Career Strategy interview 2011 2012


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This is an IE Business School Course for MBA students which provides the necessary skills to face complex interviews with potential employers.

This course is based on my experience over twenty years in executive search, in Russell Reynolds and Seeliger&Conde.

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Career Strategy interview 2011 2012

  1. 1. Career Strategy:Interview Skills andWorking with Recruiters
  2. 2. Today’s Agenda Figuring Out Where You Want to Work Interviewing Skills and Process Recommendations Mock Interview Homework Q&A
  3. 3. Do You Know What YouWant to Do?1. Country2. Corporate Culture3. Industry4. Function
  4. 4. KNOW YOURSELF• Strengths• Passion• Aspirations
  6. 6. Important Company Facts toInvestigateAdvancement HistoryEmployee Benefits Innovative, new productsCulture LocationsDress Code Management PhilosophyEnvironment Revenues, size, employeesEthics and Integrity Management structureFinancial Structure Progressive M&A activityGoals ReputationGrowth ( Organic, Status and CompetitionAcquisitions) StrategyStability Where they move or promoteTraining people
  7. 7. The Interview Process1. Preparation2. Introduction3. The Interview4. Closing Remarks5. Follow up
  8. 8. 1. Preparation• Google/LinkedIn/Facebook• Use your Network• Inside information• Related news stories/ current events
  9. 9. 2. Introduction• Appearance• Eye contact• Entrance & Handshake• Opening Statement• Body language• Personal Branding
  10. 10. 3. The Interview• Know answers to different questions• Highlight key strengths, skills and competencies• Market Yourself– Use Personality Descriptors and Action words• Use short anecdotes for support• PAR statement
  11. 11. 4. Closing Remarks• Any outstanding strategic questions• Clarify, Summarize• Express interest• Find out what the next steps are• Express gratitude
  12. 12. 5. Follow Up• Keep in touch• Email a thank you letter• Send articles of interest• Send updates regarding your projects, CV
  13. 13. Things to Remember• 85% of interviewers’ decisions are based on information gathered in the first 2 minutes• One unfavorable rating on one aspect leads to a reject decision 90% of the time• 60% + of communication consists of nonverbal body language• Most advertised jobs attract hundreds of applicants• Of these, 6-8 candidates are short-listed for interviews
  14. 14. What to Do and What to AvoidDO: AVOID: Demonstrate confidence and skills  Arrogance Formulate answers with 2 key points  Improvising Stop talking when you have answered a  Giving too much information question  Overtly disagreeing with Do have a point of view interviewer Do have your own agenda  Making assumptions Do leave the interview on a positive note  Criticizing former colleagues, Do come with questions in writing and bosses, others take notes
  15. 15. Communication• Know your opening and closing summary and ISP – Individual Selling Points• Concise, clear and to-the-point• Convey a high level of energy and enthusiasm• Be likeable• Focus on hard and soft skills - Downplay negative parts of your work history, skills and background
  16. 16. Communication• Be an active listener – connect with your interviewer• Focus on what you can do: short and long-term contributions to the company• Don’t be afraid of silence, pause• Don’t speak for more than 2 minutes• Read the situation and the body language of your interviewer Be ready for tough, inquisitive questions
  17. 17. What Interviewers Look For:• How do you think?• Can you plan & achieve results?• How will you interact with others?• Are you motivated to become a top performer?• How soon will you become productive?• Are you a high-potential hire?• Education, experience, knowledge, intellect, interpersonal skills and motivation.• Competencies, Strengths and limitations
  18. 18. Interviewer Questions Tell me about yourself?  Give an example of a time you What is your personal and worked in a team and any obstacles you faced? professional five-year goal?  Have you ever been put on the spot Why do you feel you can be by a professor or felt unsure of successful in this role? yourself? How did you respond? What are your greatest strengths  How do you go about convincing and weaknesses and how will they someone to accept your ideas? impact your performance here?  What do you consider your most How would you compare and rate significant accomplishment and your oral and written skills? failure, why? Tell me the top trends in your role /  Why did you choose to get an MBA area that are most relevant at the and why IE? moment?
  19. 19. Interviewer Questions (1) How should supervisors and  How do you think you can contribute subordinates interact? to this organization? How hard do you work to achieve  What makes you stand out from the your objectives? crowd of MBAs? What are some of the most creative  How do you describe success? things you have done?  What did you get out of business school? When have you been the most  Do you have any questions for me? intellectually challenged?  In what ways have you been a Do you feel qualified to be successful in this role and why? leader?
  20. 20. Interviewer Questions (2)• Give me a 3 minute overview of your career. Tell me about yourself.• Tell me about 2 trends in your field or area that are creating progress?• What do consider to be your core strength?• What differentiates you, or sets you apart, in the discipline of (finance, marketing, creative, business development, operations, legal etc.)• What are the 2 biggest or most interesting projects that youve worked on in your career?• Whats your greatest achievement in your current or last role?• What do you want to be doing in 2 years, in 5 years?• In what areas have you grown the most over the past 3 years (weaknesses)?Technical Acumen:• Tell me about an assignment you had which required you to own the product from start to finish.• Think of a complex problem you had to solve on your job. Tell me about what you did to find the primary cause of the problem.• Lets assume Im not familiar with your area of expertise, educate me on the latest happenings in ________(logistics/branding/web design/engineering, etc.).
