Interview Preparation: The 5-Step Checklist | ABR

February 11th, 2013

You’ve made it over the first hurdle: landing the interview. But now the next hurdle – the interview itself – is fast approaching. There’s a lot on your mind during this time including where to go, what to wear, and what to say. One misstep can really take you off track and stress you out. (Learn how to fix an interview faux pas just in case.) Go over this checklist a couple nights before your next interview, and you’ll feel as confident as can be when you walk in the door.

Step 1: Bring Extra copies of your resume

You never know when an interview might include conversations with multiple people. Those people might not be as prepared as you are and may need to see a copy of your resume upon meeting you. It is also nice to have your resume in front of you to make sure you cover all aspects of your work history.

Step 2: Bring A pen and paper

Bring a notebook or pad of paper. Or your electronic tablet if you’re lucky enough to have one. Inside, include a list of pre-written questions you’d like to ask the interviewer. These should be well thought out inquiries as well as logistical queries, like how much vacation days you would receive.

Step 3: Prepare An Answer to “So tell me about yourself?”

Read our post on how to best answer this inquiry. It’s about developing a story that outlines why you are a perfect fit for this position at this company. You should practice your response and have it memorized.

Step 4: Practice An Answer to “What do you know about our company?”

Read our post on how to answer this often-asked question. It offers tips on how to thoroughly research a company before stepping in the door. You don’t want to overlook this step.

Step 5: Choose An Appropriate Interview Outfit

If you’re worried that your outfit isn’t dressy enough, it probably isn’t. Overdressed is always best. Most importantly, make sure your outfit is tailored, pressed, and clean. And be sure it’s easy to walk around in and sit in.

Read more interview tips like how to stand out in an interview and what not to say when asked these four interview questions.

About ABR

ABR Employment Services provides employment opportunities to job seekers and staffing solutions to employers throughout Wisconsin. ABR provides temporary, try-before-hire and direct hire job opportunities in: customer service, data entry, receptionist, office assistant, administrative assistant, assembly, packaging, machine operator, warehouse, janitorial, CNC, welder, forklift, maintenance, and call center. Connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn for job seeking tips and advice. Have an overlooked job search resource to share? Tell us about a job hunt resource you used successfully below.

How to Handle Unusual Interview Questions

August 30th, 2010

It’s like a bad dream.

You’re in an interview, dressed to impress and feeling totally in control of the situation, when the unthinkable happens – the interviewer asks a question that completely stumps you: 

“If you could have dinner with anyone from history, whom would it be and why?”

“Why is a manhole cover round?”

“Which fictional character would you say best describes you?”

If just reading these questions makes beads of sweat pop out on your forehead, you’re not alone.  In an interview situation, most of us would be stopped in our tracks by off-the-wall questions like these.  But that’s the point:  interviewers ask odd questions intentionally, to see how well job candidates thinks on their feet and respond to stress.

Because unusual interview questions can be about virutally any topic, they’re nearly impossible to prepare for.  Still, here are a few quick tips to help you handle them more effectively:

  • Keep your composure.  The question was meant to throw you off your game – so don’t let it rattle you.  Keep your face neutral and recognize that this is the wacky question you’ve been anticipating.
  • Take your time.  Smile, take a deep breath and avoid the temptation to blurt out an answer.  Don’t panic – if you have to take a moment to gather your thoughts, it merely demonstrates that you think carefully through a situation before responding.
  • Relax.  When it comes to unusual interview questions, your answer is not as important as how you handle the situation.  In fact, most don’t have right or wrong answers.  So take the pressure off yourself.  You don’t have to be brilliant, you just need to answer honestly.

If you’d like some practice answering off-the-wall questions, consider the following popular ones:

  • If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be?
  • If you had only six months left to live, what would you do with the time?
  • If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
  • If you were a _________ (insert:  car, animal, salad dressing – you get the picture), what kind would you be and why?
  • If you won $50 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money?
  • How would you rate me as an interviewer?

Be Prepared for Your Next Interview

Register with ABR Employment Services today.  Our team of staffing professionals will listen to your needs, match you with a perfect direct placement opportunity, and then prepare you to ace the interview.