Job Interview Preparation - What Employers Are Looking For

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Job Interview Preparation - What Employers Are Looking For

By: chris hickman

When an employer decides to conduct an interview with you, there are certain things that they are looking for from you. Naturally, you are likely to focus on these things during an interview, but you should remember all of the tips in this manual because following those tips is what is going to make the employers see all of those things in you.

Since everybody wants to have a leg up when it comes to an interview, it naturally seemed to be appropriate to let you in on what the employers are evaluating you on during an interview. So here is that list.

Your Enthusiasm : Employers want to know that you are willing and eager to be a part of their company. Being fully stocked with knowledge about the company is a sure fire way to show your enthusiasm.

Your ability to speak clearly : If you approach an interview mumbling and speaking slang, a prospective employer will not see you as a professional.

Showing your teamwork skills : You should show an example of your ability to work as a team during your interview.

Leadership skills : You should show your leadership abilities by approaching your interview with an offensive train of thought.

Problem solving ability : Employers needs to know that you can handle yourself when a problem arrives.

Work related experience : You definitely want to show that you have some experience in the field already, so that the employer knows that you will not be overwhelmed.

Community involvement : Employers love to see that you have done volunteer work. It shows that you take pride in your community, and a willingness to be a team player.

Company knowledge: Again, this stipulates that employers like to see that you have done your research about their company. It shows that your interest in working for them is sincere.

Flexibility : Employers want to know that you are able to go with the flow. It proves that they can depend on you later.

Ambition and Motivation : Ambitious people are generally motivated enough to make great improvements in the company as they are working their way up the ladder. Ambition usually means more money for the company.

People skills : Your ability to get along with others is very important to an employer. They need to know that you won't ruffle any feathers when you are hired.

Professional appearance : Nobody wants a slob working in their office. Be certain to dress appropriately for the job that you are applying for.

Ability to Multitask : This is getting to be a very necessary skill in the workplace. Most days, you will be required to multitask. Even if you are not, employers need to know that you can do it without freaking out on them.

Computer ease : These days, just about every company in the world is running on computers. The ability to work a computer with at least minimal amount of ease is important. It is best to keep a leg up on the most common software like MS Office, Quark Express, and Linux.

Reliability : Employers want dependable and reliable people to work for them. Your ability to arrive on time is a good place to start when trying to prove that you possess this quality.

About The Author

Chris Hickman owns a site that will teach you how to prepare for your job interview step by step. Check out his website at


amgel 08.08.2012. 02:52

Should I make a resume for my job interview? I have a job interview tomorrow with Target and I've never had a job before. Should I make a resume or is it not necessary since I'm already going to have an interview?


Admin 08.08.2012. 02:52

Yes, you should definitely create a resume for your interview tomorrow. A resume is a great way to highlight your accomplishments and the diverse skill set that you will be bringing to Target. Additionally, this will demonstrate professionalism and preparation which are two characteristics every employer looks for.

I have provided you with some high-level overview tips to get you started for writing a resume. I will also include a link at the end for a website that I believe was extremely valuable and crucial to my success in landing jobs thus far.

Good rule of thumb to remember is to "show, not tell". You should be showing the employer how you have great qualities through your work experience* (see note below) rather than just explicitly stating it since the latter is what every other candidate will be doing. Differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack as employers are more likely to remember and hire you if they can draw these conclusions themselves rather than just reading it.

Generally speaking, the bullet points in your resume should be a combination of responsibilities and achievements that are detail-specific and result-oriented.

I have listed a basic outline for you to follow below.

Outline of a resume

a. Basic info - Name, address, phone number, email
b. Education - School, GPA, relevant coursework, achievements/awards
c. Work Experience - This should be the bulk of your resume where you discuss your prior positions in detail-specific and result-oriented bullet points (*See Note below)
d. Additional Experience or Leadership Activities - Anything else you would like to include such as prior employment, volunteer work, leadership positions you have held in the past or current
e. Skills & Interests - List any technical skills you have accumulated (Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel are the basic ones) as well as some activities or interests you have to make yourself seem personable and not a robot.

*NOTE: since you have limited work experience, I would put more emphasis on any leadership activities (clubs, associations, etc.) and as well as any volunteer work you have done in the past to demonstrate your qualities (customer service, pleasant, helpful, etc.) that will help you become a better Target employee. Extracurricular activities would work as well.

Lastly, I would highly recommend checking out this website, for more tips, advice and strategies on how to craft a winning resume and everything else necessary to succeed in landing jobs as I was able to land multiple job offers by incorporating and applying what I had learned to the interview/recruiting process.

Best of luck!


booklover 01.06.2009. 20:00

I've got an job interview soon. What should i take with me and how should i make the best impression? i must write quite a good cv as i tend to get interviews but never get any further. i can come across a little vague and the nerves tend to get to me and there are some awkward silences sometimes.
thanks for all the great advice!! i am just out of uni at the worst poss time and applying for loads of jobs!


Admin 01.06.2009. 20:00

Knowing your weaknesses can be a great asset in preparing for a job interview as long you are able to minimize them and focus on your communicating your assets to your future employer. The best way to do this? Thorough preparation and practice. Read more about interview preparation in the article:

Once you're feeling more comfortable conveying the information you'd like your interviewer to learn, try to relax! You already know that your nerves can get in the way of the flow of conversation in an interview, check out this article for some more tips on presenting yourself as cool, calm, and collected on the big day:

If you'd like more articles on resume writing and everything else related to browsing the job market, you should visit the Tips/Advice tab on Microsoft's Office Live Student Facebook page. It has great resources for anyone looking to get hired:

Best of luck!
MSFT Office Live Outreach Team


hplss.rmntc 24.09.2007. 17:57

How do group interviews work? I have a group interview at Aeropostale later this week. How should I prepare? What should I keep in mind during the group interview?


Admin 24.09.2007. 17:57

Usually in a group interview, the employer is looking for how you work in a team. They want to see how you interact with the other candidates, how you present yourself to everyone there.

To prepare for a group interview, keep these things in mind:

1. Be articulate. Speak clearly and well. No mumbling. You want to be heard and you want what you say to be worth hearing.

2. Be open, friendly and courteous. The employer may ask you, as a group, to work on a problem so they can see how you will work within a group setting. If you "know" the answer, let the group know. If no one knows the answer, PARTICIPATE in forming an answer. Don't "poo-poo" a person, demean them, or give a negative response: If a person IS wrong, try to lead them, in a positive way, toward going toward the "right" way. Instead of saying, "You can't do that because...," you would want to lead them: " Wouldn't this happen if...?".
It's not a bad thing to NOT know the answer, but it WILL be a bad thing if you try to "wallflower" out of it. If they wanted to hire a mindless drone, they wouldn't be conducting this type of interview.

3. Dress well. Be clean and professional. It amazes me how, in this current job market, people have become so casual in their appearance. An employer wants a person they would feel comfortable with in their establishment. Thier comfort level is going to drop considerably if you look more like the Unibomber, or a side-show attraction!

4. Be open, honest, and professional. Be confident.

It is my opinion that, once you understand what an employer is looking for, you'll relax and give it to them. Hopefully, this will give you a little preparation for the interview.

Good luck!


I just read the other posts: ARE you describing a Panel Interview, where you are interviewed by several people at once? If that is the case, some of what I just described is still valid. They want several perspectives on your presentation. Be articulate, friendly, and warm. Answer questions honestly and openly. If you can't answer a question, it's OK! They know you'll be nervous, just tell them I can't think of an answer for that right now. If an answer comes to you later, then bring it back up.

Do NOT attempt to take over the interview; let them control it. If they allow you to ask questions after they are done, ask questions that pertain to the procedure or process: salary and benefits are discussed after their dtermination. Asking about availability and growth-potential are acceptable.


daisy 12.12.2010. 10:11

What are the ways of getting jobs other than campus placements? I need to know if there are other ways of getting jobs other than campus placements..applying on careers section of companies...will it really there a chance we get called for interviews?


Admin 12.12.2010. 10:11

Applying through jobs via campus placements is a good idea because the employers are looking for graduates from your university. On the other hand, you're competing with other graduates of your university, and you know how many of them there are.

