Interview Skills (Training, Techniques, Questions & Answers)

Interview skill will help the person to be exultant in all social situations including work situations and college.

What you will learn today!

What are Interview Skills?

Good interviewing skills are possibly one of the best skills a person can have. Often, people are unable to get a better job opportunity due to the reason that they don’t have good interview skills.

Like all other skills, it is transferable. For example, good interviewing skills enable you to respond to the hectic situation, to communicate effectively, to demonstrate in an appropriate manners.

Mock Job Interview Activity

This interview activity will help students understand common behaviors of people and skills that will help them be successful at getting a job communicating ideas and thoughts, and in life itself.

Material/Sources Needed

  1. Choose two persons. Assign the role of the interviewer, one the role of a good job applicant, and another role of the bad job applicant. Other teachers or students can also participate in this activity by assigning them roles.
  2. The bad job applicant looks unprofessional and will need chewing gum, sunglass, casual dressing, irregular sitting, etc.
  3. Scripts. There are two options. One of the bad candidates had a criminal record. The other option neither person has a criminal record. Adjustments can be made to the script as needed.
  4. Points to consider worksheet. Students will need a worksheet to reach the interview so copy the front and back of one piece of paper will minimize costs.

Procedure

  1. Shuffle students into interview teams. Each team picks a spokesperson who conveys the team’s decision on who to hire.
  2. Before doing the mock interviews, hand each student the interview tip sheet and the points to consider worksheet. The teacher goes over the interview tip sheet with the class, explaining the different tips.
  3. Team members take notes while listening to both interviews. From these notes, the team decides which candidate gets hired.
  4. The spokesperson tells the entire class who they want to hire and why. They also tell the class why they won’t hire the other candidate.
  5. Interview team that does the best job explaining the reasons for hiring/not hiring wins.

Handout for Interview Activity

            POINTS TO CONSIDERNOTES ON___________INTERVIEW  
Did they research the firm? How do you know?   
Did they look their best? Explain.   
Were they prepared? How do you know?   
Were they enthusiastic?   
Did they use discretion? Give an example   
Did they ask questions? Were they appropriate?   
Did they thank the interviewer?   
How did they do on the following interview questions? Explain.
Tell me a little about yourself.   
What are your strengths?   
What are your weaknesses?   
Why do you want to work here?   
Tell me about your most recent job. 
Why did you leave your last job?   

Interviewer’s Script

Good morning, my name is ________________ and I will be conducting your interview this morning.” “Please have a seat.”

We are interviewing you for the position of hotel Manager. We are looking someone with good hotel management and communication skills.

We are looking for someone who is able to maintain the working environment, supervise the staff and to boost up our hotel with his exceptional experience.

Questions

  1. Did you bring a copy of your resume?
  2. Tell me a little about yourself.
  3. What are your strengths?
  4. What are your weaknesses?
  5. Why you want to join us?
  6. Why did you leave your last job?
  7. Do you have any questions for me?

Answers

  1. Yes I have.
  2. I have lived in New York all of my life. I love being around people, I love learning new thing. I’m currently working on a project of hotel management. I have learnt different languages including Spanish and Chinease. Gardening and Football playing are my favourite passions. I have the best looking yard in my neighborhood.
  3. I’m a great listener and a good talker too. I’m a good organizer and can manage the things better around me. I love all the planning and organizing that goes into it.
  4. I like things to go according to my plans so when something comes up that may make my plans go off schedule it stresses me out a bit. But what I have learned about myself is that coming up with a plan B helps alleviate some of that.
  5. As I said earlier, I love being around people and in this job, I’d get to meet every person that walks through the door.  Your hotel has a good reputation for quality food and service that’s the type o restaurant I‘d be proud to work in. I think my qualities will fit nicely with this hotel.
  6. I left because I started teaching but couldn’t do both school and work at the same time.
  7. Your staff has such a good reputation for customer service, so I thought perhaps I’d ask if you have a training program you put yourself through to achieve that.

Before you leave

I also have a list of references to give you. Thank you for the interview, it was a pleasure to meet you.

Critiquing the Interviews

When critiquing the interview teams, use these points to help decide which team does the best job discussing the interviews:

  • Dressed professionally
  • Good handshake
  • Good posture while sitting
  • Came prepared with a resume and references
  • Smiled
  • Highlighted that they love being around people
  • Likes to learn new things
  • Listens well
  • Learning another language to communicate better with others.
  • Made a personal weakness less of weakness by planning differently.
  • Knew the reputation of the restaurant (shows some research) and indicated they would be proud to work in a restaurant like that.
  • Indicated how much they like interacting with people, even people who were depressed at a previous job in a cafeteria.
  • Left the previous job to go to school.
  • Had a good question on training, again highlighting the fact the restaurant’s reputation for good customer service was top notch.
  • Thanked the interviewer and shook hands.

