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.”

 

————————————————————————————-

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

Enhanced by Zemanta

What your Interviewer REALLY wants to know about you…

Do you know what your interviewer really wants to know about you?

Preparing your answers for an interview is so much eeeeeasier when you know what the interviewer really wants to know about you! Once you understand what those are, you can be more prepared, more confident and feel less anxiety during the interview process.

Here are three (3) of my exclusive insider secrets into the mindset of interviewers and what they really want to know about you…

  1. Can you do the job?
    Do you have the skills, knowledge, and training to successfully perform the job? These questions are usually very black and white.How you should prepare: Read the job description 4 or 5 times to fully understand all of the job requirements. Select the top 2-3 critical skills that are most important.Think back on your career and select some “success stories” that you’ve had with each of those skills. Specifically, talk about the situation, how you demonstrated that skill, and the results. Keep it short and simple. Practice saying your success stories out loud. Your answers should be specific and focus on results and accomplishments.
  2. What “extras” do you bring?
    For most job openings, about 80% of the work has been defined. In other words, a hiring manager knows about 80% of the work that the new employee will be responsible for, but not the remaining 20%. That is because they want to know, “What can you (the new employee) ADD to the position?”What extra skills or areas of expertise do you have that can ADD VALUE to the company? 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. This “extra” skill may position you as the TOP candidate for the job.How you should prepare: Before you go into a job interview, think about the additional skills and talents that you can bring to the position. Be sure to work these skills into the conversation, but only after you have discussed those skills and qualifications that are REQUIRED for the job.
  3. Where are you at risk?
    Every new employee is a risk to an organization. Whether it’s a specific requirement that you don’t meet, or a skill you don’t have, or potentially being overqualified for the position, or taking a medical leave of absence, etc. So, spend some time thinking about where YOU are a risk.How you should prepare: During the interview, beat the interviewer to the punch by stating where you a risk and reassuring him why it won’t be a problem. For example, when I was interviewing at the NBC Affiliate TV Station (where I worked for 4 years), the Operations Manager was asking a lot of what I thought were too detailed questions about my experience. I jumped in and said, “I’ve read the job description over and over, and I’m absolutely confident I can do this job. The one concern I have is that I don’t know how to work the equipment in the news room.” She looked at me, breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Oh! We can teach you that!” She hired me the next day and I worked for her for 4 terrific years :)Addressing your risks is also the reasoning behind the question, “Tell me about any weaknesses you have.” When you are asked this question, I recommend that you respond by bringing up an area for improvement, but quickly add what you are already doing to strengthen that skill.For example, let’s say that you are interviewing for a position for a Sales VP and the position advertises that the applicant should know a specialized software application. If you are not familiar with this tool, you could say that you do not have a lot of experience with it but that you are taking an on-line training class to sharpen your skills (but only say this if it’s true!)

    This approach shows that you are serious about your professional development and take the initiative to grow and improve your skills.

And finally…
Do you have any interviewing tips to share?  I’d love to hear about them…  🙂

———————————————————————————

Sherri Thomas is President of Career Coaching 360, an international speaker, and author of “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – on AMAZON’s TOP 10 LIST for personal branding books! Career Coaching 360 (www.CareerCoaching360.com) provides career planning, management coaching, and leadership development support to help professionals change careers quickly and easily. To learn how you can reinvent your career quickly and easily, visit Career Coaching 360’s website for resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.