The Successful Interview

·         Always research the company prior to any contact or interview. 

·         Keep the interview on an upbeat tempo; always be positive.

·         Relax and think before you speak.

·         Let the interviewer do most of the talking, but keep up your end of the conversation.

·         Prepare ahead of time and ask appropriate job-related questions.

·         Express interest in the position.  A good example of this is, “I am very interested in this position and would like to pursue it further, what’s the next step in your hiring process?”

·         Contact your recruiter after the interview.

·         Always write a thank you letter.  Reinforce your desire for the position.

For face to face interviews:

·         Arrive a little early.

·         Wear a professional, conservative or navy suit.

·         Shine your shoes.

·         Make sure your hair is neat.

·         If you are female, wear conservative make-up and jewelry.

·         Maintain good eye contact.

·         Mirror body language and voice tone.  (Do not be obvious.)

·         Do not be afraid to sit on the edge of your seat.  (Mirror your interviewer.)

·         Bring paper and a pen to write down important points.

·         Smile, you want to be enthusiastic and personable.

·         Get business cards from everyone you meet so that you can follow up with a thank-you note.

For Phone interviews:

·         If you are not ready or are caught off guard ask to reschedule the phone interview.

·         Make sure to eliminate all background noise and distractions.

·         Clear your space and have paper and pen to write down important points.

·         Dress for the interview to be in the proper frame of mind.

·         Smile it projects through the phone. 

·         Be enthusiastic and personable.

·         Write down the questions asked to be sure you stay focused on the answer you want to give.

Preparation is the key…

Be prepared to answer the following questions:

Tell me about yourself.  When you are asked this question, do not talk about personal issues, this is the time to rehearse your resume.  Make sure that you have written down your responses prior to the interview so the words will come easily.  Be precise and succinct in your answers and do not go “on and on.”  Be sure to just answer the question at hand.

Why are you leaving your current position?  An interview is not a good time to discuss how miserable you are in your current position!  Do not speak negatively about your current employer.  Further, do not say, “Well, I am not even looking, some recruiter just called me.”  That will convey lack of interest and you will not get an offer and will waste time.  Just inform the employer you are looking for opportunity, which should be absolutely true!

Why did you leave all previous positions?  Remember the interviewer is probing for negative patterns.  Make sure you are prepared to give reasons for leaving that have to do with career progression and opportunity.  If a situation was beyond your control, say so, but be careful to cast a POSITIVE light on the situation.

What are your goals?  Why?  Whatever you do, have a goal.  Be confident about what you want for your future.  People who excel know where they are going and why.  Work out a five and ten year plan and be able to describe what you are doing to accomplish your goals.  Very important:  Be extremely realistic about your goals.

What are your strengths?  Weakness?  (The age-old question.)  Never give a true weakness, but turn a positive into a weakness.  The interviewer does not really want to know your weaknesses, but rather seeks to find out how prepared you are for the interview.  If you must give a weakness let the interviewer know it is something in which you are working to improve  Additionally, tell them the steps you have taken to improve your performance in that “weak” area.

What kind of team player are you?  Always “play-up” your team playing abilities.  Avoid phrases that convey you are better working solo.  Team players are in-vogue!

When are you available?  Please tell your recruiter of circumstances hindering you from starting two weeks after the final interview.  Most of our clients expect a speedy start date with occasional exception.

What is the best way to manage you?  Prepare for this question.  One answer could be:  “Just give me an assignment and be there for questions.”

What is your current salary?  The first interview is not the time to outline your salary expectations or to ask about benefits.  The first interview is just the time to get acquainted.  If you are asked what you are making, answer the question.  However, if you are asked what kind of salary you are looking for, your answer should be:  I am sure that you are offering a fair salary for this position; what is your salary range for this position?  Do not get all involved in salary, benefits and vacation discussions.  This can blow your chances to getting the job because you will look too concerned about money, benefits and vacation.

Other Questions they may ask:

Questions for you to ask:

You should always ask questions!!!  The best interviews are those in which the interviewee asked lots of questions.  Please perform extensive research on the Internet regarding the company.  Try to ask questions about the business that makes the interviewer think.  Show the interviewer you have done your homework.  Additional Questions are:

Research the Company

Do your homework on the company.  Know all you can about the company you are interviewing with.  Suggestions: Visit satellite locations, ask competitors, search out clients, speak with current or past employees.)  Make sure to get on the Internet and search for current press releases regarding any strategic positioning of the company.  Write down some excellent business questions that you are curious about based upon information retrieved on the net.

Follow-up:

Write down the following:

Who did you meet/speak to?  (Names and titles)

·         What does the job entail?

·         What are the first projects/biggest challenges?

·         Why can you do the job?

·         What aspects of the interview went poorly?  Why?

·         What is the agreed-upon next step?

·         What was said during the last few minutes of the interview?