Interview Toolkit For SuccessPresentation Transcript
Interview Toolkit for Success
Savvis Talent Acquisition
Human Resources Business Partner
This Interview Toolkit is designed to help you think more strategically, to organize your efforts, and to give you some insight into to the hiring process.
The Toolkit contains tips and tools from experienced HR Professionals who understand, develop, and manage the process from the beginning to end.
“ By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
- Benjamin Franklin
Preparing for your Interview
This toolkit contains areas for you to enter questions, and record ideas and comments. You will find a useful interview checklist and an interview review form for you to use.
Researching the organization
Preparing what to say
Preparing your skill stories
Asking your own questions
TIP: If you are using this toolkit to prepare for an interview, we recommend that you make a copy before adding any text. This allows you to create a new version for each interview.
Preparing for your Interview Researching
Researching the organization
Researching the position
Finding out more about the interview
Preparing what to say
Preparing what to ask
Planning what to wear
Planning what to take
Planning how to get there
The Interview Profile
The interview profile will help you to:
Asks the “what, where, when, why, how, and the who!
Document the process
Focus on each specific interview
Organize your thoughts
Your Interview Profile
What will the interview involve
Position Applied For
Date of Interview
Type of Interview: (panel, 1:1, behavioral)
Name of Interviewer (s)
Location of Interview
Length of Interview
“ Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”
- Zora Neale Hurston
Researching the Organization
What do you need to know?
Research the Company:
What does the company do?
What is the history of the company?
What is the organizations size, structure and location?
Company culture including mission, vision, values, policies
Have there been any recent events or stories in the news?
Are they involved in the community?
Researching the Organization (cont.)
Business publications such as Business Week, Forbes Magazine, Wall Street Journal (both hard copy and internet)
Social Media (LinkedIn, Zoominfo, Facebook, Glassdoor, etc.)
Some sources to consider:
The companies website
Researching the Organization (cont.) The companies website can give you:
History of the company
Community involvement and more
Company size, organizational structure, subsidiaries
Company Mission, Vision, values, policies
Researching the Organization (cont.) Social Media Networks
Allow you to connect with current employees
Research the hiring team
Learn about recent hires/promotions/vacancies
??? What else???
Researching the Organization (cont.) Business Publications
Latest financial information
Possible mergers and/or acquisitions
Who are their competitors
Key players in the industry
Preparing What to Say The job interview is a stressful situation that can cause fear and anxiety for even the most composed. The best way to alleviate the situation is to prepare as much as possible before hand. Preparing what to say can increase your success rate. By preparing what to say, we become more comfortable with the process simply by the act of repetition. Preparation will help you to think about areas of your day to day life that you may not think about until presented with a situation, such as an interview, that forces you to take stock. By preparing what to say you focus on what you have to offer an employer and clearly defines what you want as well.
Preparing What to Say
Core interview questions are a tool to assist the interviewer in evaluating the candidate’s qualifications against the needs of the position and the organization. The goal is to deliver a successful candidate. Some examples of ‘core’ interview questions:
“ Tell me about yourself”
“ What are your key strengths and weaknesses?”
About your last position:
“ What did you like most/least about your last job?”
“ Why did you leave your last position?”
Preparing What to Say Additional ‘core’ interview questions: About the position you are applying for:
What do you know about the position you are applying for?”
“ Why should we offer you the position?”
“ Why do you want to work for us?”
About your goals and ambitions:
“ What are your long-term career objectives?”
“ What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishments to date?”
About your accomplishments:
“ Give me an example of when you have managed change in difficult circumstances.
“ What do you look for in a job?”
“ Force has no place where there is need of skill.”
- Herodotus, (485 - 425 BC)
Preparing Your Skill Stories Definition: A behavioral interview is a job interview focused on discovering how an applicant acted in specific employment-related situations. The logic is that your past performance in the workplace will predict your future performance. The behavioral interview has become increasingly popular due to its effectiveness in finding individuals with the competencies needed to fill positions. Instead of asking how you would behave, the interviewer will ask how you did behave. The interviewer wants to know how you handled a situation, instead of what you might do in a hypothetical situation. Behavioral Based Interview’s
Preparing Your Skill Stories The STAR Approach The STAR approach is an effective way to answer Behavioral based interview questions by breaking the answer down into logical sections. It helps the participant put together a story with a beginning, middle, and end. In addition, the STAR Method helps to keep the story on track and allows the participant to effectively demonstrate a particular competency that the interviewer can easily follow.
Preparing Your Skill Stories Using the STAR Approach Top Tips:
Be concise – a long-winded story can be more detrimental than beneficial
Present your stories as naturally as possible, and don’t rely too much on a pre-prepared script
If one of your stories covers more than one skill, don’t be tempted to use the same story twice.
Be ready to adapt to the tone of the interview – you may need to adapt, or emphasize different parts of, a skills story
Preparing Your Skill Stories The STAR Method
Situation: give an example of a situation you were involved in that resulted in a positive outcome
Results: what results directly followed because of your actions
Task: describe the tasks involved in that situation
Action: talk about the various actions involved in the situation’s task
“ Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers.”
