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Interview Tips The primary purpose of an interview is to share information. It is your chance to sell the employer on your skills, knowledge, and abilities. The way in which you answer questions gives the interviewer a look at who you are and what you can do for the company/organization. You want to make a good impression. The following are tips that will help you make the best impression possible.
Before Research the job, the company, and the industry as well as the type of interview it will be. Use resources like the company‘s website, annual reports, trade journals, current employees, friends, family, and business sections of the newspaper.
Write answers to the questions that might be asked (see page 51).
Prepare questions to ask the employer.
Have extra copies of your resume prepared.
Dress professionally and conservatively.
Ensure you are familiar with the location, parking, and travel time to the interview site.
Arrive 15 minutes early.
Bring the company‘s phone number in case you get lost or have an emergency. Know the name of the main contact person who set up the interview with you.
During Don‘t chew gum or smoke. Turn off your cell phone.
Give a firm handshake when greeted by the interviewer or others at the organization.
Maintain eye contact.
Demonstrate good posture and mannerisms.
This is a performance. Be enthusiastic. Give it your all; you can always go home and relax.
Stress your qualities and skills. Focus on your strengths and what you can contribute to the company.
Be positive about past experiences, employers, or teachers.
Keep a businesslike and professional attitude.
Ask questions that are relevant about the position, organization, and industry.
Don‘t ask about salary and/or benefits until an offer has been made.
When leaving, thank the interviewer for their time and shake hands again.
Ask for a business card from the interviewer or the receptionist.
After Send a thank you note or email within 24 hours of the interview. Use the business card for the correct spelling and address of the interviewer and place of business. Thank the interviewer for their time, courtesy, and consideration (see page 73).
Once an offer has been made, you can negotiate salary and benefits (see page 76).
Phone Interviews Tips When setting up a phone interview, make sure you designate a time when you know you will be in a quiet, private place. Clear the room of pets, children, TV or radio noise etc. Also, consider using a landline as cell phone service can be tricky.
Be as prepared for a phone interview as you would for a face-to-face interview.
Do not use profanities during the interview. Always use professional language. Be sure to speak loudly and clearly.
Compile a list of your strengths and weaknesses, have employment history available, and any additional material needed.
Have your resume in front of you.
Have a pen and paper ready for note taking.
Run through a mock interview before the actual interview.
Do not eat, drink, chew gum, or smoke during the interview. However, it might be handy to have a glass of water nearby just in case.
Make sure you are awake and alert for the interview.
Call the employer by their title and last name (i.e. Dr. Jones). Do not call them by their first name unless they ask you to.
Be sure to inquire about a face-to-face interview.
Send a ―Thank you‖ note to reiterate your interest in the job.
Face to Face Interview Tips The night before the interview, be sure to get a good night sleep. Do not stay out late or drink the night before.
Run through a mock interview prior to the actual interview.
Prior to the interview, compile a list of your strengths and weaknesses. You may be asked about these in the interview and it is best to be prepared to answer these questions.
Bring a copy of your resume and references to the interview. Also, bring a pen and paper for note taking.
Be sure you know exactly how to get the interview location. It would be best to take yourself there prior to the interview so you can find the best routes and be sure of where you are going.
Give yourself extra time to get to the interview.
Eat before going to the interview. If your stomach growls during the interview it can be uncomfortable for you and the employer.
Go to the restroom before the interview.
Sit up straight, and make eye-contact.
Maintain a friendly disposition Do not use profanities. Also, try to avoid saying ―Um‖ or ―Like‖ too much. Be sure to speak loudly and clearly.
For women: do not cross your legs at the knees. Instead, cross your legs at the ankles. Also, do not sit with your knees apart.
For men: do not cross your legs at the knees or rest your ankle on your opposite knee. Also, do not sit with your knees too far apart.
Sample General Interview Questions
1. Why do you want to work here? Why do you believe this company would be a good fit with your interests and background?
2. What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
3. Where do you see yourself in three to five years?
4. How are you qualified for this job? Why should I hire you?
5. What are your salary expectations?
Do your research. Know what salary you need to live on. Find out what others are making in this type of position and organization. Consult salary surveys to find out this type of information.
1. If I spoke with your supervisor, how would he/she describe you?
2. What are 2 examples of tasks that you do not particularly enjoy doing? How do you remain motivated to complete these tasks?
3. What types of people do you work well with? What types of people do you find challenging to work with?
4. Describe a situation from your work experience when you went above and beyond what was required.
5. Give me an example of a time when you needed to enforce a policy with which you did not agree.
Questions To Ask the Employer
1. What type of training do you provide for this position?
2. How often are performance reviews given?
3. What is your organization’s view of the ideal candidate?
4. How is professional development supported?
5. How are teams used in your organization? Is there collaboration between staff?
6. What challenges currently face this organization and position?
7. When are you looking to make a decision, and when is the anticipated start date?
Sample Practicum Interview Questions General Questions______________________________________________________________
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. Why do you want to work here? Why do you feel this site would be a good fit with your interests and background?
