Interview Tips

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Focus
List five strengths you have that are pertinent to this job (experiences, traits, skills, etc.). What do you want the interviewer to know about you when you leave? Eleanor is strong in communications and connecting with people. She has a strong background and proven success with customer relationships. Her real strength is her follow-through. She prides herself on her reputation for meeting deadlines.

Scripting
Prepare a script that includes the information you want to convey. Begin by talking about past experiences and proven success: "I have been in the customer service industry for the past five years. My most recent experience has been handling incoming calls in the high tech industry. One reason I particularly enjoy this business, and the challenges that go along with it, is the opportunity to connect with people. In my last job, I formed some significant customer relationships resulting in a 30 percent increase in sales in a matter of months." Next, mention your strengths and abilities: "My real strength is my attention to detail. I pride myself on my reputation for following through and meeting deadlines. When I commit to doing something, I make sure it gets done, and on time." Conclude with a statement about your current situation: "What I am looking for now is a company that values customer relations, where I can join a strong team and have a positive impact on customer retention and sales."

Practice
Practice with your script until you feel confident about what you want to emphasize in your statement. Your script should help you stay on track, but you shouldn't memorize it - you don't want to sound stiff and rehearsed. It should sound natural and conversational. Even if you are not asked this type of question to begin the interview, this preparation will help you focus on what you have to offer. You will also find that you can use the

Thoughtful answers delivered clearly are much better than empty answers given rapidly. ask the interviewer a tag-on question. If you feel you may be talking too long. asking a question will wake Open the Conversation After your response. And you're not being measured by your response time. “Does that give you what you were looking for?” This ensures you are understood accurately. and you want to avoid providing reasons not to hire you. Besides. The more you can talk about your product -.information in this exercise to assist you in answering other questions. such as. Be Clear and Concise Be honest and succinct with your responses. The reality is that most jobs require us to work both independently and in teams. Your response to this question should show that you have been successful in both situations. you may be giving them more detail than they want. Before responding to any interview question. Long answers are less effective than concise responses and tend to make interviewers suspicious. But you don't have to play this game. “Am I giving you the level of detail you're looking for?” This prompts a response and promotes an open exchange of information. conveys that you want to be sure you're providing what the interviewer is looking for. You deserve the best. so practice your responses to frequently asked interview questions.you -. if you're putting the interviewer to sleep with your long-winded answers. if the interviewer asks if you prefer to work alone or on a team. and promotes two-way communication. and prepare to be your best when it matters most. Steer the Interview Your Way For example. Tell the truth in as positive a manner as possible. take your time. and don't discuss things or events in a negative fashion. he may be trying to get you to say you are one way or the other. Your answers also need to provide the reason to hire you. . breathe and think about your answer.the better chance you will have at selling it. If you are talking more than 90 seconds without interaction with the interviewer. just stop and ask the interviewer a question like.

” The interviewer asks. focus on letting the interviewer know that you have the ability and experience to interface well with many different groups. you want your audience to remember the important points you have made. you could repeat your strength in a story format: “One project I worked on was very complex and detailed. I know I would be a real asset. Be sure to read between the lines. It will require good communication and interpersonal skills. More importantly.” says the interviewer. By concentrating on a handful of strengths. Since I am known for my organizational skills. If these are your areas of strength. the interviewer should have a strong sense that you're a very organized person. If you were to ask my coworkers. For example : Will interact with accounting. it sounds like you're looking for someone to come in and bring order to projects here.Focus on Your Strengths by Carole Martin Monster Contributing Writer What do you have to offer an employer? Why should that employer choose you over someone else? What will make interviewers remember you after they're done with their first round of meeting potential candidates? It's about matching their problems and needs with your qualifications. Read through the description and identify the key factors needed to do the job.” Later in the interview. skills and traits. engineering and manufacturing departments. and the ability to interface with a diverse group of people and levels. “One of my key strengths is being organized.” By the time you leave the interview. they would tell you I am the ultimate planner. “From what I have heard throughout the interview. you will probably receive serious consideration as the solution to the company's problem. . “Why should we hire you?” Your answer should repeat information about being organized. What will it take to perform this task? What kind of person is this company looking for?. The interview begins: “Tell me about yourself. the folks you meet are more likely to remember you for your strengths. I was able to do this using Microsoft Project software for tracking and scheduling. Part of your answer should include a statement about your organizational skills. Since this is important for the job. It required a lot of forethought and planning on my part. you will find that you are more focused and succinct about telling what you have to offer. Like the speechwriter. Your mission is to convince interviewers that you are the solution they've been seeking. What Are Your Strong Points? Identifying your five strengths and matching them to the job is an important step in preparing for your interview.

