Interviewing Tips

90% of hires are based solely upon the interview according to a Harvard Business Review study. In fact, 63% of hiring decisions are made within the first 4.3 minutes of an interview (courtesy SHRM). So, the interview is probably the most important part of the hiring process. And that’s why you need to spend time with your personal recruiter to better understand whom you are interviewing with and the issues that you will be talking about during the interview.

You always need to “take temperatures” because people have minds and they’re changing them constantly. You need to listen to what they don’t say. Being prepared for an interview is vital. The following preparation is very unique and effective in conducting a positive interview.

Things To Remember

  • People have to buy you before they buy from you.
  • People hire and accept emotionally first and justify logically later.
  • People are most sold by your conviction rather than by your persuasion.
  • Know your technology, but think PEOPLE.
  • The decision to hire is made in the first 5 to 10 minutes of the interview, with the remaining time spent justifying that decision.

Candidate Preparation

Please take these notes to the interview and practice the anticipated questions that may be asked and your answers to those questions. Be sure to practice these steps out loud to yourself before the interview.

  • What are the duties and responsibilities of the position I’m applying for? This is an excellent icebreaker question for the hiring authority and a great start to a successful interview. What percentage of my job is dedicated to administration, supervisory, and technical?
  • What is my number one priority that has to be done before I leave each day? Why?
  • What are the production or sales goals? What obstacles would prevent me from reaching my goals?
  • What are the short and long term goals set for the person in this position?
  • Have questions for the hiring authority. Questions must be written out before the interview, while avoiding the topic of compensation and benefits for the first interview.
  • Salary – this is a trap question. See below.
  • Ask for the job! “I haven’t interviewed in a while, what is the next step? Can we conclude our business today if all goes well?” Summarize what you’ve done that ties in with the new position and ask, “Do I have the qualifications you’re looking for?” then remain silent for an answer. If the hiring authority says, “I’m looking at other people,” you say, “How do my qualifications match the people you’re considering.” Your #1 priority is to receive an offer, if this is a position that you desire, your #2 priority is to know the next step.
  • Ask for a business card from everyone that you meet with and ALWAYS SEND A FOLLOW-UP EMAIL OR LETTER.

Interview Preparation Questions

IMPORTANT: Never, ever ask about money or benefits in the initial interview.If they ask you what you are making….TELL THEM. Be sure to include any bonus options or bonus potential, stock options, etc. State it as a fact. They already know because we have told them. They are checking to see if your story remains the same. If they ask you “what it would take to bring you on board” or “what would it take to get you to accept the position”, it is critical to redirect the focus of the question. There is nothing good that can come out of negotiating at this point in the process. You will either leave money “on the table” or price yourself out of the opportunity before you can judge the position after having all of the facts. One example of a good response…”If this is the RIGHT job for me…one that allows me the opportunity to grow, challenges me as a professional, one that I enjoy coming to work everyday for and have a supervisor/mentor who appreciates me and allows for open and honest communication…than whatever is MARKET compensation for my education and experience would be sufficient.” That response assures them you are focused on the “right” reasons (not only money) to make a job change. It also gives them the confidence that you aware their cost of living may be different, etc. and also provides you with the opportunity to define “market” after you have all of the information about the position.

It’s important to focus questions on the interviewer, then the company, and finally on you.

Review the following questions. In as much objective detail as possible, create a unique response for each one.

Hint: Don’t oversell yourself – stick to the facts and tell the story.

Share insights gained and professional lessons learned when possible. Try to quantify your statements. (i.e. “As a result of our efforts, we increased sales by XX%.”)

  • Tell me about your greatest accomplishment on the job.
  • Tell me about a difficult situation you encountered at work and how you overcame it.
  • Give me three adjectives you would use to describe yourself and examples of your work style to support them.
  • Give me three adjectives you would use to describe your weaknesses/areas for improvement and the reasons why you feel you need to work on these.
  • If I was to ask a co-worker about you, how would they describe you on-the-job?
  • Tell me about a time where you were required to work with a difficult person (i.e. client, co-worker, manager, etc.). How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?
  • If you were given a task to complete in an unrealistic time frame, what would you do?
  • If someone came to you with an enthusiastic, yet unrealistic request, how would you handle it?
  • Why are you looking to leave your current position?
  • What do you want to get out of your next job?
  • Tell me about the best manager you ever had? Now tell me about the worst?
  • What are the three most valuable things you’ve learned while working in your current position?
  • What was the biggest mistake you’ve made on a job? How did you handle the failure?
  • What do you feel makes you successful in your current role? Give an example to support your success.
  • What do you think makes a company good to work for? What do you like about your current company? What could be better?
  • Do you prefer working alone or in teams? Give examples of how you have worked successfully both alone and in a team? What do you attribute your success to?
  • What are your own business philosophies – what do you feel must be present in a successful business?
  • What skills are you looking to develop in your next job? Why?

Questions to Ask

Take a moment to look at the questions below. Re-write them in your own words so you can ask them in interviews.

Step 1:Connect With The Interviewer

  • How did you join the company? What makes you stay?
  • What has this company taught you?

Step 2: Learn About The Work Environment

  • What makes the department I’d be working in successful?
  • I’ve done my homework on the company, but I’d love to hear you describe the corporate culture here in your own words?
  • What makes this a great place to work? And since no company is perfect, what could be improved upon?
  • What traits do you feel a person needs to be successful at this company?
  • Can you give me an example of a recent hire that has been successful?
  • How does the company measure its success? What evaluation criterion do they use?
  • What are the three greatest strengths of this company? What are the three greatest strengths of the department I’d be working in?
  • What are the three biggest challenges the company faces this year? And for the department I’d be working for?

Step 3: Ask For Feedback

  • If I could add/change anything about myself and my experience to make me a better fit for the position and the company, what would it be?
  • What are the next steps in the hiring process?

Step 4: Call us !

It is very important to let us know if you are interested in the position or not immediately after the interview. If the client is interested in you and calls us before you do, it suggests a far different level of interest for us to be able to say “John Doe called us immediately after the interview and sounds very excited about the position” than “I dont know if John is interested or not…he hasnt called us yet!”

Step 5: Please take 10 minutes and watch this video!

Please click the link below and take the time to watch this 10 minute video. Many of our candidates found this very helpful !