3. What are your strengths and/or weaknesses?
4. Where do you see yourself in three to five years?
1. What brought you to this field?
2. Give me an example of a time when you needed to enforce a policy even if you didn’t agree with the policy.
3. This can be a stressful and overwhelming field at times; how do you keep yourself balanced and what do you do to de-stress?
4. How have your education and previous experiences prepared you for work with clients?
5. What is your knowledge and understanding of the recovery/wellness model?
6. Tell me about your experience at XYZ.
7. What previous experience do you have in the field?
8. What involvement do you have in community service and volunteer work?
9. What do you see as the role of an MFT/Counselor/Mental Health Practitioner in today’s society?
10. What theoretical orientation do you identify most with and why?
11. Tell me about your experience working with diverse or multicultural populations.
12. Tell me about a time when you used your cultural sensitivity to assist another person.
13. How would you handle an aggressive/angry client?
14. How would you handle a suicidal/homicidal client?
15. What steps would you take if you suspected child abuse/neglect with a client?
16. How would a professor or supervisor describe you?
17. Is there a specific population that appeals to you/intimidates you? Why?
18. Tell me about a time when you were part of a team. What was your role and how did you interact with others?
Questions To Ask The Employer______________________________________________________________
1. What type of training will I obtain in this position?
2. What is the supervision style here?
3. What are typical projects or cases I will be working with?
4. How often are performance reviews/evaluations given?
5. What is your organization’s view of the ideal candidate for this position?
6. How is professional development supported?
7. What challenges currently face this position?
8. When do you anticipate making a decision regarding this position?
9. What skills and knowledge do you like to teach practicum students?
10. What objectives do you require your students to meet as part of their practicum?
11. Is there an opportunity to continue with the agency post-graduation?
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. What are your career goals? How will this program help you achieve your goals?
3. In what ways have your previous experiences prepared you for graduate study in our program?
4. What do you know about our program?
5. Who is your favorite personality theorist and why?
6. What is the role of a psychologist?
7. What distinguishes you from the other candidates for this program?
8. How will you contribute to the new Psy.D cohort?
9. What are your specific areas of interest – populations, disorders, etc.?
10. You have a Master’s, why do you want to pursue a doctoral degree?
11. What do you plan to do once you’ve graduated with your doctoral degree?
12. What are your greatest clinical strengths? What are some areas where you would benefit from additional development?
13. Does your partner/family/friends support your decision to pursue a doctoral degree and the additional rigors of the program?
14. I see on your resume that you worked at XYZ, Inc. Tell me about your experience there.
15. Why do you want to pursue a Ph.D/Psy.D? Why are you pursuing one instead of the other?
16. What goes into a dissertation?
17. Why did you choose this career path?
18. What questions do you have for me?
Time Management and Organization________________________________________________________
1. How do you think you will handle the workload? What strategies do you use to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed?
2. How do you cope with pressure and deadlines?
3. The doctoral program is very demanding on one’s time. How do you work with stress and managing multiple responsibilities?
1. What kind of psychological testing experience have you had?
2. Tell me about your clinical experience.
3. What have you found most challenging in your clinical work?
4. How do you utilize supervision?
5. If you have a problem or disagree with your supervisor, how do you handle it?
6. What is the most surprising insight you’ve gained through your clinical practice?
7. Tell me about a challenging client with whom you’ve worked with.
8. How do you establish relationships with clients from a different background than your own and with problems you’ve never experienced yourself?
9. Tell me about your experiences with social justice issues and your work with diverse clients.
1. Describe a research project on which you’ve worked. What was the purpose of this project?
2. What were the hypotheses and results of the research you conducted? What role did you play?
3. How will you cope with inevitable setbacks during your research?
4. In thinking about your dissertation, do you have any general topics in mind?
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. Why do you want to work here?
3. What are your plans for future areas of work?
4. Where do you see yourself in 3 to 5 years?
5. What brought you to this field?
6. What can you bring to our organization?
7. Working here can be overwhelming; how do you handle stress? How do you handle criticism?
8. What do you think makes an effective therapist?
9. How has your personal background affected your personal psychology?
10. How do you manage counter-transference issues which may interfere when working with a client?
1. Tell me about a specific case that you have conceptualized using a therapeutic model and how you’ve applied it in treatment planning.
2. Discuss the steps you took to create a clinically relevant and culturally sensitive treatment plan to help a client meet his or her goals.