Interview Tips and Best Practices

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Interview Tips: How can I prepare for the interview?

  • Review your resume. Be prepared to answer specific questions about your background, skills, strengths, weaknesses and current position.
  • Plan your interview attire. Wear professional business attire. Indeed’s recommendations include: check for stains, snags, pet hair and holes, lay out clothes and all planned items (e.g., copies of resumes) the night before.
  • Prepare a list of references.
  • Prepare your questions. Ask questions that demonstrate you are interested in the position. Ex: What are the traits someone would need to succeed in this role?
  • Pack pens, copies of your resume and a pad of paper. Write down the name and telephone number of the contact person for the interview. Practice answering typical interview questions. (Find a friend to help you)
    Examples: What are your current duties? Why do you want to leave your current position? Can you describe a time you had to work with a group? What are your strengths?
  • Behavioral Questions – Interviewers are trying to elicit an example of your past behavior in a similar situation.
  • Situational Questions – Interviewers are trying to determine how you would handle job-related situations that may come up in the future.
  • Tips for answering interview questions: be open and honest with your answers, practice your interview responses aloud, keep your answers under two minutes.
  • Use behavioral examples: Think about what is required for the job, make a list of the skills and experience required, then match your qualifications to the position. Think about concrete examples.
  • Do not answer questions with a yes or no. Provide specific examples from your previous job or experience and how it relates to the current position.
  • Plan your travel to the interview. Leave early.
  • Bring the interviewer contact information in case something goes wrong.
  • Take a few deep breathes to prepare yourself prior to the interview.
  • Greet everyone. Write down the names of the interviewers.
    Ensure you are making eye contact and demonstrate good posture.
  • Listen carefully – make sure you understand the questions.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Sell yourself - Most interviews start with a question such as: Tell me about yourself or tell me about your career. This is the time to “sell” yourself.
  • Ask follow-up questions to demonstrate interest.
  • Send thank you emails.

What questions will I be asked during the interview?

During the interview, panel members use job-related behavioral and situational-based structured interview questions. The same interview questions are asked of all interviewees.

Typical interview questions:

1. Resume/Job Experience: Interviewees are asked to review their education and job experience as it relates to the position.

2. Behavioral Interview Questions: Behavioral interview questions require interviewees to discuss past experiences and how they behaved and reacted to those experiences.

Example: Describe a time you had to make a critical decision at work. What was the issue? How did you arrive at your decision?

Example: Describe a time when you disagreed with your supervisors' decision? Why? How did you react?

3. Situational Interview Questions: Situational interview questions require interviewees to explain and provide examples of how they would handle or react to job-related situations or issues.

Example: A court user complained about the quality of service provided by your team. What would you tell the court user? How would you resolve the situation?

Example: You have competing deadlines to complete two important projects for work. You are not able to meet the two deadlines. How would you handle the situation?

Additional Resources

Interview Tips and Best Practices