Do your homework. Have your resume with you and possibly some spares to pass around. Have a notepad and pen with information written down and for taking notes.
- Go to interview site to familiarize yourself with its location and plan an alternate route to get there in case of a traffic problem.
- Leave 30 minutes early so you are there before the appointment time.
- Don’t drink coffee on the road in case of a spill.
- Go to the restroom before the meeting.
- Always over dress for the interview. You can never be over dressed. Try to be 1 to 2 stages above what’s necessary and dressed better than the interviewer.
- An interview is for both sides to give and get information.
- A Human Resource person’s job is to screen out candidates, a Hiring Manager’s job is to hire.
- HR will find out 2 things in the 3 keys, can they and will they do the job. A Hiring Manager will figure out the last step.
3 key steps of an interview
1) Can they do the job?
2) Will they do the job?
3) Do they fit?
- An HR person will put 70% on the “can they do the job” and 30% on “will they”? A Hiring Manager will put 10% on “can you”, 30% on will you and 60% on do you fit the organization.
- The first interview is to sell your self. Never mention money or benefits or bonuses. What is important is that you WANT to work for them and you recognize that.
“I’m looking for a quality organization” or “I want to be part of your team.”
- If they ask what kind of money you’re looking for, take the high road. “I want enough to provide for my family and to be compensated fairly for what I do.” If the interview goes that way and things start to get specific, answer the questions truthfully but remember, “He who mentions money first loses.” Be magnanimous in your response, “A fair and equitable salary.”
An interviewer usually goes through 3 stages:
“Tell us a little about yourself.”
The first question is really setting up the candidate to find out how well he or she is organized. So, limit your answers. Many candidates will spend 20 minutes on this one answer. Be concise and answer only the question. Don’t wander and don’t just say yes or no. (Remember – The more info you give the more likely you are to lead them in a way you may not want to go.) Time yourself before hand and keep it down to a 2 to 4 minute overview of your work history.
Possibly, they will ask;
- “Why are you leaving your present position?”
- “What kind of a person are you?”
- “Who do you like to work for?”
- “What kind of environment would you like to work in?”
- “Tell me about a normal day?” (Have a good day planned in your mind. Be concise. Sound organized.)
- “Why do you want to work for us?”
- “Tell me about your biggest success and your biggest disappointment?”
- “How many people do you work with, how many did you make managers and how?”
- “Name 3 good things about yourself and 3 bad.” (Always turn a negative into a positive by saying, “I do this and have been correcting it by doing more of this.” It shows you’ve identified problems and are working to correct them. Spin that negative.)
- Clients will have set questions and are looking for discrepancies in answers against your resume. Study your resume and know it.
- Your resume should stress a cause and effect relationship that would carry over into an interview.
“I reduce loss by 15%” (HOW?)
- “By monitoring incoming deliveries and working with suppliers to correct shortages.”
When they ask if you have any questions, do not answer, “No you’ve covered everything very well.” Have 5 to 7 questions written down, so if some of those questions are answered in the first part of the interview, you have more. Some good questions are:
• Can you tell me a little history of the company?
• Ask your interviewer about his history with the company.
• What do they look for in as a success in the position they are hiring for say 6 months down the road?
• What attributes are they interested in?
• Ask a question about their website to show you’ve done your homework and looked them up.
At the end of the interview they may talk about the next step in the hiring process.
If so great, but it’s not a negative if they don’t. Many times that falls to a Department Head.
Good Luck with your Career Search– “Always remember, be prepared you only get one chance to make a first impression.”