Interview Skills

Follow these job interview tips and land your dream job.

Interviewing 101

If the thought of going on an interview causes you to feel butterflies in your stomach; you are not alone. Here are some resources to help.

View Our Top 10 Tips for Interviewing for:

• Professional Dress Suggestions
• How to Make a Positive Impression
• How to Answer Interview Questions
• What Are Illegal Questions? 

Download Interview Guide.

Practice is Key:

Experts recommend spending at least three hours preparing for each interview. Being well prepared for a job or internship interview will not only make a good impression on the employer, but also will boost your confidence and help to lower your anxiety level.

Conduct a mock interview with a friend, a career counselor, or online through InterviewStream.
Learn About InterviewStream. 
Login to InterviewStream. 
Schedule a Mock Interview with a Counselor.* 
*Must be scheduled a week in advanced with resume, job description and company name attached to appointment.

Practice your responses to sample questions ahead of time, sprinkling information from your research of the company and your past experiences throughout your interview. Keep responses concise and specific - 1-2 minutes each.

Learn About Different Types of Interviews

Sample Questions

Common Questions:

• What made you want to go into this industry/field of work?
• What do you like about this industry/field?
• Why did you decide to attend a liberal arts institution?
• How has your education prepared you to work in this field?
• What did you learn at Rollins that will help you succeed in this position?
• What did you learn in your major that might be applicable to your job?
• What do you consider to be your greatest strength?
• What are your weaknesses?
• What are your short-term and long-term goals?
• What motivates you to work hard?
• What type of supervision will help you perform your best?
• What type of work environment will enable you to succeed?

NOTE: Most people average between 5 and 10 jobs in their lifetime, so it is perfectly It is perfectly normal for graduating seniors to be unsure about career goals. However, in an interview, you must appear focused, even if you still feel lost and confused about your future.

Situational/Behavioral Questions:

• What 3 adjectives would you use to describe yourself and why?
• Think of a time when your job required you to work with a difficult or dissatisfied customer. How did you handle the situation?
• What type of books do you read?
• How do you usually cope with stress? Use examples.
• Please describe your leadership style, referencing a recent experience.
• What do you do in your free time?
• If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you want to have with you?
• Describe a time when you solved a problem in a creative way.
• Give me an example of skill(s) you learned from your extracurricular activities that would be useful to you in this position?
• Please tell me about a time when you made a bad decision.

Job-Specific Questions

The research and preparation you did before the interview will be helpful here as you discuss the details and finer points of the position. Be prepared to answer questions such as these:

• Based on the job description:
   ° Which areas do you feel you are most qualified?
   ° Where would you require the most assistance?
• Have you read any recent publications in this field lately?
• How will advances in technology impact the work of our organization?
• Where do you think we are the most vulnerable as a business?
• Are you familiar with ___ (computer program) we use daily in our office?
• The job description states we are looking for candidates who have _________ experience, but I don’t see that on your resume. Do you actually have any experience in that area or how do you plan to compensate for that deficiency?
• What do you expect will be the biggest challenge facing this industry in the next 5-10 years?

NOTE: Your responses to these types of questions should be honest and positive. If, for example, you do not have experience with a type of computer program, which was mentioned in the job description, you should admit that. However, you can describe how quickly you are able to learn programs or discuss other software that you do know which may be similar.

More Sample Questions

Common Questions 
Sample Questions for Teachers 
Sample Questions for Grad School 
Sample Questions for Med School 
Sample Questions for MBA 

How to Answer Interview Questions

The STAR Method

The four steps in the STAR method are:
S = Situation (Describe the situation: general/specific)
T = Task (What goal were you working toward?)
A = Action (What specific action did you take?)
R = Result (What was the result of your action?)

Keep it positive!

Develop a comprehensive list of your many successes

• Related work or internship experience
• Technical interests
• Leadership examples
• Team activities
• Communication skills
• Problem-solving abilities

Develop short examples ahead of time to illustrate your successes:

1. Describe the situation or task. Be sure to provide enough detail to make the situation clearly understood. This situation can be from a previous job, volunteer experience, classroom project, or any relevant event.
2. Action. Describe the action you took and be sure to focus on your own actions, not the actions of others. Even if you are describing a group project or effort, detail what you did rather than focus on the efforts of the team. Don’t tell what you might do; tell what you did.
3. Results. Explain what happened? What did you learn for next time? How did this help the group you worked with?

Tips

• Your answers should be complete and formulated in a logical, orderly manner. Generally, responses should last only 1-2 minutes.
• If you don’t understand the question, ask for clarification.
• NEVER interrupt the interviewer.
• Take a moment or two to think before answering the question. This will prevent you from using filler words like "uh, um, yeah, like..."

Center for Career and Life Planning
Rollins College
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1000 Holt Avenue – 2757
Winter Park, Florida  32789
T. 407.646.2195
careercenter@rollins.edu

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