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Successful Interviewing


This is not a time to be provocative or sexy. ... And many make the mistake of bringing up money and hours-required in the first interview. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Successful Interviewing

(No Transcript)
Why Are Interviews Conducted?
  • See the candidate first-hand
  • Probe for detailed information about the
  • Where appropriate, sell the job and the

Typical Interview Structure
  • Introduction (Brief)
  • Interviewer asks questions (Extensive)
  • Candidate asks questions (Extensive)
  • Closing (Brief)

  • You never get a second chance to make a first
  • Employers form a first impression of the
    candidate in less than a minute
  • The first impression affects the rest of the

  • Non-verbal factors
  • Punctuality
  • Clothing
  • Grooming
  • Handshake
  • Eye contact
  • Posture
  • Expression

  • Verbal Factors
  • Can carry on an informal conversation
  • Grammar and word usage are professional in nature
  • Voice sounds confident and self-assured

Answering Interviewer Questions
  • Be prepared to talk about yourself
  • Experiences
  • Accomplishments
  • Skills
  • Goals
  • Values
  • Identify your strengths and prepare to back them

Answering Interviewer Questions
  • Prepare by practicing responses to common
    interview questions
  • Give responses that reflect strengths
  • How you solve problems
  • How you make decisions
  • How you set priorities and goals
  • How you work with others
  • How you plan and organize

Answering Interviewer Questions
  • Prepare to show strengths by means of
  • Organize your answer before you start to talk
  • Preparation and practice make this easy

Answering Interviewer Questions
  • Many employers ask behavioral questions
  • They want to see how you have behaved in past
  • They will probe to get to the details
  • Be prepared to give specifics

Answering Interviewer Questions
  • Examples of behavioral questions
  • 1. Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a
  • 2. How did you go about exercising leadership in
    that extracurricular activity?
  • 3. Give me a specific example of when you offered
    extraordinary service to a customer.
  • 4. When have you felt a great deal of pressure
    and how did you deal with it?

Answering Interviewer Questions
  • Foundation of behavioral interviews
  • Job performance potential will be based upon past
  • Use answers to behavioral questions to give
    specific displays of your strength

Answering Interviewer Questions
  • Other commonly asked questions include
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your strengths (and weaknesses)?
  • How did you choose your college and major?
  • What are your career goals?
  • How are you at multi-tasking?
  • Use the same strategy you use for answers to
    behavioral questions
  • Give specific past examples that reflect strengths

BB Questions
  • Tell me about a time that you demonstrated
  • Describe a situation when have you motivated
    yourself to complete an assignment or task that
    you did not want to do?
  • Think about a difficult boss, professor or other
    person. What made him or her difficult? How did
    you successfully interact with this person?
  • Think about a complex project or assignment that
    you have been assigned. What approach did you
    take to complete it?
  • Tell me about the riskiest decision that you have
    made. What were your considerations in making
    that particular decision.
  • Can you tell me about an occasion where you
    needed to work with a group to get a job done?
    What were the challenges and difficulties and how
    did you face these?
  • Describe a situation when you or a group that you
    were a part of were in danger of missing a
    deadline. What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked with a
    person who did things very differently from you.
    How did you get the job done? Would you work with
    that person again if given the choice?
  • Describe your three greatest accomplishments to
  • Tell me about a situation when you had to learn
    something new in a short time. How did you
  • Can you tell me about a complex problem that you
    solved? Describe the process you utilized.
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to make
    a split second decision.
  • Give me an example of a bad decision that you
    made and what you learned from that mistake?
  • Tell me about a time when something you tried to
    accomplish and failed. What did you learn from
    that failure?
  • Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious
    solution to a problem. What did you learn from
    that mistake?
  • Tell me about a challenge that you successfully
  • Describe a situation when you had to go above and
    beyond the call of duty in order to get a job
  • Please tell me about one or two unpopular
    decisions you have made. What were the positive
    and negative outcomes of those decisions?
  • What leadership positions have you held? Describe
    your leadership style. What aspects of your
    leadership style have you changed or deleted once
    you learned that these aspects were not

Asking Questions
  • Most employers will want to know what questions
    you have. This may occupy 5 - 15 minutes of an
    initial interview. This is an important part of
    the interview.
  • Developing questions is a part of interview

Asking Questions
  • Asking questions shows the following
  • You are interested
  • Your are intelligent
  • You are thorough
  • Your questions should reflect these

Asking Questions
  • Ask some questions that show youve done your
    homework. Examples
  • I read in your annual report that your support
    for research has increased by 50. Have you seen
    results from this increase?
  • A Wall Street Journal article of 2 weeks ago
    stressed your companys commitment to innovative
    marketing strategies. Do you feel that it was
    accurate and why?

