From the University of Michigan School of Social Work Career Center.
Learn as much information about the agency as possible through their website before you interview. -Whether through email, phone, or an in-person contact, your interview begins during your first contact with the agency. Even if you are not speaking with the person who will be interviewing or hiring you, your conduct will be communicated to the employer. Be sure to contact your references prior to the interview/submission of your resume, so they know what you are applying for. It is useful to provide your references with:
- The name of the agency and individual who will be contacting them
- The job posting
- Any skills, accomplishments, or experiences you would like them to highlight in their conversation with the employer
Review the list on our website that lists common questions that employers ask during interviews, and consider your responses to these questions. It can be helpful to even practice your responses to these questions. Be prepared to answer questions that ask you to give examples of times when you have demonstrated key skills pertinent to the position. Conceptualize how you hope the interviewer to view you. Either describe this in brief or make a list of qualities and skills that will be useful when answering questions for which you have not prepared an answer.
What to wear/not wear:
- Comfortable clothing and shoes (some interviews involve a tour of the facilities).
- Don't make drastic changes in appearance before you go.
- Jewelry and perfume should be kept to a minimum. (Consider the setting: you may apply to a health care position where patients may be allergic to perfume.)
- For women, wearing your hair up may help prevent you from playing with your hair
- If asked a question you didn't prepare an answer for you can ask clarifying questions and think about the question before answering. Think of how you can use the question to demonstrate a certain skill or quality that you know to be a good fit for the position.
- Remember to keep good posture and avoid nervous habits. Preparing beforehand by practicing these behaviors will help you execute this well in an interview.
- Prepare a list of questions that you have for the employer about the agency and position.
- Have a practice interview with a friend, but do not memorize your answers. Instead, come up with short bulleted lists about potential examples and strengths you want to highlight according to the questions you might be asked.
- Refer to sample interview questions hand-out.
Thank You - Post-Interview Etiquette Purpose
The purpose of a post-interview thank you is to show appreciation for the opportunity to interview for the position, as well as remind the employer why you are a good candidate for the job.
First, thank the employer for the interview. This is always the beginning sentence. Now you take the opportunity to remind the interviewer of your qualifications for the position. If you forgot to mention something in the interview, do so now. If you're worried about being redundant you can say: "We discussed" or "To summarize our conversation" to help the employer recognize a previous conversation. Tell the employer that you look forward to hearing from them. This shows your enthusiasm. Thank them again for their time and consideration.
Thank you notes should be written on resume paper and formatted as a business letter, with the interviewer's name and information at the top, and your address and contact information below your signature. If sent electronically, the thank you should be in the body of the email, not sent as an attachment. Also, the interviewer's contact information should not be present but keep your contact information below your signature. (You want to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you about the job). Always address the person with whom you interviewed. If there were several interviewers, each one should receive a separate thank you.
Email or Hard Copy?
There are pros and cons to sending your thank you electronically or as a hardcopy. Email: Received immediately by employer Employer can automatically respond to your email Easy to ignore electronic messages Not as visually appealing Hard-Copy: Can be visually appealing on resume paper Hard copy letters are harder to ignore once received Time delay, could take several days to reach employer Employer must look up your information to respond
Human Services Career Network
Interview tips for people looking to find a career in human services. The site explores the 3 main things that are looked for in the interview such as; "can do”, "will do”, and "fits.” The website explains that there are two common interview techniques used in human service interviews; role-plays and case presentations. Lastly, the website provides many examples of frequently asked question in the interview and questions that the person being interviewed such ask. Along with the interview tips it also provides links for job searches and points of interest such as research articles and conference calendars.
Job Interview Site
Job-interview-site.com offers you many interview tips such as sample interview quesitons, how to introduce yourself, how to properly present yourself, as well as sell yourself, any of the links on this website are very useful.