Applying through company websites is not a bad idea, but I don't find it to work too well, except for one company where I would love to work--now they keep sending me notifications of entry-level jobs in other states. Maybe YOU should apply there. :)

Job sites like Monster and Careerbuilder can be helpful. Craigslist, too, but you have to be wary of scammers.

They say that most people get jobs through personal connections. Do you have any past jobs that might want to consider you for full-time positions? Do your parents know anyone who might want to hire, and who would trust you because of their relationship with your parents and you? What about your favorite professors? Do they have any connections?

Ask at your campus placement office. Do they have other services such as career testing, interviewing preparations, stuff like that? Can your college reference librarian help you find anything? You can even go to the public library and ask for help--mine has great online job application classes, resume preparation classes and so forth.

Even if you try all these things and you don't land a job right away, you're building valuable experience for job hunting. Good luck with your job search.


Wise One 14.07.2010. 02:36

What are good things to say when about yourself when filling out jib applications? My boyfriends first job and i'm just trying to help him along.

Wise One

Admin 14.07.2010. 02:36

Well, first and foremost...spell check everything. Re-read everything you submit so you don't look like a fool to someone who is going to go out on a limb and risk their money.

Okay. Talk about what he has accomplished in his time in high school. Sports, volunteering, good grades, scouting, every non school related, and not lazy activity helps when you have nothing to start on.

Keep in mind, that when you have no experience, you are going to have the worst job an employer has to offer. Period. Next, if he's under age he may need to check with local laws to see if he needs paperwork filled out. Also, under age employees ( at least in my state ) don't handle registers or anything having to do with alcohol or tobacco sales.

Don't expect much when you first start out, but when you do finally get a job he needs to work very hard at what he does and have an interest at learning more. Employers have a hard time turning away young, energetic hard workers. ( Even if they have NO experience. )

When he goes to the interview ( and there will be one ) he needs to be cleaned up. Showered, teeth brushed, shaved hair cut some decent clothes. Your appearance is what will aid you in getting hired. Remember, if you look like crap, you must work like crap and employers go through a lot of crap, especially now that jobs are normally short in supply.

Be confident, listen to what your bosses have to say, work hard, learn and learn. When you finish a task, find whoever gave you the last task, and ask what is next. Do it the first time, every time.

I did this at the age of 16 in a Red Lobster as a buss boy, before I turned 17 I had moved up to dishwasher, through preparation cook and was cooking on the line. ( And had myself a nice raise at that. )

Lastly...good luck.


ThinkClearWater 25.09.2007. 18:29

What should be my smartest response to this employer email ? i applied for a job as an embedded software engineer.i send resume coverletter everything,
i get this email back today
Jomy Kallukalam,

We would like to schedule an interview.

What are some good dates and times for you?

What salary range are you looking for?

Frank Williams

ofcource i want to schedule an interview , but how can i say it back to him in an email ? just say thank you for scheduling an interview ? does that sound stupid ?
and how would i know when is the best time for him ?

( i dn't have a job rt now , and i got this email this morning , anytime this week or next week is fine , but nex week would be best so i can do some mental preparation for myself ) and what about the salary question ?

What should i tell him , unfortunately i dn't have the original job posting i dn't know how i can find it ..?
but , it's always better to not tell them how much salary i want right away correct ?


Admin 25.09.2007. 18:29

Dear Mr. Williams,

Thank you for your offer of an interview. I would like to schedule an interview and am avaiable any time that is conveniant for you. Please contact me with details of the meeting time and place. I am looking for a salary comiserate with the job tasks required.

I look forward to meeting you.



Wake7 16.05.2009. 20:21

Super quick Q about arriving at college or job interviews? Say you arrive to the place at 5:45 for a 6:00 interview. Do you just kinda stand around and then go knock on the door or whatever at exactly 6:00? Or is it okay to arrive 5 or 10 minutes before?


Admin 16.05.2009. 20:21

Aim for arriving there 15 minutes early, as in, you put your car in park/step off the bus/etc 15 minutes before the interview starts. This gives you a cushion for traffic and getting lost, both on the road and in the office. If your outside the building with 15 minutes to go, you should enter the office with around 10 minutes left and the employer should have a place for you to sit and wait.

