.
2. Check out who you are interviewing with on Linked In (see the college they went to, etc.)
3. Make eye contact with the interviewer.
4. Sit up straight (Body language is IMPORTANT!!!)
5. Bring several copies of your resume with you (this shows you are prepared).
6. Be yourself.
7. If it's a team position - remember to talk about how you will contribute to the team - what your past experience can bring to the team.
8. ASK QUESTIONS!!!! Do NOT be afraid to ask questions - this is a big thing that people forget - they believe that asking questions ABOUT THE JOB is a sign of ignorance or something and it's not - don't ask about benefits, time off, etc. - that's for the Human Resources person.
9. If you are not clear - DO ask about the hours of operation, travel, overtime, etc.
10. DO NOT ramble on. If they ask for an example - try to be concise about it.
Be prepared - some interviewers might ask these questions

What's your biggest accomplishment? How did you make that happen?
What's your strength?
What's your weakness? How can you turn it around?
Why do you want this job/position?
Why are you leaving your current position?
How do you get along with others?
If this is a Customer Service - customer contact job - how do you handle rude people?
If this is a leadership position - how can you make the team cohesive?
How would you handle a team member that is being difficult?
How do you handle deadlines? Especially if you more than one? How would you prioritize them?
Why should I hire YOU for this position instead of one of the other candidates?

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answers from Dallas on

Excellent interview advice here from experts:

Also, get your "me in 30 seconds" and power statement down as well, it's a great way to start the interview. (links about those in the above link)

I have an email document of 64 (or so) top tricky interview questions and how to answer them, message me your email and I'll send it to you

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answers from Redding on

Bring at least one extra resume and an extra set of references.
Dress for success!
Be confident!
Do a little research on the company.
Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Be sure to be able to answer how you would be an asset to the company.
The one question I always hated was, "What is your biggest downfall as an employee?
I was thrown for a loop with that one once.
I said that I guessed it would have to be that I was a perfectionist when it came to the quality of my work. Not so much that I got stuck on one thing all day, but I couldn't let things go just done half way or to get them off my desk to go on to something else.

Confidence is the main thing along with a lot of other great advice you've received here.

Please let us know how it goes!
Very, very best of wishes and luck you to!

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answers from Rochester on

Everything here is good--definitely bring your resume and a copy of references. At my interview where I work now I had to fill out a formal application while I waited, including references with contact information. This was for the personnel file if I was hired, but I did not have all the contact for my references.

Dress professionally but be comfortable. I had to interview shortly after having my first child and was so uncomfortable since NOTHING I owned fit (and I'm sure it looked that way, too). I did not get that job. :)

Have several examples in mind from your past work experiences, including: Times you solved a conflict; times you did something you were not comfortable doing or did not like (shows you can be flexible, could be a difficult situation, staying late to finish a project, coming in to cover a co-worker, etc.); examples of good and bad customer service (from your experience--especially if your position might involve customer service); a few anecdotes that are also true--some companies include random questions that show your personality and ability to think on your feet--unexpected mini-presentation, hypothetical situation questions, etc. Be ready to appear FLEXIBLE.

You've probably already done this, but know the company--do some research, peruse their website, know their departments, as much history as you can, their mission or statements or goals, anything that can make you seem like you are ready to step in and be part of a team (but also willing to work on your own). Be prepared to smile sincerely--if you're a mom (and you probably are since you're on this site) just think about your kids when you feel your smile getting forced. If it comes up, mention your children but do not dwell on them--they want to know you're ready to focus on work when you are there.

Good luck! (And the thank-you notes are always a good idea!)

P.S. One more thing--often you might be asked at the end of the interview if you have any questions for them. Try to have one or two!! I did not at one interview and made sure I did at my second. I work for a non-profit and it was my first professional job, so I asked something about how working for a non-profit agency differed from working for a for-profit one. Ask something about the company, expansion, flexibility if you find you are gifted in another area to move, etc. If you express interest in them it can help a lot, in addition to "selling yourself." :)

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answers from New York on

This seems obvious, but considering 25% of applicants don't... dress appropriately. A suit is best, however, a nice pair of dress pants or a skirt and a blouse, or a nice dress is also appropriate.

Bring along a few extra copies of your resume. Yes, they already have one, but very often you may be interviewing with more than one person. Also, if your resume doesn't include references, be sure to have a list with you that you can give to them if requested.

Be yourself.

Good luck.

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