Preparation Is The Key To Success
Your initial interview with a potential employer is the most important step in landing the job you want. It gives you the opportunity to convince the employer that you are the person the company needs
Preparation is the first and most essential step toward a successful interview. Company interviewers are continually amazed at the number of job applicants who drift into their offices without any apparent preparation or knowledge of their company, products and/or services, and only the vaguest idea of what they are going to say.
The person who interviews well will often get many job offers. Some people with only average abilities can actually change jobs frequently and sometimes easier than applicants with better skills and experience, simply because they interview well. The quiet job candidate from whom every word must be extracted; the over-confident braggart who exaggerates his or her capabilities; the person who wishes to change fields and not utilize past experience; or the candidate who has established a minimum salary requirement which represents an unreasonable increase, are all examples of the type of candidate who will receive more turn-downs than offers of employment.
Before you interview for a position, learn as much about it and the employer as possible. If you found the position through a dmDickason recruiter, he or she will be able to provide you with specific helpful information about the company, employer and position.
Start getting ready for the interview 2-3 days before by doing some research on the company & practicing your interviewing skills
Therefore, it is critically important to:
1. Understand that you will get only one chance to make a good first impression! Interview attire should be conservative and well coordinated. An interview is not the time or place to make a new style or fashion statement. Remember, your interview is a business meeting, not a social occasion. Good grooming can make a difference in the impression you make. White shirt/blouse, navy, or gray business suits, non-flashy ties, conservative use of make-up and jewelry (no earnings for men and no indications of any unordinary body piercing for men or women), well shinned business shoes (no cowboy boots), solid color socks, non-patterned flesh colored hose for women, and conservative and freshly groomed and cut hair styles.
2. Know the exact place and time of the interview, the interviewer’s full name and title, and the correct pronunciation of his/her name. Your dmDickason recruiter or staffing specialist will supply you with this information at the appropriate time.
3. You must be willing to spend several hours, if necessary, researching facts about the company including vital statistics of the industry. You must also be prepared to answer countless numbers of specific questions that will most certainly be asked by the employer. Your dmDickason recruiter or staffing specialist can provide you with a list of these “most commonly asked questions”. We would also like to spend 20-30 minutes with you, a few days before your interview, to give you helpful hints in how to appropriatly respond to the questions we anticipate you may receive from this interviewer. Practicing how you respond to these questions is critical. Do not embarrass yourself by going to an interview unrehearsed! Remember that your competition will be prepared. You must answer all questions in a positive way, one that always shows an employer the benefit of hiring you. Again, your dmDickason recruiter or staffing specialist will certainly be happy to give you many more important hints; however, the answers must always be yours, and you, ultimately, must be the one that has to spend the time practicing your answers.
DO SOME RESEARCH
Find out specific facts about the company, where is the plant, facility, office or stores located, what its products and services are, what the growth has been, and what the growth potential for the future is forecasted. There are a number of research publications providing this kind of information. Among the most helpful are:
- The Web / Company websites
- Copies of the Company’s manuals
- Thomas Register of American Manufacturers
- Dun & Bradstreet Reference Book
- Company hand-outs & Brochures
- Downtown library
- Standard & Poors Corporate records
EXAMPLES OF QUESTIONS THE INTERVIEWER MIGHT ASK
Each interviewer will have their own way of conducting an interview. Their questions will vary based on the company, the position, and the level of responsibility. A few hours before your interview, dmDickason’s Executive Recruiter will give you more specific information about the interview’s personality, what normally transpires during similar interviews with that company, certain idiosyncrasies of that company and important questions this employer is likely to ask, among others.
Tell me about yourself? Emphasize work-related achievements, accomplishments, how you saved your current (or past) employer money, how you increased revenue, etc. Beware or responding to this question with personal data about yourself, your marital status, number of children, religious or political affiliations, where you were born and raised, etc.
Since federal law prohibits employers from asking many personal related questions, some employers may ask the question, “tell me about yourself” hoping that you will volunteer information that they cannot legally solicit. If you are asked this question, avoid any responses or discussions dealing with your age, race, color, sex, religion, national origin, veteran status, disability, marital status, numbers and ages of children. Instead, keep the answers work-related. Also, rewrite your resume, if necessary, to eliminate any and all references to these items. Also, please do not attach a personal photo to your resume. For more information, please click on tips on writing an effective resume.
