Interviewing Skills For Today’S Business World


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  • Looking for work is not easy. In fact, when it comes to life’s primary stressors, finding a job is right up there with divorce and the loss of a loved one. In uncertain economic times, being out of work can be a devastating emotional experience. Thus, job hunters must quickly master the interview process. Otherwise, their stints on the unemployment line will be longer than necessary. Job hunting is never fun. However, it becomes downright painful if you have only a few potential employers from whom to seek interviews. The more interviews you arrange, the better your chances are of finding a good job. Dig deep to find out about new opportunities. Talk to every possible source of information, including previous employers, former colleagues, friends, acquaintances, professional and trade associations, job placement organizations and people who assist local businesses. Use the Internet to get the names and contact data of prospective employers and their representatives, but never send your résumé unannounced. Call first. Always make the phone your primary tool for contacting potential employers. Prepare a script that quickly showcases your most important work assets, expertise, achievements and capabilities. Discuss these attributes in terms of the benefits they offer prospective employers. Use your script to arrange an interview when you reach a potential interviewer on the phone. First greet the person by name and introduce yourself. Outline your experience and qualifications. Assert the ways in which you can become a valuable contribution to the firm. Close the conversation by suggesting a time and place where you can meet to discuss a possible position at the firm. If you contact enough companies and make enough calls, eventually you will line up the interviews you need. Once you get an appointment, prepare fully. At the interview, try to adapt to the psychology and point of view of the interviewer. To understand interviewers, as well as other people “ No matter how often a person looks for a job, it is still emotionally stressful.” “ Getting a job is a numbers game. Numbers of interviews are crucial to getting good offers.” Acing the Interview © Copyright 2009 getAbstract 3 of 5 in business, be aware of four different kinds of personalities: “analytical” thinkers are bottom-line oriented individuals who enjoy working with hard facts and figures; “driver” types are blunt, direct can-do personalities; “amiable” people are easygoing but careful in decision making; and “expressive” individuals are risk takers who rely on hunches. Identify your personality type, but be prepared to adjust it to the personality of the individual who interviews you. Anticipate the usual questions prospective employers will ask and plan ideal responses.
  • 55% of communication is through body language/gestures and facial expressions 38% is voice intonation and dynamics 7% is the words we use BODY LANGUAGE *Don’t stand to close *Never back someone into the wall Set up straight *Don’t cross your arms *Sit or stand attentively *Don’t let your eyes roam *Keep your legs still *Look at and face the speaker Eye contact should be made 40-60% of the time. More than that people feel on the spot or examined The safety zone is the area between the eyes We listen 10 times faster than we speak *Act interested *Ask questions *Treat the speak with respect Repeat statements if you are unsure of what the party is saying HOW TO MAKE SMALL TALK People love to talk, mainly about themselves, so ask *Comment about something they are wearing *Discuss something current in the news *If they are wearing a wedding band, ask about their spouse *At their desk, notice if there are pictures, items to ask about TOPICS To AVOID *Money *Health issues, yours and theirs *Personal history *Controversial Subjects such as politics, religion, abortion, *Rumors and gossip *Trite and overworked subjects *Your children, unless asked. We parents only find them interesting
  • 55% of communication is through body language/gestures and facial expressions 38% is voice intonation and dynamics 7% is the words we use We listen 10 times faster than we speak If you make a bad impression to takes 7 times to correct *Act interested *Ask questions *Treat the speak with respect BODY LANGUAGE *Don’t stand to close *Never back someone into the wall *Don’t cross your arms *Sit or stand attentively *Don’t let your eyes roam *Keep your legs still *Look at and face the speaker
  • Greetings Always use your first and last name If someone does not introduce themselves, Just smile and say Please tell me your name Please delete Hi from your vocabulary – replace with Hello Delete bye-bye with bye RISING FROM YOUR SEAT *No gender rules. Everyone stands. *If your seated and someone enters the room, you rise Smile – It takes only 14 facial muscles to smile. 72 to frown How *Firm, strong grip *Confident *Dry, not clammy or cold *Warm and enthusiastically *Eye contact *Smile, genuine When *All the time *A way to greet hello and *Congratulations say goodbye *When making introductions *A gesture of transmitting sympathy (you might want to hold the handshake for several seconds, then put your other hand on top of the two shaking hands) *Greeting someone with very arthritic hands or prosthesis, rather than taking his hand, put your right hand on his forearm or upper arm as a sign of a hello When not to shake hands *When the other person has his hands full *When the person you want to greet is someone much higher ranked than you and to whom you really have nothing to say. In this case, it would look pushy for you to rush up to shake his hand and introduce yourself *When the other person is eating in one hand and holding a drink in the other with no free hand to indulge in this exchange. A simple nod will do. Protocol *Upon entering a group of people, shake hands first with your host, then the other most senior people *Always shake hands with your host upon departure also *If you offer your hand, and the other person doesn’t see your extended hand or offer his hand to you, just draw back your hand and smile Final Points *Don’t hold cold beverages in your right hand. This way your hand is dry and warm *If you have a tendency to have clammy hands, simply give a quick swipe to your pant or skirts. Do so quickly and gracefully *No air kisses *A warm hug is acceptable between two people who have formed a friendship if it is desired by both parties, of either gender NAMES: REMEMBERING/FORGETTING MIS-PRONOUNCING *State your name clearly and slowly *Practice associating names with something you will remember, it takes practice *Repeat a new name to your self several times after the introduction to help remember *Use your name in the introduction in case they don’t remember you. (example) “Hi Carol! Sue Smith, great to see you again.” *Introduce a lesser to a more important or senior person *Give information when you introduce someone *Remember to use titles when introducing people *If you forget someone’s name, admit it and ask them *If your last name is different than your spouses or child’s, communicate that to the person by politely correcting them *It is okay to correct an mis pronunciation, just smile and warmly state only to that person the revision (example)” Just thought you’d like to know that my name is Susan not Sue.” or, “Please, Call me Susan.”
