Interview Preparation Tips (Part 4 of 20)

Examrace Placement Series prepares you for the toughest placement exams to top companies.

All About HR Interview

HR Interview is very important in getting a job, this page will guide you in getting sure success.

General Guidelines in Answering Interview Questions

Everyone is nervous on interviews. If you simply allow yourself to feel nervous, you'll do much better. Remember also that it's difficult for the interviewer as well.

In general, be upbeat and positive. Never be negative.

Rehearse your answers and time them. Never talk for more than 2 minutes straight.

Don't try to memorize answers word for word. Use the answers shown here as a guide only, and don't be afraid to include your own thoughts and words. To help you remember key concepts, jot down and review a few key words for each answer. Rehearse your answers frequently, and they will come to you naturally in interviews.

As you will read in the accompanying report, the single most important strategy in interviewing, as in all phases of your job search, is what we call: “The Greatest Executive Job Finding Secret.” And that is…

Find out what people want, than show them how you can help them get it.

Find out what an employer wants most in his or her ideal candidate, then show how you meet those qualifications.

In other words, you must match your abilities, with the needs of the employer. You must sell what the buyer is buying. To do that, before you know what to emphasize in your answers, you must find out what the buyer is buying… What he is looking for. And the best way to do that is to ask a few questions yourself.

You will see how to bring this off skillfully as you read the first two questions of this report. But regardless of how you accomplish it, you must remember this strategy above all: Before blurting out your qualifications, you must get some idea of what the employer wants most. Once you know what he wants, you can then present your qualifications as the perfect key that fits the lock of that position.

Other important interview strategies:

Turn weaknesses into strengths (You'll see how to do this in a few moments.)

Think before you answer. A pause to collect your thoughts is a hallmark of a thoughtful person.

As a daily exercise, practice being more optimistic. For example, try putting a positive spin on events and situations you would normally regard as negative. This is not meant to turn you into a Pollyanna, but to sharpen your selling skills. The best salespeople, as well as the best liked interview candidates, come off as being naturally optimistic, “can do” people. You will dramatically raise your level of attractiveness by daily practicing to be more optimistic.

Be honest… Never lie.

Keep an interview diary. Right after each interview note what you did right, what could have gone a little better, and what steps you should take next with this contact. Then take those steps. Don't be like the 95% of humanity who say they will follow up on something, but never do.

  1. Tell me about yourself? I am down-to-earth, sweet, smart, creative, industrious, and thorough.

  2. How has your experience prepared you for your career? Coursework: Aside from the discipline and engineering foundation learning that I have gained from my courses, I think the design projects, reports, and presentations have prepared me most for my career. Work Experience: Through internships, I have gained self-esteem, confidence, and problem-solving skills. I also refined my technical writing and learned to prepare professional documents for clients. Student Organizations: By working on multiple projects for different student organizations while keeping up my grades, I've built time management and efficiency skills. Additionally, I've developed leadership, communication, and teamwork abilities. Life Experience: In general, life has taught me determination and the importance of maintaining my ethical standards.

  3. Describe the ideal job. Ideally, I would like to work in a fun, warm environment with individuals working independently towards team goals or individual goals. I am not concerned about minor elements, such as dress codes, cubicles, and the level of formality. Most important to me is an atmosphere that fosters attention to quality, honesty, and integrity.

  4. What type of supervisor have you found to be the best? I have been fortunate enough to work under wonderful supervisors who have provided limited supervision, while answering thoughtful questions and guiding learning. In my experience, the best supervisors give positive feedback and tactful criticism.

  5. What do you plan to be doing in five years'time? Taking the PE exam and serving in supervisory/leadership roles both at work and in professional/community organization (s).

  6. What contributions could you make in this organization that would help you to stand out from other applicants? In previous internships, my industriousness and ability to teach myself have been valuable assets to the company. My self-teaching abilities will minimize overhead costs, and my industriousness at targeting needs without prompting will set me apart from others. Additionally, one thing that has always set me apart from my scientific/engineering peers are my broad interests and strong writing abilities. I am not your typical “left-brained” engineer, and with my broad talents, I am likely to provide diverse viewpoints.

  7. What sort of criteria are you using to decide the organization you will work for? Most importantly, I am looking for a company that values quality, ethics, and teamwork. I would like to work for a company that hires overachievers.

  8. What made you choose your major? My academic interests are broad, so I sought civil engineering to achieve a great balance of mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics, and writing.

  9. Have your university and major met your expectations? The College of Engineering at MSU has exceeded my expectations by providing group activities, career resources, individual attention, and professors with genuine interest in teaching. My major has met my expectations by about 90%. I would have enjoyed more choices in environmental courses, and would have preferred more calculus-based learning.

  10. What made you choose this college?

I chose this college for the following reasons: My budget limited me to in-state schools, I was seeking an area with dog-friendly apartments, the MSU web site impressed me, I saw active student groups, and the people were very friendly.

Are You Right For the Job? Evaluate yourself

What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?

What are your short-term and long-term goals?

Formulate responses by asking the question: “Why should they hire me?”

Concentrate your search on positions for which you are competitive.

Do I have the experience?

Every working person has probably, early in his/her work life, agonized: “I can't get the job unless I have the experience, and I can't get the experience unless I have the job!” A few ways of getting that experience are:

You may need to consider positions other than the level in which you were formerly employed and work your way through the ranks to your employment objectives.

Keep your sights realistic. Keen competition exists for all levels of jobs at the University, from “--” Assistant I to Management Services Officers and higher. The pool of applicants for any position usually contain many whose qualifications exceed the minimum requirements.

Know The Job:

It is a good idea to pay close attention to the requirements of the position. When you are sure you understand what the job demands, tailor or address your application and/or resume to the specific duties of the position ( “Tailor” means to highlight the related training or experience you have that applies to the duties required.). Always be honest. When you tailor your application to a position, do not claim skills you do not have. If the position involves purchasing, explain in detail your purchasing background. Unless the vacancy announcement lists “preferred, desired, or helpful,” the qualifications listed are required.

Learn about the University, the jobs, and their requirement

Talk to friends who are familiar with the University.

Regularly check the types of positions that are listed in the weekly Employment Opportunities Bulletin and on the Web site.

Research the University and be diligent in keeping up with new job opportunities.

The heavy competition for positions at UCD has made it common for people to be hired after they submit numerous applications.