Interview Tips

Telephone Interviews

In today’s mobile society expect to prepare for telephone interviews.
The purpose of conducting a telephone interview is to secure an invitation for an on-site interview.
Prepare for a telephone interview much like you would an on-site interview.  Research the company web site, get a copy of the job description if possible, know the names and titles of everyone you will be interviewing with.
Make sure you are in a private, quiet place for the telephone interview.  No barking dogs, crying children or other interruptions.
Have your resume in front of you during the interview.  Highlight or make note in the margins of points you want to make sure you communicate to the interviewer.
Have some questions prepared about the company, the position and/or the interview process.
As you feel the interview winding down, ask to be brought in for an on-site meeting to continue the discussion.
Send a thank-you/follow-up note or email to everyone you interview with on the phone.
Ask the interviewer what the next steps and time-line will be.
Preparing for Interviews

Prepare for a sales conversation between two people where the product being sold is you.  Most people don’t get the job because they don’t sell themselves.
Before the interview research the company’s web site, products or other sites where corporate public information is available.  If you are working with a Recruiter they will be a great source of additional information on the company.  If the company is publicly traded, most Stock Brokers will have a copy of their most recent 10K or 10Q.  Former or current employees of the company are great sources of information.
Spend time thinking about what you do and how you do it.  Be prepared to give a brief summary of the different positions or situations you have been in.
The Interview

Arrive five to ten minutes early.
Bring several resumes with you to the interview in case you need extras.
Listen carefully to the questions you are asked and answer those questions completely.
Most interviews begin with some variation of the question, “Tell me about yourself.”  Talk about your accomplishments, skills and abilities – NOT your childhood, family, hobbies or interests.
Participate in the conversation.  Shake the interviewers hand firmly.  Look the interviewer in the eye.  Smile.  Add a little humor and your personality to the interview where/when appropriate.
Know what you can do for the company.  Understand that most companies want to know how you can either make them money or save them money.  Know what the interviewer is looking for and be prepared to show examples of what you can deliver.
Listen and be prepared for trick questions like, “What is your greatest weakness?”  Turn it into a positive.  Say, “I’m a workaholic.  I like to get things done before I go home at night.”
Once you have answered the interviewers questions, work your questions into the mix.
Avoid questions about salary and benefits unless the interviewer brings the subject up, and then stay general.  It is best to avoid getting locked into a specific salary.  The best time to begin salary negotiations is after the company has told you they want to make you an offer.
When closing with each person, ask for his or her business card.  You will want this information for follow-up.
When the interview is coming to a close, deliver a closing statement.  “Mr. Smith, I want this job.  I can give you… (Summarize your strengths).”  Then ask for the job.
You should send a thank-you note to everyone you interviewed with.  Include in the thank-you note a closing statement indicating when you will be following up with a phone call.
Questions you should be prepared to answer in an interview

What do you know about my company?
Why do you want to work for us?
How long do you plan to work here?
Why are you leaving your current job?
If you were to resign your current position, would your employer try to buy you back?  Why or why not?  Would you be willing to consider this counter-offer?
What do you enjoy most about your current job?
What would you change about your current position?
Have you ever had a disagreement with a boss?  Why or why not?  How was the disagreement resolved?
What do you plan on doing professionally five years from now?
Give an example of a major problem you faced and how you solved it?
In your lifetime, what was your greatest accomplishment?  What did you learn from it?
What was your greatest failure?  What did you learn from it?
What is your greatest weakness?
Are you best working alone or in a group?
What do you like most about yourself? Least?
Have you ever been fired from a job?  Why?
Do you have any questions for me?
If you have questions about how you should respond to these questions, please call your Recruiter at Professional Recruiters.