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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Interview Preparation
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During an interview, you should strive to put your best foot forward. To do this, you must know your own capabilities and limitations, understand the job for which you are interviewing, know what you can contribute to the organization and the position, and present yourself and your capabilities positively. Interviews are stressful for most people. You can avoid some of the stress by preparing beforehand.

Applicants interviewed for ARS research scientist positions, in most cases, may be required to conduct a seminar as part of the interview process.

The following tips might be useful to you in preparing for interviews:

  • Know the Organization. Research the organization beforehand. Visit the organization's web site and read up on the agency's mission and about the specific part of the organization where the position is located. Talk to others who work in the organization.

  • Be Enthusiastic. Show that you're truly interested in the job you applied for and in the organization. Speak clearly and smile.

  • Be Yourself. Don't put on an act for the interviewer. Being yourself may help you relax during the interview and eliminate unnecessary stress.

  • Be Prepared. Review your resumé or job application beforehand. Review the announcement for the job applied for.

  • Be Honest. Openly discuss with the interviewer your work skills, strengths, and experience, including reference to any volunteer work you perform. If you do not have experience directly related to a particular task that's part of the job, say so. Explain your willingness to learn new skills. Don't exaggerate your experience, simply present yourself in a positive manner.

  • Look Your Best. You will never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Dress for your interview in clothing appropriate to a typical office environment.

Good Luck In Your Endeavors! If you don't get the first job, keep trying. Each interview should be viewed as a learning experience and will be helpful to you as you try to land the job that's right for you.


Last Modified: 12/28/2005
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