Preparing for a Practice Interview

Overview

The practice interview is designed to increase students’ understanding and confidence in preparing for the real interview. The interview environment is simulated by a facilitator asking the student a set of questions (usually lasting 20-30 minutes) followed by a period of feedback and an opportunity for the interviewee to ask questions, which consumes the remainder of the appointment.

The practice interview is digitally recorded. Your interviewer will email you a link with instructions on how to access it from the internet.

To schedule a one hour appointment call our office at (360)650-3240.


Preparing for a Practice Interview

  1. Review the popular interview questions listed below.
  2. Review these helpful tips for answering questions. Think about answering questions using this process:
    • Identify your skills, talents, knowledge
    • Describe an experience to illustrate or reinforce the above
    • Connect each experience to the position/organization
    Another way to answer questions is to use the SAR approach. To provide sufficient information, describe the Situation, Action, and Result
    Be prepared to ask the interviewer questions. Research on the company/position can provide insight to possible questions.
  3. Dress professionally. This is a good opportunity for the interviewee to practice interviewing in formal attire.
  4. Bring both a job description and a current resume (optional; but helpful for the interviewer). These items can be supplied when the appointment is initially made to help the interviewer better simulate the specific interview experience.
  5. Arrive at the office a few minutes early to allow time to check in before the appointment.

Examples of Popular Interview Questions

Warm-Up Questions
-What made you apply for this position?
-Tell me about yourself.
-Briefly, would you summarize your work history and education for me?

Work History
-What is important to you in a company/organization?
-Describe one or two of your major accomplishments.
-Give an example of when you worked under pressure to meet a deadline.

Education
-What special aspects of your education or training have prepared you for this job?
-Why did you choose your major?
-What job-related skills have you developed?

Self-Assessment
-Which three adjectives would you use to describe yourself?
-What is your greatest strength?
-What is your greatest weakness?
-How do you cope with conflict?
-Describe a time when you overcame an obstacle.

Motivation
-Where do you see yourself in five years?
-How will this position enable you to reach your goals?
-What will you bring to the company/organization that is unique?

Oral Presentation Skills
-Have you ever done any group presentations?
-How comfortable are you speaking in front of groups?
-What is your experience with making presentations?

Leadership
-How do you facilitate group communication?
-Describe a time when you delegated responsibilities to group members.
-How do you set an example to others?
-How would you describe your basic leadership style?
-Describe a time when you worked in a team.

Stress Tolerance
-How do you cope with pressure?
-Give an example of a time when you worked well under pressure.

Job Performance
-What would you say are some areas that you need to improve on?
-Do you prefer working alone or in groups?
-How do you receive feedback?
-Describe a time when you explained something complex to a colleague successfully.

Creativity
-Of your creative accomplishments, what gave you the most satisfaction and why?
-What kind of problems have people recently called on you to solve? How did you solved them.
-What methods do you employ while brainstorming?

Decisiveness
-The last time you did not know what decision to make, what did you do?
-What was the last major problem that you were confronted with? What action did you take?
-How do you determine or evaluate success?

Questions to ask employers
-What do you (the interviewer) like best about your job/company?
-What is the next step in the selection process?
-What kind of assignments might I expect during the first six months on the job?
-Describe the company culture.
-What training would I receive if hired?


Feedback on Practice Interview

The following items are important during the interview process. The interviewer will provide feedback on:

  1. Introduction
    Firm handshake
    Smile
  2. Presence
    Posture
    Projected warmth/enthusiasm
    Avoided annoying mannerisms
  3. Communication
    Voice tone and volume
    Proper use of diction
    Attentive listening
    Eye contact
  4. Interaction
    Answered questions directly
    Provided specific examples
    Asked questions when appropriate
    Demonstrated interest in position
  5. Closing
    Asked the interviewer thoughtful questions
    Avoided questions on salary and benefits
    Thanked the interviewer for his/her time
    Inquired about the hiring timeline/process
    Finished with a firm handshake and smile
  6. Specific comments/suggestions on questions and answers during the interview.