Preparing for a Job Interview

Your job interview is just as crucial for an employer as it is for you. You may feel at times that an interview is like an interrogation. This is only because an employer can’t afford to make an error in judgement. Interviewers listen closely to answers they are given. They also observe each applicant’s attitude and appearance. Interviewers rely heavily on intuition in choosing a candidate.

Prepare for Interviewers


1. Anticipate questions the interviewers may ask you, and learn how to answer them effectively and positively.
2. Develop ways of making a good personal impression during an interview.
3. Plan how you can effectively address the concerns or misconceptions the interviewer may have about your disability.

Don’t Make a Bad Impression!


  • poor personal appearance
  • arrogance, aggressiveness, self-satisfaction, superiority complex, know-it-all attitude
  • difficulty in expressing oneself clearly, a weak voice, poor diction and grammar
  • complete lack of any career plans, project, or aims
  • lack of interest and enthusiasm
  • passiveness and indifference
  • lack of confidence and poise; nervousness
  • no participation in activities
  • interested only in money and in the best offer
  • lack of maturity
  • lack of tact
  • lack of courtesy
  • applicant criticizes former employers
  • dislike of study
  • lack of vitality
  • avoiding eye contact
  • high degree of indecision
  • letting parents make the decisions
  • no interest in organization or industry
  • too cynical
  • displaying laziness
  • limited interests
  • no interest in community activity
  • radical ideas
  • lack of personal initiative
  • too aggressive and too insistent

Pre-Interview Checklist


Before going to an interview, ask yourself:

  • Do I have the address and room number for the interview?
  • Do I have the name of the person I am meet for the interview?
  • Do I have with me two copies of my resumé?
  • Do I have with me a copy of my personal reference list?
  • Do I have with me a copy of all correspondence I sent to the employer?
  • Do I have with me a sample application form and any other information I may need to complete an application form?
  • Do I have with me a pen and notebook?
  • Did I review the following information?
  • Am I familiar with my resumé and personal history, the requirements of the jobs I am applying for and the facts about the organization?
  • Are my interview strategies clear?



  • Be positive and enthusiastic.
  • Arrive early for interviews.
  • Dress appropriately.
  • Be prepared to offer a pleasant greeting and warm handshake when you meet the interviewer.
  • Try to look relaxed, alert and interested.
  • Try to keep the conversation related to the job when you feel you can.
  • Volunteer information if the interviewer has neglected to ask about something that you feel is important to discuss.
  • Try to be honest and sincere, but don’t use the interview as a confessional.



  • Use the first name of the interviewer.
  • Smoke or chew gum.
  • Answer questions by saying, “Oh, that is explained in my resumé.”
  • Talk about why you need the job. Employers are interested in what you can do for them, not what they can do for you.
  • Try to bluff.
  • Apologize for any lack of experience or education.
  • Talk about weakness or failures.
  • Drink alcoholic beverages before or during an interview.
  • Undersell yourself.
  • Swear or use slang.
  • Worry if you don’t get the first job for which you are interviewed.

Types of Interview Questions


1. Tell me about yourself.
2. Tell me about your work experience.
3. What were your major responsibilities in these jobs?
4. What area(s) did you do particularly well in these jobs?
5. What area(s) did you not do particularly well in these jobs?
6. Why did you leave each of your past positions?
7. Why do you want to work in this industry?
8. What do you know about this company?
9. How did you find out about this job opening?
10. What interests you about this position?
11. Why do you think you are suited for this position?
12. Tell me about the best supervisor you have ever had.
13. Tell me about the worst supervisor you have ever had.
14. Tell me how you resolved a difficult situation with a fellow worker in a previous job.
15. What kinds of thing would you enjoy doing in a position at our company?
16. What kinds of things do you find stressful?
17. How do you handle stress?
18. Do you prefer working in groups or independently?
19. Do you prefer working with people or machines?
20. How do you feel about shift work?
21. Are you keeping up-to-date in your field? How?
22. Did you do well in school?
23. In what areas did you do well in at school?
24. What are your plans for the future?
25. What are your career goals?
26. Why should we hire you?
27. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
28. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?
29. How long will it take you to make a significant contribution?
30. What would you consider your strengths?
31. What would you consider your weaknesses?
32. What type of person would you choose for this position?
33. What motivates you?
34. How long have you been unemployed?
35. What have you been doing since your last job?
36. Are you willing to relocate?
37. Are you willing to travel and do you have transportation?
38. What are your salary requirements?
39. Why have you had so many jobs?
40. You are obviously overqualified. Why do you want this job?
41. What questions do you have about this job?
42. What questions do you have about our organization?

Questions to Ask a Potential Employer


1. May I see a job description?
2. What are the principle duties?
3. To whom would I report?
4. Why did the last person leave?
5. Is there a training program and how long is it?
6. Is there room for advancement?
7. Why would you say this is a good place to work?
8. What major changes are planned for the future?
9. What hours are involved?
10. When would I begin?
11. How would you describe a typical day here?
12. What benefits does this company offer?
13. What kind of person are you looking for?
14. When do you expect to make a decision?

Ending an Interview on the Right Note


1. Ask the interviewer if s/he has any further questions or any concerns regarding your qualifications for the job.
2. Ask when a decision on the position is likely to be made.
3. Ask permission to contact the employer after that date.
4. Reiterate your interest in the position, and thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.