Interviewing Secrets From Professionals Who Got the Job

Ready for your big interview?

 

Interviewing is intimidating, nerve wracking, and can make you feel like you’re two heartbeats away from having a heart attack. You only have one shot at making a great first impression so you need to make sure you’re prepared to give the right answers during your next interview.

 

As a leading Career Coach for the past five years, I’ve gathered interviewing tips from my clients who have been hired and written an e-book, “Interviewing Smart – Insider Secrets from Professionals Who Got the Job!”  Here are five key questions going through your interviewer’s mind…

1.  Can you do the job?

These questions are usually very black and white. Either you have what it takes to be successful in the position or not. Before the interview, be sure to study the job description so that you fully understand the job requirements.

Be prepared to talk about your skills, knowledge, and training that will help you perform the job successfully. The biggest mistake I see job candidates making is talking about their responsibilities, and what they need to focus on are the results and accomplishments they’ve achieved for their previous employers.

2.  What “extras” do you bring?

For most job openings, a hiring manager knows about 90% of the work that the new employee will be responsible for, but not the remaining 10%. That is because they want to know, What can you (the new employee) ADD to the position?

So before you go into a job interview, think about any additional skills and talents that you can bring to the position.

3.  Where are you at risk?

Every new employee is a risk to a company. Whether it’s a specific job requirement that you don’t meet, or potentially being overqualified for the position, or a potential health risk, etc. So, spend some time thinking about where you are a risk.

I like to beat the interviewer to the punch by stating where I’m a risk and then reassuring her why it won’t be a problem. For example, if the job requires that you need to know of a specific type of software, then I want you to sign-up for some training before your interview so that you can say that you’ve already registered for some training to learn more about the software.

The point is that you need to be able to discuss the area(s) where you are a risk, and then immediately follow-up with what you’re doing to close the gap.

4.  Does the interviewer like you?

This is an area that you really cannot take personally. Either the culture and the team are a good fit for you, or they aren’t. And believe me, it’s better to know up front during the interview, than to have a pit in your stomach every day as you walk into your new office.

I once interviewed with a Sales VP at a television station. After 1 1/2 hours of interviewing, I really couldn’t tell if he wanted to hire me or not, so I simply asked, “Do you think I would be a good fit with your team?” He told me that he didn’t think so because he allows his team to vent, kick the garbage can and curse like sailors in the office. I appreciated his candor because the reality is that I would not be happy or successful in an environment like that.

During your next interview, be prepared to discuss your professional style and work ethics.

5.  Will you be able to work out the compensation/benefits package?

Be prepared to talk about a salary range that is acceptable to you. I do not recommend giving an exact salary since the benefits package almost always includes room for negotiating vacation days, stock allowance, bonus payouts, perks, etc. But you should be prepared to give a salary range that you would accept.

Those are 5 questions that your interviewer really wants to know about you! It’s not everything you should do to prepare for an upcoming interview – but it’s a good start!

For more interviewing strategies and to learn how to negotiate a top salary, check out my “6-Week, 6-Step Career Change Program.”

 

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of two books including “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” which is currently on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LISTfor personal branding books, and “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster from a layoff, re-org or career setback“ also available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.   Right now you can download three FREE CHAPTERS of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

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PARADE Update: You Got The Interview! Now What?

PARADE Update: You Got The Interview! Now What?


One hour after Meghan sent her hot-off-the-press professionally updated resume to a hiring manager, he called to see if she could come in for an interview the next day!

Interviewing is intimidating, nerve wracking, and can make you feel like you’re two beats away from a heart attack. But preparing for the interview is much simpler when you realize that there are just five key questions going through your interviewer’s mind.

Here are three of them:

Can you do the job? You need to be able to talk about the skills, knowledge, and training you have that will help you perform the job successfully. My recommendation is that you walk into your next interview with 3-4 “personal career stories” that showcase a career success. Your stories should include: what the goal was, what the challenge was, and what the result was.

What “extras” do you bring? For most job openings, about 90% of the work has been defined but not the remaining 10%. This means you have a terrific opportunity to flaunt any bonus talents that may be of value. For example, if you’re going for a job as a Pubic Relations manager, you may have some experience in marketing or desktop publishing that is not required for the job, but might be valuable to the company.

Where are you a risk? Every new employee is a risk to a company, whether it’s a job requirement that you don’t meet or a skill you don’t have, or the potential that you’re overqualified for the position. I recommend that you beat the interviewer to the punch by stating where you a risk and then reassuring him why it won’t be a problem. If you’re asked what weaknesses you have, respond by bringing up an area that could improvement but quickly add what you are already doing to strengthen that area.

For a complete discussion of all five question, see my best-selling eBook, “Interviewing Smart: Insider Secrets to Getting the Job

Interview Tips for Recent Grads

If you’re a recent college graduate (or even if you’re not), check out my most recent interview on NBC Phoenix Channel 12 with tips to set yourself apart from the other applicants and help you land that first job – even if you don’t have “experience”.

The Key to a Successful Job Interview

Your message needs to be crystal clear during a job interview. A resume is a logical, factual and one-dimensional piece of paper. But when you meet with a potential employer face-to-face you can bring your message to life and make it more powerful and memorable. Whether you are networking with a potential employer or sitting in a formal job interview, you have a limited amount of time to get your message across. So, telling a great career success story is critical.

The key to a successful interview is pre-selecting stories that demonstrate you have the right experience and knowledge to perform that job successfully. Talk about past experiences, results, and accomplishments that relate to the new position. Summarize each story by giving an overview of a particular situation or challenge, the expectation or goal, your specific contributions and the result of your contributions. Practice your stories out loud, over and over again. You must be able to talk about your experiences and successes confidently.

Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression, so you need to be polished, professional and confident.

Suggested Promise of Value – Ready to Transition

If you are in the market for a new job with a new company how do you identify the skills, knowledge, and training the marketplace values and the right messages for the potential employers? Let’s look at a few simple steps.

The first step is to research the current marketplace to identify the skills and job requirements. (I give more tips on searching the current marketplace in my February 15th post.) Don’t worry if you cannot find your ultimate dream job, the point is to identify the kinds of companies that are hiring and the types of positions that are available.

Getting a job offer can be a challenge. Look at yourself from the hiring company’s prospective. More than likely they have waited longer than they should have to fill the position, meaning that their employees are overworked, overwhelmed and over stressed. Now they have to take precious time and resources to advertise for the position, sort through stacks of resumes, conduct multiple rounds of interviews and train the newly hired person. It is a time intensive and resource draining process. Making a poor decision and hiring the wrong person not only results in extreme frustration and stress, but also can cause a company to lose a big project, an important clients, or worse, credibility among peers, clients or companies within the industry.

If you have the skills for the job, the message you should be sending is that you are the one and only candidate – and that you will succeed. Your resume and the answers you give during an interview must give a clear message that you are results driven and have the skills, strengths, and experiences required to succeed at the job.