Dont Ask
  • Avoid questions about the following
  • Salary
  • Vacation
  • Health Retirement
  • They reflect misplaced priorities

  • Time for either side to ask final questions
  • Find out about the next step. When will you hear
    from them?
  • Express interest (if appropriate)
  • Ive enjoyed this interview and am excited about
    opportunities with your company. I hope you will
    invite me to the next step.

Dressing for Your Interview
  • It is no secret that how you look has everything
    to do with the first impression you make. A first
    impression is made in the first 27 seconds. If
    you are too formal in your appearance, you might
    give the impression of being rigid and stuffy. If
    you are too casual, you may send the signal that
    you do not take the interview or the job very

Dressing for Your Interview
  • Begin by talking to employees of your potential
    new employer and find out what the dress code is
    and how seriously management takes it. If you
    can't find out this information, you should
    choose clothing that is professional in the
    impression it gives.
  • If you do not already own clothing that will work
    on an interview, you should go to a store where
    you can get good advice from the sales person. Be
    prepared to have the clothes tailored. No human
    being completely fits in clothes that are off the
    rack. To make the best impression the clothes
    must be altered to fit and accent your best

The following ideas can never be neglected
  • Look clean and neat. Make sure that your hair is
    done appropriately. Women - do not wear wild
    hairdo's Men - get a trim of head and facial
  • Do not wear a perfume or cologne as many people
    are allergic. Bathing with a good quality bath
    soap will leave a light scent. You will be
    nervous and a gentle scent can mask the
    perspiring you may be doing. An unscented
    antiperspirant can be used.
  • Cover any tattoos and avoid gaudy jewelry.
    Definitely limit pierced jewelry to ears only. Do
    not wear nose or tongue jewelry

  • Wear a suit or sport jacket with color
    coordinated trousers
  • The color should be neutral or dark - blue, black
    or gray is best
  • Wear a tie - even if you will never wear one
    after you get the job
  • Shoes should be leather - clean and polished -
    black is best
  • Make sure your nails are trimmed and that they
    are clean.

  • Wear a classic suit or a simple dress with a
    jacket. This is not a time to be provocative or
    sexy. Some appropriate colors are navy blue,
    black, dark green, dark red, burgundy, or gray.
  • Dress in a higher style that the position calls
    for but do not attempt to out dress everyone
  • Avoid wearing clothes that are tight, revealing
    or trendy. It may be the very latest fashion but
    it will not impress the interviewer
  • Fingernails should be trimmed to a length that
    doesn't leave an observer wondering how you keep
    from stabbing yourself. The polish should be
    closer to a color your mom might wear than to a
    color that your kid sister would go for.
  • Even after you are successful in getting the job,
    you should continue to pay attention to your
    wardrobe. Interviewing for that first job is only
    the beginning in the role clothing will play in
    your career. You should regularly add pieces made
    of high quality, long wearing fabrics. It is best
    to buy separates that you can mix and match with
    the pieces that you already own. Each piece you
    buy adds to the variety of looks you can achieve.
    You may ask why this is important? The reason is
    that even after you have the job you sought, you
    might like to be considered for advancement and
    promotion. The impression you leave on the job
    every day will be added to your performance when
    the boss looks around for someone to promote.  

Top Mistakes Candidates Make
  • 1 What They Say (or Don't Say)The number one
    mistake interviewees make relates to how they
    communicate. Some come in with a pre-determined
    script and sound as if they're reading from a
    textbook. Others give one-word answers with no
    further elaboration. While still others use
    profanity or ramble on about their personal
    problems and social lives rather than answer - or
    ask - questions about the job or company.Others
    are too candid. For example, when asked what
    interested her about the position, one candidate
    replied "I'm open to anything I really need to
    get some medical insurance." Another candidate at
    a children's organization stated that he "hates
    kids." Those interviewing for customer service
    positions confessed "I'm not a people person,"
    and "customers are annoying." While a man
    applying at a drug treatment facility anxiously
    asked if they drug-tested employees and whether
    they'd give advance notice.Others complain
    about former bosses. And many make the mistake of
    bringing up money and hours-required in the first
    interview. But the "Too Much Information" award
    has to go the candidate who said "I'm only here
    because my mom wants me to get a job." He was

