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Interviewing Techniques and Strategies

"When we have arrived at the question, the answer is already near." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Career Center provides expert coaching for your interview preparation. The interview is an important event and proper coaching and practice will assist you in learning how to ace an interview. Download the Career Center Interviewing Guide for more information.

Take this web-based training course on Interviewing! Click here to start!

Interview Preparation Sessions

  • Review of Types of Interviews
  • Pre and Post-Interviewing Strategies
  • Interview Process
  • Sample Interview Questions
  • Mock Interview
  • Videotaped practice interviews

Types of Interviews

There are several types of interviews: the pre-screening interview (phone), one-on-one interview, panel/team interview, manager interview, and stress interview.

Pre-screening: most hiring processes begin with a pre-screening interview. This is usually a phone interview conducted by a recruiter or other HR professional. Most questions are basic in nature and are intended to confirm your skills and experience related to the position, your interest in the position, and your salary requirements. Once you have passed this test, you move to the next phase of the interview process.

Panel or Team Interview: This is the most common interview type used by State agencies. You may have any number of interviewers, but in a State Agency it is often three. Although many candidates are uneasy with a panel interview, it can be beneficial to the interviewee. One benefit is that if one interviewer doesn’t see you as the best candidate, you have two other chances. The other benefit is that you get to meet more people in the organization, which provides more information about your fit within the work group and culture.

Decision Maker Interview: In this interview, you meet with the decision maker, usually the person you will be reporting to, but not always. It is important to be viewed as a good fit related to skills and experience, but also to be viewed as a good fit personally. This is the person that needs to hear from you, "I can do this job! I hope I am selected!"

Behaviorial Interview: Many organizations use behavioral interviewing for selection. The questions focus more on how you have performed than on what you performed. The interviewer wants to know how you have handled situations in the past and steps you have taken to solve a problem, or how you dealt with a situation. The question usually starts with: Tell me about a time when ……….

Click here for a list of Sample Behavioral Interview Questions.

Approval Interview: In some situations, there will be other approvals required before you can be extended an offer. You may be asked to interview with your potential manager’s manager, the head of the department or, in some cases, the head of the company or agency.

Mock Interview

Mock interview sessions are available at the Career Center by appointment. Mock interviews are simulated sessions that help you sharpen your interviewing skills. At the end of the session, you will receive valuable feedback and coaching on your performance including suggestions for improvement for future interviews. Mock interviews can be videotaped upon request. The Career Center is equipped to provide a CD of your interview for future reference and practice.





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