That first impression can be a great beginning -or quick ending -. This is not about making a new friend. Whether you wear a suit or something less formal depends on the company culture and the position you are seeking. Don't Talk Too Much. Dress for the Job or Company. Telling the interviewer more than he needs to know could be a fatal mistake. So study these 10 strategies and caveats to enhance your interview IQ.Ten Tips to Boost Your Interview IQ by Carole Martin Monster Contributing Writer Even the smartest and most qualified job seekers need to prepare for job interviews. If you are not listening. you ask? Interviewing is a learned skill. but do not to overstep your place as a candidate looking for a job. Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what he said. and there are no second chances to make a great first impression. Your level of familiarity should mimic the interviewer's demeanor. It is important to bring energy and enthusiasm to the interview and to ask questions. your interviewer is giving you information. Why. Practice Good Nonverbal Communication. sometimes talking yourself right out of the job. making eye contact and connecting with a good. matching your skills with the position's requirements and relating only that information. call to find out about the company dress code before the interview. Listen. When you have not prepared ahead of time. you are missing a major opportunity. either directly or indirectly. Observe your interviewer and match that style and pace. If possible. firm handshake. Today's casual dress codes in the office do not give you permission to dress as "they" do when you interview. you may tend to ramble. It's about demonstrating confidence: standing straight. . It is important to look professional and well-groomed. Don't Be Too Familiar. From the very beginning of the interview. Prepare for the interview by reading through the job posting. The interview is a professional meeting to talk business.to your interview.

Run warm water if your hands tend to be cold. Take Care to Answer the Questions. you appear desperate and less confident. damp hand in return -. if not worse. . I know -. The person holds out his hand and receives a limp. When asked if they have any questions. Asking questions also gives you the opportunity to find out if this is the right place for you. calm and confident. overconfidence is as bad." Wrong answer. he is seeking a sample of your past behavior. you not only don't answer the question. make sure the interviewer believes you can. but you also miss an opportunity to prove your ability and talk about your skills. Don't Be Cocky. The Handshake: It's your first encounter with the interviewer. When an interviewer asks for an example of a time when you did something. not bone-crushing. The best questions come from listening to what is asked during the interview and asking for additional information. The insides of your wrists are especially sensitive to temperature control. It's a given that you should use professional language during the interview. Attitude plays a key role in your interview success. politics or sexual orientation -. It is extremely important to ask questions to demonstrate an interest in what goes on in the company. Try running cold water on your hands when you first arrive at the interview site. If you fail to relate a specific example. the majority of candidates answer.not a very good beginning.it's a tough job market and you need a job. religion. Your handshake should be firm. Maintain the three C's during the interview: cool. But when you interview with the "please.these topics could send you out the door very quickly. please hire me" approach. Ask Questions. There is a fine balance between confidence. "No. too. as being too reserved. race. You know you can do the job. professionalism and modesty. Explanation: about First Impression Nonverbal Pitfalls to Watch For: 1. Even if you're putting on a performance to demonstrate your ability. Don't Appear Desperate.Use Appropriate Language. Be aware of any inappropriate slang words or references to age. and your hand should be dry and warm.

Watch yourself in a mirror while talking on the phone.2. avoid touching your mouth while talking. Preparing what you have to say is important. as this shows aggression. By constantly looking around the room while you are talking. tapping feet or unconsciously touching parts of the body. and nonchalantly. Occasionally. Getting carried away with hand gestures can be distracting. . Check yourself out in a mirror or on videotape. Don't Fidget: There is nothing worse than people playing with their hair. you convey a lack of confidence or discomfort with what is being discussed. glance at the interviewer's hand as he is speaking. but show some energy and enthusiasm. Eye Contact: Look the interviewer in the eye. Chances are you are probably using some of the same gestures in an interview. You don't want to stare. 1. 2. Also. clicking pen tops. The nonverbal message can speak louder than the verbal message you're sending. 3. We're not talking "ramrod" posture. but practicing how you will say it is imperative. Your Posture: Stand and sit erect. A slouching posture looks tired and uncaring. Your Hands: Gesturing or talking with your hands is very natural.

