Interview Prep Guide
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Interview Prep Guide Interview Prep Guide Presentation Transcript

  • Interview Preparation Guide Gunn & Associates, Inc. © G&A | Courtesy Copy for Individual Use Only http://www.gunnassoc.com | bill@gunnassoc.com
  • Universal Hiring Rule  "Any employer will hire any applicant as long as they are convinced that the hiring will bring more value than it costs." Tom Jackson Guerrilla Tactics in the New Job Market, Bantam Books, March 1991, page 176 August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 2
  • Develop statements of value [accomplishments] for use in your resume and to score points when you interview. Accomplished Achieve Acquired Administered Advised Analyzed Approved Arrange Assigned Authorized Bought Budgeted Built Canceled Closed Completed Composed Conceived Conducted Consolidated Contributed Controlled Converted Coordinated many more A – Z Review the entire list and see how many accomplishments you can list, especially over the past three to five years... August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 3 View slide
  • Accomplished • achieved • acquired • administered • advised • analyzed • approved • arranged • assigned • authorized • began • bought • budgeted • built • canceled • closed • completed • composed • conceived • conducted • consolidated • contributed • controlled • converted • coordinated • created • decreased • delivered • demonstrated • designed • developed • devised • directed • displayed • doubled • earned • edited • engineered • eliminated • employed • ended • established • expanded • evaluated • exhibited • financed • formed • formulated • founded • gained • generated • graduated • guided • handled • headed • hired • implemented • improved • improvised • increased • initiated • inspected • installed • innovated • instructed • interviewed • introduced • invented • judged • launched • led • located • made • maintained • managed • manufactured • marketed • merged • mobilized • modified • mentored • negotiated • opened • operated • ordered • organized • originated • packaged • participated • performed • piloted • planned • prepared • processed • produced • promoted • proposed • provided • published • purchased • raised • ran • recommended • recruited • redesigned • reduced • reorganized • reported • researched • reviewed • revised • scheduled • selected • served • serviced • settled • set up • simplified • sold • solved • sparked • staffed • started • streamlined • strengthened • stretched • structured • submitted • succeeded • supervised • supplied • taught • terminated • tested • traced • tracked • traded • trained • transferred • transformed • translated • traveled • trimmed • tripled • uncovered • underwrote • unified • unraveled • utilized • vacated • verified • vitalized • won • withdrew • worked • wrote • Zapped ☺ August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 4 View slide
  • What are some of your own special qualities? Have any of the following traits contributed to your past success? Analytical Energetic Perceptive Confident Enthusiastic Persuasive Considerate Flexible Positive Cooperative Inventive Reliable Creative Loyal Resourceful Decisive Motivated Responsible Dedicated Optimistic Team-player Dependable Organized Tenacious Determined Patient Versatile What do employers value? Check out the full list… August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 5
  • Adept | aggressive | alert | ambitious | amiable | analytical | articulate | assertive balanced | bright | calm | capable | careful | cautious | cheerful | compassionate composed | competent | competitive | concise | confident | considerate | consistent cooperative | courageous | creative | credible | decisive | dedicated | deliberate dependable | determined | dignified | direct | diligent | discrete | effective energetic | enthusiastic | experienced | expressive | faithful | firm | flexible forceful | generous | grateful | happy | healthy | helpful | high energy | honest hopeful | imaginative | incisive | independent | inquisitive | initiative | insightful integrity | interested | inventive | jovial | keen | knowledgeable | likeable | loyal mature | meticulous | mindful | modest | motivated | neat | nice | objective optimistic | organized | original | patient | persevering | perceptive | poised polite | persuasive | positive | productive | professional | punctual | quiet questioning | reasonable | reliable | resolute | resourceful | responsible | risk-taking self-control | self-reliant | shrewd | sincere | stable | successful | tactful | team builder team player | technical | tenacious | thankful | thorough | thoughtful | trustworthy understanding | versatile | vigorous | well-rounded | wise | Zealous Do you see yourself in some of these strengths? August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 6
  • Interview Elements An experienced interviewer will want to learn as much about you as possible and may conduct a structured interview. Be prepared!   Work History and Experience. employment stability • relevance of experience   Job-related Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. technical competence • level of sustained performance • accomplishments   Job Interest and Motivation. industry, company/organization, position/profession   Education and Training. formal education • professional training/certifications • continuing education   Personal Characteristics and Strengths. "fit" for position, department, or organization • "corporate culture" match characteristics valued by organizations: adaptability • cooperation • creativity enthusiasm • high energy • perseverance • collaborative • performance driven August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 7
  • Interview Questions #1 Work History/Experience 1.  Why are you in the job market today? 2.  How did you acquire your last three positions? 3.  Which of your past companies would you be most eager to rejoin? Why? 4.  What would references from previous employers reveal? 5.  What two work accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? 6.  Do you have an employment agreement, a non- compete or non-solicitation agreement? . August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 8
  • Interview Questions #2 Knowledge, Skills, Abilities 1.  Tailor questions for each specific position. For example, service delivery manager questions might address:   Customer satisfaction   Cost management   Decision making and problem solving   Productivity and people management   Leadership   Interpersonal/organizational effectiveness 2.  Your questions might be framed as: –  “Tell me about a time when ...” or –  “Describe a situation when ...” August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 9
  • Interview Questions #3 Motivation for the Job, Department Mission, company and the Industry. 1.  Why are you in the job market today? 2.  What attracts you to our company? 3.  How were you referred to us? 4.  Why do you feel this job is a good fit for you? 5.  What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort? August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 10
