- Show up on time to all interviews. Do not arrive more than 15 minutes early.
- Dress a step above what you would wear on the job.
- Greet your interviewer with a firm handshake.
- Maintain good eye contact throughout the interview.
- Don’t be a clock-watcher.
- Do not discuss illegal or discriminatory subjects such as race, religion, national origin, equal rights or gender.
- Be aware of nonverbal body language.
- Be confident and friendly. Your personality is what will separate you from other candidates.
- Do not discuss benefits, compensation or vacation.
- If you are truly interested in the opportunity, you should tell the client you are interested and reinforce why.
- Never say anything negative about a previous employer or supervisor.
- Can you rate your skills on a scale of 1 to 10? Talk about how you strive for a 10 in both your professional and personal life, stressing how important it is for you always to do your best.
- What are you looking for in your next job? Discuss what you want in terms of what you can offer an employer. If you are looking for more analysis experience, then explain that you excelled in it before, and how you would like to further contribute this skill and work with a manager who could make this happen.
- Where do you see yourself in five years? Show that you have ambition and a structured way of setting goals. But you don’t have to be specific. Instead, explain how at this point in time you look forward to advancing your career, and that you realize other opportunities may crop up as the company learns more about you and vice versa.
- Tell me about yourself? Respond in a way that assures the interviewer that you are well-adjusted, stable and positive. “I thrive on change and pressure and consider myself to be very versatile.” “I tend to seek out challenging assignments and situations.” “I take a genuine interest in others.” “I enjoy leading people to positive outcomes.” Don’t say anything, which could be taken as negative. “I don’t like working with people, just computers.” “I don’t enjoy controversy, I would rather everything go well.” “I don’t” should be avoided. ALWAYS stay positive, the interviewer will eventually get to the kind of question, which will focus on your weaknesses.
- What can you do for us? Stick to facts if at all possible. Point to past accomplishments or forecast future capabilities. “In my last position I organized and prioritized the projects and assignments I received from seven different individuals. Based on that experience and others, I am certain that I can offer the services of an efficient and fast-moving individual who produces a quality product.” “As manager of ABC company, I reduced turnover by 25%.” “I cut overtime to almost nothing and bring those skills to work here.” ALWAYS stay positive.
- What are your strengths? Tailor your answer to meet the needs of the employer. “I see myself as a goal-oriented individual. I was once charged with the task of increasing sales 20%. I set a personal goal of 30%. I put together a plan and followed each objective to the letter, which helped me to reach each goal. As a result I increased sales more than 33%.”
- What are your limitations? This is one of the toughest questions for those who sit in the interviewee chair. It is, however, not that difficult. Think about transforming your answer and the question into a strength. “I’m the kind of person who likes challenges and gets involved. Some people may see that as ‘butting in,’ but, I’m sure it could be looked at as a strength because I like to make sure the job gets done right. And without forcing my views I feel I do a good job leading people to the right solution. So, in a way, this could be considered a strength to some.”
- What do you want? Be prepared to respond with answers that reveal a desire to do the kind of work the position requires. Avoid vague answers such as, “I enjoy working with people,” or “I desire challenge in my work.” Rather, use answers that pack a punch, such as, “I inspire confidence in co-workers and subordinates and see this position as a place to put those talents to work.” “I am especially interested in creating a new software package, which would enhance the performance of this company’s hardware.”
- What is your reason for seeking this position? What was wrong with your last job/present job? NEVER criticize your last boss or any previous employer. Resist all temptation, or it WILL cost you. “I’m looking to change positions so that I can better utilize my talents and energy. My current position is limited in growth potential and as someone who is a goal setter and attainer I look forward to an opportunity with (company you are interviewing for) in using my talents and energy to help achieve new and challenging goals.”
- What are your hobbies? In response to this question think ACTION! Reading and sewing are not answers here. You are an active outside of work kind of person. You participate in sports, leading groups and getting “involved.” Don’t establish, in the interviewers mind, a perception of passiveness.
Other Possible Questions Include…
- Tell me about your background, accomplishments?
- How would you describe your most recent job performance?
- What interests you about our company?
- Describe how you resolved a recent problem at work.
- Give me an example of how you impacted your previous (or current) employer’s business. How will you impact our business?
- How do you deal with difficult people?
- What are you doing to further yourself…
- How do you prioritize multiple responsibilities?
Not letting these kinds of subjects catch you off-guard is a key factor in maintaining your composure during an interview. Rehearse these questions and answers in your mind (or even out loud, if you can) in the days before the interview.
Be Prepared to ASK Questions, Such As…
- What would I be expected to accomplish in this position?
- What are the greatest challenges in this position?
- How do you think I fit in the position?
- What are the top 3 or 4 responsibilities in this position?
- What are the characteristics you are seeking for this position?
- How would you describe your company’s culture?
- What do you most admire about this company?
Remember a lack of questions may be mistaken as a lack of interest or preparation.
Negative Factors Evaluated by An Interviewer
- Overbearing, overaggressive or egotistical behavior.
- No positive purpose.
- Lack of interest and enthusiasm – passive and indifferent.
- Lack of confidence and poise; nervousness.
- Evasiveness; making excuses for unfavorable factors in work history.
- Lack of tact, maturity, and courtesy.
- Inability to maintain a conversation.
- Lack of commitment to fill the position at hand.
- Failure to ask questions about the position.
- Persistent attitude of “What can you do for me?”
- Lack of preparation for interview—failure to get information about the company, resulting in inability to ask intelligent questions.
Closing the Interview
- If you are interested in the position, let the interviewer know. If you feel the position is attractive and you want it, be a good salesperson and say something like: "I'm very impressed with what I've seen here today; your company, its products and the people I've met. I am confident I could do an excellent job in the position you've described to me." The interviewer will be impressed with your enthusiasm.
- Don't be too discouraged if no immediate commitment is made. The interviewer will probably want to communicate with other people in the company or possibly interview more candidates before making a decision.
- If you get the impression that the interview is not going well and that you have already been rejected, don't let your discouragement show. Once in a while an interviewer who is genuinely interested in you may seem to discourage you as a way of testing your reaction.
- Thank the interviewer for his or her time and consideration. If you have answered the two questions-- "Why are you interested in this position?" and "What can you offer?"-- you have done all you can.
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