Prepare for an Interview

Interview Success Strategies

If you have an interview coming up, or simply want to sharpen those interview skills, you’ve come to the right spot! Access our career guides and resources below to prepare for your interview. Career Connection offers interview support with mock interviews and interview coaching. Please schedule request an appointment.

  1. Tell me about yourself.
    Use this question to clarify your abilities and experiences as they pertain to the position you are applying for. Provide a general overview of your current/recent positions, education, professional goals & personal interests.
  2. Why do you want to work for our company?
    This question assesses whether you have done research on the company. The more detail you can provide, the better! Show enthusiasm about the company and the work you would be doing.
  3. We have many qualified applicants. Why do you think we should hire you for this position?
    Summarize why you believe that your background, experience, and interest in the job will enable you to handle the work well. Be sure to market yourself and your “fit” by addressing your top strengths and accomplishments.
  4. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?
    Prepare for this one in advance! Provide three strengths and examples
    of how you use those strengths. For your weakness, provide an explanation of one area of improvement. You can say, “We all have areas we can improve, and an area of improvement I am working on is __.” Spend the majority of your answer addressing how you are working to IMPROVE on this area.
  5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
    The interviewer is assessing motivation and long-term goals. It is important to have a career vision that is consistent with the job, but you are welcome to demonstrate your possible pursuits in leadership, education, training, etc. However, even if you know you won’t stay long at the job, never admit this in the interview!

Behavior-based interviews are designed to elicit information about how you have performed in the past because it is a good indicator of how you will function in the future. Use the “CAR” technique below for strong responses:

C – Challenge – Describe the situation and challenge that needed to be overcome.
A – Action – What did you do?
R – Result – What were the outcomes of your actions?

*Bonus: Add what your takeaway was from your experience.

Remember that it is very important to provide a SPECIFIC example (and not a general one). Here are some sample questions:

  1. Give an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision.
  2. Describe a time when your team members disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?
  3. Give an example of when you had to compromise or guide others to a compromise.
  4. Give an example of a time when you were assigned to a complex project. Specifically,
    what steps did you take to prepare for and finish the project? What
    would you have done differently?
  5. Describe a situation when you had to adjust quickly to changes over which you had no control.
  6. Describe a particularly stressful time you faced. How did you manage your stress?
  7. Have you ever disagreed with a rule or procedure? How did you handle this?
  8. Give an example where you pushed yourself to do more than the minimum.
  9. Describe a situation where you had to do a number of things at the same time. How did you handle it?
  10. Give an example of an important goal which you set in the past. How did you reach it?
  11. Give an example of a time when you had to work with someone who was
    difficult to get along with. Why was this person difficult? How did you handle the situation?

Remember that you are interviewing the employer! Two key questions you can
ask are: “What do you like about working here?” and “How long have you worked here?” Answers to these questions can reveal a lot about a company’s culture.

Additional questions you can ask are:

  • How will you and I be working together?
  • What are some examples of the best results produced by people in this job?
  • What areas need the immediate attention of the person you hire?
  • What skills are most valuable in this job?
  • What are your plans for new products or services?
  • How would you define your organization’s management philosophy?
  • What are you looking for in the person who will fill this job?
  • Describe a typical day.
  • What kind of training would I receive?
  • How much input will I have in requesting certain assignments or projects?
  • What activities could I engage in now that might help me on the job if I’m hired?
  • What is the retention rate for people who have been in this position?
  • How important of a role does teamwork play in your company?
  • What opportunities for advancement exist in your company?
  • What makes people want to stay here?
  • How open are managers/supervisors to different viewpoints?
  • Does your company offer a mentoring program?
  • What role does diversity play at this company?
  • What are the next steps in the interview process?

The quality of the technology along with the room set up are as important as the quality of your interview. Please keep the following in mind:

  • Act as if you are meeting in person – if you would not do it during an in-person interview, do not do it in a virtual interview.
  • Try to have a neutral background. The focus of the interview should be on YOU and what you are saying, not what is behind you.
  • You want to be in a well-lit room. If possible, add a desk lamp on both sides of your screen to balance the lighting and mitigate any glare and shadows.
  • Use a laptop or desktop and not a phone
  • Do not ask if you can record the interview. Since you would not do this during an in-person interview, it is not appropriate during a virtual interview.
  • Test your mic, applications, and camera with a friend or a member of the Career Connection Team.
  • Use a high-quality microphone. The earbuds that come with your phone may not work very well.
  • Use the webcam on your laptop effectively. Raise your laptop up using a stack of books or a box so you are eye level with the webcam. Look at the webcam (the dot at the top of your screen) and not at the screen so that you have the best eye contact.
  • Close any other applications and silence your notifications. You do not want things “dinging” during your interview.

For more information, check out our Guide to Interviewing Success and other resources below for everything you need to prepare for your interview.


News & Advice

Career Connection Hours

Day of the week
Hours Drop-Ins
Monday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Tuesday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Wednesday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Thursday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Friday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm  

Contact & Location

(740) 368-3152

Slocum Hall 207
61 S. Sandusky St.
Delaware, OH 43015