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How to master the interview

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How to master the interview

  1. 1. • Who has been on a job interview already? • What did you do to prepare?
  2. 2. Use resources such as The Ladders, Yahoo Finance, Google News, and the company’s website Learn more about their business, corporate structure, competitors, position in the marketplace and other job openings. 80% of a hiring manager’s time is spent determining if you will be a good fit for the team (and 20% is spent on skills). If you don’t appear to fit well with the team, then you’ll likely get passed up, even if you have every skill they are looking for. When an employer considers a candidate’s fit, the elements they analyze include: •Personality and behavior •Leadership and/or learning style •Personal style (and professionalism) •Personal and professional values Use GlassDoor.com to see if people have written reviews about how the interview is conducted and what questions were asked. Fully understand the job description and think of examples or stories to tell to show you have that experience.
  3. 3. Ask what the most important things the hiring manager is looking for as far as a cultural fit. If you know someone that works there or used to work there, have a conversation so you can gather intel about the job role and the team dynamics. Reach out to college alumni who work there to see if they will have a chat with you. Follow the company on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook Look at current and former employees on LinkedIn in that role to see what their background is. Look the hiring manager’s background up on LinkedIn. Read the corporate blog to get a feel for what is important to them.
  4. 4.  Arrive 5-7 minutes before the interview (not too early or late). Call if you’re running late.  Eat breakfast  Make sure you have nothing in your teeth & brush your hair.  Bring a paper and pen to take notes.
  5. 5. Have confidence in your abilities (NO cockiness!) Treat the interview like a discussion (relax!) Watch your body language (no slouching!) Give a sincere smile, look the interviewer in the eye, and master the handshake Talk about 50% of the time (don’t interrupt or talk over them!)
  6. 6. Firm Not clammy Make eye contact Smile • First impressions begin with the handshake! • Here’s a tip: when you first shake hands try to figure out the color of the person’s eyes. That way you will make eye contact, guaranteed!
  7. 7. • Solid color, conservative suit • White long sleeve shirt • Conservative tie • Dark socks, professional shoes • Very limited jewelry • Neat, professional hairstyle • Go easy on the aftershave • Neatly trimmed nails • Portfolio or briefcase • No gum! • Solid color, conservative suit • Coordinated blouse • Moderate shoes • Limited jewelry (not flashy) • Neat, professional hairstyle • Tan or light hosiery • Sparse make-up & perfume • Manicured nails • Portfolio and professional purse • No gum!
  8. 8. • Always ask for a skype interview over a phone interview. • Test your technology beforehand! • Do not hold your laptop/ipad • Still dress up for the interview • Look at your background – make it look professional (not your bedroom/messy room). • Look into the camera • Get rid of distractions • Check battery life • Wait for them to stop speaking before you answer • Practice with someone else first • Pay attention to lighting • Sit up straight • Keep water handy • Goal: Get an in-person interview! • Be comfortable if there is a pause in the conversation (you will naturally want to fill the silence – they may be taking notes.) • Wait for them to stop speaking before you answer • Keep your resume handy • Keep water handy • Smile (they can hear it when you talk) • Speak slowly • Goal: Get an in-person interview!
  9. 9. • Practice discussing what about your past experience, accomplishments, background or skill sets makes you an attractive candidate. • Do this in front of a mirror for confidence. When selecting anecdotes, think like a STAR: • Talk about a SITUATION or TASK where you demonstrated the desired skill set. • Identify what ACTIONS you took to resolve the matter. • Discuss the RESULTS of your actions.
  10. 10. • Can you give an example of a really hard interview question you’ve been asked?
  11. 11. •Describe a situation in which you used good judgment and logic to solve a problem. •Share an example of a time when you had to make a quick decision. PROBLEM SOLVING • Have you ever had trouble getting others to agree with your ideas? How did you deal with this, and were you successful? • Describe the most challenging group from which you've had to gain cooperation. LEADERSHIP • Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond the call of duty. • Tell me about a situation in which you positively influenced the actions of others. MOTIVATION • Describe a situation where you had to communicate with someone who didn’t personally like you? • Describe a time you had to use written communication to convey an important idea. COMMUNICATION • What have you've done in the past to nurture teamwork? • Give an example of an unpopular decision you've made, what the result was and how you managed it. INTERPERSONAL SKILLS • Describe how you've handled a sudden interruption to your schedule. • How do you organize yourself? PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION
  12. 12. Why should I hire you? What do you know about our company? Tell me about yourself. Tell me one thing you would change about yourself What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? What did you dislike about your previous job? Why do you want this job? What is your greatest weakness? What motivates you? Tell me about a time when you failed? Describe your dream job. How do you measure success? What are you most proud of? What skills are you lacking? Describe your ideal work environment. Describe the role you’re applying for.
  13. 13. • Do not act entitled…But know your worth • Do research to find what similar positions and industries are paying in your geography • Research GlassDoor to see if you can find salary information for the company • Look at the total package – not just the base salary. • You may be able to negotiate other benefits than salary (vacation, tuition benefits, training, gym membership, parking) • Note: Negotiating entry level salary is hard (unless you show how your skills go above and beyond the job. • Be respectful. Your reputation is more important. • Politely decline the offer if the salary is indeed too low for you to make it work. • You never know if they will come back with a higher offer.
  14. 14. ALWAYS have questions to ask at the end of the interview. You are still being evaluated, and asking thoughtful questions conveys your continued interest in the role. Also remember to state that you are interested in the role and WHY. • If you could describe your corporate culture in three words, what would you say and why? • What are the three most important things you want the person who gets this opportunity to achieve over the next year? • What's one thing that's integral to this company's success that an outsider wouldn't know about? • What's your (or my future boss') leadership style? • These are tough economic times, and every position is precious when it comes to the budget. What about this position made you prioritize it over others? • How do I get access to the information I need to be successful in this job? • What is your vision for this group/department/ product line/etc. over the next 2-3 years? • What kinds of people are successful here? • Conversely, what are the common characteristics among employees who have either fizzled out, failed or left? • What's the timeline for making a decision on this position? When should I get back in touch with you? • What initiatives would you like this person to focus on in the next 30-60-90 days? • Do you have any concerns on why I may not be a fit for the job?
  15. 15. • Thank EVERY person you met with by email and handwritten note that day! • Use professional looking notecards • State why you are right for the role again and express your interest. • Connect with them on LinkedIn. • Be persistent, but not pesky. If you haven’t heard back from them in a week or so, feel free to follow-up with the hiring manager. Never reach out more than twice though. • If they requested any references or more information make sure you send that immediately. • Wait patiently 