  • Interview Questions #4 Education and Training (life-long-learning) 1.  How do you stay up to date technically? 2.  What has been your most significant academic achievement? 3.  Why would those who know you best say that you are committed to lifelong learning? 4.  Are you presently pursuing any certifications or professional development? Explain. 5.  What development goals have you recently established for yourself? August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 11
  • Interview Questions #5 Personal Strengths and Lominger Skills 1.  What would your past bosses say are some of your special strengths or characteristics? 2.  How do you stay cool under pressure in very complex and difficult situations? 3.  Tell me about a time you overcame resistance inside the organization to get a project done. 4.  Have your team-building skills been recognized in past performance reviews or career discussions? 5.  What would your coworkers say is their biggest challenge working with you? August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 12
  • Questions You Can Ask 1.  Why isn't this job being filled from within the company? 2.  Can you draw me an organization chart so I can see where I fit in? 3.  How many people have held this position over the past five years? 4.  Was the last person to hold this position promoted? 5.  What reputation does the department have within the company? 6.  How has this position been filled in the past? 7.  What are some accomplishments produced by past incumbents? 8.  How many people are interviewing for this position? 9.  What do you like most about this company? 10.  May I talk with the person who last held this position? 11.  How do employees like working for the company? 12.  Is turnover an issue? 13.  What qualifications are most important for this position? 14.  Given your priorities what results would you like me to accomplish first? 15.  What is the salary and performance levels of these subordinates? 16.  How would you describe the organization's culture? 17.  What is the biggest problem facing the department right now? 18.  How soon will you decide if you want to make me an offer? August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 13
  • Problem Solvers ► Solutions focused, stick to the issues, and persistently strive for the best solutions given the realities of the situation. ► Open to reason. ► Use good people skills, showing genuine concern for others, treating people with respect, and making them feel valued. ► Use problem solving skills, identifying the issues, exploring alternatives, and agreeing on solutions. ► Willing to own responsibility for their behavior and to remove their part of the problem. ► Good self-control and good control over their tongue. ► Good listeners who listen intently to the opinions of others. ► Peacemakers who are good at turning conflict into problem solving. ► Stay objective regardless of what others do or say. ► Straightforward, honest and can be trusted to present information accurately. ► Willing to confront, level, offer constructive criticism, or take a stand, but do so by attacking problems and not people. ► Open to feedback, teachable, and eager to learn and improve. ► Style facilitates problem solving and increases the probability of communications, cooperation, and good relations. Credit to Author Dr. D.D. Warrick Ask about the Harley-Davidson success story! August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 14
  • Initiative in Performance Consider the value you bring to your organization in the day-to-day working relationship you establish with your manager. Employee "Mode of Operations" Value to Organization * 1. Take Action and Advise Routinely Highest Value 2. Take Action and Advise Immediately Higher Value 3. Recommend and Take Action High Value _________________________________ ________________________ 4. Ask what to do... Low Value 5. Watch, wait… do nothing… No Value Adapted from: "Management time: Who's got the monkey? William Oncken, Jr. and Donald L. Wass Harvard Business Review, November - December 1974. August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 15
  • Job Factors Analysis What motivational factors are important to you? Check off  at least seven (7) "job factors" that are important to you: ☐ job security ☐having input into performance goals and standards ☐ opportunities for promotion ☐working for a prestigious company ☐ chance to express ideas and suggestions ☐challenging and interesting work ☐respect as an individual ☐entrepreneurial opportunities ☐developing policy ☐ minimal unplanned activities ☐good pay ☐reasonable work hours ☐opportunities for improving knowledge and skills ☐flexible work hours ☐recognition for good work performed ☐responsibility and authority ☐good benefits program ☐pleasant working conditions ☐business travel ☐performance-based promotions from within ☐being kept informed ☐good organizational communications ☐getting along with others ☐having a supervisor I respect ☐leading and developing a staff ☐opportunities to "make things happen” and have a major impact ☐ knowing what is expected of me on the job ☐having an important job ☐support from my immediate supervisor ☐working as part of a team ☐high performance standards requiring a "stretch“☐ ability to work on my own ☐structured work environment ☐not having to work too hard ☐influence with my supervisor ☐desirable work and living location August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 16
  • After the Interview Post-Interview review and critique.   Did you cover your strengths and accomplishments?   What went well? What did not go well?   How motivated are you by the position, department priorities, and company?   Summarize the interview in writing within an hour for your review and follow-up "Thank you" Letter.   Up-beat and concise, summary your value.   Focus on at least one point made by the interviewer: "I enjoyed hearing your views on..."   Confirm any action items or "next steps" discussed during the interview.   Include any strength that you were unable to present during the interview.   Position and company appear to be a good fit for you? Ask for an offer! Follow-up. Call back at a specific time.   Demonstrates professionalism, dependability and a sincere interest in the job. August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 17
  • Regarding References Most corporations have policies that restrict references due to liability issues. Limited information like name, job title, and employment dates will usually be confirmed only by HR staff. But you can still call on former bosses, coworkers, direct reports, business associates, suppliers, etc. Your references may be asked questions like these: 1.  How long have they known you? 2.  What was or is their relationship to you?! 3.  What do they know of your major accomplishments? 4.  Do they know why you left past positions?! 5.  What are your strengths and your development needs?! 6.  Did you get along well with others?! 7.  Are they able and willing to forecast your future job potential? It’s okay to “coach” your references. August 2008 Gunn & Associates, Inc. © 2008 18