Tips for Interviewing at JCCs
It is important to be on time for an interview. It is best if you arrive about 15 minutes early. This will give you time to relax and fill out an application, if necessary. Dress appropriately, since the first impression is a lasting one.
- Do some research on the JCC before the interview. JCCs all have websites and you can also visit http://www.discoverjcc.com for information. If the JCC is local to you, check your papers for recent articles about the JCC.
- Practice interviewing either in front of the mirror or with friends and relatives. Have someone take a look at your interview outfit.
- Go alone. Do not bring children, parents or friends with you.
- Greet the interviewer with a handshake.
- Make frequent eye contact.
- Smile, be polite, and try to relax.
- Listen carefully to the questions asked. Ask the interviewer to restate a question if you are confused.
- Answer questions as directly as possible.
- Be upbeat and make positive statements.
- If you've worked before, talk about what you learned from it.
- Use examples of how your skills and abilities would fit the job.
- Bring a copy of your resume and a "Fact Sheet" with telephone numbers and addresses of your references and former employers, just in case you are asked to complete an application.
It is important as you prepare for your interview to anticipate what questions the employer might ask. The following questions are examples of the types of questions that you may be asked to answer.
Questions to Expect (What the Employer May Ask You):
- Tell me about yourself. (This is often an ice-breaker question. Keep the answer job or skill related.)
- What do you know about the type of work we do? (This is your chance to tell what you know from the research you completed ahead of time.)
- Do you have any weaknesses? (Always make this a positive answer. For example, "My spelling is not always perfect, so I always use a spell checker.")
- What are your strengths? (Describe your skills in a way that will show you as a desirable employee for the company.)
- Why did you leave your last job? (Answer with a positive statement, but be honest and do not bad mouth your former employer. Try not to say: "I was fired," "terminated," "quit," "had no babysitter," or "couldn't get along with coworkers or supervisor". However, you can say: "new job," "contract ended," "seasonal," "temporary," "career change," "returned to school," “to raise a family," or "relocated.")
- Why have you been unemployed for such a long time? (Tell the truth. Emphasize that you were looking for a good company where you can settle and make a contribution.)
- Why should we hire you? (Make a positive statement, such as "I would like the opportunity to work with you and believe that I can do the work." Explain what you can bring to the JCC from your past experiences.)
- Do you have references? (It is most important that you contact your references ahead of time and have their name, current address, and telephone numbers.)
At the end of the formal interview the employer will ask if you have any questions. The following are examples of acceptable questions to ask.
Questions To Ask The Employer:
- Who would supervise me?
- Who would I be supervising?
- What hours would I be working
- Are there different schedule/responsibilities during the summer?
- When are you going to make a hiring decision?
- What are the opportunities for advancement?
- What kind of training is provided or available?
- Is there a dress code?
Pitfalls (Reasons Why People Don't Get Hired):
- Untidy personal appearance
- Inability to express information clearly
- Lack of genuine interest or enthusiasm
- Coming across as too good for the position being offered
- Unwillingness to start at the bottom
- Negative attitude
- Lack of eye contact
- Incomplete or sloppy application
- Being late for the interview
At the end of the interview:
- Thank the interviewers for their time.
- Request a business card.
- Shake hands in closing.
- Two or three days after the interview send a thank you note addressed to the interviewers. Don’t fire off an email in the parking lot right after the interview.