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Communicating & Answering Questions Effectively

Because a job interview is a communication process, your skills will become more polished over time. It is helpful to remember the following:

  • You can prepare for the actual interview once you know something about the employer.

  • You should be able to anticipate some questions that will be asked in the interview. Practice answering them aloud with someone else to see how you sound. However, do not memorize your answers since employers will notice it. Click here for examples of questions you may encounter during an interview.

  • If you answered particular questions poorly in the past, practice them to better prepare yourself in case you are asked them again.

  • Be prepared to answer the tough questions (i.e. What are your weaknesses?). For questions to expect visit: Sample Interview Questions.

  • Speak clearly and enthusiastically about your experiences and skills. Be professional, but don't be afraid to let your personality shine through.

  • Listen carefully. You will want to remember what you learn about the job, and you will certainly want to be answering the question the was asked.

  • Be positive. Employers do not want to hear a litany of excuses or bad feelings about a negative experience. If you are asked about a low grade, a sudden job change, or a weakness in your background, don't be defensive. focus instead on the facts (briefly) and what you learned from the experience.

  • Pay attention to your nonverbal behavior. Look the interviewer in the eye, sit up straight with both feet on the floor, control nervous habits (cracking knuckles, drumming fingers, etc.), and smile as you are greeted.

  • Don't be afraid of short pauses. You may need a few seconds to formulate an answer. The interviewer may need time to formulate an appropriate question. It is not necessary to fill up every second with conversation.

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