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eduStudent LifeCareer Services

The mission of the Career Services office at AIB College of Business is to encourage and assist students and alumni in achieving their career goals.

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Basic Interview Question and Answer

(Adapted from National Association of Colleges and Employers, Job Choices 2005, p. 47) The following is a list of commonly asked interview questions and how to respond to them. Tell me about yourself. This open-ended question is usually asked at the very beginning of the interview to get things started. The key to this question is keeping your answer relevant to the position which you are applying. Be specific but most importantly do not ramble. Your answer should be around 2 minutes. Why do you want to work for this organization? This question is mainly used to see if you have done your homework. Be specific about what you have learned from your research and how it relates to your career goals. Why are you applying for this particular position? Use this question as an opportunity to express your passion and commitment to your field. Describe your best/worst boss. The main key is to keep the conversation positive. Begin by speaking about your best boss. When describing your worst boss, talk of it in a positive way by describing what you learned from the experience. For instance, I had a manager who was often very vague. However, this experience taught me the importance of good communication. What is your major strength/weakness? Major strengths are usually easy for students to think of. The key to this question is keeping this strength related to the position. As with the last question, when speaking of a weakness try to keep it positive. For example, I tend to be nervous around my supervisors, although Ive gained more confidence in that area since my last job where my supervisors encouraged me to ask questions. Give me an example of a problem you encountered either in school or at work, and explain how you solved it. There is a million different ways an employer can ask the Give me an example question and there is bound to be at least one of them in the interview. For this question you want to be logical. State the problem and provide a series of steps that you used to correct it. Where do you see yourself in three years? Share with the employer that you would hope to be with the company making the greatest contribution you can based on the experience and skills you have developed over the past few years with them. Describe an experience in which you worked as a part of a team. Being able to be a leader of a team and also a contributor are very important qualities. Develop answers that hit on both of these if possible. Do you have any questions for me? This question is always asked at the end of the interview. This is another chance to show how much you know about the organization. Have several questions lined up that are specific to the particular job or company. Show them youre prepared!

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Example Interview Questions You May Be Asked

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Tell me about yourself. Why are you applying for this position? Why did you choose AIB for your college education? How will the courses you have taken help you in your career path? What college subjects did you like least? Why? How would you describe yourself? What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest weakness? Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer and how you dealt with it. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. Describe a problem you have encountered at work and how you solved it. Describe a time when you worked as part of a team and what role you played. What qualifications do you possess that would make you successful in business? How do you work under pressure? Explain. Describe a time when you have failed. How did you learn from this? What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why? Use three words to describe yourself. Describe the ideal position for you. Describe your ideal boss. What do you see yourself doing three, five, ten years from now? What is your ultimate career objective? What motivates you? Do you plan to continue your education? What kind of leadership roles have you held? Why did you leave your last position? How would your friends or co-workers describe you? Why should I hire you? Do you have any questions for me?


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Questions to Ask the Interviewer(s)

During the interview, it is highly likely that you will have an opportunity to ask questions of the person or persons interviewing you. It is important that your questions show a sincere interest in the particular employer and their needs. The following are some questions you may want to consider. What are the day-to-day duties involved in this position? How will I be trained or introduced to the job? How are performance reviews or evaluations given? Can you describe the clients you work with? What skills are you seeking in the individual selected for this position? How much, if any, travel is expected? How would you describe the companys culture? What is the long-range plan for this company?

Job Interviewing Do's and Don'ts

by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. Here are the keys to successful job interviewing. Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success in this important phase of job-hunting.

Do take a practice run to the location where you are having the interview -- or be sure you know exactly where it is and how long it takes to get there. Do your research and know the type of job interview you will be encountering. And do prepare and practice for the interview, but don't memorize or over-rehearse your answers. Do dress the part for the job, the company, the industry. And do err on the side of conservatism. Do plan to arrive about 10 minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is NEVER excusable. If you are running late, do phone the company. (Career Services advises getting driving directions from the employer when he/she calls to set up the interview. If you have already accepted a position, DO call and cancel other interviews.) Do greet the receptionist or assistant with courtesy and respect. This is where you make your first impression. Don't chew gum during the interview. If presented with a job application, do fill it out neatly, completely, and accurately. Do bring extra resumes to the interview. Don't rely on your application or resume to do the selling for you. No matter how qualified you are for the position, you will need to sell yourself to the interviewer. Do greet the interviewer(s) by title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name if you are sure of the pronunciation. (If you're not sure, do ask the receptionist about the pronunciation before going into the interview. Do shake hands firmly. Don't have a limp or clammy handshake! Do wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. And do remember body language and posture: sit upright and look alert and interested at all times. Don't fidget or slouch. Don't tell jokes during the interview. Do make good eye contact with your interviewer(s).

