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Do's and Don'ts of a Job Interview


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This was a presentation given in March 2010 to a Careers Class at the University of Georgia. For full details on each topic, visit, in the "Topics" pull down sections select "Lecture". This will pull all post from this lecture with detailed information.

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Do's and Don'ts of a Job Interview

  1. 1. Do’s and Don’ts of a Job Interview March 30, 2010
  2. 2. Get Their Attention <ul><li>A young student wanted to get into a University that had very stringent standards and was known for its 'creative' students. He was taken into the interview room and met by a gentleman sitting behind a large newspaper. With no eye-contact whatsoever the interviewer said &quot;You have exactly 30 seconds to get my attention&quot; and continued to read his outstretched paper. </li></ul><ul><li>...he passed the interview! </li></ul>
  3. 3. Phone Screen Tips <ul><li>N ever be caught unprepared.  If you receive an unexpected call for a phone interview and feel unprepared, request a time (within a few hours) to conduct the phone interview.  This gives you time to prepare things such as good questions (3-5, more than that should be in-person), researching the company/person calling and other critical items. </li></ul><ul><li>A lways prepare like it is an in person interview.  Anytime I have conducted a phone interview and hear shuffling of paper, or keyboard strokes, it is a huge negative (I may assume you are cheating with Google)!  If it helps, put on your interview suit and conduct the phone interview in full interview mode. </li></ul><ul><li>I nterview in a quiet place with limited NO distractions!  No matter who/what the distraction is (children, pets, spouses, Publishers Clearinghouse at the door with your check), NO DISTRACTIONS! </li></ul><ul><li>L and line.  Essential!  Phone interviews while driving will drop off (no matter your provider), they will break up and you can not focus on the road and the 1st step in the interview process. </li></ul><ul><li>I nitiate request for in person interview and open the door for more information about yourself.  Be certain to ask for the in-person ASAP.  Your schedule IS clear at some point in the next 72 business hours!  Yes, it really is! </li></ul><ul><li>T alk with confidence.  Confidence will come across in your voice, in your answers.  Confidence is a direct reflection of your preparation and practice.  Do both of these relentlessly. </li></ul>
  4. 4. 7 Second Impression <ul><li>Confidence! </li></ul><ul><li>Firm Handshake </li></ul><ul><li>Eye Contact – look them directly in the eye </li></ul><ul><li>Direct and simple introduction;  “Hello, my name is ____, it is great to meet you! </li></ul>
  5. 5. 29 Minute 53 Seconds <ul><li>Knowledgeable:  Do your homework and know more about the person and company than what is on their website. </li></ul><ul><li>3 degrees:  reach out to somebody that knows somebody and pick their brain!  More than a website! </li></ul><ul><li>Honest & Transparent:  Tell the truth about your resume, don’t make excuses for shortcomings, but offer solutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t Be a Bad Date:  Be interesting, offer stories that are short, to the point and highlight successes and mistakes you learned from. </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in the conversation:  Just like above, it is a two-way conversation.  Don’t just ask questions about sales volume, benefits etc.  Instead, discuss how your long-term goals match with the company’s strategy. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Key Categories <ul><li>Personality </li></ul><ul><li>Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Long Term Outlook </li></ul>
  7. 7. Personality <ul><li>Attitude </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Approachability </li></ul><ul><li>Professionalism </li></ul>
  8. 8. Experience <ul><li>Jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul>
  9. 9. Relationship <ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Real World Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Business Acumen </li></ul>
  10. 10. Communication <ul><li>Written </li></ul><ul><li>Verbal </li></ul><ul><li>Body Language </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to listen </li></ul>
  11. 11. Long Term Outlook <ul><li>Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Goals </li></ul>
  12. 12. General <ul><li>Do’s </li></ul><ul><li>Don’ts </li></ul><ul><li>Always </li></ul>
  13. 13. Common Questions <ul><li>Tell me about yourself? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your greatest accomplishment? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your greatest strength? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your weakness? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you handle stress? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the toughest problem you have faced and how did you overcome? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you want this position? </li></ul><ul><li>Why are you the best person for this job? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Any Last Questions? <ul><li>Often the interviewer's last question is, &quot;Do you have any questions for me?&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Not having questions indicates a lack of initiative. It also gives the impression that you have minimal interest in the position. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Prepare Your Questions <ul><li>Prepare your questions in advance. </li></ul><ul><li>Relate them to the company or its accomplishments/challenges (your research of the company will show and further impress the interviewer). </li></ul><ul><li>Don't ask any question that indicate a lack of research about the company. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Ask The Interviewer <ul><li>What do you enjoy most about working here? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there anything I've mentioned that makes you think I'm not the best candidate for this job? </li></ul><ul><li>When do you expect to make your final decision? </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Alex Putman </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>@ alexputman </li></ul><ul><li>Go to blog and search “interview” for applicable articles include or click the links below: </li></ul><ul><li>Write a Kick Butt Resume </li></ul><ul><li>Phone Interviews – How to NAIL It </li></ul><ul><li>007 ( Inter)View to a Kill </li></ul><ul><li>Be the Boss Hogg of Your Job Interview </li></ul>