Before heading into an interview, individuals must prepare. The American Academy of Audiology has prepared a pre and post interview checklist, as well as sample interview questions.
- Time of the interview (Don’t be late!)
- A functioning watch synchronized to the time zone of the facility
- Appropriate clothing, cleaned and pressed
- Polished shoes
- Two sets of resumes and references
- Two photocopies of your diplomas (no high school diplomas)
- Two photocopies of any applicable licenses or certificates
- Something nice and business-like in which to carry your documents (not a clean manila folder or envelope… sorry!)
- A functioning writing implement (and a back-up)
- Know the name and title of your interviewer
- Cursory knowledge of the facility
- Reliable directions to the facility
- Enough gas in the car and money in your pocket to get you to and from the interview
- No poppy seeds between your teeth!
It helps to be prepared for a discussion about who you are, what goals you have set up for yourself and what your capabilities might be. Preparation for the following questions will assist you in operating to the best of your ability on the big day.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Write them down to organize your thoughts. Compose examples and situations where you have excelled in demonstrations of your strengths. Do not dwell or belabor weaknesses. It would be better to talk about areas you wish to improve and skills you want to perfect.
What is it about this particular job that interests you?
A question like this is a good segue into informing the interviewer that you know something about the facility. It is appropriate to mention areas of expertise for which the institution might be known and how they might be of particular interest to you.
What do you want to be doing five years from now?
This is a commonly asked question, the answer to which can be very telling about your thought processes as well as personal organization. If you cannot answer this question, you are possibly indicating a lack of direction. It does not give assurance to the prospective employer that you are worth the time and money they will be investing in you.
Tell me about yourself.
This is another revealing interview probe. It is called an open-ended question. You are forced to choose what you feel are the important aspects of your life and experiences. These questions are not just revealing about your past, but also show how you think on your feet and conduct yourself. Stay on the right track when answering this question. Talk about your professional life and not your personal interests. Begin by reviewing your educational background, clinical experiences and academic accomplishments. Sounds like your resume? It should, but with a personal touch.
What can you contribute to this job?
Your emphasis in answering this question should be on your strengths and accomplishments, and how they might integrate with the job and the facility.
What you should NOT talk about at the interview:
Good conversation keeps things lively, interesting and informative. However, there are some issues and topics you should avoid during discussions about you and your job.
- Your personal life
- Gossip about other professionals or job candidates
- Politics (professional or general) and religion
- Anything you know nothing about
- Negative conversational topics
What about when it’s your turn to ask the questions?
You should be prepared to ask questions, not just to impress the people with whom you meet, but to find out some very practical details about the job.
- What are the specifics of my job duties, and what is expected of me?
- What are the goals of the facility?
- Where is this facility headed regarding managed care?
- How secure and permanent are jobs?
- What sort of interactions can I expect from my supervisors?
- Is research done here?
- Is there support for professional growth?
- Are there educational benefits?
- What are other benefits like health, pension, sick and holiday leave?
How Did You Do in Your Interview?
Assessing what went on during your interview
Write down your impressions of the facility and what went on immediately following the interview. Make a list of the good things, as well as the bad. Jot down where you felt you excelled, or how you might have erred. The successful interview is attained through practice.
How long did the process take?
A 15 to 30 minute interview is a bit brief. Most interviewers allow 30 to 60 minutes per session. The longer you spend with the interviewers, the better your prospects.
Was the interviewer friendly or aloof?
Signs of interest are often conveyed by their actions. Did the person permit non-emergency telephone or staff interruptions? Was he or she listening intently to you or performing other tasks while you talked?
Did they show you the facility?
Showing you the facility is pretty standard for all places. Not showing you around may be indicative that they are not interested in you.
Was the process well organized?
The facility’s preparedness for the interview is often reflective of how it is run. Were people friendly? Did you like what you saw? Was it clean? What state was the equipment in? Did the patients appear satisfied and happy? Were clerical and clinical staff accommodating and professional?
Did they impress you?
You need to be sold on the idea that this place will be of advantage to you. It is important to understand that reputations are often made by working with established people in your field. There is nothing wrong with researching a job, the staff and the facility’s background.
- Has the position been open for a long time? If it has, find out why.
- Has there been fast and frequent turnover of personnel? Again, try to find out why.
- Ask others who have had professional contact with the facility what their impressions are of the place.