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Do show enthusiasm in the position and the company. Don't smoke, even if the interviewer does and offers you a cigarette. And don't smoke beforehand so that you smell like smoke. And do brush your teeth, use mouthwash, or have a breath mint before the interview. Do avoid using poor language, slang, and pause words (such as "like," "uh," and "um"). Don't be soft-spoken. A forceful voice projects confidence. Do have a high confidence and energy level, but don't be overly aggressive. Don't act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment. Do avoid controversial topics. Don't say anything negative about former colleagues, supervisors, or employers. Do make sure that your good points come across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner. Don't ever lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and succinctly. And don't over-answer questions. Do stress your achievements. And don't offer any negative information about yourself. Don't answer questions with a simple "yes" or "no." Explain whenever possible. Describe those things about yourself that showcase your talents, skills, and determination. Give examples. Do show off the research you have done on the company and industry when responding to questions. Don't bring up or discuss personal issues or family problems. Do remember that the interview is also an important time for you to evaluate the interviewer and the company he/she represents. Don't respond to an unexpected question with an extended pause or by saying something like, "boy, that's a good question." And do repeat the question out loud or ask for the question to be repeated to give you a little more time to think about an answer. Also, a short pause before responding is okay. Do always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing. Never close the door on an opportunity until you are sure about it. Do turn off (or set to silent ring) your cell phone and/or pager. Do show what you can do for the company rather than what the company can do for you. Don't inquire about salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement, or other benefits until after you've received an offer. Be prepared for a question about your salary requirements, but do try and delay salary talk until you have an offer. Do ask intelligent questions about the job, company, or industry. Don't ever not ask any questions -- it shows a lack of interest. Do close the interview by telling the interviewer(s) that you want the job and asking about the next step in the process. Do try and get business cards from each person you interviewed with -- or at least the correct spelling of their first and last names. And don't make assumptions about simple names -- was it Jon or John -- get the spelling. Do immediately take down notes after the interview concludes so you don't forget crucial details. Do write thank you letters within 24 hours to each person who interviewed you.

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The Behavioral Interview

(Adapted from the National Association of Colleges and Employer, Job Choices2005, p. 47) Behavior based interviewing is one of the fastest growing interviewing methods. The Behavioral Based Interview (BBI) focuses on how you, the applicant, have actively used your skills to handle past situations to predict how you would react to similar situations in the future. The recruiter wants proof that you can demonstrate the desired capabilities in the real world. The common interview style is a simple question and answer about previous jobs, activities, education, future goals, etc. These questions exist in the BBI but are asked in such ways to bring out detailed descriptions from you and how you handle certain situations. BBI asks you to relive your experiences by describing in detail what you thought, felt, and did in certain situations. The recruiter wants to picture the whole scenario so they may see your thought process, emotional state, and decisionmaking ability. Many recruiters find it to be very effective. Some students find the experience very intimidating. The experience can be quite positive, however, with the right attitude, focus, and preparation. This interview style asks you to give clear, detailed descriptions of actual situations. This will require you to really think under pressure. The key is to relax and take your time to prepare a response. The interviewer understands that it takes time to recall events. Once you have thought of an answer, summarize the situation, the action taken, and the overall result. Your answer should be detailed and yet directly to the point. To prepare yourself for the BBI, familiarize yourself with some examples of the questions that might be asked. Some commonly asked questions are listed below.

Give me an example of a time you did not meet a deadline. How did you correct the situation? Think of a time when you worked in a group setting and someone wasnt doing their part. What steps were taken to make sure the work was completed? Describe the most difficult project you have had in a job. How did you go about this project? Describe a specific time in which you had to adapt to another person, situation, or environment. Provide an example of a time you had an innovative idea that made a significant contribution to the success of a project. How did you communicate the idea to the group? Provide an example of a time you made a suggestion to improve the process/operation of a job or project. What was the result? Describe a time where you had to complete a variety of projects with multiple deadlines. How did you prioritize and organize the tasks?

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