In order to prove you are the best candidate for the job, you will need to do a little research before your interview. It is important for you to learn what the company does, who they serve, and what they are looking for in a candidate. Luckily much of this information is often easy to find.
In today’s digital age, most large corporations will have a detailed website. Many will also have an “about our company” page to help you learn more about their mission. Their social media pages will also give you clues about who they are and who they serve.
However, not all research needs to be done online. Re-read the job description from when you applied for the position. This will state the skills and qualifications they are seeking in their new hires. If you are applying for a job locally, you may be able to visit their location to get the customer experience. This will allow you the opportunity to learn not only who they serve, but how to best serve their customers. Finally, your best resource can be talking to people who are connected to the company - either as current employees or customers. By learning about their experiences, you will have a better understanding of who the company is, who they serve, and who they are looking to hire. Knowing this information before your interview can help you feel more confident as you answer their questions.
Questions to Expect
Tell me about a time when you had to change your planned course of action at the last minute. How did you handle this situation?
How would you deal with an unhappy client/customer?
Have you ever anticipated potential problems and developed steps to avoid them?
How do you handle making a decision when you don’t have all of the information?
Describe a time where you made a mistake. What did you do to fix it?
How would you deal with conflict with another member of the team?
Do you prefer to work on a team or by yourself?
Tell me about a time when you worked well as part of a team.
When solving a problem or completing a task, how do you determine when you need help from others?
What makes you a good team player?
What are you involved in outside of your schoolwork? How will this affect your ability to work this job?
How do you handle stress and pressure?
Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
How do you make sure projects and tasks stay on schedule?
Provide an example of an important goal which you set yourself and tell me how you reached it. What obstacles did you encounter? How did you overcome the obstacles?
Talk about a successful presentation you gave and why you think it did well.
Do you prefer to communicate via email, phone or in-person? Why?
How do you build rapport with others?
Have you ever worked with someone you struggled to communicate with? If so, what was the obstacle and how did you overcome it?
How would you reply to a negative online review about our company?
What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
How would you describe your leadership style?
Describe a time when you successfully managed multiple responsibilities.
Tell me about a time when you successfully led a team.
What skills do you think are most important for a leader?
Tell me about yourself.
Why are you interested in this company/position?
What are you looking for in your next job?
Why should we hire you?
What are your professional goals for after you graduate from IU?
What is your availability?
Questions to Ask
Now that your interview is coming to a close, it’s time for you to ask the questions! Even though you are the one being interviewed for the job, you are also interviewing them to make sure the job is a good fit for you. Additionally, this is a good way to show your interest in the position. When an interviewer asks for questions, the last thing they want to hear is “No, I think you answered them all.”
You will want to ask 2-4 questions, but it’s best to prepare 3-5 in case some of your questions are answered earlier in the interview. Be sure to ask questions that are of genuine interest to you and show that you have done a little research before the interview. This is NOT the time to ask about salary/benefits or drug testing. It is best to wait and discuss money after you have been officially offered the position (though most part time jobs are not negotiable on their salary).
So what kinds of questions can I ask? Here are a few examples to get you started:
What does a typical day look like for someone in this position?
What is the biggest challenge currently facing your organization?
How has the industry changed in recent years? How has your organization adapted to industry changes?
Why did you decide to work for this organization?
What has been your favorite part about working for this company?
What does it take to be successful in this position/organization?