Job Interview Skills Work Book


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A self help guide for mastering the key components of the job interview.

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Job Interview Skills Work Book

  1. 1. The Work Book for the Interview Skills Clinic This self-help six-hour clinic is designed to enhance interview skills by documenting personal values and work ethic, job interests, job strengths, and long-term career objectives. Ten worksheets are provided for mastering the Job Interview and Career Decisions. Name: _____________________________________________ Address: _____________________________________________ Phone: _____________________________________________ eMail Address: _____________________________________________ Date: ________________________
  2. 2. Interview Skills Clinic Work Sheets for Mastering the Job Interview and Career Decisions 1. The Dream Job page 3 2. Plan to Meet the Employer's Needs page 4 3. Job Search Strategy page 5 4. Self-Assessment page 6 5. Interview Tips Checklists page 7 6. Power Greeting page 8 7. Power Answers page 9 8. Power Close page 10 9. Follow-up Plan page 11 10. The 40-Year Plan page 12 On-line Resources page 13 Author and Instructor Biography page 14 Date: _____________________ 2
  3. 3. The Dream Job Answering the following six questions will provide immediate enhancements to your interview skills by building your sense of dignity and self-esteem. Self-knowledge builds self-confidence. Self-confidence builds relationships. Relationships build employability. 1. What is your dream job? 2. Why is it your dream job? How does it meet your needs and satisfy your wants? 3. How do you find and get your dream job? 4. Where do you find your dream job? 5. When do you work at your dream job? 6. Who can help you with your dream job? Learn to Be Interviewed The best interviewee plans and prepares for the job interview by: 1. Identifying personal needs and wants from the workplace. 2. Documenting and defining needs and wants in a worksheet. 3. Researching jobs and employers that meet these needs and wants. 4. Networking, Contacting, Applying, and Interviewing with targeted employers. 5. Communicating and Confirming competence and confidence in the job interview. 6. Seeking new training and development opportunities to grow in the new job. These six things are what you need to do to get to the job offer (success). Your personal needs and wants are the starting and grounding point for the job and career you dream of achieving. Your needs and wants are your motivators for job interviewing success. Even the least prepared and greenest interviewer can sense if you are not motivated by the job. Take two minutes to write your needs (must haves) in the Why This Is My Dream Job section. Make the Why a strong witness to your job and career goals, and work ethic. 3
  4. 4. Plan to Meet the Employer's Needs The employer's list of the top ten things needed in new hires is a good starting point for developing answers to anticipated interview questions. In the space provided on the worksheet, write your best job-related example. 1. Communication Skills 2. Honesty and Integrity 3. Teamwork Skills 4. Interpersonal Skills 5. Motivation and Initiative 6. Strong Work Ethic 7. Analytical Skills 8. Flexibility and Adaptability 9. Computer Skills 10. Self Confidence Check all of the items on this worksheet that are also things you need in your Dream Job. Job wise, these are matches made in heaven. When your job needs match the employer's needs from a new hire you have job and career opportunity. Take a look at your My Dream Job work sheet to see if any of these needs are identified in Why This Is My Dream Job. 4
  5. 5. Job Search Strategy About 15 percent of available jobs are advertised. This means about 85 percent are not advertised. This means you can be 6 times as effective in job search when you tap the hidden job market. List your job search strategies for advertised jobs and those not advertised. Advertised Jobs - My Job Search Strategies Not Advertised Jobs - My Job Search Strategies 5
  6. 6. Self Assessment The following is a simple assessment that can help you quickly build a relationship in a job interview and find your own comfort zone. First, select the number that most nearly describes you. 1. Someone who tries to change, fix, and control things 2. Someone who tries to persuade, promote, or influence others 3. Someone who tries to be cooperative, supportive, and agreeable while keeping things stable 4. Someone who tries to work within established rules, guidelines and procedures to ensure accuracy and quality Now, list NEEDS for each number during the job interview. 1. 2. 3. 4. Now, list STRESSORS for each number during the job interview. 1. 2. 3. 4. Use this knowledge to be more responsive to the needs of the interviewer in the job interview. Adapt your body language, your pace, the emphasis on key points and key words in your answers, and your speaking voice to meet the needs of the interviewer. If in doubt, always default to your strategies for interviewing with number 4. This strategy is also effective with the other 3 predictable personality types. It meets everyone's basic needs in the job interview. You can reach your peak performance capability as an interviewee when you know and can manage your own personality preferences during the job interview. Knowing your preferences enables and empowers you to come across as more knowledgeable, flexible, adaptable and a team player in the job interview. 6
  7. 7. Interview Tips Checklist Prepare focused interview tips for each job interview in the following five areas. 1. Punctuality - What is your plan to be on-time for the interview? 2. Appearance - What is your plan to ensure a positive appearance at the interview? 3. Greeting - What is your plan to ensure a positive greeting to start the interview? 4. Exchange - What is your plan to ensure a positive exchange during the interview? 5. Close - What is your plan to ensure a positive close to the interview? 7
  8. 8. Power Greeting From the time the interviewer first sees you, you have less than 8 seconds to make a positive first impression and about 30 additional seconds to enhance that lasting impression before the interview begins. The First 8 Seconds - Dress the part - The minimum for a job interview is business casual. It is important to be consistent, or just slightly above the workplace dress code. Act the part - The minimum is well rested, well groomed, confident and appreciative. Look your interviewer in the eye when greeted and offer a firm handshake. The Next 30 Seconds - Communicate Clearly and Concisely - The minimum is "Nice to meet you." Share the why - the maximum is to tell what you think is special about the job and the employer and how your interests and experience match the job. Examples "This job and company have been a goal since I first learned of your reputation for leading edge technology and teamwork. I've always done my best work on new technology teams." "This job and company have been a goal since I first learned of your reputation for safety and customer service in this industry. I'm a people person and to me that means putting safety first in everything I do." Developing Your Power Greeting from the Career Success Guide - ECU Throughout your job search and especially when you are in a job interview, you need to be able to introduce yourself in a powerful way to people who don’t know you. What you say at that moment will set the tone for the rest of your interaction. To do this most effectively, you need a Power Greeting. A Power Greeting is like a “30-second commercial.” It provides just enough information to make the listener want to know more about you and sets a professional tone for the rest of your interaction. It is clearly in your best interest to control this introduction and advance preparation is the key. A Power Greeting is composed of three distinct parts and a follow-up question: 1) Your education and credentials (what you have studied). 