Post # 1
So I finally have a face to face interview tommarow after job searching for 6 plus months now. I am so nervous. It’s for a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant position at a nursing home nearby. Now I graduated from my program in May of 2011. I was told that most of the questions asked are going to be situational questions. Such as ‘what would you do if you found out a patient has lied to you.’ or ‘what obstacle have you had to overcome’. The problem is, is that I graduated more than a year ago, what if I can’t remember certain clinical situations that they are asking about.
Post # 3
Look up sample questions online or go back and look for scenarios in your old textbooks and practice! Situational questions can be really hard if you aren’t prepared. Definitely practice for the standard generic situational questions and have some answers in mind for dealing with difficult situations.
It can even help to just do some brainstorming and write out some notes to practice from. A lot of those questions can catch you off guard, so it’s great to do whatever you can to have some examples in mind.
Post # 4
My best advice is just to breathe! If they ask you a question that you’re not sure of an answer to, and need a minute, take a deep breath, and say “you know, that is a really great question!” smile, and then form your answer. Interviewers expect you to take a few seconds to think, and what seems like an eternity to you is probably only a few seconds!
Definitely spend some time today going through any old papers, or jot down things you remember from certain cases. I agree with the PP to look online for some typical questions and come up with some general answers.
Post # 5
I agree you should look over your old notes and be prepared for answering known questions.
Interview tips from someone who interviews potential employees frequently:
Arrive at least 10 minutes early
Dress professionally and conservatively
Be conservative with jewelry, hair, makeup, etc.
Shake hands, make eye contact, smile
Answer the questions in a calm manner, if you’re nervous do your best to not let it show
Don’t laugh or giggle too much, smile when appropriate
Don’t ramble, just answer the questions and then stop talking
Think of at least one or two questions to ask at the end of the interview if they ask if you have any.
Don’t mention salary or benefits, let them bring it up. If they don’t, do not let that be one of your questions mentioned above.
Make it known you highly value the offer of the position
Be sure to thank them for the interview and write a thank you note or email the next day
Post # 6
Be yourself! That’s the best advice I can give for not being nervous.
Do you have anyone who could do a few practice interviews with you? If possible, I would wear something similar to what you’re going to wear for the interview.
Post # 7
I found it easiest I could comfortably describe different situations/stories. Because then you can always change the intro/ending to fit the question. Also, think of 3 traits you want to portray you have and have 3 stories/examples to demonstrate them.
Once you have these, its amazing how many questions you can answer without having to practice hundreds of questions
Where you were a leader.
Something you had trouble at/ran into a problem/failed and what you did to overcome it.
Where you worked in a team
Demonstrates customer service
Demonstrates organizational/complicated project skills
Also, A great trick I love when I interview people is to err on the side of answering too short and ask “did I answer your question” or “did I cover what you were looking for”?
This allows the interviewer to get you back on track or to clarify the question if you didn’t. More often than not it gives you affirmation that you are on the right track. It also allows the interviewer to ask more about something you mentioned in your answer that may not have come up in one of their questions.
Its similar to ending the interview with “Is their anything about my experiences that gives you concern I wouldn’t be successful at this job”? They are usually very surprised by this and answer honestly. It gives you feed back as to where you stand and also lets you address any concerns they have directly.
Post # 8
Ask questions! Whatever you want to know, don’t be afraid to ask. Ask what a typical day is like (work responsibilities), if people get along and go out for lunch together (you get along with everyone), where someone who is successful in that position might find herself in 5 years (I’m looking for a career here!).
Ask if there’s anything that you’ve talked about or they’ve seen on your resume that might give them pause about hiring you so you can address it now. Answer honestly if they have a real concern (yes, I am inexperienced, but I’m a quick learner and I’m willing to buckle down and put in the time to get it right).
One of my favorites that someone asked me recently was “what are the characteristics of someone who is successful in this position, or someone who is unsuccessful?”
Be confident and let them know that you WANT the job with how you handle yourself. I only hire people who want to work for me. Not just who want out of their current job or think maybe I’ll pay them more.
Post # 9
Just thought of this… there’s a blog I love called Ask A Manager. There are a ton of posts on this topic.
Post # 10
remember that EVERYONE is nervous for interviews – it’s a normal reaction! It’s okay to be a little shakey! Just remember that they’ve already looked over your application/resume and picked YOU out of all the applicants they recieved to interview – you’ve already impressed them.
If you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s perfectly alright to pause, take a breath, and think! Say “Wow, great question…” and then answer. If you truely can’t think of the answer (if it’s a right or wrong question versus a “What’s your biggest strength” question) say “I apologize, but that seems to have slipped me. I’m sure with resources at my hands I could find the answer quickly.” Try to avoid using ‘fillers’ like “um…” – that drives me crazy. I’d rather you sit there in silence for a second. Silence is NOT a bad thing – a lot of times candidates are so nervous they can’t stand a second of silence so they keep blabbing on. Also, always take a moment to think through your answer before you respond – keep your answers short and concise.