The Importance of Interviewing
Interviews are in many, if not most, cases the determining factor in securing public service job offers. Often we hear about how great someone looked on paper, but how dismally he or she interviewed. Interviews take on particular significance with public service employers, who give tremendous weight to the kind of person they sense you are, the depth of your commitment to their mission and how well you would fit in with the office. Getting an interview means you have the right credentials for the position. You need to demonstrate how well-suited you are for that particular office.
Your primary goal at this stage of the search is to get a job offer. After that happens, you will have time to consider the positive and negative aspects of the position compared to other options you might have. The focus of the interview should be to persuade the employer that you are the best and most qualified applicant.
You need to convey enthusiasm and self-confidence during an interview. Try to establish a rapport with the interviewer so that after you leave, he or she will remember some specific details about you. If you find yourself in an interview where the employer is doing all of the talking, try to work your way gracefully into the conversation. If you simply allow the interviewer to talk, you run the risk of leaving a weak impression of yourself.
By giving forethought to the kinds of questions to ask during the interview, you will demonstrate that you are a thoughtful candidate and you will learn whether or not the position is right for you.
Preparing for the Interview
Very simply stated, the more you prepare for each interview, the greater the likelihood that you will be offered a job. Being prepared will enable you to:
• Exude self-confidence
• Provide responsive answers
• Ask intelligent questions
• Engage in meaningful discussion
Having a sense of the organization and an agenda for learning...