"Professional baseball player have a batting coach. A coach to improve hitting a ball with a large stick. How many variables are there in an interview?" R. A. Edwards 1996
INTERVIEWING SKILLS REVIEW
It is important to plan the image you with to present. Get a good night's sleep the night before the interview. Arrive at least 30 minutes early, entering the parking lot no more than 10 minutes before the interview time. Attend to last minute grooming details out of sight of the building. Remember, the building has windows. Unprofessional, casual, or inappropriate behavior may be observed by the individuals you will be interviewing with. Dress according to conservative codes regardless of the what may be appropriate for the position you seek. Dress in a professional, conservative manner.
Wear a suit with a white shirt, conservative tie, dark socks, well shined shoes, well
groomed hair, face and hands. Do not
forget your fingernails. Do
not smoke or drink one hour before an interview.
The same dress code applies to women.
A suit, light colored blouse, moderate jewelry and accessories, and pumps
(not sandals) will convey the most well groomed, professional image. Do not wear
perfume or cologne. One of the
people you interview with may be allergic to it.
the building with a smile. Greet the
receptionist with: “Hello, my name
is _____ and I am here for my ___ o’clock appointment with ____.”
Be pleasant and professional with everyone you come in contact with.
fill out the application. Remember
it is a part of their process. DO
NOT answer “See resume” for any inquiry.
The resume and the application may become separated.
For salary requirements, write “Open” not “Negotiable”.
Offer a clean copy of your resume out of a new manila folder.
Take several copies in case you meet with several people.
Generally, you will wait in a public area until the person you are
interviewing comes to meet you. First
impressions are extremely important. Do
not sit down and wait for the person. Stand
up. Meet the person eye to eye with
your hand out and a smile on your face. By
standing you do not have to worry about your clothes settling correctly as you
stand. A lot has been
written about hand shakes and what they mean.
Emulate the persons hand shake, firm or soft.
While you are waiting read the plaques and any company information in the waiting area.
There may be information or recent awards that may be of use in the interview?
Follow the interviewer to their office.
Wait for the interviewer to sit down before you sit unless they instruct
you to sit first. Offer a clean copy
of your resume to the person then sit down.
objective of the interview is two fold. First,
to present yourself in a professional manner and demonstrate that you have the
education, experience, and drive to excel in the position.
Second, to collect information in order for you to make an informed decision
about the viability of the opportunity. This
can only be accomplished by a two way conversation.
Answer all questions directly and from the heart.
Do not second guess the interviewer.
Having to second guess on the job every day would be a miserable life.
If you are not right for the job it is best that you do not take it.
Do not be afraid to ask questions! Keep
questions centered on the position’s scope, scale, expectations, company culture,
etc. Do not worry about compensation
and benefits at this point. If the
position is not right for you the compensation does not matter.
Well thought out questions impress potential employers and stimulate
the beginning of the interview be prepared to give a 2 to 4 minute presentation
of your work history beginning with your first job after school.
This will help break the ice and demonstrate that you can communicate in
a concise and precise manner. Remember
to include details about the scale of the enterprise, the scope of your duties,
and your accomplishments. Practice
this presentation before hand. Do
improvise! Practice at least 6 times
or until it becomes a natural, fluid story.
Better, practice it in front of a mirror or video camera.
occasion, the first contact with the organization will be a telephone interview.
A telephone interview should be conducted exactly as a face to face
interview with these exceptions. Standup
while you are on the phone. This
will open your chest diaphragm and you will project a higher level of confidence
and energy. Make sure you are in a
quiet area with no distractions. Answer
the phone in a professional manner even if you are at home.
a matter of a few hours of interviewing, you will be making one of the most
important decisions in your life. It
is essential, therefore, that you prepare yourself; in order to make the right
decision, and by having done your "homework", you will demonstrate a
genuine interest in their company. The
applicant, at a minimum, should know the answers to the following questions prior to meeting
the potential employer: What products or service does the company offer?
When was the company established? What
is the approximate number of employees? Number
of branches and plants? What has
been their growth? Who is their
competition? Who are their
customers? Etc. If possible, speak
with individuals associated with the company.
Do they reinforce your impressions?
the initial moments of the interview ask the interviewer how they see you
fitting into the organization. Do
not assume that you understand the position you are interviewing for.
Answer questions with this context in mind.
Relate your experiences in the context of the position and support your
qualifications for the position with examples of accomplishments from your
The employers goal is to determine if you have the necessary qualifications and experience to be successful in the position. Anticipate the questions and have prepared answers. It is important that you know all dates and locations pertaining to your educational and employment history. In addition, specifics regarding each previous position held, detailed job duties, promotions, and accomplishments.
the interview the employer will be evaluating the tangible qualifications and
skills you have presented, as well as determining your strengths, weaknesses and
intellectual adeptness, with particular attention to the following five major
skills; How well do you present yourself and your ideas?
attitude; Do you have a positive attitude about yourself and your career?
-Your aptitude, based on both educational and actual experience.
-Your potential; how your attitude and aptitude combine to contribute to that
-Your motivation; what are your short and long term career goals;
What is your level of maturity;
What is your
personal motivation and what are your reasons for
Be able to support these attributes with examples of success from previous positions.
are primarily interested in one of two things: “…Can this person increase my
profit or can they decrease my cost?…” Remember
to keep this in mind when answering questions.
If you are not interested in the position or the company, thank the interviewer for their time and politely state your concerns. There may be a misunderstanding that can be corrected.
Always handwrite a Thank-you card to every one you met with and promptly mail the cards.
R. A. Edwards, 1999
are a few tips on telephone interviews:
-Answer the phone in a professional manner. "Hello, this is ______".
the distractions around you. Try to
be in a quiet place. You do not want
the interviewer or yourself distracted by background noise.
stand up when you speak on the telephone, due to ergonomics your
projects better when standing.
Prepared to give a quick background on yourself in terms of work history and
to ascertain their needs. How do
they see you fitting into the organization? What skills are needed in this
position? What types of projects will you be working on? Relate your past
experience and show how
can help fill their needs. Reinforce
with examples of your accomplishments.
this first interview, keep your questions focused on the job and company.
The scope and scale of the responsibilities, future of the company, etc.
The career comes first, monetary considerations second.
about salary, answer. Don't bring
salary up until the interviewer does.
that companies hire individuals to help them with current and future problems.
So emphasis what you can do for them and how fast you learn. You are a
the conversation with a summary. If
you are interested in the position