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Slam Dunk the Interview


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Tips on how to make the most of your interview.

Published in: Career, Business
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Slam Dunk the Interview

  1. 1. Sponsored in part by Workforce Development Agency, State of Michigan, Michigan Works!, through your local Workforce Development Board and Muskegon County Board of Commissioners. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities EEO/ADA/Employer/Programs - TTY# - 711. Slam Dunk the Interview And Win the Job!
  2. 2. Do interviews SCARE you? Do you get NERVOUS and forget what to say?
  3. 3. Remember…YOU were asked to be interviewed because they believe you might be the right person for the position. The interview is your opportunity to confirm their belief!
  4. 4. Preparing for the “Big Game”… the Interview! Do your Research • Visit the company website • Organization size and location of facilities • Product line or service, potential markets, competitors • Mission and Vision statements
  5. 5. Know Yourself • What special skills do you have? • Analyze your strengths and weaknesses • Review your accomplishments • Make a list of your best “selling points” for the position Preparing for the “Big Game”… the Interview!
  6. 6. Prepare Yourself • Who is interviewing you? • What special skills/experience are required? • Where is it located? • How should you dress? • What should you bring with you? Preparing for the “Big Game”… the Interview!
  7. 7. Do you practice for an interview? YOU SHOULD! Practice Your Drills!
  8. 8. “I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don’t do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results.” Michael Jordan
  9. 9. You never get a 2nd chance to make a first impression… and you only have a few seconds to do it! First impressions affect the rest of the interview.
  10. 10. How to Ace the Interview
  11. 11. • The hiring decision usually gets made early in the interview • All researchers agree that the “die is cast in the beginning” within the first 1-5 minutes Start Strong!  Dress to Impress  Be Early  Be Smart  Be Friendly 
  12. 12. • Send the right non-verbal signals; make good eye contact • Build good rapport • Communicate carefully • Be enthusiastic Be a “Star” Candidate
  13. 13. • Market yourself with conviction and confidence • Be clear and concise • Participate, don’t dominate • Ask questions • Close well Be a “Star” Candidate
  14. 14. Telephone Interviews • Pick a quiet setting • Avoid interruptions and allow plenty of time • Speak clearly and listen well • You don’t have the advantage of body language • Have your notes at your fingertips
  15. 15. Panel Interviews • Typically 2-5 interviewers • Smile and introduce yourself to each person • Try to connect with each person • Shake hands with all members before leaving
  16. 16. Group Interviews • Multiple people interviewed at the same time • You don’t need to dominate • Be interactive • Interject with well thought out content when it is appropriate • Listen, listen, listen
  17. 17. Prove by Example  Situation: Briefly describe what happened.  Task: Explain the goal that needed to be achieved.  Action: Emphasize the specific action you took to solve the situation or complete the task.  Results: Close with the result. What outcomes were achieved? Use the STAR Method
  18. 18. “Tell me about yourself.” • This wide-open question is a gold mine • Sell yourself; don’t give your life story • Use your “30 second drill” or “elevator speech” • Showcase accomplishments, strengths, adaptability, flexibility, and results
  19. 19. “Why did you leave your last job?” • Never talk badly about an employer • Be honest yet discreet • Turn a perceived negative into a positive • Focus on what you’ve learned in your previous position and how you are ready to use those skills in your new position
  20. 20. • Be honest • Overcoming being fired is difficult—make sure you’ve taken the time to get your confidence back • Don’t “shout it from the rooftops,” but be ready to discuss the situation if it is brought up • Show how you have objectively analyzed and learned from the situation • If you were fired for misconduct, convince them it won’t happen again What if you were fired? “Why did you leave your last job?”
  21. 21. Example Answers Layoff: “I really enjoyed working at ABC Company. I was able to apply my skills in ______ and develop new skills in _____ . Because of the economy, the company decided to eliminate 6 departments, including mine.” Quit: “I enjoy challenges and learning new things. I decided to look for a job with higher levels of responsibility and where my ______ skills would be used more fully.” Fired: “I enjoyed my job at ABC company and did well in the _____ department. Unfortunately, I had car problems that caused me to be late and miss work. I was terminated because of points. My supervisor said he was sorry to see me go because I was a good worker with an eye for detail. I now have reliable transportation, so you can be assured I will be here on time or early every day! “Why did you leave your last job?”
  22. 22. • Companies want to recruit people who are enthusiastic about their products • Use your company research • Relate your career goals and give evidence that you can make a contribution “Why do you want to work for us?”
  23. 23. “What are your greatest strengths?” • You are really being asked, “Do you have what it takes to effectively do this job?” • Align your strengths with the key functions of the job opening • Support your answer with examples
  24. 24. “What are your weaknesses?” • The employer is looking for proof that you can identify your areas of development and then do something about them • Minimize weaknesses and emphasize strengths • After naming a weakness, discuss what you have done to overcome it • Pick a weakness that you have overcome or explain how you will develop the skill within their organization
  25. 25. “Give an example of a problem you’ve faced on the job and how you handled it.” • This is a problem-solving question that tests your critical thinking skills • Show that you are a creative and capable problem solver • Try to tailor your answer to a problem that you are likely to face on the job
  26. 26. “Tell me about a time you had to work with someone you didn’t get along with. How did you handle it?” • Stay positive • Explain your ability to get along with others • Provide evidence of success or great effort
  27. 27. “What challenges do you think you’ll face in this job?” • The interviewer is trying to extract real fears and apprehensions about the problems you would face in this role • Show how you can fulfill the needs of the company • Demonstrate confidence and anticipation rather than fear and concern
  28. 28. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” • The interviewer wants to see if the position fits in your overall career goals • Show interest in the position as well as your growth in the company • Be honest, realistic, and positive
  29. 29. “Do you have any questions?” • Prepare several questions beforehand • Show your interest by tailoring questions to that specific company and position • Ask for constructive criticism • Never request information about pay or benefits
  30. 30. • The employer may be concerned that you’ll grow dissatisfied and leave • They might be worried about how well you would work with a line manager and peer groups which are potentially younger and less qualified than you • Give a clear picture of why you’re interested in the position and how you’re the best fit What if you’re overqualified?
  31. 31. What to Avoid • Never lie • Never criticize • Never ask about pay or compensation • Don’t be late • Don’t be arrogant • Avoid touchy subjects: ex-boss, spouse, health
  32. 32. Reviewing the Game Plan! 1. Keep your answers brief and concise 2. Include concrete, quantifiable data 3. Support your strengths with examples 4. Prepare 5 or more success stories 5. Put yourself on their team
  33. 33. Reviewing the Game Plan! 6. Be conscious of your nonverbal communication 7. Ask questions 8. Maintain a conversational flow 9. Research the company 10.Keep an interview journal
  34. 34. After the Interview • Send a thank you note or email • Keep a log or journal • Take any steps suggested by the interviewer • Stay positive
  35. 35. “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Michael Jordan
  36. 36. Like what you saw? We hope you found this information helpful. Check us out at • Give us any questions/comments/concerns • See our workshop schedule • Learn more about Michigan Works! Muskegon-Oceana