Several common interview questions you should be prepared to answer……….
- Tell me about yourself
- Why do you want to work here?
- What do you know about our organization?
- What do you have to offer us?
- Why should we hire you?
- What is your best friend’s or last boss’s biggest criticism of you?
- How much money do you want?
- What are your 1, 3 and 5 year goals?
- What do you want from your job that you don’t already have?
- Why are you interested in this position?
- What are you looking for?
- Why are you looking for a new job?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What hours are you willing to work?
- Describe a situation in which your work was criticized.
- How would you describe your personality?
- What is your philosophy in motivating others?
- What did you like least about your last job?
- What did you like best about your last job?
- What do you think about your last boss?
EXAMPLES OF QUESTIONS YOU MAY WANT TO ASK THE INTERVIEWER
Write out the questions you will ask during the interview. Remember that an interview is a two-way conversation. The employer will try to determine through questioning if you have the qualifications necessary to do the job. You too, however, must also determine through questioning whether the company will give you the opportunity for growth and development you seek. Take your research notes and questions to the interview with you.
If the interviewer asks you, “Do you have any question for me?” you must say “Yes!”
Asking questions shows that you are interested in the job. It also gives you a chance to not only demonstrate how knowledgeable you are about the position and the company, but how your background will help the company accomplish its’ goals (see 3 points below). Most importantly, it helps you highlight why you are the perfect candidate for the job.
You have to choose your questions carefully, though, depending on who's doing the interviewing. Also, there are certain questions you should never ask early in the interview process -- no matter whom you're meeting. Don't ask about salary, vacation, benefits, 401(k) or anything else that might make you seem more interested in the compensation than the company. You never want to give the employer the impression that you main concern is how often you can miss work rather than the contributions you plan to make.
EXAMPLES OF QUESTIONS YOU DO NOT WANT TO ASK THE INTERVIEWER IN THE FIRST OR SECOND INTERVIEW………..
- What are your benefits?
- What is the starting pay?
- What are the work hours?
- When are the pay days?
- What kind of vacation plan do you have?
- Can I smoke?
- Does your company pay for health insurance?
- Do you have breaks?
- When is your lunch hour?
Once you have a company sold on hiring you, then, and only then, should you discuss your compensation expectations.
EXAMPLES OF QUESTIONS YOU MAY WANT TO ASK THE INTERVIEWER………..
- Why is this position available?
- What does a typical day consist of?
- Please give me a detailed description of the position, including duties and responsibilities.
- What are your expectations of someone filling this job?
- Why did the person previously in this position leave?
- How is job performance evaluated at your company?
- How many people will I work with?
- Can I see where I would work?
- What is your background and why did you choose to work for this company?
- What are your company growth plans?
- I am self-motivated and like a fast pace; does this job offer that?
- What opportunities are there for growth over the next couple of years for someone entering this position?
- How do I compare to other candidates that may be under consideration for this job?
- What is the next step in the selection process?
Determine in advance the 3-4 most important benefits that you can offer a company because of your education and experience. Since merely responding to an interviewer’s questions may not allow you to express these benefits, you must be prepared to work them into the conversation on your own initiative. Many qualified individuals have not been offered the job they wanted because the interviewer did not ask questions which brought out their best points. Remember, define the benefits you can offer a company and make sure that you effectively communicate how these benefits will be an advantage to the employer and company. Three types of benefits that all employers have interest in are:
1. How you saved your current or previous employer money. By incorporating new ideas or programs, by catching a shoplifter, uncovering an over-billing mistake, by increasing sales, by incorporating new marketing strategies or stressing how some of your ideas actually decreased company costs.
2. How your individual efforts made the company money. All businesses are in business to make money. Did you do anything that contributed to an increase in production output, quality or sales? How can you bring this money making concept to this new company? How did your ideas or effort affect the company’s top or bottom line(s)? How did you do it?
3. What are your past achievements, awards, honors, do you have any certificates that you earned while at your last employer(s)? All employers like to hire successful, accomplished, goal-oriented employees who have been recognized for going above and beyond the normal call of duty. How are you different from other employees with the same experience and background? This is not bragging! If you don’t mention these things, the employer will never know.
For more information on preparing for your interview, please click on one of the helpful links below: