Interview Tips and Techniques


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  • All resumes are beginning to look the same. Bolding is okay, but specific to the job and bold intelligently
  • Resume is your introduction What are you doing now? What are you really good at? What is your passion?
  • This is one time you need to pay attention to the fluff.
  • Lose earrings (ladies, minimize jewelry), cover tattoos, keep long hair pulled back. Business casual is okay if you know it is the dress code, but a suit is always best. Nice notebook & pen Resume If someone presented your resume, have a copy of that version.
  • Men & women’s body language say different things. Women are generally noisier with their body language. Be especially aware with opposite gender interviewer. Stand when meeting. Firm, brief, dry handshake. Sit slightly forward, but don’t invade space. Maintain eye contact Be aware that you may be watched and evaluated at all times. Phone interview? Consider doing the same things. It will come through in your voice.
  • Allow interviewer to run the interview, but be active, not a passive participant.
  • Never say, “It’s on my resume.”
  • More to being a success than technical ability. BTW – behavioral interviewing questions. This is a “negative” question. No one’s perfect. Respond with the negative situation, neutralize it, move on. This is a nice template to use in responding to negative questions. You neutralize by how you overcame or from what you learned.
  • If you get a question like this, always be prepared for the next question…”What factors may have handicapped you from moving ahead more rapidly?”
  • Another one I like especially if the person is currently employed – What do you think Odyssey can offer that XYZ cannot or will not?
  • Expect questions to try to determine attitude and willingness to perform. “I can, but won’t” spells failure as clearly as “I cannot.” I really like the flip of this – Describe the most ineffective supervisor you’ve ever had. What steps did you take to ensure success? Were there others they managed that seemed to thrive under their direction? Tell me why you think that was so.
  • Not every manager is skilled at interviewing. Most don’t like to and have not been trained on how to do it successfully. Still respond with open-ended answers to close-ended questions. For this, try, “I’ve recently had to deal with just this type of situation. I was successful because blah, blah, blah. And, my relationship with that coworker is now…”
  • This conveys to me that the person is not interested in the job, someone who is bored or boring, an introverted individual, or someone who is easily intimidated. None of these qualities say, “HIRE ME.”
  • Have 4-5 questions prepared, phrase them in your style, write them in that notebook you have with you, practice asking them so they sound natural.
  • First one, ask early on to help frame your subsequent responses to questions. Besides being a good question to get at information, the second question has a positive spin that puts you in the light as a positive person. The third question will help you determine non-technical qualities the manager wants and may give you some insight into the organization’s culture.
  • It would be nice if my acct. reps. would ask this first question of the manager. It would make my job a lot easier. This second question is a must ask question for 2 reasons. First, any unspoken concerns become negatives about you as soon as you walk out the door. And secondly, this question will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to take criticism professionally. The last question is another must ask question and should be the last one you ask. Wealth of information will be found in their response.
  • Last question was actually how one of my candidates responded to me when I asked them how they deal with stress.
  • Interview Tips and Techniques

    1. 1. Bonnie Hambor Dedicated Technologies, Inc. [email_address]
    2. 2. Bonnie Hambor Dedicated Technologies, Inc. [email_address]
    3. 3. Agenda – Finding a New Gig <ul><li>Resume </li></ul><ul><li>Interview Preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Interview </li></ul>
    4. 4. Example of a Bad Resume <ul><li>PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY : </li></ul><ul><li>Software Professional, having over 6 years of hands on experience in various SDLC levels of Application Development. </li></ul><ul><li>Strong programming skills in Java , Multi-threaded applications and J2EE technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>Expertise in architecture/application development utilizing J2EE based technologies, such as Jakarta Struts 1.2, EJB 2.1 , Spring 2.5, Servlets 2.1 , JSP , JDBC, XML, JMS, CORBA, Swing, Paypal Integration, Jasper Reports, Hibernate 3.2, Web Services, and SOA. </li></ul><ul><li>Experience in MVC (Model View Controller) architecture with Struts framework and J2EE design patterns. </li></ul><ul><li>Proficient in writing and deploying Enterprise Beans ( EJB 2.1 ) viz. Entity Beans & Session Beans. </li></ul><ul><li>Experience in XML for data parsing using JAXP (DOM and SAX) as well as coming up with the schemas. </li></ul><ul><li>Extensively worked with Relational Databases