Purpose of an Interview
It is important to remember that the purpose of the interview is two-fold:
(1) The employer needs to find out if you are the best candidate for the job
Can you do the job?
� Do you havetheappropriate background, includingeducation, skills,and experience?
� Do you havetheexpertise needed to make you "stand out?"
� Are you ableto learn and adapt?
Will you do the job?
� Do you want to work for thiscompany, or do you simply seeitasa stepping-stone?
� Are you aware ofand honestabout your future goalsand plans?
� Are you motivated and eagerto learn?
Will you fit in?
� Do you work well with others?
� How do you respond to supervision and criticism?
� Do you havethe skillsto balance where theirteam iscurrentlyweak? Do theylike you?
(2) you need to find out if this is a good opportunity for you.
What do I want my typical workday to look like?
What are my career goals for the next five years?
What kind of work schedule do I want?
What kind of work setting do I want?
Am I willing to relocate?
Just as in learning any skill, successful interviewing requires preparation and practice. This is not the best time to try and 'wing it.' A successful interview is very much like a sales encounter. If you want to appear that you want the position for which you are interviewing, then you must demonstrate your interest by finding out everything you can about the company and the position before the actual interview.
The kinds of things you should know about the company include:
� Howlong hasthecompany existed?
� What services doesthecompany provide or what products doesitmake?
� Who aretheirmajorcompetitors?
� What divisions or subsidiariesexist?
� Whatisthe parentcompany?
� How many people areemployed by thecompany?
� Whatarethecompany'sassetsand earnings?
� Doesthecompany haveanyinternational operations?
This information is available from various sources including the Arthur Lakes Library (both periodicals and reference materials can help -- ask your librarian for assistance), the World Wide Web (many companies have web pages), the Career Center (many companies send us recruiting brochures) and the company itself (don't be afraid to stop by their offices and pick up some information).
The kinds of things you should learn about the interview itself include:
� If possible, knowand beableto pronounce the name of theinterviewer
� Find out what you can about the formatand length of theinterview
� Will you meetwith a panel?
� Will you meetwith several people individually?
� Will you havealunch meeting?
� Be certain you have clear and precise directions to the interview site (a trial run ahead of time can save you the potentially fatal embarrassment of arriving late)