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Interviewing Effectively

Hiring managers make judgements about your qualifications based on what you tell them.
Being carefully prepared is to your advantage and you may, if you are strategic about what you say, beat out competition by conveying relevant information in the interview.
 
Communication Strategy:
Effective communication is a key element in your job search strategy. How you communicate affects the lasting impression. The words you use must be carefully selected.
 
Effective Listening:
Listening alerts you to the employer''s needs. It helps for you to demonstrate listening techniques during the interview and to respond accordingly.
 
Preparing for The Interview:
  • Be fully knowledgeable about the position and the company.
  • Obtain copies of he annual report and search the Internet for SEC information, or a web site with information on the company and recent events.
  • Be able to articulate what you can do, and give specific examples of work-related accomplishments that demonstrate competency for the position
  • Describe your education/experiences to reflect a well-rounded knowledge of the position''s responsibilities. Be prepared to elaborate on how certain elements of your education/experience make you the ideal Candidate for this position.
  • Be prepared to respond to a series of different questions.
  • Practice your responses visibly either in a mirror or with others.
  • Precisely walk through your resume with no mistakes on dates and titles, articulating why and when you left each position.
  • Walk through all the questions and comments that need to be told about your career, your progress in each position, about the values of each of your employers and the challenges of each position.
  • Be prepared for either a stressful interview, or a casual chat, but make sure you are attentive to all of the signals.

Body Language:
There are many signals you can give off during an interview and they should be considered as you are presenting yourself. Some tips include:
  • Maintain good eye contact
  • Do not fuss with your hair or clothing
  • Be careful not to cross arms and appear defensive
  • Watch how you position yourself and your posture
  • Carefully pronounce your words
  • Don't talk too much - be precise and informative

Sensing Your Interviewer:
 
Having the right feel for the interviewer is very important. It is critical that you have the right chemistry with your interviewer from the beginning. For example, remember to be courteous and friendly, but not overly forward and aggressive. Remember their first and last names and the correct pronunciation. Make sure you give your interviewer your full attention. Listen carefully and respond to each question. Stay relaxed and attentive and pick up on the signals of the interviewer. Watch their body language and adjust your comments if you appear to have lost their attention.
 
Asking Questions:
  • Since the interviewing process is a two-way communication, be prepared to ask questions. The most important questions you can ask include comments such as:
  • What are the critical responsibilities of this position?
  • What resources are there for you to do your job?
  • What is your level of authority -- for operational expenses, hiring staff, formulating policy/procedure, etc.
  • How and when will you be assessed?
  • When are you expected to be there and general ground rules for the day?
  • When appropriate respond to questions on compensation and your expected level of pay with benefits.

Issues and Comments to Avoid:
  • Be careful to avoid comments that are inappropriate. For example, you may want to avoid comments that would suggest you are over-qualified for the position.
  • You may also want to be careful if giving the impression that you cannot handle criticism, and be prepared, if a question regarding how you handled a difficult situation comes up.
  • Be prepared not to show concern if you are asked to take any written tests (math or profile tests).
  • Be careful when responding to questions about your co-workers, or bosses and your feelings regarding them.
     
In your responses, highlight your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
When handling sensitive questions, you can easily reverse a question with a question. For example,"I am not sure that I understand what you are asking, could you please elaborate?"
  • Practice responding to sensitive questions, or address issues on your commuting, home life, or where you have no practical experience.
  • Be careful not to appear nervous or light-headed.
  • Be confident and non-critical.
  • Avoid apologizing profusely.
  • Avoid making similar comments and being repetitive.
  • Admit when you do not know something as opposed to trying to respond to it.
  • Never smoke, or do anything that is physically unappealing.
  • Never appear agitated or argumentative.

Remember What the Interviewer Is Looking For:
  • What you do best and how you do it.
  • What you are looking for.
  • What you can do today and in the future.
  • Key elements that qualify you for the position based on past performance.
  • What you know about the job and the company.
  • Things about you personally that provide information about your ethics and work habits.
  • Your strengths and an awareness of your weaknesses.
  • Your appearance.
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