Interviewers don't care what your weaknesses are. 2. You must be prepared to discuss any part of your background. If you are asked this question. Making a So-Called Weakness Seem Positive. Researching the Company But Not Yourself. 3. . Most candidates expect to be interrogated. Candidates intellectually prepare by researching the company. Candidates who expect to be interrogated avoid asking questions. director of global recruiting at Deloitte. because they've probably heard the same answer a hundred times. Confusing an Interview with an Interrogation. Creating your talent inventory refreshes your memory and helps you immediately remember experiences you would otherwise have forgotten during the interview. An interview is a business conversation in which both people ask and respond to questions. The worst thing to say is that you have no questions. Interviewers are more impressed by the questions you ask than the selling points you try to make.” 4. Failing to Ask Questions. Formulating a talent inventory prepares you to immediately respond to any question about your experience.Six Interview Mistakes by Michael Neece. An interrogation occurs when one person asks all the questions and the other gives the answers. leaving the interviewer in the role of reluctant interrogator. They want to see how you handle the question and what your answer indicates about you. founder of Interview Mastery Monster Contributing Writer It's tough to avoid typical interview traps if you're unsure what they are." and turn it into a positive. Most job seekers do not research themselves by taking inventory of their experience. so you're probably pretty safe asking that question. highlight a skill that you wish to improve upon and describe what you are doing to enhance your skill in this area. "What are your weaknesses?" Conventional interview wisdom dictates that you highlight a weakness like "I'm a perfectionist. Every interview concludes with the interviewer asking if you have any questions. Having no questions prepared indicates you are not interested and not prepared. “I think a good question is. Here are a half dozen to watch out for. Interviewers are not impressed. 1. make a list of five questions you will ask. “Everybody likes to talk about themselves. Interviewers frequently ask candidates. ‘Can you tell me about your career?'” says Kent Kirch. Before each interview. knowledge and skills.

Leaving Your Cell Phone On. We may live in a wired. . Your intention is to keep everyone's memory of you fresh. Waiting for a Call. After you send a thank-you email and note to every interviewer. Contact the person who can hire you -. always-available society. Additional information can be details about your talents. but a ringing cell phone is not appropriate for an interview. follow up a couple of days later with either a question or additional information. Time is your enemy after the interview.5. HR is famous for not returning calls. a recent competitor's press release or industry trends.not the HR department. 6. Turn it off before you enter the company.

select your outfit. Before the interview. Be on Time. 2. 5. You should also have questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview. even though you may feel shaky. a copy of your references and paper to take notes. . Candidates often don't think about whether or not they actually are answering the questions asked by their interviewers. products. dress for confidence. Allow extra time to arrive early in the vicinity. A firm handshake and plenty of eye contact demonstrate confidence. Answer the Question Asked. One of the most neglected interviewing skills is listening. 7. Enter the building 10 to 15 minutes before the interview. customers and competition will give you an edge in understanding and addressing the company's needs.Ten Interviewing Rules by Carole Martin Monster Contributing Writer In the current job market. Speak distinctly in a confident voice. 3. Depending on the industry and position. Sometimes what is not said is just as important as what is said. Be Prepared. allowing for factors like getting lost. You also should find out about the company's culture to gain insight into your potential happiness on the job. Never arrive late to an interview. you'd better have your act together. Even if the company has a casual environment. Researching the company before the interview and learning as much as possible about its services. Look Sharp. Do Your Research. get out your best duds and check them over for spots and wrinkles. the better chance you have of selling yourself. or you won't stand a chance against the competition. 1. 4. 6. Above all. but also reading between the lines. The more you know about the company and what it stands for. Check yourself on these 10 basic points before you go on that all-important interview. you don't want to look like you slept in your clothes. others will respond to you accordingly. Make sure you understand what is being asked. For extra assurance. If you feel good. and get further clarification if you are unsure. Bring along a folder containing extra copies of your resume. Show Enthusiasm. Listen. Make sure you are not only listening. print a copy of Monster's handy Interview Planner.

. the follow-up is one more chance to remind the interviewer of all the valuable traits you bring to the job and company. Follow Up. It is important to appear confident and cool for the interview. Many interviewees don't ask questions and miss the opportunity to find out valuable information. Your questions indicate your interest in the company or job. You don't want to miss this last chance to market yourself. There is no way to predict what an interview holds. One way to do that is to be prepared to the best of your ability. 10. but by following these important rules you will feel less anxious and will be ready to positively present yourself. Your past behavior can indicate your future performance. Give examples that highlight your successes and uniqueness. Prepare your stories before the interview. 9. Whether it's through email or regular mail.8. One specific example of your background is worth 50 vague stories. Ask Questions. Give Specific Examples.