  • Positive Relaxation As they approach a buy decision people become suddenly more relaxed. Up to that moment there may have been considerable tension caused by mental conflict. Once they’ve made up their minds al tension vanished. Be on the look out for sudden absence of anxiety. Chin Touch A potential buyer touching their chin represents a very powerful buy-sign Closer Proximity The person on the point of closing the deal moves closer to you when standing or leans forward if seated Greater eye- Contact While you are selling the other person is likely to avoid giving too much eye-contact. It’s their way of not seeming to involved in what you have to say. Once a buying decision has been made gaze become longer and more frequent. Arms uncrossed, open Sits relatively still NEGATIVE Other than the complete opposite of the above, look for these signals: Sits square with feet flatLeans back, crossed arms or clasp hands Closes his eyes to long, frequent blinks as you speak Eyelids narrow Plays or arranges items or papers on desk Does a series of more than three head nods Doesn’t return you smile
  • Questions Employers Use to Qualify You During an interview, employers want to address four concerns: Can you handle the work? Are you likeable? Do you pose any risk? Can they reach a salary agreement with you? Here are some typical questions and prompts, with suggestions for your best responses. • “ Tell me about yourself and your last few jobs.” – This is not a request to hear your entire life story. Stick to your career and professional accomplishments. • “ What was the most difficult part of your last two jobs?” – This question provides a terrific opportunity for you to convey that you gladly accept challenges. Explain what made your last two jobs tough, but follow up by explaining how you overcame those difficulties. Discuss your job challenges in a positive, upbeat way. Use anecdotes to reinforce your narrative. • “ What is your management style?” – This is a tricky question. If you label yourself as a compassionate leader or a “take no prisoners” manager, you may hurt your chances with an interviewer who may want to hire the opposite type of person. Instead, explain that your management style depends on the circumstances. Stress that you have always been able to get your direct reports to work hard, and to meet or surpass their objectives. • “ What do people like most about you? What do they like least?” – In terms of likeability, your interviewer wants to hear that people enjoy working with you. Mention that you know how to communicate and how to handle yourself well during emergencies, and that you never quit. Treat the latter question lightly: “I can’t cook” or “I am terrible at golf.” • “ How do you deal with people…you don’t like and who don’t like you in the workplace?” – Your reaction to this question matters more than your answer. Treat the question as if it does not apply to you. State that you always try to stay on an even keel with all your colleagues. Explain that co-workers should treat each other with respect and that is what you always do. • “ Why did you leave your last position?” – Your response to this question will make or break your case. Answer it most carefully. Understand that “employers identify with employers.” Do not indicate that you want to leave, or did leave, your firm because management does not, or did not, like you. State that you want to grow professionally and can do so more effectively in a different environment. If you were laid off, be honest about it. Stress that you liked where you worked, but the company had unavoidable cutbacks that included you. You want to convey one main idea: You really like, or liked, your job. Whatever you do, don’t say you need a larger salary. In a job interview, that is the kiss of death. “ Answering questions in today’s interviewing environment is much harder than most people realize.” “ Getting a job offer is one challenge, but finding out about the company and people you are going to work for is just as important.” “ Your ability to do the job is only about 20% of the hiring decision… Determining whether you are liked accounts for 40%.” “ Have a good idea of what your own personality traits are and how they’re going to mesh with the people who will interview you.”
