Job Interviews


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Used for Interviewing-Strategies Workshop

Published in: Career, Business

Job Interviews

  1. 1. THE JOB INTERVIEW Before, During, and After
  2. 2. Before the Interview Organize References 1. References can be from HR, Colleagues, Managers, Directors, Associates, Pr ofessors (if a student). 2. Before you interview it is important to discuss with your references what they will say about you. Tell them why you chose them and give them some directives on what you would like them to speak about when an interviewer calls.
  3. 3. The conversation you DO NOT want to happen: “Who? Oh yeah, yeah. I vaguely remember him. We used to work together at ABC Company, right? No? Where? Oh, that’s right. He’s a great guy. What would you like to know?”
  4. 4. Reference from current employer 1. If you are confident that your employer will be supportive of your decision to seek employment elsewhere, it’s best to discuss this before providing contact information to your potential employer. 2. If you do not want your current employer to know you are seeking employment, you can ask that the interviewers NOT contact your present employer until an offer is extended and accepted.
  5. 5. The Thirty-Second Pitch The thirty-second pitch is designed to be a concise answer to the ultimate question posed in an interview: “Why should we hire you?” You should be able to describe your professional qualifications and notable accomplishments in thirty seconds in order to pique the interest of a interviewer when they ask you to tell them about yourself. (Your thirty-second pitch is like your professional/qualifications summary on your resume.)
  6. 6. Create a pitch that grabs attention 1. Provide a brief introduction (include key attributes) 2. Provide a career summary of your most recent work history (if you have little or no experience, you can create a summary from internships, experiences, part-time work, or anything you’ve learned in classes that would be relevant to the job). 3. Ask a question of make a comment: Cap your pitch with a question that stimulates conversation or with a comment that demonstrates your confidence in your abilities (I believe my accomplishments would benefit an organization that has lagging sales. OR What strategies are currently underway to increase sales and moral within your department?.)
  7. 7. Making a good impression Hiring decisions, for the most part, are made based on who the interviewer felt interviewed best—not on who is most qualified for the position. Interviewing Basics to Remember punctuality complete the application/materials bring copies of resume/supporting materials interact with others attention to handshake
  8. 8. Nonverbal Communication It is reported that 55 percent of communication is nonverbal. Pay attention to body language and tone of voice. Practice makes perfect—practice with friends and family. Maintain eye contact without locking eyes with the interviewer. (It’s important to strike a balance between maintaining eye contact and casually looking down at your notebook.)
  9. 9. A Note on Anxiety It’s natural to have interview jitters and interviewers understand this and expect candidates to be a little nervous, but anticipate that the nervousness won’t be a distraction. To ease your anxiety, keep the following in mind: 1. Remember that the immediate objective of the interview is for you to learn about the organization and for the interviewer to learn about you. 2. Prepare solid answers to questions you are nervous about beforehand (job-hoppers, employment gap). 3. Practice answering potential questions out loud (in front of friends and family, or in the bathroom mirror!) 4. Keep in mind that you were invited in for an interview out of a stack of other applicants because the interviewer is interested in YOU, so you already have an advantage.
  10. 10. The Interview There are different types of interviews: phone interviews, HR screenings, peer interviews, panel interviews, group interviews Before your interview imagine all the potential questions and interviewer could ask you. The Job Description If you look at the job description you will find you have a wealth of information to anticipate the questions you will receive when you meet with the interviewer. (You will be asked three types of questions, your answers are in the description.)
  11. 11. The Building Blocks of Every Interview Question All questions asked during an interview ultimately tap into the following areas: adaptive skills, transferable skills, and job- related skills. ADAPTIVE SKILLS: These are the skills that will enable you to adapt to most working environments. For example, being dependable, team-oriented, and self-confident are traits that can be used in all industries and professions. TRANSFERABLE SKILLS: These are skills that are not specific to one job and can easily translate into any position and company. For example, communication skills, attention to detail, organizational skills. JOB-RELATED SKILLS: These are competencies that are specific to an occupation and are often attained through training, education, and experience. For example, an administrative assistant would have certain clerical and computer capabilities.
  12. 12. EXERCISE Look at one of your job-descriptions and write down the adaptive, transferable, and job-related skills that the job requires. Adaptive Transferable Job-Related
  13. 13. Asking Questions During the Interview Asking questions ensures that the meeting is a two-way conversation. Take time to develop ten/fifteen questions in advance. In neglecting to ask questions when the interviewer asks, ‘Do you have any questions?’, you leave the interviewer with the impression that you aren’t interested in the position or that you don’t know enough about the job to ask meaningful questions. Asking questions is important because… a. Asking questions demonstrates that you take your career seriously and are willing to work for an organization only when there is a mutual fit. b. Developing well-thought-out questions will help you stand out from other candidates and allows the interviewer to gauge your interest in working for the organization. c. Your interest in the position is also being evaluated in the interview, asking thoughtful questions ends the meeting on an impressive note.
  14. 14. Further thought on asking questions: Asking questions shows that you have paid attention, care, are interested, are thoughtful, are considerate, and intelligent, and creative. Stupid people don’t ask questions. Bored people don’t ask questions. Lazy people don’t ask questions. Templar, Richard. Rules of Work. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, 2003
  15. 15. Generating question from the job description Job descriptions have a wealth of information that you can use to easily create questions. EXAMPLE Coach, motivate, mentor, and train a sales team to boost sales. Incumbent should be skilled in growing client base, increasing company revenue and profits, and working closely with clients to establish long-term relationships. QUESTIONS 1. Has the existing sales team met or exceeded goals? 2. What type of customer feedback does the sales force receive from clients regarding company products? 3. Can I have a copy of the sales brochure that I can review after the interview? 4. Will I have the opportunity to develop a sales-training program for the sales force?
  16. 16. Effective Follow-Up Write follow-up letters outlining the reason that there is a perfect match between you and the company. After the initial thank-you follow-up, you can send another a week later to: a.) express interest in a 2nd interview and b.) inquire if the position is still open and to ask if any additional information is required before making the final decision.
  17. 17. Negotiating Salary Most interviewers expect to negotiate salary and some can go to a higher percent of the initial offer. Prepare for negotiations before you embark on a job search. Find out the going rate for your position, years of experience, region, by asking peers, recruiters and searching the Internet. Before you go for an interview, HR has researched the amount of salary that your position gets in your area. Make sure you know what this is, or YOU lose. When asked for salary requirements on an application write ‘open’ or ‘negotiable’. When asked about previous salary write ‘will discuss during interview.’
  18. 18. Additional Tips on Salary Negotiation View the negotiation process as a conversation and keep in mind that the definition of a successful negotiation is when both parties are satisfied with the outcome. If you are unsure about the compensation packet, ask the interviewer for twenty-four hours to collect your thoughts and weight the pros and cons of the offer. Avoid misunderstandings. Make sure you receive an offer in writing that states the agreed-upon terms.
  19. 19. Finally…. There are many great books on the market that discuss successful interviewing. The more you read up, the more confident and prepared you will feel with this process.