Ninety percent of hires are based solely upon the interview according to a Harvard Business Review study. In fact, 63% of hiring decisions are made within the first 4.3 minutes of an interview (courtesy SHRM). So, the interview is probably the most important part of the hiring process. And that’s why you need to spend time with your personal recruiter to better understand whom you are interviewing with and the issues that you will be talking about during the interview.
You always need to “take temperatures” because people have minds and they’re changing them constantly. You need to listen to what they don’t say. Being prepared for an interview is vital. The following preparation is very unique and effective in conducting a positive interview.
Things To Remember:
- People have to buy you before they buy from you.
- People hire and accept emotionally first and justify logically later.
- People are most sold by your conviction rather than by your persuasion.
- Know your technology, but think PEOPLE.
- The decision to hire is made in the first 5 to 10 minutes of the interview, with the remaining time spent justifying that decision.
Please take these notes to the interview and practice the anticipated questions that may be asked and your answers to those questions. Be sure to practice these steps out loud to yourself before the interview.
- What are the duties and responsibilities of the position I’m applying for? This is an excellent icebreaker question for the hiring authority and a great start to a successful interview. What percentage of my job is dedicated to administration, supervisory, and technical?
- What is my number one priority that has to be done before I leave each day? Why?
- What are the production or sales goals? What obstacles would prevent me from reaching my goals?
- What are the short and long term goals set for the person in this position?
- Have questions for the hiring authority. Questions must be written out before the interview, while avoiding the topic of compensation and benefits for the first interview.
- Salary – this is a trap question. If the question is brought up a very good response is “I would like as much as the position will pay” OR “I am currently making $_____. Although I would like an increase, I don’t know enough about the opportunity to answer that fairly”). Be very careful that you don’t short yourself. Be sure to keep in mind your base salary, bonus program, stock options, gain sharing programs, performance bonuses, benefits, etc.
- Ask for the job! “I haven’t interviewed in a while, what is the next step? Can we conclude our business today if all goes well?” Summarize what you’ve done that ties in with the new position and ask, “Do I have the qualifications you’re looking for?” then remain silent for an answer. If the hiring authority says, “I’m looking at other people,” you say, “How do my qualifications match the people you’re considering.” Your #1 priority is to receive an offer, if this is a position that you desire, your #2 priority is to know the next step. ALWAYS SEND A FOLLOW-UP LETTER.
- After you leave the interview, it is very important that you call us immediately!
- Arrive 10 minutes early. Being late to an interview is never excusable.
- Clarify questions. Answer the interviewer’s questions as specifically as possible. Relate your skills and background to the position requirements throughout the interview.
- Give your qualifications. Focus on accomplishments that are most pertinent to the job.
- Anticipate tough questions. Prepare to turn perceived weaknesses into strengths.
- Ask questions. An interview should be a mutual exchange of information, not a one-sided conversation.
- Listen. Concentrate not only on the interviewer’s words, but also on the tone of voice and body language. Once you understand how the interviewer thinks, pattern your answers accordingly and you will be able to establish a better rapport.
- Dress appropriately. Make your first impression a professional one.
- Be professional. Smile, make eye contact and maintain good posture. These are simple but important things that are easy to forget to do during an interview.
- Don’t answer vague questions. Ask the interviewer to clarify fuzzy questions.
- Don’t interrupt the interviewer. If you don’t listen, the interviewer won’t either.
- Don’t be overly familiar, even if the interviewer is.
- Don’t ramble. Overlong answers may make you sound apologetic or indecisive.
- Don’t lie. Answer questions truthfully.
- Don’t express resentment. Avoid derogatory remarks about present or former employers.
- Don’t wear heavy perfume or cologne. The interviewer may not share your tastes.
Closing the Interview
Job candidates often second-guess themselves after interviews. By asking good questions and closing strongly, you can reduce post-interview doubts. If you feel that the interview went well and you want to take the next step, express your interest to the interviewer. Try an approach like the following: “After learning more about your company, the position and responsibilities, I believe that I have the qualities you are looking for. Are there any issues or concerns that would lead you to believe otherwise?”
This is an effective closing question because it opens the door for the hiring manager to be honest with you about his or her feelings. If concerns do exist, you may be able to create an opportunity to overcome them, and have one final chance to dispel the concerns, sell your strengths and end the interview on a positive note.
A few things to remember during the closing process
- Make sure that you have thoroughly answered these questions during the interview: “Why are you interested in our company?” and “What can you offer?”
- Express appreciation for the interviewer’s time and consideration.
- Don’t expect an offer to be made or a specific salary to be discussed during your first interview.
After your interview, follow-up is critical. When you get in your car, immediately write down key issues uncovered in the interview. Think of the qualifications the employer is looking for and match your strengths to them. A “thank you” letter or email should be written no later than 24 hours after the interview. Be sure to call your recruiter to discuss your interview and your next steps.