Being Interviewed - Reviewing
Focused In An Interview
Compensation Effectively When Between Jobs
Language In An Interview
Always be exactly
who you are, genuine character shines through.
Review your accomplishments, skills, abilities and
Decide what you want to draw attention to in the
Mentally, then verbally rehearse your presentation.
Practice your presentation with a spouse, friend or
How do you set a proactive tone from the start?
Think about the skills you have developed; your talents,
abilities and aptitudes.
How have you grown through your achievements in and
outside of work?
Choose specific examples of your progress in developing
new business, retaining or winning back unhappy
the improvements you made to existing
processes; cost reductions achieved; profits boosted;
shareholder value increased, etc.
Do research on the company, view the website, review
applicable industry journals, Dun & Bradstreet
assessments, Scott's Directories, Reference libraries
When setting up meetings, offer before or after hours
flexibility - many people do not think to do this. An early morning or
meeting with a hiring manager allows for full attention on both sides
without the interruptions of phone calls, customer issues and
employees knocking on the door for instant decisions.
Select clothing that does not distract the interviewer.
You cannot go wrong with basic business attire. The only exception would be
perhaps with a very young internet oriented firm which encourages or insists
on a very casual working environment.
Remember that your sense of self-control, enthusiasm,
openness, maturity and self-confidence are all
transmitted through body language;
poise and power are
conveyed through your movements, reactions, speech
modulation and eye-contact. Moderation is the key word.
The quality of your handshake forms an impression; a limp
grasp can be interpreted as passivity; an overly vigorous
handshake as insecurity or aggression; offer your hand
first, if possible, it denotes friendliness and
If you are
offered a beverage, take it as it can be a very valuable interview prop, it
allows you to pause and take a thoughtful or reflective sip
when you want to take a few seconds to think about a question that has been
asked of you and how best to answer it. Besides, sharing
a drink also shows a willingness to be sociable.
interviewer how he/she would like to begin as this may determine the
interviewer's agenda in the meeting, It may prompt the interviewer
to reach for your resume and indicate that the discussion will begin with
clarification of points noted on it. It may also move the interviewer
to ask you a standard opening question or give you a verbal introduction to
the position and why you have been asked to come in. Either way,
asking this question is a more subtle way of gently directing the beginning
of the discussion without appearing to take control.
Ask if you can take notes as this displays interest in
the proceedings and is practical to record important
aspects of the job which come under discussion. Having your pad open
with questions that you had noted beforehand will communicate to the
interviewer that at some point, you
will have a few questions of your own. Hiring managers enjoy talking to
someone who shows interest in the position and the company and who
has the foresight to ask intelligent questions.
Use open-ended questions (ones which cannot be answered
by a simple 'yes' or 'no') to create a flow of
information; after answering a question, follow up with
an open-ended one to obtain clarification or shift the
discussion to areas you consider important to explore. See some of the
links above and our Insider's Guide To Job Search Articles for more tips
about open-ended questions.
Open-ended questions begin with 'who, what, where, when,
why or how' or 'describe, explain, outline, clarify', etc.
Speak positively about past-employers; avoid being
critical or defensive if you had a bad experience with a
past/present employer; negativity leaves a lasting
impression. Even a patently bad situation can have the edges smoothed
off by taking the approach that this was a learning experience and
that you have grown through and from that experience.
Don't assume that the interviewer knows what is in your
resume, point out those achievements and skills which
best tell the interviewer who you are and what you can do. A resume is
an excellent tool to use as talking points about what you bring in the way
of accomplishments, experience and
proven skills to a position. Ensure that the points you note in your resume
reflect these talking points.
Avoid being abrupt or rambling, stay on topic and answer
questions directly. Rambling becomes especially dangerous when you are
question like: "Tell us about yourself", this type of question almost
invites you to expound at length. Avoid the trap. Give the interviewer a
concise and focused chronological summary of your experience which shouldn't
exceed 2 minutes in length.
