Work-Study Interview Tips

Prepare for Success!

  • Research the area you are interviewing for.
  • Dress Appropriately- Dress to project the image of confidence and success; your total appearance should be appropriate to the job. REMEMBER FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNTS!
  • Be on Time- Arrive 10-15 minutes early. Remember to adjust for traffic.
  • Plan ahead by thinking about what you want the employer to know about you. Prepare key points you want to communicate about yourself and how you plan to make them.
  • Take 1-2 copies of your resume with you and any Letter of Recommendations.

During the interview:

  • First, build rapport with the front desk staff or receptionist who greets you.
  • Think positively! If you don’t think you are the best candidate for the job, you will not get hired.
  • Most of the time communication is non-verbal. Your general appearance, facial expressions, and tone of voice sell your attributes (Employers watch for non-verbal clues during an interview). Build a strong connection in the following manners:
    • Be sure to give a firm handshake.
    • Your eye contact should be open and direct when listening, asking and responding to questions.
    • Your posture should be well-balanced, upright, relaxed, forward-facing, and open. Know your nervous habits and practice controlling them.
    • Place briefcase/purse on the floor.
    • Create a dialogue with the employer by asking questions related to the current topic.
    • Remember to SMILE. 

End the Interview:

  • Ask interviewer for his/her business card.
  • Ask if there is anything else you can provide, such as references, background information or work samples.
  • Ask about the next step in the process. It’s important for you to know the next step so you can follow up.
  • Thank the interviewer.
  • Give a firm handshake.

Questions Employers Might Ask You.

  1. Tell me about yourself
    You need to pretend that the employer asked you “Tell me about yourself and why you are interested in this job?” You might answer this question mentioning your relevant background, experience, and skills and then explaining why you believe the job would be a good fit for you.
  2. What do you know about this department/area of Texas Southmost College?
    Provide an answer that indicates that you have researched the company before the interview. Example: “I have been talking to employers and they feel that this is a good company to work for because.,.”  or “I have been reading that TSC is …”
  3. What is your greatest strength?
    This is one of the questions that employers most of the time ask.  When you are asked about your greatest strengths, it’s important to discuss the attributes that will qualify you for the specific job and set you apart from the other candidates. You can give examples of your strengths if you wish (e.g. “I’m an excellent writer. Most of my teachers have commented on my ability to organize my thoughts and communicate with a variety of audiences.”)
  4. What is your greatest weakness?
    This is another typical question interviewers will ask. Do your best to frame your answers around positive aspects of your skills and abilities. With your weaknesses, explain how you work with them or try to strengthen them. Avoid sharing a weakness that directly relates to the job’s requirements.
  5. Tell me about a time with you worked as a part of a team.
    Pick a specific example that has a “happy ending” and of which you are proud.
  6. How would your best friend describe you?
    A popular variation of this question is to state three adjectives that describe you- short but informative.
  7. Why should we hire you?
    When the interviewer asks you this question, you need to ask you. Are you the best candidate for the job? Be prepared to say why. Make your response a concise sales pitch that explains what you have to offer the employer, and why you should get the job. You may want to say something like “I think there are three main reasons you should hire me. First…”  Three main selling points will stick in the interview’s mind.
  8. Describe a difficult work situation/project and how you overcame it.
    The interviewer wants to know what you do when you have a difficult decision. Be prepared to share an example of what you did in a tough situation.
  9. What are you looking for in a new position?
    Ideally, the same things that this position has to offer. Be specific.
  10. Do you have any questions?
    At the close of the interview, most interviewers will ask you whether you have any questions about the job or company. It will be a good idea to have a list of questions ready. For example:
    • How would you describe the duties of the position?
    • How would you describe a typical day and/or a typical week in this position?
    • What specific qualities and skills are you looking for the job candidate?
    • Do you work with our school schedule?
    • What type of training do you provide?
    • What is the dress code for this position?
    • What is the next step? When do you think you will be making a decision?