Tips for a Job Interview at OHS

If you’ve found a position on our website that interests you, it might be a good time to brush up on your interview skills. Here are some tips for a successful job interview.

Preparing for Your Interview

When you are contacted to set up your interview appointment, this is a great time to ask a few questions about the position, such as, “What are the top challenges of the position?” or, “How do you train new employees to do their jobs well at OHS?” The hiring manager may ask you some screening questions at this time as well, so be prepared to explain how you meet the basic qualifications of the position.

Review the job description and identify the key skills required for the position. Consider how your strengths match the job requirements.

Prepare a few accomplishment stories you might use during the interview, based on the required skills you have just identified.

Do some research on the OHS departments that interest you to learn about their current initiatives and direction.

Bring a notebook and a list of your references, including how they prefer to be contacted (phone and/or email address), their title, name of their organization, and the time/place and kind of work you did with them.

Practice answering standard interview questions in front of a mirror, with an interview partner, or a friend. The more practice you have, the more relaxed and confident you will feel.

Wear conservative, appropriate work clothes to an interview.

When an OHS representative calls with information or a request, respond quickly to show your interest and keep you in the running.

At the Interview

Plan to arrive 10 minutes early for your interview. Anticipate problems with traffic congestion, directions, or parking, and allow plenty of time.

Introduce yourself with a firm handshake and, when appropriate, try to remember the name and title of each person you are introduced to.

A few minutes of “small talk” usually precedes the interview questions. Take this opportunity to relax, get comfortable, and settle into your discussion.

Be honest and confident about your skills and accomplishments.

Use your accomplishment stories to give specific examples that prove your competence in the different skill areas they care about most. This is your opportunity to speak their language. Maintain eye contact to see if your stories are on the right track, or have gone off the point.

Don’t be negative about your current or previous positions or managers, even if you feel differently. Instead, focus on why you are looking to build your experience through a new position.

At the end of the interview, be prepared with two to three questions to show you were listening, are interested in the position, and care about being part of the OHS organization. Take this opportunity to collect all the information you need to decide how to respond, if offered the position.

At the end of the interview, find out what the next steps are in their interview process and if they have a timeframe for making a decision. Restate your interest in the position.

After the Interview

With the new information you have gained during the interview, think about the job and consider whether or not the position and the organization will be a good match for you.

Write a thank-you note or an email to all your interviewers. A follow-up letter can include your reaction to the interview, why you want the job, and what you could bring to the department and the team. It is also another opportunity to make a good impression.

If you are interested in accepting the position, alert your references that you have just had a successful interview and give them permission to speak about you if they are contacted. Send your references a copy of your resume and the job description. Communicate the key skill areas to your references that your interviewer was interested in.

If your references are contacted, send them a thank-you note or email letting them know that you appreciate their support and time.