Interview Tips for Criminology Careers

If you have a sharp résumé and you work hard at getting one sent out to every job opening you hear about, eventually you'll land an interview. This is the make-or-break point for everyone looking to get hired for any position, and that includes jobs in criminology.

Sometimes, it's tempting to think that, because you're in a field like criminology that serves the public interest, interview skills aren't all that important, that your good intentions should be enough to get you the job. Don't make this mistake. It's great to have good intentions, but agencies and organizations want to make sure that they're hiring the best possible person for the job. The résumé is the first step to convincing them that you're that person, your references are the second step, and the interview is the third and final step.

So, make the best of it. The very first thing you must do is arrive early. This is imperative! So, make sure you know how to get there. If you need to, print out driving directions, and go there a couple days ahead of time if you've never been there. The day of the interview, give yourself at least half an hour extra driving time in case of bad traffic, a flat tire, or any other unexpected delay. Being on time won't get you the job by itself, but being late will certainly lose it for you.

Once the interview starts, make sure to remember the name of the interviewer, and make sure to use it at least a few times. Always use Mr. or Ms. unless instructed otherwise. One of the most important things you'll need to get across is a sense of confidence. You want to speak clearly and not bashfully; the last thing you want to do is come across as unsure of yourself.

Be on the lookout for trick questions. One of the most common ones is when the interviewer asks you to talk about your biggest weakness. You don't want to confess to a "weakness" that is really a virtue, such as being a perfectionist or a workaholic. Interviewers frown on such answers, rightly seeing them as self serving nonsense. Neither do you want to reveal anything that's very personal. Instead, confess to a minor vice, such as being impatient, or not having much use for small talk, and so on. If you need interview coaching, there are plenty of options available, both in the brick-and-mortar world and online. Some people don't need coaching to do well in interviews, but some people do. If you're one of them, don't be afraid to admit it, and get the help you need. It could be the difference between hearing, “You're hired,” and hearing,
“Thanks for coming in.”

Last Updated: 06/03/2014

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