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I'd like your best interview tips!

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Helen of Troy posted 2/26/2014 15:12 PM

I might be launching my career with an interview tomorrow. This firm indicated they are interested even though I have not finished school. This is what I want to do! It is interesting and fulfilling. The job I have now has good benefits but the pay is not great and I don't feel challenged. It began part time when youngest went to Kg and evolved into full time for the last 6 years.
This is frightening yet exciting all at the same time.
What are your best interview tips?

Catwoman posted 2/26/2014 15:17 PM

Do your research on the company, the industry and the interviewer.

Based on the above, formulate some questions to ask that will show you did your research. One company I interviewed with was in an industry where there had been a lot of shakeup. I asked about this and it showed them I was aware of the happenings in their market.

Do your research on the interviewer as well. I don't ask any questions that would reveal this, but it does help to know where they worked before, etc.

Cat

kg201 posted 2/26/2014 15:47 PM

Everything Catwoman said, and bring your most personable self. Smile. Firm handshake. Eye-contact. Don't overdo it...pause and think before answering a question and be aware of your airtime and stop answering a question once you've answered it. An example from your experience that gives the interviewer a picture of how you have handled situations in the past provides a lasting image of you, at the same time that it shows the interviewer your skills in action.

Ultimately the interviewer needs to be able to picture themselves working with you. Are you someone that they would want to work with? All of the above is meant to convey that image.

Good luck.

Dreamboat posted 2/26/2014 17:23 PM

Do your research on the company, the industry

THIS!! Also ask about the company, industry, and what the company specifically does and how they fill a need in the industry.

Be on time. Also if you get there 30 minutes early, wait in the car until 5-10 minutes before the appointment.

Be honest if you do not know the answer to a question. Explain how you would find the answer.

Don't be afraid to ask about your specific duties and opportunities for advancement in the future.

Be prepared to answer some tough questions like "How would you bring value to our organization?" and "Tell me about your biggest strength and biggest weakness." And if you are asked about your weakness, explain that you recognize this as something you need to work on and how you overcome the weakness.

Good luck!!!

persevere posted 2/26/2014 20:15 PM

There is nothing wrong with selling yourself but always make it clear that developing strong team dynamics is important. I've seen so many people crash and burn because their ego got in the way.

Granted I have no clue what your field is. I'm in software development, and the cocky people who think they know it all and aren't willing to collaborate and develop positive working relationships just get in the way until they cause problems and eventually get fired. Just my two cents.

Good luck!!!

fireproof posted 2/26/2014 21:02 PM

1. Ask for business cards so you can follow up with a thank you.

2. Have a few questions prepared

3. Breathe and be confident

4. Most important see if the job is right for you. So many people forget this part. This is about them getting a smart recruit but this is also about you and fit.

Good luck and be yourself.

RavenWood posted 2/26/2014 21:56 PM

All of the above advice is great. As an interviewer and hiring manager here is some additional advice:

1) Demonstrate passion. This doesn't mean faking excitement and showing full-teeth smiles the whole time. Take questions and add personal context and demonstrate you have solutions to problems they haven't even thought of before.

2) Honesty and willingness to try are two critical behaviors. Realize there are different types of questions and different ways you should approach them.
a) Behavioral questions - "Give me an example of a time you and a coworker had a disagreement and the steps you took to resolve it". These questions need to be answered with REAL LIFE specific answers. Not "what I would do", but "what I have done". State facts, names, places, details. Take a minute after the question to think of the situation you want to present. Avoid just speaking right away and "creating" an answer. Lies or holes in the truth are easy to spot in these types of questions. Expect the interviewer to ask follow up questions on your details. These questions are often so generic it's typically unacceptable to say you don't have an example.

b) Technical / skill set questions. Realize that not all questions are intended to be answered and "knocked out of the park" by you. Often interviewers will ask questions they INTENTIONALLY DONT EXPECT YOU TO HAVE AN ANSWER FOR. They aren't testing you to see if you know it, they are testing to see how much bullshit you will spew as an employee. If you don't know the answer, simply state so. Often times that IS the correct answer. You'd be amazed how many people make answers up and attempt to pass it off as the truth. Believe me, it's as obvious as a little kid trying to lie to their mother/father.

b.1) Having said that, keep in mind that demonstrating how you would figure out the answer is key as well. If you don't know the answer, say so, but follow up with how you might try to find the answer. "I don't know, I haven't had any experience with that. But it does sound similar to XYZ that I do have experience with. I'd have to research it more, but if it is like XYZ, I'd try to do ABC. And if it isn't like XYZ I would try to figure it out by consulting my mentor, followed by reading a book, and finally asking you for guidance.

I could go on for days - but stick to what you know, be honest, demonstrate passion, and more importantly - be yourself. Good luck

Amazonia posted 2/27/2014 08:52 AM

A suit that makes you feel like a million bucks. Nothing kills a first impression faster than tugging at your hem or limping from a blister in your new shoes!

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