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CalCPA Interview workshop 2013


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All the information you need to prepare and practice for your next interview.

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CalCPA Interview workshop 2013

  1. 1. Interview Workshop How to prepare and practice for an interview. Sarah Clifford,
  2. 2. BEFORE THE INTERVIEW Sarah Clifford,
  3. 3. Preparation • Research the Company: – Company website – Social media – News – Other websites Sarah Clifford,
  4. 4. Company Website • • • • • • Product or services Mission, vision statement Awards Culture Job description Employees Sarah Clifford,
  5. 5. Social Media: Culture • LinkedIn company page & interviewer personal pages • Facebook • Twitter Questions to consider: Do the employees at that organization care about the same things you care about? Will you get along? Examples of things to look for: organizations where people bring dogs to work, play ping pong in the middle of the workday, chef or free meals, shuttles, have paid time off to do community service together. Look up the people interviewing you on linkedin and bring up questions that relate to their backgrounds later, or people you know in common. Sarah Clifford,
  6. 6. News • Google news, yahoo news… search filters • Startups: Techcrunch, Venturebeat, Pandodaily, Mashable, • SF/SJ/SV Business Journal Look for: Financials and key figures, recent or new products or services, any mergers & acquisitions, what makes company unique. Current events in not only the company but also their industry. Sarah Clifford,
  7. 7. Other Websites • Wikipedia • Glassdoor: INTERVIEW TIPS!!! • Startups: Crunchbase Look for: employee #s, offices, founding team, funding if startup, story of how company was created, what its growth has been and what its growth potential is for the future Glassdoor: prior interview tips from people who have interviewed in the past. Sarah Clifford,
  8. 8. Sarah Clifford,
  9. 9. Practice • Create an accomplishment sheet • Prepare & practice answers to most common interview ?s • Using your research, come up with ?s tailored to the company AND industry to ask the interviewer • Using job description, prepare ?s in regards to the role/responsibilities • Practice interviewing with a friend Sarah Clifford,
  10. 10. Interviewer Wants to See: • A track record of high energy and team leadership • A demonstrated record of comparable past performance • A strong ability to adapt and produce results in a new environment Sarah Clifford,
  11. 11. Accomplishment Sheet • Create a chart of each of your prior jobs, internships, experiences (can include being an officer in an organization) • Take note of your major accomplishments in each role that relate to this job • Ensure you bring up these accomplishments when you are being interviewed! Try to sneak them into your answers & tie them to specific things found in the job description. • Using job description, try to give examples of how you have done each role/responsibility listed. TRY TO MARKET YOURSELF BASED ON THE JOB DESCRIPTION! Sarah Clifford,
  12. 12. Introduction First Impression= VERY important • Offer to shake hands upon meeting, smile “I’m Sarah Clifford, it’s a pleasure to meet you” • “Tell me about yourself” – Explain background – Why interested in job/ company – Focus on recent experiences/qualifications that will allow you to excel in the job you are interviewing for – Tidbit about you personally in order to connect on a person level – Short & sweet Sarah Clifford,
  13. 13. Interview Questions • Traditional Questions – Get to know you – Relate to your resume • Behavioral Questions – Past performance to predict future performance – Require you give specific examples – STAR Technique Sarah Clifford,
  14. 14. Traditional Questions • What are 2 strengths you possess? A weakness? What have you done about it? Give example for strength. Weakness: show what you have been doing to overcome it • What is my biggest challenge at work? Make sure it’s not an important essential duty for this position for which you are interviewing • What is the most difficult thing to communicate? They are looking for you to demonstrate leadership • What is important in your next job? Make SPECIFIC to the job description • What is your current salary and bonus? What do you expect from this company? DO NOT give a specific figure, tell them you are looking for an opportunity to grow, in an exciting company, if they really hone in on this, give a range, the recruiters job is to do the negotiating for you Sarah Clifford,
  15. 15. • What is your 5-year career plan? 10-year etc Don’t say you will have the interviewers job, comes across as cocky • Why do you want to leave your current job? Try not to say anything bad about your prior (or current job) be positive. • Why are you considering our company? Basically what do you know about this company, have you researched it. • What is the most challenging project you have worked on? Explain why it was challenging and then show how you successfully accomplished it Sarah Clifford,
