Careers in Culture – Careers in Cultural Management

> Interviews: Closing the deal

Interview Tip
Prepare carefully for all interview questions. Based on what you know about the organization, think up possible questions – including ones that are hard for you to answer – and write out answers and practice them on your own with family and friends. If you have a copy of the job description, use it to test yourself for the knowledge, skills and abilities they describe for the job. Remember that many employers will ask some behavioural questions – for example, “how would you handle a situation where …” – and it is important to prepare for those types of questions, too.

If you want to impress your prospective employer, make sure to prepare thoroughly for the interview.

Research, and research some more

The more you know about an employer, the more you will be able to demonstrate your interest and knowledge to the individual or committee doing the hiring. How can you find out about a specific organization or company? Check out its products, visit its web site, and call and ask for brochures and annual reports. Get as much information as you can.

Answer three crucial questions

1. Why do I want this job?
Think carefully about an organization you’ve targeted and why you would like to work there. When you know the answer, you’ll be able to answer some important interview questions, such as:

  • How did you become interested in this field?
  • Why did you submit your application to our company/organization?
  • What are you general career interests?
  • What do you see yourself doing in five years?

2. What do I have to offer?
Employers want to know why they should hire you. To find out, they often ask questions that will help them find out who you are:

  • What skills/strengths do you bring to this position?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • How will you contribute to our organization?
  • What was your most important job accomplishment?

3. What else do I need to know?
One of the final queries you could asked in an interview is: “Is there anything you would like to know about our organization or the job?” It’s a good idea to prepare some questions to ask at the end of your interview. Here are some topics to explore:

  • The company’s goals and challenges.
  • What supervisors look for in employees.
  • On-the-job training or other educational programs.
  • Who you would be reporting to.
  • Number of people you would be working with.

And don’t forget the thank-you note
A thank-you note is a great opportunity to show appreciation and make a good impression. It should include:

  • A statement of thanks for the opportunity to meet the interviewer.
  • A sentence that re-states your interest in the job.
  • A sentence that re-affirms your belief that you’re the right applicant.
  • An offer to provide further information to the organization as necessary.