and this is how well I've done it. designed bonus plans. if you're asked how many people you managed in your last position.just a short description of your overall scope and depth of experience. a much stronger response is." Turn Every Negative into a Positive What do you do if your interviewer asks about your experience working with Excel spreadsheets and you have none? Don't simply say you don't know Excel. projects or highlights that are directly related. not simply to tell what you've done. You might talk about your involvement in due diligence. follow up with smaller details -. Instead. Don't Tell It to Me Interviews are the time to sell what you have accomplished. respond seamlessly and make it easy for your interviewer to understand your specific experience. you could answer. successful. negotiations." . For example. Big to Little When someone asks you about your experience with mergers and acquisitions. Then. but I also directed all recruitment and hiring activities. "I have extensive experience designing Lotus spreadsheets. Not only was I responsible for managing those individuals." Then. use the big-to-little strategy to organize your thoughts. "I had a team of 35. Start big. facilitated the annual performance review process and projected long-term staffing requirements. set salaries. it's tempting to quickly respond." However. transactions or acquisition integration. you're communicating. so I'm sure getting a handle on Excel won't take any time at all. use related experiences to illustrate you have some relevant knowledge. even though you've been honest.by Wendy S. my team increased annual sales by more than 35 percent within just one year. Here five key strategies to help ensure interview success: Sell It to Me. you must learn how to comfortably manage and control your interviews. with an overview of your experience in M&A transactions -.two to four specific achievements. The reality is you must deal with the hiring process as it exists. To accomplish that. What's more. yet the very first encounter between the candidate and company often places the candidate in a particularly stressful and uncomfortable situation: The interview. you've positively positioned yourself and your knowledge. "My staff at IBM included 35 professionals and support personnel. Enelow Monster Contributing Writer Interview Essentials Companies want to hire competent. "This is what I know. articulate executives. In essence. For example.

However. You've Already Passed the First Test You're nervous. However. It is your responsibility to introduce it into the conversation. Therefore. There is no doubt interviewing is a stressful and often difficult situation. CFO and two executive VPs. generally a phone screening. "Before we end. go into the interview knowing you've already got them on the hook." Then proceed with sharing the information. . You must take the initiative during an interview to be sure you have communicated all that is of value.Remember. You might comment. And if it's a job at the level where your first interview is with the company's top executives. and you had wanted to share your experience in supply chain management. Be confident. yet not boastful. Take the Initiative You're nearing the interview's close. Quietly control the interview to be sure you paint a picture of knowledge and success as you position yourself for an offer. Walk into each interview knowing what information you want to communicate. Take a deep breath and remember you've already passed the first test. I'd like to share one more thing with you that I think is important to the position and my fit within your organization. it's your professional life on the line. the topic was never brought up. you know they're interested or they wouldn't be taking the time to interview you. You're sitting in the executive conference room with the president.

but the third round was a 20 percent reduction in the workforce. which I find very helpful." What Are Your Goals? Sometimes it's best to talk about short-term and intermediate goals rather than locking yourself into the distant future." Why Do You Want to Work Here? The interviewer is listening for an answer that indicates you've given this some thought and are not sending out resumes just because there is an opening. I made the decision to look for a company that is team-focused." . focus on what you want in your next job: "After two years. But many interview questions are to be expected.Preparation for the Top 10 Interview Questions by Carole Martin Monster Contributing Writer Too many job seekers stumble through interviews as if the questions are coming out of left field. and this company is very high on my list of desirable choices. state your reason for leaving in a positive context: "I managed to survive two rounds of corporate downsizing. "My immediate goal is to get a job in a growth-oriented company." Why Should We Hire You? Summarize your experiences: "With five years' experience working in the financial industry and my proven record of saving the company money. Study this list and plan your answers ahead of time so you'll be ready to deliver them with confidence. "I've selected key companies whose mission statements are in line with my values. For example. For example. where I know I could be excited about what the company does. Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits: "I am always working on improving my communication skills to be a more effective presenter." If you are employed. I could make a big difference in your company." Why Did You Leave (Or Why Are You Leaving) Your Job? If you're unemployed. I recently joined Toastmasters. I'm confident I would be a great addition to your team. My long-term goal will depend on where the company goes. I hope to eventually grow into a position of responsibility. which included me. Handle it by minimizing your weakness and emphasizing your strengths. where I can add my experience. What Are Your Weaknesses? This is the most dreaded question of all.

that is an important part of the job for me. This is a great way to brag about yourself through someone else's words: "My boss has told me that I am the best designer he has ever had. passive impression. If you answer "a bunny." you will be seen as aggressive. because I worked directly with the customers and their problems. and the ability to build strong customer relationships.When Were You Most Satisfied in Your Job? The interviewer wants to know what motivates you. the interviewer will get an idea of your preferences." If You Were an Animal. and he likes my sense of humor. He knows he can rely on me." you will make a soft. If you answer "a lion. skills and traits. This allows me to use my knowledge and break down information to be more user-friendly. "I was very satisfied in my last job." What Can You Do for Us That Other Candidates Can't? What makes you unique? This will take an assessment of your experiences. What type of personality would it take to get the job done? What impression do you want to make? . Which One Would You Want to Be? Interviewers use this type of psychological question to see if you can think quickly. Summarize concisely: "I have a unique combination of strong technical skills." What Are Three Positive Things Your Last Boss Would Say About You? It's time to pull out your old performance appraisals and boss's quotes. If you can relate an example of a job or project when you were excited.

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