In this section:
- Objective of the Interview
Items to bring to the Interview
- Typical Interview Questions and Responses
Questions for you to ask
- Interview Conclusion
Thank you letter
- Eleven reasons for rejection
OBJECTIVE OF THE INTERVIEW
An interviewer has just one objective: to decide whether or not to make you a job offer. While the interviewer will examine your work history and educational background, your strengths and accomplishments will also be important criterion. He or she is also interested in evaluating your level of motivation, values, attitude and personality. In other words, to find out if you're the right person for the job, what your potential is for promotion and whether or not you will fit into the company environment.
The tips and techniques outlined herein have been tested, and they work! They will improve your chances of receiving a job offer. Should you have any questions about your upcoming interview, the company, the opportunity, or the suggestions printed herein, consult your Recruiter.
Research the Company
Items to Bring to the Interview
Arrival at the Interview
TYPICAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS & RESPONSES
You should give complete but brief and relaxed answers to questions. When possible use questions as a basis for developing information that you want to make sure is presented. Continue to sell yourself in a positive way.
Exploring your Background Questions
Tell me about yourself.
What are your greatest strengths?
What are your greatest weaknesses?
What are your career goals?
Your answer should depend on a specific time frame:
What are you doing to achieve your goals?
Job Satisfaction Questions
Why did you leave your previous employer?
What did you like most about your
Why are you looking for another job?
What do you think your employers obligations are to you?
Are you applying for any other jobs?
Past Performance Questions
What kind of decisions are most difficult for you?
What causes you to lose your temper?
What are your greatest accomplishments?
Salary discussions should be avoided, if possible.
What type of salary do you have in mind?
What is your current salary?
Other questions you should be prepared to answer truthfully.
s Are you willing to relocate?
s May we check your references?
s May we verify your income?
Answer a question to the best of your ability and then relax. If there is a period of silence before the interviewer asks the next question, stay calm. Interviewers often use silence to see if you can handle stress and maintain poise.
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO ASK
Your interview should be a two-way conversation. You must ask questions and take an active role in the interview. This demonstrates the importance you place on your work and career. Asking questions gives you a chance to demonstrate your depth of knowledge in the field as well as to establish an easy flow of conversation and relaxed atmosphere between you and the interviewer. Building this kind of rapport is always a plus in a interview.
Remember, you are not just there for the interviewer to determine if you are right for the position, but your questions can help you determine if this job is right for you. Some of your questions should evolve from research you've done on the company in preparing for the interview. Following are some guidelines for your questions as well as some examples:
would my responsibilities and duties be?
If you are sincerely interested in the position and are satisfied with the answers given, you should ask the interviewer if he/she feels that you are qualified for the position. This gives you another chance to review points that may need clarification. Illustrate confidence in your abilities and convince the interviewer that you are capable of handling the position successfully. Ask for the job. Make a positive statement about the position. Emphasize that this is exactly the type of opportunity you've been looking for and would like to be offered the position. Ask when you should expect an answer. A typical conclusion might be: "Thank you for this meeting, I like what I've heard today and I'd like to join your team. I know I'd be an asset to you/your department because you need someone who can ________, ________, and ________. As you know, I have (match your qualifications with the employer's "hot buttons"). Before I leave, do you have any more questions about my background or qualifications or can I supply you with any more information? On a scale of 1 to 5, how do I compare to the other candidates you've interviewed? I can start as soon as you need me." The farewell should also include a smile, direct eye contact, a firm but gentle handshake.
Immediately following the interview, call your employment recruiter. Let the recruiter know whether you are interested in the position or not and if there were questions you forgot to ask at the interview, express them at this time. Only after we get your feedback about the interview and the company do we contact the employer for theirs. We will follow-up with you again regarding the employer's thoughts.
THANK YOU LETTER
It is always a good idea to send a short note of appreciation to thank the employer or interviewer for their time. Reiterate your interest in the position and the company as well as your ability to do the job. Be sure to mail your correspondence the following day. This is a good way to keep your name current in the interviewer's mind. Following is a sample thank-you letter that you can adapt to fit your specifics:
1. ADDRESS LINE
The full company name and address (no abbreviations) as well as the full name of the interviewer and his/her complete title.
2. SUBJECT LINE
"Re: Interview for the Position of (title) on (date). This illustrates the content of the letter.
"Dear Mr./Ms. (last name):"
"Miss" or "Mrs." should not be used unless you are sure that person does so. Do not use a first name in the greeting unless you have established a strong rapport.
"It was a pleasure meeting with you (day) to discuss the opening in (department) with (company).
"I appreciated meeting with (name) and yourself in your office on (day) to discuss the (title) position with (company)."
"Thanks for taking the time to see me regarding the opening in (department)."
ELEVEN REASONS FOR REJECTION
1. Poor attitude. Many candidates come across as arrogant. While employers can afford to be self-centered, candidates cannot.
2. Appearance. Many candidates do not consider their appearance as much as they should. First impressions are quickly made in the first three to five minutes.
3. Lack of research. It's obvious when candidates haven't learned about the job, company or industry prior to the interview. Visit the library or use the Internet to research the company, talk with friends, peers and other professionals about the opportunity before each meeting.
4. Not having questions to ask. Asking questions shows your interest in the company and the position. Prepare a list of intelligent questions in advance.
5. Not readily knowing the answers to interviewers' questions. Anticipate and rehearse answers to tough questions about your background, such as a recent termination or an employment gap. Practicing with your spouse or a friend before the interview will help you to frame intelligent responses.
6. Relying too much on resumes. Employers hire people, not paper. Although a resume can list qualifications and skills, it's the interview dialogue that will portray you as a committed, responsive team player.
7. Too much humility. Being conditioned not to brag, candidates are sometimes reluctant to describe their accomplishments. Explaining how you reach difficult or impressive goals helps employers understand what you can do for them.
8. Not relating skills to employers' needs. A list of sterling accomplishments means little if you can't relate them to a company's requirements. Reiterate your skills and convince the employer that you can 'do the same for them'.
9. Handling salary issues ineptly. Candidates often ask about salary and benefit packages too early. If they believe an employer is interested, they may demand inappropriate amounts and price themselves out of the jobs. Candidates who ask for too little undervalue themselves or appear desperate.
10. Lack of career direction. Job hunters who aren't clear about their career goals often can't spot or commit to appropriate opportunities. Not knowing what you want wastes everyone's time.
11. Job shopping. Some applicants, particularly those in certain high-tech, sales and marketing fields, will admit they're just "shopping" for opportunities and have little intention of changing jobs. This wastes time and leaves a bad impression with employers they may need to contact in the future.