MS-SQL Server 2005 /2000 , MySQL 5.0 , Oracle 10g/9i/8i, DB2 v8.0, Informix 9.0, and MS Access 2000. </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized in using IDEs like Eclipse 3.0, and IBM Rational Application Developer 6.0, WSAD 5.0, My Eclipse 6.5 </li></ul><ul><li>Worked on application servers and web servers like Apache Tomcat 5.x, BEA Web Logic 8.1/7.0, IBM WebSphere 6.1/5.0 and JBoss 4.1/3.2 </li></ul><ul><li>Good knowledge on OSS Architecture, IP Routing, IP Performance Management, and System Engineering. </li></ul><ul><li>Expertise in HTML and JavaScript . Exceptional ability to quickly grasp and master new concepts and technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>Experience in Managing build files using ANT and logging using Java Logging using Log4j and used Subversion as version control system. </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule tasks on a daily/weekly basis. Involving coding and design efforts and integration and customization of the application and databases. </li></ul><ul><li>Excellent communication skills, creative problem solver, positive listener and team player. </li></ul><ul><li>Functionally proficient in performing business process analysis, gathering and analyzing requirements, creating design specifications, unit test plans and system test plans, testing, development, and production support. </li></ul><ul><li>Technically proficient in module development and upgrades based on organizational needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Education: </li></ul><ul><li>B.S in computer science Engineering 2002, University of Texas, Austin, TX </li></ul><ul><li>TECHNICAL SKILLS : </li></ul><ul><li>Operating Systems: Windows 98/NT/2000/XP, UNIX </li></ul><ul><li>Languages: Java, J2EE (Servlets, JDBC, EJB2.1, Java Beans, JNDI), RMI, XML, C and C++, SQL, PL/SQL, JUnit 3.8, Swing, WebServices (SOAP, WSDL), and Hibernate 3.2, SOA, JMS, Jasper Reports, Spring 2.5, CORBA, Shell Scripting. </li></ul><ul><li>Databases: MS-SQL Server 2005/2000, MySQL 5.0, Oracle 10g/9i/8i, DB2 v8.0, and MS Access 2000, Informix 9.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Web/Application Servers: IBM WebSphere 5.0/6.0,BEA WebLogic 8.1/7.0, Tomcat 5.x, and JBoss 4.1 </li></ul><ul><li>Web technologies: Java Server Pages (JSP), HTML, DHTML, Java Script, AJAX, PERL </li></ul><ul><li>IDEs: Eclipse 3.0, WSAD 5.0, IBM RAD 6.0, My Eclipse 6.5 </li></ul><ul><li>Others: Rational Rose, UML, ANT, MAVEN, Agile Methodology, Apache Axis v1.3, CVS, Subversion, MQ-Series, Paypal Integration, MS-Visio </li></ul>
    5. 5. Example of a Good Resume SKILLS SUMMARY Web Development HTML DHTML XHTML CSS JavaScript AJAX Dreamweaver XML Serverside scripting PHP ASP ColdFusion Interactive Flash ActionScript 2.0 ActionScript 3.0 Database SQL MySQL Graphics Fireworks Photoshop Illustrator Paint Shop Pro 8 Microsoft Microsoft Word Microsoft Excel Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Access Email Marketing Responsys Compliance/Accessibility AccVerify SiteMorse Miscellaneous Digital photography Content Management SEO/SEM Adobe Acrobat <ul><li>PROFILE </li></ul><ul><li>Creative and artistic Web/Flash Developer at a Fortune 20 company. </li></ul><ul><li>Former entrepreneur of an online based ecommerce business. </li></ul><ul><li>Extremely motivated and dependable with exceptional leadership attributes. </li></ul><ul><li>Highly trained in achieving goals within a team environment. </li></ul><ul><li>EMPLOYMENT </li></ul><ul><li>9/07-Present: Dedicated Technologies / Cardinal Health, </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Web/Flash Developer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop & rebuild microsites of </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dreamweaver , XHTML, CSS , JavaScript , ASP </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Construct promotional and interactive experiences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flash & ActionScript </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Email marketing /newsletters using Responsys </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use AccVerify to improve quality, accessibility, and usability of </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>the public site to improve its SiteMorse compliance ranking. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create web ads using HTML and Fireworks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Build websites that follow Cardinal Health’s branding guidelines </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Work with clients to transform ideas into web applications </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>5/07-Present: Freelance, Web/Flash Developer </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create dynamic websites and interactive applications using: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dreamweaver , XHTML , CSS & JavaScript . </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PHP / MySQL / SQL </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flash / ActionScript / Fireworks / Photoshop </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Build Content Management Systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>6/07-9/07: Karaoke Warehouse, Web Developer </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maintained and updated ecommerce website </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dreamweaver , ColdFusion , XHTML, CSS & JavaScript </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible for email marketing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Created 23 HTML mailers / newsletters per week </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Monitored sales and stock </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In charge of Yahoo Marketing campaigns </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Created traceable links to examine sales trends </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible for adding/removing products from catalog </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Photographed products and formatted them for the site </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Worked to improve shopping cart code and database </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shipping calculations </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Weight variables for shipping cost </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Created spreadsheets using Microsoft Excel to improve </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>organization between departments </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Phrases better left out <ul><li>Note: Please don’t misconstrue my 14 jobs as job-hopping. I have never quit a job. </li></ul><ul><li>Reason for leaving last job : They insisted that all employees get to work by 8:45 every morning. Could not work under those conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>I have a bachelorette degree in computers. </li></ul><ul><li>Failed Sun certification exam with relatively high scores. </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>So you’ve been invited to interview. </li></ul><ul><li>What do you do now? </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Hiring managers hire </li></ul><ul><li>people that they like. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Personal Presentation
    10. 10. Body Language
    11. 11. <ul><li>Can we talk? </li></ul>
    12. 12. Education <ul><li>What were your vocational plans while in college? </li></ul><ul><li>If they are different now, what changed your way of thinking? </li></ul>
    13. 13. Personal Characteristics <ul><li>Tell me about the last time you failed to complete an assigned task within the constraints provided. </li></ul><ul><li>What obstacles did you face? </li></ul><ul><li>How did you overcome them? </li></ul>
    14. 14. Goals / Motivation <ul><li>What factors do you believe have contributed most to the success you have achieved so far in your career? </li></ul>
    15. 15. Job History <ul><li>What was the most valuable experience you obtained from your job at XYZ Technologies? </li></ul><ul><li>How could that be of value to Dedicated </li></ul><ul><li>? </li></ul>
    16. 16. Attitude / Performance <ul><li>Describe the most effective supervisor you’ve had. </li></ul><ul><li>What were their strengths? </li></ul><ul><li>What were their limitations? </li></ul>
    17. 17. Unskilled Interviewer <ul><li>Have you ever had to deal with a difficult coworker? </li></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>My BIGGEST pet peeve? </li></ul><ul><li>“ No, I think you’ve answered </li></ul><ul><li>all the questions that I had.” </li></ul>
    19. 19. Top 10 reasons for a manager not hiring a technically qualified person <ul><li>Didn’t ask questions </li></ul><ul><li>Condemnation of past employer </li></ul><ul><li>Inability to take criticism </li></ul><ul><li>Poor personal appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Indecisive, cynical, lazy </li></ul><ul><li>Overbearing, “know-it-all” </li></ul><ul><li>Late to interview </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to look at interviewer during interview </li></ul><ul><li>Unable to express self clearly </li></ul><ul><li>Over emphasis on money </li></ul>
    20. 20. Suggested questions to ask: <ul><li>What are the day-to-day responsibilities I’ll be assigned? </li></ul><ul><li>Is this a new position? If not, would you describe for me the actions of a person who previously achieved success in this position? </li></ul><ul><li>What personal qualities or characteristics do you most value? </li></ul>
    21. 21. Suggested questions to ask: <ul><li>By what criteria will you select the person for this job? </li></ul><ul><li>Now that we’ve talked about my qualifications, do you have any concerns about me fulfilling the responsibilities of this position? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the next step in the selection process? </li></ul>
    22. 22. Questions better left unasked: <ul><li>What are your psychiatric benefits? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you define sexual harassment? </li></ul><ul><li>How many warnings do you get before you get fired? </li></ul><ul><li>I suppose that everyone has had the urge to kill someone in a drunken rage, right? </li></ul>
    23. 23. Bonnie Hambor Dedicated Technologies, Inc. 614-460-3200 X-231 614-403-1197 (cell) [email_address]