- Be 15 minutes
early. Leave extra time for the unexpected. Get your thoughts together, fill out
application forms and observe the company surroundings and the employees.
- Bring a fresh copy of your resume along with a portfolio pad holder and pen. Pad should
contain key points you wish to convey to sell yourself and pre-thought questions.
- An employer forms 50% of his/her decision on chemistry with the candidate and 50% on
qualifications and experience. Your appearance is very important. For a woman, it is very
important to be dressed in a conservative suit, wear pumps and have hair and makeup
appropriate. A man should normally wear a suit and tie, have polished shoes and be well
groomed. If it is a plant environment, a man should wear dress slacks and an open-collar,
colored dress shirt or conservative sports shirt. You should extend your hand for a firm
handshake, make eye contact and smile when introduced to all company personnel.
- After you sit down, the employer will usually talk about the weather or other related
"ice breakers", then usually will say, "Tell me about yourself." This
is an excellent chance for you to sell yourself. This response should be a well-rehearsed
two- to three-minute presentation that outlines your career progression showing
ever-increasing responsibilities and the more significant accomplishments made in each of
your more recent positions. It is important to use action and leadership words and results
|shot holes in
|gave direction to
Remember, your future boss
- Doesnt care what you did between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in your job; he/she only cares
about the results that occurred.
- Isnt interested in your opinion of yourself; he/she only wants the evidence that
you are the best person that he/she can hire.
- Let the interviewer set the tone and tempo for the interview.
- Be prepared to sell yourself in the interview and tell why you are right for
the job. Be sure to do research on the company at the library or through industry
contacts. Have pre-thought questions to ask to demonstrate interest, intelligence and to
establish dialogue. You are judged by the quality of the questions you ask:
- What are the companys short and long range objectives?
- What are two or three characteristics that the company feels are attractive or unique
- What are the outside influences that affect the companys growth?
- In what areas does this company excel? In what areas does this company have some
- What are some of the common denominators that exist with the more successful employees
of this company?
- In what areas do you feel the company needs polishing or development?
- What would you add or subtract to the predecessors performance to improve
efficiencies or performance?
- Tell me about your background and what attracted you here.
- What is the background of the company/organization?
- Based on what you know of me so far, where do you think I could contribute the most
effectively? (second interview)
- What are the two most important problems that need to be addressed/corrected in the
first six months by the person in this position?
- What are the key responsibilities for this position and which are most important?
- What results are expected of this position?
- Any projects in motion for which I will inherit responsibility?
- Why did my predecessor leave this position?
- What advancement can a person expect, in this company and in the industry at large,
after doing this job well?
- What are the company or department goals for this year and next?
- How do you measure success in your company? Tell me about the best person you have ever
had in this position and what made that person unique.
- An important part of the preparation process is to list all the possible
responsibilities of the new job on one side of a page and then list the similar
responsibilities of a previous position held i.e.:
New Job Responsibilities
Similarities from Previous Positions
(1) ________________________________ (1) _________________________________
(2) ________________________________ (2) _________________________________
(3) ________________________________ (3) _________________________________
The purpose of this exercise is to be able to make analogies between past history and
what is expected in the new position. Writing this information down also helps you to
retrieve this information readily during the interview.
- As a candidate, you should not be the one to bring up salary. If the subject
does come up, use a response similar to the following: "There are two reasons why
Im here today. Obviously, money is one, but the key issue is that at the end of our
meeting process, if you have an interest in me, I would like to entertain your strongest
- Closing the interview: Ask, "In your opinion, what makes me right or
wrong for this position?" (If employer has misconception, correct it; if employer
states a shortcoming, point out an offsetting attribute.)
- Ask for the job. All things being equal, people hire people who want to work
for them. You should close with one or the other of the following:
- "As I understand it, you are looking for someone who does
" and read
back to them the primary duties. Then ask, "Do I have the qualifications to
fulfill the requirements for this position?" It is critical that you wait for
an answer no matter how long it takes. If the answer is yes, then you can say, "Im
very interested in this position and Im prepared to accept an offer if you are
prepared to extend one." If the hiring authority feels that you are weak in any
area, you can reassure him/her with a past accomplishment in the same area.
- Another less direct approach would be to say, "Im interested in pursuing
this opportunity. Whats the next step?" If the hiring authority says he is
interviewing other candidates, you can evaluate where you stand by asking, "How do
my qualifications compare with the people you are currently talking with?" This
may open an additional opportunity to introduce another benefit of your past experience.
Also ask, "When will you make a decision?"
- Contact your recruiter after the interview for debriefing.
Write a note of appreciation to the person with whom
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