  21. 21. Interviewer Questions (3)Entrepreneurial Personality:What have you done to either promote or discourage an "entrepreneurial spirit"within your work group or your organization?Describe a major change that you either started or had to manage. Tell me about theactions you took from start to finish.Tell me about a time when rapid change or shifting direction created a problem foryou at work.Sometimes we dont have all the information wed like when trying to make a decisionor solve a problem. Tell me about a time when you had to make a key decision basedon incomplete information, and what was the outcome of this decision?Tell me about a time when you had more problems to deal with than you had time for.How did you handle it?Team-Oriented:Tell me about a situation where you found it necessary to help another personimprove their professional skills.People sometimes feel the need to give us ideas or suggestions about how to solve aproblem or do our job. Could you give me an example of how you respond in thesesituations?Tell me about a time when someone who was obviously upset came to you forguidance in solving a serious problem.
  22. 22. Interviewer Questions (4)• Sociability:• Tell me about a situation or project where you had to work with or manage a person very different from you. What did you learn from the experience?• Most people prefer either to work alone or to work with others. Give me an example of a situation that reflects your preference.• Give me an example of a time when you decided that your work unit needed some "spirit", or a lift in morale. Tell me in detail what you did.• What have you done to develop your network of contacts. Tell me about one contact youve made that has been long-lasting and mutually helpful?• Style/Communication:• Tell me about how you manage a team on a project from start to finish. Describe your communication style and the way you give direction to your team.• Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a manager or a coworker and how you managed it?• How would your direct reports and people youve worked with describe you?• Im sure you realize the importance of reference checking in making a hiring decision. Tell me what you think your references will say about you.
  23. 23. Interviewer Questions (5)Keep these words and phrases in mind as good tools to easily describetraits of the interviewee:• Leadership Skills • Persuasiveness• Interpersonal Skills • Influence• Management Skills • Business Acumen • Achievement Orientation• Entrepreneurial Skills • Symbolic Thinking• Self-Management Skills • Communicates Vision• Computer Skills • Builds Commitment to Vision• Strategic Thinking • Judgement• Strategic Influence • Decisiveness • Attends to Details• Integrity • Negotiation
  24. 24. Useful Links••••••••
  25. 25. Prepare Interesting QuestionsGood questions are more powerful than answers• Ask Strategic questions• Ask about your future in the company• What other information do you need to make a decision?
  26. 26. Use Action Words toMarket YourselfReplace “Managed” and “Did” with these words:  Approved  Demonstrated  Represented  Accounted for  Established  Resolved  Advised  Exceeded  Recommended  Analyzed  Expanded  Spearheaded  Achieved  Enhanced  Strengthened  Attained  Facilitated  Supervised  Budgeted  Implemented  Sustained  Balanced  Identified  Turned around  Created  Motivated  Integrated  Convinced  Orchestrated  Revised  Directed  Performed  Recruited  Coordinated  Produced  Proved  Designed  Reduced  Initiated
  27. 27. Personality Descriptors Aware  Goal-Oriented Appreciative  Integrity Assertive  Inquisitive Adaptable  Insightful Balanced  Mature Committed  Optimistic Compassionate  Patient Cooperative  Reliable Decisive  Resourceful Discreet  Risk-taking Diplomatic  Self-confident Motivator  Sense of humor Efficient  Sincere Enthusiastic  Thorough Flexible  Quick learner Forgiving  Creative Generous  Strategic
  28. 28. Use Par Statements to HighlightAchievements• Problem faced………..situation, challenge faced• Actions taken…………what you did – analysis, decision, execution• Results………….quantifiable achievements, personal satisfaction, enjoyment, acknowledgment, what you learned from experience
  29. 29. Getting Facts on Salary and Position • Are they expecting me to negotiate? • How did they arrived at this offer? Was there a range? • Would the package look different pre-crisis? • Is the highest offer made for this position? • Do I have a specific skill for this job that’s unique thus allowing me to negotiate harder? • Who is the key decision maker? • Who else would be involved in negotiating the terms? • How long has this position been open? • How have they been finding candidates for this position? • Were others in this job promoted or why did they leave the company? • What was their background? • What is the value of this role to the department ?To the company?
  30. 30. Connecting With ExecutiveRecruiters• Recommendations• Cold Calls, Send CV• Offer help• PR• Differentiation - Interesting CV -Academic or business performance - Specific, unique skillset and/or knowledge• Networking
  31. 31. Recruiters Look For• Preparedness • Show ability to take initiative• Confidence • Quick learner• Discretion • Accept challenges• The ability to think strategically • Show successful track record• Sense of Humor • Modesty and moderation• Energy and motivation • Multicultural ,Diversity• Active listening skills • Influence• Flexibility/Adaptability • Leadership skills• Team player • Networking skills• Assertiveness • Focus• Knowledge • USP • Creativity
  32. 32. Homework for Mock-Interviews•Deepen your Self-Understanding (3 key points)• List companies you want to work for• Prepare in-depth your interviewing Q/A•Bring Career Leader evaluation
  33. 33. Any
  34. 34. Interesting Follow Up Reading• The Economist, September 10th, “The Quest for Jobs”.• Website:, search for “Interview Skills” and “Salary Negotiations” powerpoint presentations.