Top Mistakes Candidates Make
  • 2. How They ActThe second most common way
    candidates flub their interviews is what they do.
    Many of these mistakes are the result of being
    unprepared and knowing nothing about the job or
    company. Others are because candidates don't
    listen to the questions being asked or try to
    bluff their way through technical
    questions.Some stem from a lack of common sense
    or courtesy. Many hiring managers complain about
    candidates showing up late and the surprising
    number who interrupt the interview to take calls
    on their cell phones. One woman brought her
    children along.And which is worse? The
    candidate who asked the hiring manager to hurry
    up because he wanted to have lunch, or the one
    who pulled out a sandwich and began eating?Yet
    other bloopers are simply a result of nerves - or
    two much coffee. Several hiring managers
    complained of nail-biting while another watched
    in horror as a candidate jumped up to make a
    point, then turned around and fell to the floor!

Top Mistakes Candidates Make
  • 3. Bad AttitudesThe third most-cited category of
    mistakes has to do with the candidate's attitude.
    No one likes a braggart, know-it-all or
    name-dropper - or the candidate with the
    super-sized ego who demanded to be hired and said
    the company could do no better. Then there's the
    interviewee who declared he was "used to a higher
    class of business."On the other side of the
    coin, are those who show no enthusiasm. Many
    hiring managers complained of interviewees who
    show little energy or interest in the
    conversation. One candidate spent the better part
    of the interview looking at his watch.

Top Mistakes Candidates Make
  • 4. How They LookComing to the interview
    improperly groomed and dressed is the fourth most
    common mistake. Along with the usual culprits
    bad posture, tattoos, facial piercings,
    fluorescent-colored hair and poor hygiene, hiring
    managers also told of a candidate who did not
    wear shoes, one who wore a skirt slit to her
    derriere, another who wore dark glasses
    throughout the interview and a candidate with
    dirty fingernails wearing jeans and a t-shirt -
    oh, by the way, he was drunk, too!

Top Mistakes Candidates Make
  • 5. They're DishonestCommon forms of dishonesty
    include exaggerating about achievements or
    misrepresenting knowledge. There's also the
    candidate who mentioned his arrest after saying
    on his application he had never been arrested -
    and the one who actually stole something from the
    interviewer's office.

The 5 Smartest Interview Moves
  • Demonstrate or communicate your experience and
  • Act professionally
  • Prepare
  • Exhibit enthusiasm
  • Be honest

Dos and Donts
  • Do your homework beforehand. Anticipate questions
    that are likely to be asked and prepare brief
    (two minutes or less) compelling answers to
  • Dont spend time talking about dates, chronology
    or other information readily available on your
    resume unless asked to do so.
  • Do pause briefly before answering a difficult
    question to gather your thoughts. It not only
    helps you organize what you want to say, but will
    make you appear more sincere.
  • Do pay attention to verbal and non-verbal cues
    from the others in the room to gauge their
    reaction and adjust your responses accordingly.
  • Do bring along a portfolio of successful projects
    (if applicable to your line of work) so that the
    interviewer can see and get a feel for the
    breadth of what you can do and ask about the
    projects which interest him or her.

After the Interview
  • Always write a thank you note
  • Include any important omissions
  • Reiterate your strengths and your enthusiasm
  • Typed or handwritten o.k.
  • Keep a log
  • All the important facts
  • Any advice you were given
  • Your key impressions

After the Interview
  • Take any steps suggested by the interviewer
  • May involve contacting someone
  • Complete application forms or exams
  • Stay in pursuit
  • Follow-up with them if necessary
  • Let them know of your interest

Special Situations
  • The telephone interview
  • You may need to reschedule if they call at a bad
  • Arrange to avoid interruptions
  • Allow plenty of time
  • Be comfortable
  • Notes at your fingertips

Special Situations
  • The group interview
  • Dont be intimidated by numbers
  • Hello to all
  • Address everyone
  • Eye contact for all
  • Thanks to all

No Failures, Just Lessons
  • Learn from every interview
  • Have fun