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Interviewing For Success

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Interviewing For Success

  1. 1. Karen M Zoller, HR Professional August 2009 Interviewing for Success
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Present different types of Interview Techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate techniques for responding to questions </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss how to handle the interviewer </li></ul><ul><li>To demonstrate the candidate’s responsibility in interviewing </li></ul><ul><li>Practice interviewing and receive and receive feedback </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is an interview? <ul><li>Definition: a conversation between employer and job applicant to assess the background and experience of the candidate as a fit for a position </li></ul>
  4. 4. Importance of Knowing How to Interview Well <ul><li>Interviewing is marketing yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Plant the language of my character to leave the impression you want with the interviewer </li></ul><ul><li>Take control of the image you want to present </li></ul><ul><li>Structure your responses to enhance your skills and fit for the position </li></ul><ul><li>Build rapport with the interviewer(s) that may lead to the job offer </li></ul><ul><li>Present yourself in the best light possible </li></ul><ul><li>Remember: Competition is tough </li></ul>
  5. 5. Planning for the Interview <ul><li>Research the company – talk with current employees to learn about the culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Review the Job Description to identify the skills and experiences need to perform successfully in the job </li></ul><ul><li>Identify competencies and activities that you want to highlight </li></ul><ul><li>Decide: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What three things do you want the interviewer to know about you? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What three things do you want to know about the job? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Parts of an Interview <ul><li>Introductions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overview of position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introductions of interviewers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion of process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Questions for Candidate </li></ul><ul><li>Candidate Questions of the Interviewer </li></ul><ul><li>Closing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Next steps </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Opening the Interview <ul><li>Elevator Speech </li></ul><ul><li>Succinct 2-3 minute overview about yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Career highlights </li></ul><ul><li>Work Experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Education (if appropriate) </li></ul><ul><li>Current Job interests </li></ul><ul><li>Character Statement (source Tim Pappas ) </li></ul><ul><li>Not an elevator speech </li></ul><ul><li>Reflects the central themes in your life </li></ul><ul><li>Reflects the values you are guided by </li></ul><ul><li>Becomes the form and reference point for the interview </li></ul>
  8. 8. Types of Interview Styles <ul><li>Behavior Based Interview </li></ul><ul><li>Situational Interview </li></ul><ul><li>Trait Interview </li></ul><ul><li>Conversational Interview </li></ul><ul><li>“ Gut – Feel” Interview </li></ul>
  9. 9. Behavior Based Interview <ul><li>Interview is structured and job focused </li></ul><ul><li>This is an objective, systematic, consistent method </li></ul><ul><li>Based on examples of past performance to assess how candidate will perform in similar circumstances on the job </li></ul><ul><li>May incorporate additional interviewers, panel interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Use contrary examples to ensure representative response </li></ul><ul><li>Cues that this is a Behavior Based Interview </li></ul><ul><li>Questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell me about a time . . . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe a situation . . </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Situational Interviews <ul><li>More structured and job-related to assess skills that apply to job performance </li></ul><ul><li>Assess behavior in the present or what may occur in the future </li></ul><ul><li>Use simulations, hypothetical situations or role plays and assess the candidate’s response questions presenting a dilemma and asking candidate to solve </li></ul><ul><li>Managing the Situational Interview: </li></ul><ul><li>Take time to understand the question, case, instructions, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Relax as much as possible </li></ul>
  11. 11. Trait Interviews <ul><li>Questions are person-related, but structured </li></ul><ul><li>Goal is the measurement of key personality traits that may or may not apply to job </li></ul><ul><li>Questions relate more to personal characteristics rather than to job skills </li></ul><ul><li>Cues that tell you this interview is trait-based: </li></ul><ul><li>Questions such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To what extent are you an organized person? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do you assess yourself in terms of adaptability? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>List your most positive qualities for me. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are you more aggressive or relaxed when faced with a problem? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Conversational Interviews <ul><li>Seemingly “unstructured” interview focusing mainly on job experience and job skills </li></ul><ul><li>Resembles a conversation between two equals </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewer is interested in your values </li></ul><ul><li>Uses process to make candidate comfortable enough to reveal desired information </li></ul><ul><li>Uses rapport rather than structure as the tool for gathering information </li></ul><ul><li>Managing the Conversational Interview </li></ul><ul><li>Remain on –guard; do not relax </li></ul><ul><li>Build rapport with the interviewer </li></ul><ul><li>Be informal but professional </li></ul><ul><li>Provide examples of how well you work with others </li></ul>
