Interviews come down to 4 things:
- Who interviews the best
- Who wants the job the most
**To get an offer, you must plan, prepare and execute the interview**
10 Interview Tips
- Professional Dress (find out the dress code). Normal attire if dress code is not known:
- Male: Dark suit; white shirt; black shoes; black socks; contrasting tie.
- Female: Business suit; white/ivory blouse; matching shoes.
- Be Prompt. Arrive a minimum of 15 minutes early. This shows interest in the opportunity.
- Be Positive & Show Confidence: Make sure and give a firm handshake, have direct eye contact, and sit-up straight. Smile often, be positive and radiate energy.
- Research the Company: Utilize the Internet, library or personal resources to uncover as much information as possible about the company, hiring authorities and job before the interview takes place.
- Prepare Mini-Stories in Advance: Problem, Solution, Result Describe Situation, Action Items, Result Responsibilities, Accomplishments, Impact of those Accomplishments.
- Importance of Questions: DO NOT start out with self-serving questions about vacation and benefits. Ask company questions regarding track record, growth expectations, products/ services, and competition. Ask job related questions regarding the main priorities for someone in the position and finding out what the short-term and long-term goals are.
- Salary / Compensation: Let them know where you are at now. Tell them how interested you are in the position and let them know that you would seriously consider their best offer.
- Reason for Job Change: Why did you leave your last job? This is not an opening to speak badly of your former employer. There is almost always a way of wording the explanation so that you do not sound like a “problem employee” and your former employer does not sound like an undesirable company. As unfair as it may seem, there is almost no time when you should say something bad about your former employer. You can talk about the lack of potential for upward mobility, the fact that your job responsibilities changed to the point that it no longer fit into your career plan, your need to move to be closer to your aging parents, the need to reduce travel time, your need for a more challenging job, or anything else that does not get into personalities or other conflicts. If you were fired for cause, you may want to be up front about it, explain the circumstances and accept responsibility for your actions. Practice your answers to this question with someone who has interview experience. However, don’t lie. If you can’t say anything positive about your former employer, don’t say anything.
- Express interest: Don’t leave any doubt in their mind that you are interested and ready to move it on to the next step.
- Thank you note: Write down names, titles, company address and e-mail addresses of those you had contact with during the interview process and send a thank you/interest note ASAP. Emails are acceptable!
Potential Interview Questions
- 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.)
- What is your weakness? (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. 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 or why do you want to work for our company?? (Make a positive statement, such as “I would like the opportunity to work with you and believe that I can make a difference.”)
- 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.)
- Why are you looking to make a change?
- How would you describe your background and experience?
- What accomplishment are you most proud of at this point in your career?
- What has been your biggest failure/disappointment up to this point in your career?
- What is your long term goal and how do you intend to achieve it?
- If I were to call your last (present) employer, what would he/she say about you and why?