Interview Tips and Techniques

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Congratulations on your face-to-face interview!

This is a big deal! Our client has stated to you, “We like your background!” Now they are interested in taking this courtship to the next step.

Jamie Burchell has 20 years of experience within the Staffing and Recruiting Industry. TRUST US, WE ARE EXPERTS! You have chosen to work with us because of this fact. Now, it’s time that you trust the EXPERTS!

READ THIS DOCUMENT THOROUGHLY!

There are many people that go into an interview unprepared! Don’t be that person! Follow our simple advice and you will get this job!

Not to sound like an infomercial, but we have calculated the numbers. Candidates that follow and embody these tips and techniques have over an 80% success rate when it comes to acquiring a job. This means that candidates that don’t integrate these steps into their interview have a 20% chance of getting the job!

Once again, congratulations on getting this far in the process!

According to Forbes Magazine, the only three true job interview questions are:

  1. Can you do the job?
  2. Will you love the job?
  3. Can we tolerate working with you?

That’s it. Those three. Think back, every question you’ve ever posed to others or had asked of you in a job interview is a subset of a deeper, in-depth follow-up to one of these three key questions. Each question potentially may be asked using different words, but every question, no matter how it is phrased, is just a variation of one of these topics: Strength, Motivation, and Fit.

Question 1: Can You Do the Job? – Strengths

 A job is not just about the technical skills, but also about leadership and interpersonal strengths. Technical skills help you climb the ladder. As work your way up the ladder, managing up, down and across the company become more important.

You can’t tell by looking at a piece of paper what some of the strengths and weaknesses really are…

You will be asked for specific examples of not only what you have done that has been successful, but what you’ve done that hasn’t gone according to plan or a task you may have failed at and how you learned from that experience, or what you’d do differently in a new scenario.

Question 2: Will You Love the Job? –Motivation

Most employees do not wish to get paid merely for working hard—just the reverse: they will work hard because they enjoy their environment and the challenges associated with their work….

Executives who embrace this new management style are attracting and retaining better employees.

Question 3: Can We Tolerate Working With You? – Fit

A lot of it is cultural fit and whether you are going to fit well into the organization…

The perception is that when (senior leaders) come into the firm, a completely new environment, they know everything. And they could do little things such as send emails in a voicemail culture that tend to negatively snowball over time.

It is vitally important that you show that you can ADAPT to their environment!

Preparing for the Interview:

Make sure that you are clear on what strengths, motivational and fit insights you’re looking for before you go into your interviews.

Think of the Interview process as a chance for you to show your ability to solve the organization and interviewer’s problem.

This is key! I can’t tell you how many people go into an interview with the attitude, “WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME!” If you go into the interview with the attitude of SHOWING them how you can solve their problem, the company will almost always show you what they bring to the table for your career!

Here is a List of 10 Mistakes that Candidates Make During an Interview:

  • Erase these mistakes and you will have a great interview!
  1. You arrive late to the interview and are poorly dressed.

What it means: “I really don’t care about getting this position.”

It is always recommended to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to give you time to collect your thoughts, review your notes and make a good first impression.

We understand that wearing a suit might not be the easiest thing to do, especially if your current job’s uniform is business casual. If you were to show up in a suit at work, EVERYONE will know something is up! A simple way to solve this for:

MEN… keep a tie in your jacket or pocket and put it on before your interview. WOMEN… a scarf can go a long way! I know it sounds cheesy, but it works!

2. You’re rude to the receptionist.

What it means: “I’m difficult to work with…you’re a snob that thinks people are beneath you.”

Receptionists are the gatekeepers to a workplace, and it’s their job to be the eyes and ears of the company. Also it’s important to note that if you are hired you may need their help with something one day.

3.  You answer questions with trite or cliché responses.

What it means: “I’m just one of the crowd.”

Telling the interviewer you are a perfectionist and expect too much of yourself is sure to elicit a yawn. These standard/canned answers are so over-used. Be original and actually try to think about an answer that is personal to you. Prepare potential responses ahead of time to avoid relying on the usual interview cliché answers.

