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You’ve been waiting many weeks (or months) to get any reply from your applications and now your time has finally arrived. Your interview is scheduled soon. You are nervous yet confident because you are prepared. You know your TMAY and STAR stories and can answer the tough interview questions.

Skill Definition:

  • I can respond to interview questions in a way that presents my strengths and fit with the company and position.

Key Learning Points:

  • Interviews can be very stressful. Prepare yourself by practicing responses to important interview questions.
  • Know the key points you want to make in an interview, especially skills and experiences. Find a way to let these points emerge regardless of the interview type and questions.

Learning Path:

  • Develop your TMAY (Tell Me About Yourself) introduction.
  • Develop your STAR Stories.
  • Practice responses to common interview questions with a coach.
  • Learn from each interview. If possible, seek feedback from the interviewer.

Deeper Topics:

o   The Structured Interview. In a structured interview every applicant for the position is asked the same questions as every other applicant.

o   Behavioral Interviews. The interviewer is looking for evidence of skills in the areas of job content, transferable skills and self-management skills. You should prepare by thinking of specific examples that demonstrate your competence in core behaviors such as teamwork, problem-solving, communication, creativity, flexibility and organizational skills.

o   Screening Interviews. These are used to qualify a candidate before he or she meets with a hiring manager for further interviewing and possible selection. Telephone interviews may be used.

o   Stress Interviews. During this type, the interviewer tries to bait you, to see how you will respond. The objective is to find your weaknesses and test how you hold up to pressure.

There are many variations of interviews so come prepared and expect the unexpected.

  • Common Interview Questions. See this link at jobsearch.about.com for a good starting list with suggested responses. Review these questions to develop a personal response.
  • General Advice:
    • Be friendly, courteous, and positive. Maintain eye contact.
    • Bring a copy of your resume.
    • Ask a follow-up clarification if you don’t understand.
    • Be prepared. Know the company you are interviewing with. Know and sell your strengths.
    • Keep answers concise but consistent with the key points you know you want to make.
    • Present qualifications thoroughly.
    • Turn your cell phone off.
  • Illegal Interview Questions. Questions about a person’s color, race, gender and religion (and more) are prohibited and considered discrimination. Source: org

Exercises for Older Teens and Adults:

  • Review and discuss the interview rating template below. This will provide insights on what an interviewer is looking for.
  • Practice common interview questions at the above link.

Questions to Encourage Critical Thinking:

  • What are my strengths? How will I show them in an interview?
  • What experiences do I have that enable me to shine?
  • Do I have answers to potential tough questions, e.g. employment gap or criminal background?

Tools and Templates:

Word Definition:

  • N/A.

Web Articles:




  • “Never wear a backward baseball cap to an interview unless applying for the job of umpire”. – Dan Zevin
  • “If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.” — Zig Ziglar

One-Point Lesson:

  • None at this time.

Related Skills:

Summary 2-page Lesson Examples, coming soon:

  • Interviewing (handout).
  • Interviewing (with instructor notes).