Choosing the right employer can be one of the most significant decisions of your professional career. We offer the interview preparation guide to assist you in preparing for the next step in your search for the ideal job and employer.
- Prepare a chronological resume.
- Describe what you did 90% of the time, not 10% of the time.
- Describe significant accomplishments with each position held.
- One page is good, but two pages are also fine. Someone with over ten years of experience often should have a two-page resume.
- Resume paper should be of a high quality and neutral color.
- Leave out all personal information.i.e., marital status, children, your age, etc.
- Exceptions include professional organizations and career-related volunteer organizations.
- Have many people proofread it to ensure correct grammar and spelling.
GENERAL INTERVIEWING TIPS
You should realize that, despite the different tactics used, all employers are searching for the same answers in interviews. They seek to confirm that an applicant has the required knowledge, skill, attitude, and personality to contribute and fit into the company culture.
- Be prepared with answers to the traditional interview questions.
- Aim for clarity and honesty.
- Concentrate on the employers needs, not yours.
- Emphasize how you can help the company achieve its goals.
- Describe your past responsibilities and achievements.
- Explain how the skills you bring will benefit the company.
- Don’t downplay your accomplishments or attribute them to luck.
- Be specific in your answers. Ask for clarification if you aren’t sure what information they are seeking.
- Take responsibility on communicating your strengths. Don’t rely on the interviewer to pull it out of you.
- Once you have determined what you think the employer will be looking for, write out examples of situations that showed your skills in those areas.
- Before leaving the interview express your strong interest in the position and ask how he/she feels about your qualifications for the position.
- Be sure to schedule the next step appointment if appropriate before leaving.
Behavioral interviewing is based on the theory that past behavior is a strong prediction of future behavior. The interviewer asks specific questions seeking information about candidates’ skills, character, and performance based on examples of past behavior. By using these answers, the interviewer can rate the candidate based on past actions, not “gut feelings” or “intuition”.
The key in behavioral interviewing is to “paint a picture” of the reasons and thinking about the decision or behavior without bringing in unessential details.
Examples of Behavioral Interviewing Questions
- Describe a time when you have improved procedures in your company. Be specific.
- Tell me about a high stress situation when you needed to keep a positive attitude..What happened?
- Give me examples of how you turned an unprofitable branch and/or area into a profitable one.
- Be friendly and respectful to everyone, receptionists are often vocal about their opinions.
- Deliver a firm handshake.
- Make eye contact throughout the interview.
- Dress conservatively.
- Be specific in your answers. avoid rambling or getting off on a tangent.
- Send thank you notes to everyone you’ve interviewed with.
- Comment on sensitive subjects.
- Cross your arms in front of you.
- Use negative body language.
- Wear excessive or flashy jewelry.
- Chew gum
- Talk too much
ASKING THE QUESTIONS YOU NEED ANSWERED
You’ve spent some time up to now considering how to respond to an interviewer’s questions. That is certainly one part of the process of selling your product – providing information about yourself.
Now it’s time to look at the other part of the process – having the interviewer provide information to you so you can better assess the future success of your product in that environment. In other words, you have some questions of your own to ask.
Below are a number of questions for you to consider asking at an interview in order to determine your continuing interest in the company and the extent to which the position might fulfill your needs.
For each interview you go on, you will want to add questions to this list based on the particular job, the company or the interviewer. Your in-depth research will also guide you in developing new questions.
- Why is this position available?
- Why did the person who held this position most recently leave?
- What do you think are the most important overall goals for this position?
- What are the priority objectives in this position for the next six months?
- How will success be measured?
- What kind of support does this position (or department) receive from top management?
- How would you describe the level of freedom this position has in order to determine work objectives, setting deadlines and measuring success?
- What are some of the challenges this position will face in the future?
- What are some of the challenges this company will face in the next year or two?
- What important changes do you predict for the company in the near future?
- How would you describe the climate of this company today?
- What growth opportunities will there be for me here?
- As a manager (supervisor), what characteristics are most important in your successful employees?
- How would you describe yourself as a manager?
- What do you find to be special and unique about your company?
- How do you feel about my skills and experience in relation to your job requirement?
- What is the next step in the interview process? Can we set up the next appointment today?
RESPONDING TO SOME OF THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
It is worth your time to review these questions now and consider how you would respond.
- What are your long-range and short-range career goals?
- How do you plan to achieve your career goals?
- What would you like to accomplish in your career?
- What do you enjoy most about your career?
- What do you like least about your career?
- What do you expect to be earning in five years?
- What do you consider to be your greatest strengths?
- What do you consider to be your weaknesses?
- How would a friend who knows you well, describe you?
- How would your last manager describe you as an employee?
- How would your co-workers describe you?
- How would your subordinates describe you?
- What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort?
- Why do you think you would be an asset to our company?
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company?
- Why are you seeking a change from your current position?
- How do you measure success for yourself?
- How well do you work under pressure?
- How do you manage your stress?
- What do you consider to be your greatest achievements?
- What would the ideal job be for you?
- What three things are most important to you in your job?
- What major work problems have you encountered in your career and how did you deal with it?
- What criteria are you using to evaluate the company for which you hope to work?
RESEARCH THE COMPANY
- Size of the company, both number of employees and revenue/sales volume.
- Public or privately held.
- History, including how long they have been in business, sister and/or parent company names.
- Major competitors.
- STAFFING INDUSTRY trends in general, and in their particular niche.
- Job descriptions; understand the skills and experience required for the position.
- Understand the organizational chart of the company.
- Understand the current status of branch and/or area.
- Personal history of interviewers.
- Have 10 well thought out questions that would help further your understanding of the company.
Sources of Information
- Company’s Web Site
- Company’s Brochure/Literature and Annual Report
- Business Library
- Periodical Files
- Dunn and Bradstreet Report
- American Staffing Association – web site, www.staffingtoday.net
- Staffing Industry Analysts – web site, www.staffingindustry.com