This is the article where I swiped the 10-15 minute rule from: . I found it on Microsoft's Office Live Students Facebook page (, a resource for those currently scouring the job market. It's got plenty more info on job interviews on the Tips/Advice tab ( ).

I hope this is what you were looking for. Best of luck at the interview.

- Jake

MSFT Office Live Outreach Team


jt114881 12.04.2009. 15:19

How much notice are you required by law in the PHILIPPINES for you to quit a job? How much notice are you required by law in the PHILIPPINES for you to quit a job. Note: I am asking for required by law and for the PHILIPPINES only.


Admin 12.04.2009. 15:19

It is always the most difficult decision to make, quitting your job in the Philippines to look for greener pastures abroad OR staying at your current job for the security it provides then just wait for lady luck to touch you. It would be best if while you?re still employed, a job offer abroad will fall into your lap and all you need to do is take your sweet time resigning from your current job then serve the 30-day notice period. After which you fly abroad and start your new career. It happens. However, it doesn?t happen a lot.

For the rest of you whose career path is less than ideal, here are some tips I can share with you before you quit your job in the Philippines. Quitting a job is always difficult; it entails charging into unknown and sometimes sacrificing a great deal of pride due to a respectable position earned in your current company. It is especially hard if you have a family to support or siblings to take care of. The key in succeeding in anything is to take a respectable amount of risk without being stupid.

1. Know the country you?re planning to go to well. And I mean know it WELL. Not just some basic facts but the real situation in that country. The cost of living, the economic condition, how are receptive to foreigners, the pay (of course) and many things. Nothing beats preparation and right information.

2. Get some practical tips from people already working in your target country. These tips do not come handy and normally are a product of practical experiences of people who have been through your situation. These tips are priceless and you should remember them always.

3. Create a very impressive resume. I couldn?t emphasize this more. Your resume is a reflection of yourself in the eyes of prospective employers. Moreover, it?s your resume that will open doors for you to get a personal interview and eventual job offer. An impressive resume is what separates the successful professional from the rest of the pack.

4. Utilize online job portals. Thanks to Internet, you can now apply to 100 companies without leaving your office desk. Use this tool to submit your application and get a phone interview. Take note though that a popular job portal in one country might not be as popular in another. is popular in Philippines while in Singapore, it?s Do a little research first so as not to waste your time.

5. Make sure your savings will be enough to cover your expenses for at least 2 months. If you have savings that can cover longer the better. The point is, since you will be quitting your job, the next few days or weeks will all be cash-out. You don?t want to run out of fuel when you?re just a meter away from the finish line, so to speak.

6. Start to turn over your responsibilities before resigning. This is not a formal turnover but just a simple exercise to make sure when you finally quit your job, no work will be disrupted and life will still go on for your company. Make sure everything you do on a day-to-day basis can also be done by someone else in your company, either by a colleague or by your superior. This will make it easy for you to quit once that job offer abroad comes. This action also does not burn bridges between you and your current employer so if and when you still want to come back, they will still accept you with open arms.

7. Consume your unused leaves. Note: if your leaves are convertible to cash, then just select cash. If not, then by all means, use it. The leaves you will consume will give you time to focus on job-hunting abroad while still getting paid since you have not yet officially resigned. This advise might not bode well with your ethics but if you want to be practical, you might want to consider it too.

8. Pray Hard. Of all the advice I?ve given above, I think this one is the most important. I always like to say, Work hard, pray even harder. Prayer adds power to your determination to succeed and find a good, high-paying job. Praying hard worked for me and a lot of people I know who are now happily working here in Singapore.


Miss Annie 27.03.2006. 14:16

What are the best qualities to make an outstanding manager ? I'am going for an interview tomorrow for a job with management in mind. I don't want to look or sound incompetent. I do have the ability but nothing comes out right when am sat there,(interviews are the only thing am bad at) so any good answers I could use in my interview would be of great help. With kind regards - Miss Annie xx