Successful Job Interview

Search the Company

Find out as much as you can about the company

Explain Your Examples in Detail

Use the S.T.A.R method to answer questions

The S.T.A.R. Method

  • Situation: Explain the situation
  • Task: Explain your task or role
  • Action: What action did you take?
  • Results: What resulted from your action?

Look Your Best

  • Your clothes should be neat and appropriate for the working environment.
  • You should be well-groomed
  • No heavy perfume or cologne
  • Modest jewelry

Prepared

Bring a copy of your resume, references, samples of work if appropriate.

Arrive Early

Make sure you know how to get to the interview and arrive 10-minutes early.

Body Language

Look the interviewer in the eye, but don’t stare sit up straight and act alert

Be Enthusiastic

Show genuine interest in the job

Use Discretion

Be honest in your answers but steer away from troublesome areas

Ask Questions

Ask questions that will help you decide if the position is suitable for you

Subjects to Avoid

  • Don’t mention financial or personal problems
  • Don’t talk about what was wrong with previous employers
  • Don’t mention salary or benefits

Remember to Thank Your Interviewer

While leaving the chair, always thank to the interviewer

Interview Questions to Think About

Questions often asked by employersQuestions often asked by applicant  
Tell me about yourself1. What are the strengths of the organization or department?
What are you short-range and long-range career goals, and how you preparing to achieve them?2. What are the career opportunities for someone entering this position?
Why did you choose this career?3. What kind of orientation and training is available to new employees?
What do you consider to be your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?4. How large is the company/college? How large is this particular department/major.
How would you describe yourself? How would a friend or professor describe you?5. To whom would I be reporting and what kind of communication channels are there?
How has your college experience prepared you for your career?6. What are the long-range plans for this organization?
Why should I hire you?7. How long was my predecessor in this position?
How do you determine or evaluate success?8. How will I be evaluated? How often?
In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company?9. Is there an opportunity to transfer from one division to another?
Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and those reporting to him/her.10. What are the prospects for promotion in the future? What are some of the qualities or accomplishments you would consider important for promotion?
Describe your most rewarding high school/college experience.11. What is the management philosophy of this organization? What is the general philosophy?
If you were hiring for this position, what qualities would you look for?12. in what areas of the organization do you expect growth?
What have you learned from participation in extracurricular activities?13. Is continuing education encouraged? Is tuition reimbursement offered?
What led you to choose your field or major?14. Can you tell me about the history of this possible and changes anticipated?
Describe the ideal job/college.15. What are your expectations of the person in position?
What have you learned from participation in extracurricular activities?16. Is overtime the norm in this office?
How do you work under pressure?17. What kind of support staff is available?
Why did you decide to seek a position with this organization and what do you know about us?18. Generally, what percentage of time will be devoted to each of my responsibilities?
What major problems have you encountered and how did you deal with it?19. Do you work with daily, weekly, monthly, or annual deadlines?
What criteria are you using to evaluate the company/college for which you hope to work/attend?20. Does the organization have a process for creative ideas?
What salary do you want? 

HOW ARE YOU RATED DURING THE INTERVIEW?

  • Job Qualifications                   10%
  • Communication Skills             25%
  • Appearance                             25%
  • Attitude                                   40%

MOCK INTERVIEW EVALUATION

INTERVIEWER                         ______________________________________

STUDENT:                               ______________________________________

DATE OF INTERVIEW:           ______________________________________

Rate the student interviewee on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) in the following areas of interviewing skill.

NONVERBAL BEHAVIORS

1. Dressed appropriately12345
2. Firmly shook hands of the interviewer12345
3. Maintained eye contact with interviewer12345
4. Maintained good posture12345
5. Did not fidget12345
6. Used hands for emphasis where appropriate12345
Nonverbal Behaviors

VERBAL BEHAVIORS

1. Listened closely to questions12345
2. Answered questions completely, yet briefly12345
3. Greeted interviewer by name12345
4. Thanked interviewer12345
5. Emphasized qualifications12345
6. Pointed out work-related skills12345
7. Displayed enthusiasm12345
8. Focused on strengths; avoided weaknesses12345
9. Acted in polite manner12345
10. Stayed calm12345
11. Responded to questions promptly, but no hurriedly12345
12. Knows when a decision will be made12345
13. Asked appropriate questions of the interviewer12345
14. Spoke clearly and at a reasonable volume12345
15. Demonstrated knowledge of the field/company12345
16. Avoided use of phrases such as “um” & “you” “know”12345
17. Stated career goal(s) and related it to position12345
Verbal Behaviors

Further Reading

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