  16. 16. Behavioral Questions • Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way. • Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills. • Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it. • Tell me about a time when you had to use your presentation skills to influe nce someone's opinion. • Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were re quired to prioritize your tasks. Sarah Clifford,
  17. 17. STAR Technique The BEST way to answer behavioral questions? Use STAR What was the Situation or Task Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand. Th is situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience or any relevant event. What was the Action you took Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discuss ing a group project or effort, describe what you did -- not the efforts of the team. Don't tel l what you might do, tell what you did What were the Results What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn Sarah Clifford,
  18. 18. Questions for Interviewer Show CONFIDENCE & remain positive at all times. Make sure the hiring manager sees that you want this job! • What are the main areas of responsibility for this position? Try and get a % answer. • What will be the greatest challenges? This will allow you to demonstrate how you will add value to the organization. • Why do the people you meet like working for your company, Why did they come here? • Do you have any concerns about my abilities to perform this function? This shows you are confident, interested and allows you to address the concern with the hiring manager. • In your view what are some of the biggest challenges which your company faces at this time? Sarah Clifford,
  19. 19. Top 10 Things Not to Say In a Job Interview 1) “How much does this job pay?” Don't be the first to bring up salary 2) Don’t bad mouth your boss 3) Anything that assumes you have the job 4) “I hate my job” 5) Anything flirty 6) I have no weaknesses, just make sure the quality isn’t a big part of the job. Show how you have worked towards improving this weakness. 7) Why have earnings dropped this past quarter? Nothing negative! 8) Can I work from home? Vacation policy? Ask after offer 9) “You will regret it if you don’t hire me” 10) “I have no questions for you” Sarah Clifford,
  20. 20. Remember… • Be able to explain reasons for leaving all prior opportunities and ensure that the response is positive. • Rather than lack of opportunity at your former employer, “I was looking for some new challenges in my career that were not available” is a much better answer. Sarah Clifford,
  21. 21. Closing the Interview • Always ask questions • Leave with final statement expressing your desire for the job • Get interviewer’s contact information or business card for follow up • Firm handshake and thank them for their time • Thank you note or email due in 48 hours! Sarah Clifford,
  22. 22. THE INTERVIEW Sarah Clifford,
  23. 23. Dress to Impress • Dress conservatively and preferably in darker colors, pay attention to all facets of your dress and grooming. • Go to the bathroom right before to ensure you look presentable. Sarah Clifford,
  24. 24. Make a Good Impression • • • • • • • Sit upright in your chair. Look alert and interested at all times. Be a good listener as well as a good talker. Smile. Shake hands firmly Appear confident but not cocky Act as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing, even if you are no longer interested in it. Never close the door on opportunity. It is better to be in the position where you can choose from a number of jobs. Sarah Clifford,
  25. 25. What to Bring • List of references, preferably former managers or peers (3-4) • Resume • Business cards • Directions • Notepad & pen Sarah Clifford,
  26. 26. Arrive 10 minutes EARLY!!! • Know the exact place and time of the interview, the interviewer's full name, the correct pronunciation and his/her title Sarah Clifford,
  27. 27. POST INTERVIEW Sarah Clifford,
  28. 28. Sarah Clifford,
  29. 29. Thank You Note • Send out an email thank you note immediately within 48 hours (better if 24 hours) thanking the interviewer and reiterating your interest in the job. • Use your thank you note as a way to provide information on anything regarding your qualifications you didn't get a chance to mention during the phone interview. • Try to add a personal touch such as something you guys spoke about. Ex) Upcoming ski trip Sarah Clifford,
  30. 30. MOCK INTERVIEW • Breakup into partners, 1 person will be the employer & the other will be the interviewee. • Employer: – Selects company & title – Asks “Tell me about yourself” for elevator pitch – 3 questions to ask interviewee. (Mix traditional & behavioral) • Interviewee: – Presents their “elevator pitch” – 2 questions to ask employer on company/role Remember proper introduction & close. Then switch roles. Sarah Clifford,