- Robert Half
Asking Your Own Questions Of all the questions you could be asked during an interview, one of the most important comes at the end when the interviewer asks: “Do you have any questions?” This is your opportunity to show how well you prepared and can give the interviewer some insight into your true interest in the position. This is also an opportunity for you to clarify some information you received during the interview or found in your research of the company.
Asking Your Own Questions Top Tips:
Don’t ask questions that you could have answered yourself with some simple research. It is inadvisable to ask about the pay and benefits at this stage - although there may be an opportunity for you to raise the issue.
Ask pertinent questions which demonstrate that you have a real grasp of what the job entails and that you have thought about your career. You should also use this opportunity to satisfy yourself about any aspects of the job or organization. Remember, it’s a two-way process!
Asking Your Own Questions Questions to Ask the Interviewer
About the Job
About the Organization
Asking Your Own Questions About the Job
"How would you describe a typical day for the person doing this job?"
"Could you give me a more detailed job description?"
"What are the priorities in this job?"
Every role has a strategic dimension, ask good interview questions that explore this and show your potential as the right candidate.
"How does this position interface with the objectives that have been set for the department?"
"What have been identified as the areas for change and improvement in this job?"
Asking Your Own Questions About Management The questions you ask in your job interview about the business management style will depend on who is interviewing you, the Hiring Manager or Human Resources. If HR is interviewing you, the type of interview question to ask is:
"Please describe the company's management style and the sort of employee who fits in well with it?"
"How is this position perceived by upper management in the company?"
"How will my performance be measured and by whom?"
"Can you describe the reporting structure for this position?"
Asking Your Own Questions About Management (cont.) If the Hiring Manager is doing the interview, questions to ask include:
"How do you like your subordinates to communicate with you?"
"What is your approach to solving problems?"
"How do you measure success on the job?"
"How do you communicate with your staff?"
"What are the most important things you look for in a member of your team or department?"
"How would you describe your own management style?"
Asking Your Own Questions About the Organization
"What is the company culture?"
"What are the future plans for growth and development?"
"What values does this company emphasize?"
"How would you describe the work environment at the company?"
Ask questions that demonstrate a strategic understanding of the company.
"What are the company's biggest challenges and how is it placed to meet those challenges?"
"What will be the likely changes in this industry in the next few years?"
Asking Your Own Questions Questions to Avoid Thoughtful and insightful interview questions will distinguish you from other job candidates, but as important as it is to ask good questions, avoiding bad questions is even more so. You can completely unravel the positive impression you have made during your job interview by asking inappropriate and ill-informed questions.
Asking Your Own Questions Questions to Avoid
About Company Benefits
Questions that raise a red flag
Asking Your Own Questions Avoid questions around company benefits:
"How many weeks leave do I get?“
"What type of health insurance does the company offer?"
"Are the working hours flexible?“
"How long is the lunch break?“
Asking Your Own Questions Avoid questions about pay: Some employers expect the candidates to bring it up but others regard it inappropriate at this point in the interview process. The general rule is that it is best to wait until you are further along in the job offer process before you bring up the subject of pay. Pay is another difficult issue. Interview questions about what you will earn are usually included in the list of interview questions not to ask! The most important rule when it comes to discussing your potential salary, never give the number first.
Asking Your Own Questions Avoid questions that raise a red flag:
"How much overtime would I have to work?“
Avoid asking questions about only one topic . The list of interview questions that you prepare should cover a variety of topics or you run the risk of appearing to lack the strategic ability to see the position in its entire context. These questions imply that you are reluctant to put in the extra hours or are unavailable for certain job requirements.
"Would I really have to work weekends?"
What To Do if You are Asked an Illegal Question?
You can answer the question
You can refuse to answer the question
You can examine the intent behind the question
Illegal Question You can answer the question
By answering the question you may actually help your chances of getting the job, particularly if you give the “right” answer.
You may also harm your chances of being hired if you give the “wrong” answer.
Doing so, however, may convey to the interviewer that you are not familiar with the laws relevant to the interview process.
Illegal Questions You can refuse to answer the question
You do have the right to not answer the illegal question. However, a flat refusal to answer may harm your chances of being hired for a position if the interviewer sees you as an uncooperative or stubborn person.
Illegal Questions You can examine the intent behind the question
When an interviewer asks an illegal question they are often trying to find out information about you that is not directly related to the job.
This third choice shows the interviewer that you are both aware of the law and able to quickly compromise and solve problems.
It is often easy to infer what the interviewer is really trying to find out from an illegal question.
A simple compromise to the problem is to respond to the question as it may apply to the job.
Illegal Questions Some alternatives to handling illegal questions You may feel more comfortable with one of these choices (which are just as valid as the first three) for responding to an illegal interview question:
Ignore the question and move on
Ask how the question relates to your qualifications or the requirements of the job