Closing the Interview

October 19, 2008

Not only is the interview a time for the employer to ask you questions, it is an opportunity for you to find out information about the job and the company. You should have specific questions in mind before the interview ever begins. Some examples are:

  • What would my duties and responsibilities be?
  • What are my working hours?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Would special equipment or tools be necessary?

At the end of the interview inform the interviewer that you are seeking employment on a daily basis and would like to know a convenient time for you to call back.

Finally, thank the employer for the interview and leave promptly.

When you have returned home, immediately review your interview. Identify the positive parts or your interview and not the negative aspects for future improvement.

Don’t forget to write a thank you letter.

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Answers to Common Interview Questions

October 18, 2008

Your application and resume have gotten you in the door for an interview, now it is up to you to set yourself above the other candidates for the job. A good interviewer will be evaluating not only your experience and qualifications for the job, but also your personality and attitude to see if you will fit in well with that company’s environment.

Several common interview questions are listed below. Included with each question are possible answers an interviewer may be hoping to hear. You should always be honest at an interview, but there are ways to respond to questions that may be perceived better then others. Generally, questions are asked to determine a possible candidate’s stability. Read the rest of this entry »


Common Interview Questions

October 18, 2008
  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Why did you choose this field?
  3. What have you done that shows initiative.
  4. Why have you held so many (or so few) jobs in the past five years?
  5. Tell about how you could be of an asset to this company.
  6. Give an example of a problem you encountered in your previous job, and tell how you handled it.
  7. What in your past work experience particularly relates to our company’s needs?
  8. What are your salary requirements? Would you accept less?
  9. How long will you stay with this job if we offer it to you?
  10. What are your long term career goals? How will this job help you meet them?
  11. What is the best/worst thing your previous employer could say about you?
  12. How do you deal with stress?
  13. Give two reasons why I should hire you.
  14. What qualities do you see yourself bringing to this company?
  15. Do you have any questions?

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Tips on Interviewing Strategy

October 17, 2008
  1. Be on time. That means around ten minutes early.
  2. Know the interviewer’s name and use it in the interview. Using a person’s name personalizes the conversation and adds warmth.
  3. Bring a few copies of your resume. Demonstrate that you’re prepared in case the one you sent isn’t available.
  4. Expect to spend some time developing rapport. Don’t jump right in and get down to business. Personal chemistry is a main ingredient in the hiring process.
  5. Watch your non-verbal communication. Pay attention to your physical posture. Maintain eye contact but don’t stare him/her down. Don’t appear over-relaxed or too rigid.
  6. Don’t be embarrassed by nervousness. Being nervous can be a good sign-it shows you are taking the interview seriously. However, avoid nervous movements. Your stomach can be churning and your palms sweating, but don’t fidget with objects and bounce in your seat.
  7. Don’t play comedian or try to entertain the interviewer. Unless of course you are interviewing for a job as an entertainer.
  8. Don’t exaggerate. It will come back to haunt you.
  9. Follow the interviewer’s lead. Don’t try to take over the interview. Stick to the subject at hand, but don’t dwell too long on one point.
  10. Be prepared for personal questions. Anticipate how you will handle personal questions without blowing your cool.
  11. Pay attention. Don’t let your mind wander. Stay focused on what is being said.
  12. Be sure you understand the question. It is okay to ask for clarification.
  13. Emphasize the positive. Don’t apologize for lack of experience or weaknesses. Have self-confidence.
  14. Don’t interrupt the interviewer. Remember, the interview is a type of social interaction so keep manners in mind.
  15. Wait for an offer to talk about salary. Otherwise, don’t ask unless the interviewer brings up the subject. You don’t want to look “money hungry”.
  16. Pay attention to the timing of your answers. Time is occasionally needed to think and reflect-for both you and the interviewer. However, don’t stall on answers or be overly hasty with your reply.
  17. Emphasize what you can do. Employers are mostly concerned with what you can do for them. Focus on your transferable skills. For example, your ability to learn quickly, communicate effectively, and other skills you can provide for that company.
  18. Don’t try to give the “answer he/she wants”. Employers can see right through that.
  19. Take pen and paper. However, don’t take notes during the interview. Immediately following the interview, write down all pertinent information as well as your thoughts and impressions. You will be glad you didn’t trust your memory to remember everything.
  20. Don’t be argumentative. Avoid debate. Arguing with an interviewer will not make a good first impression.
  21. Do not speak negatively about a former employer, a teacher, a friend, or an institution. It only reflects on you. If there were problems with previous experiences, try to put answers in the positive rather then the negative. If you slight a former employer, the interviewer may assume you will someday do the same to him/her.
  22. Don’t overplay your technical knowledge. If you really know a particular computer program or hardware that’s great. Otherwise, avoid showing off knowledge that you don’t possess.
  23. Try to be as specific as possible. Never say “I’ll do anything.” Have a sense of direction. Take charge of your own life or someone else will take charge for you.
  24. Watch your grammar. Employers are interested in candidates who can express themselves articulately and properly. Even if you have to go slow and correct yourself, accuracy is preferred.
  25. Have questions prepared. Having questions shows you have an interest in the company and your future.
  26. Don’t bring in a pile of exhibits or samples unless asked.
  27. Don’t expect an offer on the spot. Offers usually follow the interview, sometimes two or three weeks later. If you are offered the position on the spot, it is appropriate for you to ask for one or two days thinking time before responding.
  28. Be very careful with the closing. End quickly and courteously. Don’t try to flatter the interviewer or linger too long after the interview ends.
  29. Remember to follow-up on the interview. No interview is complete until you follow-up with a thank you note. This is professional business etiquette that also reaffirms your interest in the position.

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How to Sell Yourself to an Employer

October 16, 2008
  • Make a presentable appearance.-Make sure your hair and body are neat and clean.-Dress a little better then you would if you were working in the position to which you are applying.-Have clean and ironed clothes, polish your shoes.
  • Be prompt. Arrive ten minutes early. Drive by the company the day before so that you are aware of how long it will take to get there.
  • Do not take anyone with you to the interview.
  • Bring to the interview:-Your own pen.-A master application.-Several copies of your resume and a list of references.-A list of questions that you would like to ask the interviewer.
  • Learn as much as you can beforehand about the firm to which you are applying.
  • When you meet the interviewer, call him/her by name, shake his/her hand, and introduce yourself.
  • Maintain good nonverbal communication: posture, eye contact, SMILE!
  • Answer questions honestly. Speak with confidence and enthusiasm.
  • Do not speak negatively about past employers. This is usually not productive.
  • Avoid mention of your personal or financial troubles. The employer is interested primarily in your abilities.

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Ten Critical Qualities Employers Look For

October 15, 2008
  1. Positive attitude toward work
  2. Proficiency in field of study
  3. Communication skills (oral and written)
  4. Interpersonal skills
  5. Confidence
  6. Critical thinking and problem solving skills
  7. Flexibility
  8. Self-motivation
  9. Leadership
  10. Teamwork

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Non-Verbal Communication

October 15, 2008

Many interviews fail because of lack of proper communication. But communication is more then just what you say. Often it is the nonverbal communication that we are least aware of, yet it speaks the loudest. Your body language, facial expression, and eye contact make up the majority of the communication process. It’s not just what you say but how you say it.

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