Miss Annie

Admin 27.03.2006. 14:16

The best way to prepare for an interview is to tell stories and share experiences. Review and know the things that you have put on your resume or job application. That is the starting point. Now during your interview expand on the information that you have already provided to your potential new employer. Provide examples of how you may have handled a problem with an co-worker, or resolved a business process within your department. Find examples that started out negative but you turned into a positive. Be specific during the interview on how you accomplished the positive. Examples would be a negative customer(external/internal) that you helped turn into a positive. A good thing would be to write all this down and then review your notes before going in for the interview. Be as detailed as possible during the interview. And one good question to ask before you wrap things up is, "What kind of individual are you looking for to fill this position?" This question is hardly ever asked. What it allows is for you to hit on any points that you may have missed while you were interviewing. You make a mental checklist while they tell you who they are looking for. This little bit of preparation will help you ace that interview.


lily 25.10.2008. 14:40

What kind of questions will be ask for a HR Co-ordinator in a hotel? I am so nervous about interview as I really want to get this job. Does anyone here has interviewed in a hotel for this role. Could you give me some suggestions what type of question I need to prepare.

Thanks so much


Admin 25.10.2008. 14:40

My be this articles can help
Tips On How To Prepare For A Job Interview And Get The Job You Want
Getting a swift move on your job interview is the most important step you could ever make in your entire career.

Passing a job interview is the primary requirement in order to get the job. Job interviews provide the applicant the opportunities to prove himself worthy for the job. Here, he can either sell himself or impress his potential employer.

For this reason, it is extremely important to plan your job interviews and get the job that you want. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a job interview:

1. Do your homework

Most applicants think that job interviews do not require any research or inquiries. What they do not know is that most successful job interviews require extensive research on different matters.

Experts say that the primary subject to look for is the company itself. Try to delve more facts about the company before you head for your job interview. Know more about the company profile, the kind of job that you are applying to, and the requirements needed to pass the interview.

Keep in mind that one of the most common questions in every job interview is based on the reasons why you are applying for the job in the first place. So it is important that you know a little something about the company. This will support your reasons in some way.

2. Dress to kill

Mark Twain has always been right about his belief that clothes create the man. So it is not enough that you look good on your job interview. You should follow the company's dress code. If it is all coat and tie, then be it.

As they say, you should always dress to impress. Leave the expression on the fashion scene.

3. Highlight your achievements

Keep in mind that job interviews are conducted by employers to get a good and clear view of your strengths and weakness as a future employee. It will definitely cost them some money just to hire you. Hence, they would like to know if you are appropriate for the job.

Try to highlight your achievements without having to sound arrogant. Better yet, create some conceptualize your achievements into remarkable stories and delve more on the abstracts. This means that you have to emphasize more on the qualities that most employers are looking for like leadership, reliability, etc.

4. Prepare some clever questions

These questions do not have to sound highly technical or hypothetical. It is enough that you create some questions such as asking for some additional information about the company. This will give you an overview of what the company really needs.

Keep in mind that most employers will not delve so much on your profile but more on what they need and how you can do something about it.

5. Try not to divulge everything

Being honest could be the number one factor any employer would like to see in his future employee.

However, it would be better to reserve this when you are already hired. This means that you have to keep a little secret about your capacity and limitations. Doing this could only mean one thing - losing the job.

And lastly, try to relax. Sleep early and eat light meals. This will keep your stomach from churning the next morning.

Bear in mind that the best preparation that you can make with your job interviews is to be yourself. The key to successful job interviews is based on how you have handled yourself as naturally as possible.

How HR Works to Get the Job Done

Human Resources is just what it says: resources for humans ? within the workplace! Its main objective is to meet the organizational needs of the company it represents and the needs of the people hired by that company. In short, it is the hub of the organization serving as a liaison between all concerned. Depending on the size of the company, the HR Department might be called Personnel with a manageable workforce that can be handled by a personnel manager and a small staff. For larger, more complex organizations with hundreds of departments and divisions, the task is much more demanding, taking on a life of its own.

Some companies have more than one HR Department - Corporate and Union. For example, a food service industry might have a Corporate HR Department that oversees ?white collared? employees and an HR Department that oversees the ?blue collar? workforce with an emphasis on labor relations. With such diverse needs, the organization will institute these two HR Departments to manage the unique needs of both union and non-union employees. Some of the many core functions of the Human Resources function involves the following: Organizational Development: To ensure its success, a company must establish a hierarchal reporting system. Picture an organizational chart with boxes representing each position starting at the top with the first and single-most important being the highest-ranking role. Followin


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