Before the Interview
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
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
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
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
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
(Your thirty-second pitch is like your professional/qualifications
summary on your resume.)
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?.)
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
complete the application/materials
bring copies of resume/supporting materials
interact with others
attention to handshake
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.)
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.
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
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-
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.
Look at one of your job-descriptions and write down the
adaptive, transferable, and job-related skills that the job
Adaptive Transferable Job-Related
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
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
c. Your interest in the position is also being evaluated in the interview, asking
thoughtful questions ends the meeting on an impressive note.
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
Templar, Richard. Rules of Work. Harlow: Pearson Education
Generating question from the job description
Job descriptions have a wealth of information that you can use to
easily create questions.
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.
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
4. Will I have the opportunity to develop a sales-training program for
the sales force?
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
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.
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
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.
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