2) Your experience in the field (employment, internship/ co-op, volunteer positions). 3) Your strengths (what you do best). 4) An open- ended probing question about their needs, problems, and challenges. 8
  9. 9. Power Answers Closed Questions - Some interview questions ask only for yes or no, or, a number. Limit your answer to yes or no, or the number. Open Questions - Some interview questions ask for a thoughtful answer. Answer these questions clearly, concisely, and correctly in a confident and structured manner. Behavioral Questions - Some open interview questions are asked to probe for examples of your past work performance for predictability of your future work performance. Learn as much as you can about the job from the job description, and people who have knowledge of the job, to help predict potential behavioral questions. Make the time to prepare answers to these questions in a structured manner with your best/favorite job related example before being interviewed. Situation - describe the situation Observation - describe your observations of the situation Decision - tell your decision Action - tell the action you took Result - tell the positive outcome on the work and the people involved Case Questions - Some questions are asked to test your thinking. Answer these questions in a manner that conveys your effective thought process. Confirm the Question Establish the Boundaries Consider the Elements Consider the Constraints Analyze the Components Describe the Thought Process Provide the Answer Example: How many stacked quarters (25 cents) would it take to reach the moon? Response: How many stacked quarters to reach the moon? Would these quarters be stacked edgewise, or flat? If edgewise then a quarter is approximately 1 inch. We would need 12 per foot times(x) 5,280 (feet per mile) times (x) 286,000 miles to reach the moon. Note: Your thought process is more important than the facts and getting the correct answer. 9
  10. 10. Power Close The interview close usually starts when the interviewer makes a statement such as "well that is all I need to know." You don't have much time left to impress when the interviewer closes the notes and lays down the pen. Be ready when you are asked, do you have any questions? The correct answer is yes. Then say, tell me what you like best about your job and this company? Listen and nod approvingly to the answer. The Second Question is: If you decide you need me in this job, when will I know, and when do I need to start? Listen carefully, make notes in your calendar and nod approvingly. The third and final question is: What training and development opportunities are available for this position, and what are the opportunities for advancement? Square your posture, make eye contact, lay down your pen, leave your writing hand on the table, turn your right ear slightly toward the interviewer and listen carefully. You are about to close the interview with a handshake, and hopefully, "we'll be in touch soon." When you have a power close you increase the probability of getting an offer because you've demonstrated strength in "active listening." Active listening is demonstrated by 1) timely questions, 2) focused key points, and 3) clearly identified next steps. Questions - Write the questions you plan to ask. Key Points - Write the key points you want to make in closing. Next Steps - Write the next steps you want to establish in closing . 10
  11. 11. Power Follow-up Plan Letters - List the letters you will write. eMails - List the emails you will send. Phone Calls - List the calls you will make. Documentation - List the documentation you plan to put in your interview file. Next Steps - List your planned next steps following the interview. 11
  12. 12. Your Career Plan This work sheet is great for helping to focus a person beginning a work career. It is an excellent tool for people; changing careers; mid-career; and, transitioning to retirement. If you are changing careers, at mid career, or transitioning to retirement, change 'plan to accomplish' to 'accomplished' in the sentences below. Use this work sheet to invent and re-invent your career. First Decade - Write what you plan to accomplish in the first 10 years of your career. Second Decade - Write what you plan to accomplish in the second decade of your career. Third Decade - Write what you plan to accomplish in the third decade of your career. Fourth Decade - Write what you plan to accomplish in the fourth decade of your career. And Then - This is what do you plan to do with the years that the first 40 years earned for you. 12
  13. 13. On-Line Resources Career Services - Pitt Community College Career Success Guide - East Carolina University Discover Your Perfect Career The number of websites offering job and career advice can be overwhelming. These 3 sites provide links to many of the best. Start locally and then go global only if needed. Select and save the advice you feel comfortable using. 13
  14. 14. The Job Interview Skills Work Book - Author Mitchell W. Manning Sr. P.O. Box 635, 600 Dell Street Robersonville, North Carolina 27871 Phone: (252)-795-3560 Cell: (252)-714-3481 Email: Mitch has extensive experience as an interviewee and interviewer. He has been interviewed during his career for jobs from day laborer to membership on executive boards. He has interviewed applicants from entry level to executive positions in industry, education, government, healthcare, and not-for-profit organizations. For more than twenty years he has shared his passion for mastering the job interview as an interviewee and interviewer with thousands of people. Mitch is a high-energy, business driven and customer focused professional with broad experience in quality systems improvement, assessment, analysis, and strategic planning in business, government, education, healthcare, and professional association environments. He delights in achieving organizational improvement through people by enhancing their development, involvement, and contributions to team success. Mitch believes every person can find their dream job and deserves a dream career. Internet links to Mitch are: LinkedIn: SlideShare: The SlideShare link can be used to access the Interview Skills Clinic powerpoint presentation. It is the companion piece for the Job Interview Skills Workbook. 14