  • • “ You…stayed short periods of time in your last three jobs. What’s wrong?” – This is a tough question. Try to paint as positive a picture as you can. For example, you might say, “I made some poor career choices in the past. But I have learned from them. After a few false starts, I now know exactly what I want. Your job will be perfect for me. If you hire me, I hope to work for your organization for a long time to come.” • “ Where do you see yourself five years from now? Or, how does this job fit into your career goals?” – Again, how you answer this question is as important as what you say. If you admit that you do not have a five-year goal, you will sink your chances. But if you answer that you want to be CEO, you will seem like a fool. One plausible response: “It’s hard to predict what will happen in five years. But I will feel a sense of accomplishment if I am making an important contribution at work.” • “ What kind of money would you like to earn?” – Handle this common question by saying, “I want to earn a salary that is commensurate with the contributions I can make. I am confident I can make a substantial contribution at your firm. What does your firm plan to pay for this position?”
  • Before you ask prospective employers about their companies and job openings, ask yourself some basic questions. What are your primary work assets and skills? What is your ideal job or company? Why? You cannot present yourself strongly if you do not know your own objectives. Learn everything you can about the firms to which you apply for work. Being uninformed about a potential employer will reflect poorly on you in an interview. People who get ahead know how to ask great questions that elicit information they really need and want. Ask your interviewer these questions: “ How long have you been here?” – People like to talk about themselves. This question provides a good opportunity to get the interviewer to open up about the firm. • “ Are there any internal candidates?” – This is important information. Sometimes, managers plan to hire someone from within their organizations, but they talk to a few external candidates to make their job search activities appear more legitimate. • “ Why are there no internal candidates for this job?” – The lack of any internal candidates may mean that you are walking into a minefield. Maybe no one in the firm wants this particular job. If that’s the case, it’s better to find out before you commit to the position. • “ What is the most difficult part of the job?” – The answer the interviewer provides will enable you to adjust your presentation to focus on the strengths you can bring to this challenging aspect of the job. • “ Based on our interview, do you have any concerns about my ability to do the job?” – If the answer is yes, ask the interviewer to be explicit. Deal forthrightly with each concern. If the answer is no, then immediately ask if the person will recommend hiring you. If that answer also is yes, quickly assume the sale. Say, “That’s great. I will contact (the ultimate hiring authority) next week so we can work out all the various details.” • “ Why do you want to hire me? What did I demonstrate to you that the other candidates didn’t?” – The answers to these questions will let you know how much leverage you have (or don’t have) when it comes to negotiating salary and benefits. • “ Why have people in the past failed to do well at this job?” – Listen closely to the response to this question. The answer the interviewer provides may warn you against accepting the job if it is offered. “ The candidates who get the best jobs…ask the best questions.” “ The timing of asking the right questions during the interviewing process can make a difference of everywhere from either getting the job or not to a $15,000 to $20,000 increase in salary.” “ The better you sell yourself in the interviewing process, the more a company likes you and wants to hire you, the more leverage you have in negotiation.” “ Don’t negotiate over the phone or by e-mail unless you absolutely have to. Face to face is always best.”
  • Common Interview Mistakes If you make these mistakes, you will remain unemployed. Unsuccessful candidates: •– Have “poor body language or didn’t look the interviewer in the eye” Most people can eliminate these problems in advance by practicing and role playing. Failure to do so tells employers that you were not willing to prepare. • “ Forget this is a selling situation…and don’t ask for the job” – If you don’t sell yourself during the interview, you will never get the job. Failure to ask is presumptuous. • “ Think that interviewing is a ‘two-way street’” – Don’t let the dialogue between you and the interviewer fool you into thinking that this is a standard conversation. It is not. Indeed, your conversation with the interviewer is a “one-way street.” He or she has numerous other job applicants to interview. You must prove yourself before you can engage in anything that remotely resembles a normal discussion between equals. • “ Don’t know what they’re really selling to an employer” – Great salespeople stress the benefits and not the features of their products. Do the same for yourself during a job interview. Explain how your attributes are valuable to the prospective employer. • “ Don’t understand or think about what the employer is asking from the employer’s point of view” – If you want to understand interviewers better so you know what they are looking for, try to put yourself in their position. In any discussion or negotiation, it helps to take on the other person’s point of view. • “ Adopt an ‘I think great on my feet’ attitude” – Never try to ad-lib through a job interview. It just doesn’t work and it makes you vulnerable to potential embarrassment.