Don’t try so hard to find some cute way of saying something. Just be honest about yourself, direct answers with merit are always the best choice.

4. You don’t ask questions.

What it means: “I’m not that interested in your company or this job.”

The interview should be a two-way conversation to determine if you are the right fit for the company, and if the company is the right fit for you. Use the interview to gather as much information about your potential new position as possible, but don’t dominate the conversation. You need to give the interviewer time to get to know you too.

5. You answer the benchmark “Tell us about yourself” question with “What would you like to know?”

 What it means: “I have nothing special to offer this company.”

This is your opportunity to steer the conversation into areas where you truly shine. Don’t waste this chance by appearing to lack any outstanding qualities you want to share. And please don’t start with where you were born. Focus on your career unless your birthplace is relevant to the job. It is EXTREMELY rare that an interviewer will ask you this question and expect a personal life story. CATCH YOUR INTERVIEWER BY SURPRISE. They want to know the relevant details of your experience or life that will actually benefit the job/company where you are interviewing.

6.           You use inappropriate language.

What it means: “I’m unprofessional and if it shows in the short span of an interview, imagine what I’ll be like in the office.”

It will shock you how many people have sworn during an interview. Even if the dialect is only mild and you, the interviewee, are using somewhat acceptable words, there still is no place for foul in the interview. Adhering to proper grammar (no slang) and definitely NEVER use offensive language at any time during the interview.

7.  You bad-mouth your former boss or company.

 What it means: “I have no discretion…I’ll blab any inside information.”

Even if you left your prior job on poor terms, you need to put this relationship in a positive light for the interview. Even if your old boss really was to blame…you don’t want to say that in your interview. Never bring negativity into the interview; keep it positive and upbeat.

8.  You ask the interviewer not to contact your former employer.

What it means: “I have something to hide.”

Even if you do not get along with your boss, you can always name someone else in the organization as a reference.

If you are interviewing confidentially, let the interviewer know that this is a confidential search!

9.  You exaggerate your accomplishments or credentials.

What it means: “I need to lie to make myself look good.”

A skilled interviewer can easily identify fabrications in your background or experience. State your qualifications with confidence. Be proud of what you can do and how well you can do it. You don’t have to be Superman to get hired; you just have to be right for the job.

10.  You don’t thank the interviewer.

What it means: “I have no manners.”

Forgetting to thank your interviewers in writing for their time can take the luster from even the most stellar interviewee. Always ask for a business card so you have the ability to send a follow-up “thank you” email once you get home.

These are 10 of the most important things NOT to do, as these have all proven to be “deal killers” in the past. I have personally experienced people losing their job offer based on 1 of these items over my extensive history in the field. These things will truly ruin your chances of being hired.

And now, the best advice! If you do only one thing on this interview, do this…

When the interview is winding down, the interviewer will always ask you if you have any questions. We discussed questions earlier in this document, but the paramount question to ask and the number one thing to do is to ask this question:

Is there anything missing from my background that would keep me from being a fit for this position?

We call this the CLOSE! This is your chance to overcome their objections, if they have any.

For example, if the interviewer says, “I am concerned about your lack of experience with ABC,” state, “I understand your concern, but I do have extensive experience with XYZ, which is very similar in many aspects as ABC, and I truly believe the learning curve will be minimal.”

But what if they say they have no concerns?

Then say, “When can I start!” I know, I know, that’s tough to say! But it’s a great icebreaker as well. You can even follow it up with a giggle! The easier way out is to ask, “Great, what are the next steps?” which is perfectly acceptable as well. Know your personality. If you can get away with “When can I start”, then go for it!

FINAL THOUGHTS!

You might be thinking, now there’s 10 minutes of my life I won’t get back! I assure you, don’t think about it that way. This document is the product of a fusion of work with different companies, adding up to 30 years of combined experience. Good luck with your upcoming interview or prospective job and remember, CALL ME WHEN YOU ARE WALKING OUT OF THE INTERVIEW!