If your graduation is just around the corner, congratulations! You’re about ready to start your career!
You’ve probably already been working with your Carrington College campus Career Services team to develop a striking resume and improve your interview skills. But one of the best things to do to prepare for interviews is practice answers to the questions that potential employers are most likely to ask.
Write down your own individual answers to these questions, and then repeat them out loud over and over…until they come naturally to you. This exercise can dramatically improve your interview performance and enhance your chances of success.
Here are some questions/statements that you’re likely to face in a job interview:
- Tell me about yourself – In an interview this means ‘tell me (briefly) who you are from a professional point of view.’ There’s a reason that interviewers often pose this at the start of an interview and you need to be prepared for it to get the meeting off to a great start. Read this blog post on this exact point…
- Why do you want to work for us? - Never answer ‘the money’ or ‘the benefits’. Make sure your passion, drive and excitement for the job comes through. This positive energy can transfer to the interviewer and change the mood in the room.
- What are your biggest strengths? - Make sure your answers are relevant to the position and are in a professional context. Don’t just roll off a list of single words, because you’ll probably be asked to justify your answers with examples.
- Tell me about a time when… – Be relevant and engaging. Questions like this could be ‘Tell me about a time when you displayed initiative?’ or ‘Tell me about a time when you overcame a particular problem successfully?’ Answer honestly with how you once had to deal with a difficult patient or family member, or how you had to respond to an emergency situation. Get to the point quickly and emphasize the solution you found more than the problem you faced.
- What do you know about our hospital/company etc? – This is why your pre-interview research and preparation needs to be specific to the company/business. Don’t recite hospital employee numbers or office locations; the interviewer probably knows that stuff. Talk about the company ethos, the type of work they do – demonstrate why your skills and your attitude would be a good fit…and show that you have done some reading up on them.
- Tell me about your experience. – If you’re entering a new career, you’ll probably need to fall back on your externship and Carrington experience. Refer to any voluntary work you’ve also done in the field, and how you’re excited to build on that experience. You are likely interviewing for an entry-level position, so don’t be fazed by this question.
- What questions do you have for me? - The best job interviews aren’t interrogations, they’re conversations. Consider asking why the position is open? How will success be measured? Do you have reservations about my fit for the role? (This will give you the chance to tackle any doubts while still in the room). Also ask when they expect to make a hiring decision?
Be sure to take advantage of the skills, experience and expertise available in your campus Career Services department; they can help you master interview techniques like these and much more.