  • Land line No speaker phone Quiet area with no background noise or distractions Paper and pen Don’t shuffle papers Look in a mirror Smile
  • First impressions – 4 seconds Of course physical appearance matters. The person you are meeting for the first time does not know you and your appearance is usually the first clue he or she has to go on. But it certainly does not mean you need to look like a model to create a strong and positive first impression. The key to a good impression is to present yourself appropriately. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and so the “picture” you first present says much about you to the person you are meeting. Is your appearance saying the right things to help create the right first impression? Start with the way you dress. What is the appropriate dress for the meeting or occasion? In a business setting, what is the appropriate business attire? Suit, blazer, casual? And ask yourself what the person you'll be meeting is likely to wear Clean and tidy appearance is appropriate for most business and social occasions. A good haircut or shave. Clean and tidy clothes. Neat and tidy make up. Make sure your grooming is appropriate and helps make you feel “the part”. Proper, clean attire Business proper Little jewelry No backpacks, large handbags Always have a pen and a tissue Light scents
  • Please do not use 8 ½ x 11 sheets of computer paper or lined tablet Half sheets offer the most personal social correspondence, Half sheets are 7 1.4 x 10 or small Never write on the back Use black ink only When placing into an envelope, the fold edge is at the top Matching envelopes should be the same dimensions as the folder paper If you mess up in the letter or on the envelope, start over. Thank you Notes There is never an excuse not to write a thank you note. It takes just a few minutes Never type, always handwritten Always within 48 Hr unless referring to a wedding or shower NEXT SLIDE
  • Thank you for your time and attention Hope you found this time together of benefit Available Mid – March Booklet Tips on Tipping Contact me if you would like to be the first to own, Only $5.00 each
  • Interviewing Skills For Today’S Business World

    1. 1. Interviewing To Win Presented by Constance Hoffman
    2. 2. About Social and Business Graces <ul><li>Individual and Group Training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business and Social </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Communication Skills </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social Skills </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dining Etiquette </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personal Branding </li></ul></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Today’s Discussion <ul><ul><li>Communication Skills and Listening Techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Correct Introductions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>First Impressions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading Non-Verbal Communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handling the Common Interview Questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asking the Correct Questions during an Interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Common Interviewing Mistakes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Telephone Interviewing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appearance is Everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What to do After an Interview </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Social and Business Graces <ul><ul><li>Looking for a job is hugely stressful. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To get hired, you must become proficient at the job interview process. This takes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> practice, so attend as many job interviews as possible. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using a prepared script, phone companies to ask for interviews. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anticipate the questions you will be asked at an interview, and prepare credible, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> compelling responses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employers want people who can do the work, don’t want too much pay and are </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>not risky. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your likeability is more important than your job qualifications. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask the interviewer questions that elicit information you really need about the job. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Imagine yourself in the interviewer’s chair to gain a clear perspective on what </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> attributes they seek. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t think that a job interview is a conversation between equals. First, you have to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> prove yourself. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t shoot yourself in the foot at the end of the interview by asking the interviewer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> if they would like to know more about you. </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Can You Hear Me Now? <ul><ul><li>LISTENING & COMMUNICATION SKILLS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Body language/Mannerisms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Being a quiet listener </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Let’s Talk About it <ul><li>Communication Skills </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Proper means to communicate using your voice, as well as, your non-verbal skills. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Let’s Talk About It <ul><li>Communication Skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introductions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Proper greetings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Handshakes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mis-introductions </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Reading a Interviewer <ul><li>Positive Signals </li></ul><ul><li>Negative Signals </li></ul>
    9. 9. Questions Interviewers Ask <ul><ul><li>“ Tell me about yourself and your last few jobs.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What was the most difficult part of your last two jobs?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What is your management style?” or What is your work style? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What do people like most about you? What do they like least?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Why did you leave your last position?” </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Questions Interviewers Ask cont. <ul><ul><li>“ You stayed short periods of time in your last three jobs. What’s wrong?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Where do you see yourself five years from now? Or, how does this job fit into your career goals? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What kind of money would you like to earn? </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Questions You Should Ask <ul><ul><li>“ How long have you been here?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Are there any internal candidates?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What is the most difficult part of the job?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Based on our interview, do you have any concerns about my ability to do the job? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Why do you want to hire me? What did I demonstrate to you that the other candidates didn’t?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Why have people in the past failed to do well at this job?” </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Common Mistakes <ul><li>Have “poor body language or didn’t look the interviewer </li></ul><ul><li>in the eye” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Forget this is a selling situation…and don’t ask for the job” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Think that interviewing is a ‘two-way street’” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Don’t know what they’re really selling to an employer” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Don’t understand or think about what the employer is asking from the employer’s point of view” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Adopt an ‘I think great on my feet’ attitude” </li></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>Set Up </li></ul><ul><li>Location </li></ul><ul><li>What you need </li></ul>Telephone Interviews
    14. 14. Dress for Success <ul><li>Attire & Appearances </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clothing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jewelry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perfume </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Follow Up <ul><li>Thank you </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Correct Supplies </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Questions
    17. 17. How to Reach <ul><li>Constance Hoffman </li></ul><ul><li>310-210-6103 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>For Daily Tips on Twitter/ Manners4Today </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>