Interview Preparation

  • Before you interview for a position, learn as much about it and the employer as possible. If you found the position through The Sunridge Group, we should be able to provide that information for you.  If not, conduct research on the Web and tap into industry contacts.


Questions To Ask


After you have studied the company, make a list of questions to ask the employer:


  •     Why is this position available?
  •     What training programs are available to the person in this position?
  •     What are your goals for this position?
  •     What obstacles must be overcome for the person in this position to succeed?
  •     How will my performance be evaluated?
  •     What opportunities are there for growth in the next 12 months, two years, five years?
  •     What growth do you anticipate for your firm in the next 12 months?



        Interview Do's and Don'ts


Do's


  •     Always arrive early and prepared.
  •     Clarify questions. Answer the interviewer's questions as specifically as possible.
  •     Relate your skills and background to the position requirements throughout the interview.
  •     Present your qualifications. Focus on accomplishments that are most pertinent to the job.
  •     Be professional. Make eye contact and maintain good posture.
  •     Anticipate tough questions. Prepare to turn perceived weaknesses into strengths.
  •     Dress appropriately. Make your first impression a professional one.
  •     Ask questions. An interview should be a mutual exchange of information, not a one-sided conversation.
  •     Listen. Concentrate not only on the interviewer's words, but also on the tone of voice and body language. Once you understand how the interviewer thinks, pattern your answers accordingly and you will be able to establish a better rapport.


Don'ts


  •     Don't answer indirect questions. Ask the interviewer to clarify anything that you don't understand.
  •     Don't interrupt the interviewer. If you don't listen, the interviewer won't either.
  •     Don't be disrespectful.
  •     Don't be overly familiar, even if the interviewer is.
  •     Don't ramble. Be clear and concise in your answers.
  •     Don't lie. Answer questions truthfully.
  •     Don't say anything negative about current or previous employers.


Closing the Interview


Job candidates often second-guess themselves after interviews. By asking good questions and closing strongly, you can reduce post-interview doubts. If you feel that the interview went well and you want to take the next step, express your interest to the interviewer.


Try an approach like the following: "After learning more about your company, the position and responsibilities, I believe that I have the qualities you are looking for. Are there any issues or concerns that would lead you to believe otherwise?"


This is an effective closing question because it opens the door for the hiring authority to be honest with you about his or her feelings. If concerns do exist, you may be able to create an opportunity to overcome them, sell your strengths and end the interview on a positive note.


A few things to remember during the closing process:


  •     Don't be discouraged if an offer is not made or a specific salary is not discussed. The interviewer may want to communicate with colleagues or conduct other scheduled interviews before making a decision.
  •     Make sure that you have thoroughly answered these questions during the interview: "Why are you interested in our company?" and "What can you offer?" Express appreciation for the interviewer's time and consideration.
  •     Ask for the interviewer's business card so you can send a thank you as soon as possible reiterating your strengths relative to the position.


Follow-up


After your interview, follow-up is critical. When you get in your car, immediately write down key issues uncovered in the interview. Think of the qualifications the employer is looking for and match your strengths to them. A thank-you email or letter should be written no later than 24 hours after the interview. Be sure to call your recruiter to discuss your interview and your next steps.