Interviewing Skills Tips and Techniques for Landing a Job Presented by The Sure B.E.T. Team
What is an Interview? • Interviewing is a Skill – Like Riding a Bike • An interview is a meeting between you and a potential employer • Practice Makes Perfect
Types of Interviews • Telephone Interview – Used to screen applicants or narrow applicant pool • One on One – Most common type of interview • Panel or Group – Many individuals interview you at once • Meal – Used to test your skills in a social setting • Second Interview/On-Site – Allows you to tour organization and meet staff
Preparation is the Key • Research position, company and industry • Be able to articulate skills, strengths, accomplishments and goals • Prepare and take copies of resumes and a list of references • Ask for directions and where to park
Arriving at the Interview • Allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at the interview; consider a dry run the day before • Don’t be late – Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to park, use the restroom and find the office/location of the interview
First Impressions • Only one chance to make a good first impression • Dress appropriately • Smile • Maintain eye contact • Firm handshake • Remain poised and confident
Body LanguageWhat signals are you sending? • Positive Signals • Leaning forward = Interest • Eye Contact = Focused • Smiling = Friendly • Nodding = Attentive and Alert
Body LanguageWhat signals are you sending? • Negative Signals • Crossed Arms = Defensive • Lack of Eye Contact = Untrustworthy • Tapping Foot or Fidgeting = Nervous or Bored • Leaning Back = Discomfort
Types of Interview Questions • Standard/Traditional • Tell me a little about yourself • What do you know about our company? • Why have you applied for this job? • Why should we select you? • What are your career goals and where do you see yourself in 5 years? • What are your strengths and weaknesses? • Do you have any questions?
Types of Interview Questions • Behavioral Questions • Describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision. • Think about a time when you made a mistake. What did you learn from it? • What do you do when you have a conflict with a co-worker or supervisor? • Tell me about a time when you worked under a deadline.
Types of Interview Questions • Inappropriate or unethical questions • How old are you? • Do you have children? • What is your religion? • What is your political affiliation? • Are you married?
Types of Interview Questions • Questions for you to ask the interviewer • What skills are you looking for in this position? • Is there room for advancement? • What can I expect my first assignment to be? • Is there a training program available? • What is the biggest challenge facing this dept.? • What do you like most about this company? • What is the next step in the hiring process?
Interview Strategies • Be prepared to talk about yourself, your past experiences and accomplishments • Give examples of success stories, awards and goals that you have met • Remain positive, enthusiastic, poised and confident
Interview Strategies • Think before speaking • Avoid long, drawn-out answers. Limit responses to 1-2 minutes • If you do not understand the questions, ask the interviewer to repeat the question • Remain calm, relaxed and be yourself • Try to focus on the message you are trying to convey… NOT on how well you are doing
Common Interview Mistakes • Poor personal appearance • Lack of enthusiasm/interest • Over emphasis on money • Failure to make eye contact • Limp, fishy handshake • Asks no questions about the job • Lack of confidence and poise
How NOT to Get the Job • Bring your mother or kids to the interview • Answer your cell phone during the interview • Chew gum or smoke • Badmouth your previous employers • Explain transportation and/or financial problems in depth
Follow-Up • Ask good questions • Thank the interviewer • Request a business card • Inquire about next steps in the hiring process
Follow-Up • Send a thank you note within 24 hours • Handwritten thank you notes or emails acceptable • Tailor each one to the individual
Final Thoughts • Take some time to reflect after the interview • Overall, how well did I do? • What went well? • What steps can I take to improve my interview skills for next time?
Suggestions for Success • Write down a list of practice questions and short answers • Practice. Practice. Practice. • Get a good night’s sleep – be well-rested and alert for the big interview • Be relaxed and be yourself!