Be aware of what the interviewer's reactions are to what
you have to say. Observe body language as we explain in more detail in
on this subject -
Speak at a moderate pace (such as television announcers
use), refuse to allow yourself to be rushed and maintain
Have reasons why you are interested in the position and
be ready to give them when asked.
When asked about compensation, avoid boxing yourself in
to specific figures; outline what your current or
immediate past earnings are/were and convey your interest
in the opportunity under discussion; follow up with an
open-ended question: "What range are you offering?",
or a similar type of question.
Ask the time-frame involved in a final decision being
made on the person being hired; you need to know if there
are lengthy delays likely due to other people being
involved in the hiring process.
Offer to leave a list of past employer references or
copies of actual employer reference letters and ensure
that their telephone numbers are updated.
Thank the interviewer for the opportunity to meet and
reiterate your interest in the opportunity, if applicable.
Send a thank-you note after the interview, affirming your
interest in the position
Always be yourself.
Review your accomplishments.
Choose examples of your progress.
View the employer's website.
Research the company in related journals/reference
Offer to meet before or after hours.
Be punctual and call if you are going to be late.
Offer a warm handshake.
Ask how the interviewer wants to begin.
Use open-ended questions to gather information.
Speak positively about your work-history.
Point out your achievements and skills.
Take notes of important details.
Offer to leave updated references.
Thank the interviewer for the opportunity to meet.
Follow up with a thank-you note or e-mail.
Most people do not interview for a living. Otherwise
successful and competent people can find being interviewed to be
stressful. Presenting yourself effectively and leaving a positive
impression in the interviewer's mind requires focus, clarity,
sincerity and preparation.
Following the above guidelines will help to ensure that the
interview is both mutually enjoyable and a productive exchange of
Hiring managers employ various techniques when
interviewing potential employees. The following are some of the
methods and tactics in corporate use.
The Group: Used primarily for
volume recruitment with two or more applicants interviewed
together, answering open or rotating questions, to assist in
determining applicant competitiveness.
The Co-workers: One or more
future colleagues ask questions with their superior to assess
team qualities and attitudes in prospective group members;
interview roles and questions are established beforehand;
allowing superiors to see group interaction skills of present and
The Behavioral: Applicants are
tested on decision-making, problem-solving and attitudes and
values; open probes are used to encourage the applicant to talk
about specifics; examples of how applicants handled certain
situations are asked for, indicating applicant's character,
values and general maturity.
The Technical: Job knowledge is
tested to qualify the applicant for further consideration;
knowledge of procedures, processes and technical industry jargon
is verified; typing tests or similar assessment tools may be
administered on the spot; interviewer questions center on actual
functions and daily duties.
The Aggressive: A challenging
tone is established by interviewers) at the beginning; stress is
created to see how applicants react under pressure; knowledge and
performance may be questioned with a skeptical attitude; the
applicant's poise and self-control are probed for weak points.
The Written: Applicants are
required to provide written answers to questions; determines
basic skills, aptitudes and work experience; provides interviewer
with a record of responses and statements; indicates writing
skills, grammar and spelling.
Based on a survey conducted with
153 North American Executive Search Firms serving a broad range
Poor or casual personal
Lack of interest and
enthusiasm: passive and indifferent.
Over-emphasis on money: interested only
in best dollar offer, benefits, hours, vacation
Condemnation of past employers:
Failure to look at the interviewer when
Limp, clammy handshake.
Late to interview.
Asks no questions about job or company.
Indefinite response to questions.
Over-bearing, over-aggressive and
Know-it-all or arrogant demeanor.
Inability to express self clearly: poor
diction and grammar.
Lack of planning for career: no purpose
Lack of confidence and poise: nervous and
ill at ease.
Expects too much too soon: impatient and
Makes excuses, evasive: hedges on
unfavorable factors in track record.
Lack of tact, diplomacy, courtesy: ill-mannered.
Lack of maturity.
Lack of vitality.
Indecision and hesitation: timidity.
Low moral standards, cynical, lazy.
Intolerant: has strong prejudices.
Inability to take criticism: volatile
Incomplete, sloppy or illegible
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