How to Shine in a Job Interview

by Joyce Baker
Assistant Director of Career Services, Fort Wayne campus

job-interview-blog

I conduct a lot of mock interviews in my role as Assistant Director of Career Development here at Ivy Tech Community College. I realize job interviews can be stressful. But there are a few things to keep in mind that can help to calm your fears and increase your confidence.

They contacted you because there was something about your resume that sparked their interest.

Remember that! This is not a cold invitation. The hiring committee wants to meet you! You have qualifications, education and experience that prompted them to invite you in for a meeting. Approach the interview as a conversation in which you are engaged, asking questions and offering ideas.

The hiring committee wants to see that you can get along well with others.

Things haven’t changed a whole lot since elementary school when it was important to play nicely with the other kids. In the way you answer the questions, demonstrate that you can “play well with others” and that will go a long way toward making a good impression! They need to see that you are going to get along with the rest of the team.

taking-notesEvery answer must have a positive conclusion.

You will have basic questions such as, “What are your greatest weaknesses?” “Have you ever had a disagreement with a supervisor?” “What are your strengths?” The key is to always be authentic, specific, and to end on a positive note. Maybe your weakness has been procrastination. Talk about how that has been an issue for you, but emphasize that you recognized the problem and took steps to overcome it. Maybe you disagreed with your supervisor on how to conduct inventory in the warehouse. Describe how you communicated your thoughts on the matter then explain what action was taken. (For behavioral questions such as this, remember the STAR acronym. Situation, Task, Action, Result—and always talk about a positive result!)

Remember: The interview is an awesome opportunity for you to demonstrate three key traits—confidence in your abilities, interpersonal communication skills, and a positive attitude. The hiring committee wants to see you shine—you just need to show up and make it happen!

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