  13. 13. “ Gut Feel” Interviews <ul><li>Focus is intuitive and person-related </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose to see how candidate measures up to subjective selection criteria </li></ul><ul><li>General impression is the basis for selection </li></ul><ul><li>No structured interview questions </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on personal characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Cues that your interview may be “gut feel” : </li></ul><ul><li>No structured interview form is used </li></ul><ul><li>Questions may be about pet theories, illegal topics, personal characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation is based on how much you are liked </li></ul><ul><li>Hiring decision is based on subjective reactions </li></ul>
  14. 14. Replying to the Questions <ul><li>Structure your reply to focus on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Situation (or task): What was the candidate was involved in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hindrances (or obstacles) : the candidate overcame in order to achieve the objective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actions: what did the candidate do to accomplish the task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results: what happened? What were the results? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation: What did the candidate learn from the experience? What might the candidate do differently in the future? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Weave in your character themes to reinforce your replies </li></ul>
  15. 15. Knowing What to Say <ul><li>Plan and prepare for your interview in advance. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop answers to common questions </li></ul><ul><li>Be as specific as possible, don’t generalize </li></ul><ul><li>Remember interviewing is marketing yourself and leaving the impression you want the interviewers to remember </li></ul><ul><li>Be very positive, exude enthusiasm </li></ul><ul><li>Think carefully before responding to the question </li></ul><ul><li>Vary your voice – don’t be monotone, change volume </li></ul><ul><li>Be consistent </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to think on your feet </li></ul>
  16. 16. Who are you interviewing with? <ul><li>Human Resource Managers, Generalists </li></ul><ul><li>Hiring Manager (usually the final decision-maker) </li></ul><ul><li>Peripheral Managers, colleagues, clients </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Managers, supervisors or others the position interacts with </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Common Interview Questions <ul><li>1. Why do you want to work in this industry? </li></ul><ul><li>2. Tell me about yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Why are you leaving your current position? </li></ul><ul><li>4. Where do you see yourself in five years? </li></ul><ul><li>5. What is one of your weaknesses? </li></ul><ul><li>6. What salary are you looking for? </li></ul><ul><li>7. Tell me about your previous boss (bosses). </li></ul><ul><li>8. Why should I hire you? </li></ul><ul><li>9. Tell me about a time you failed and what did you learn from it? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Common Interview Questions continued <ul><li>10. How do you explain your gap in employment? </li></ul><ul><li>11. When were you most satisfied in your job? </li></ul><ul><li>12. What did you like least about your job? </li></ul><ul><li>13. Describe a time when you did not get along with a co-worker. </li></ul><ul><li>14. What motivates you? </li></ul><ul><li>15. How would your friends (your former boss, co-workers) describe you? </li></ul><ul><li>16. </li></ul><ul><li>17. </li></ul>
  19. 19. What are the Tough Questions ? <ul><li>Questions that you can’t or don’t want to answer </li></ul><ul><li>Questions that are difficult to answer </li></ul><ul><li>Questions that are illegal </li></ul><ul><li>Questions are that ill conceived </li></ul><ul><li>Questions that are designed to “get you” </li></ul><ul><li>Questions designed to get negative information </li></ul>
  20. 20. The Tough Questions: Highlighting a Compensating Strength <ul><li>Sample Questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gut Feel: What is one of your weaknesses? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trait: Which of the following traits is most like you- are you more selfish, hard-headed or disorganized ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversational: Often a core value and a weakness go hand in hand. How do you feel that your weaknesses relate to a core value? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behavioral: Give us an example of a time when your biggest weakness kept you from reaching an important objective </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possible Responses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>State your area for improvement: one of the areas I need to develop further is: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highlight a strength that may compensate for this : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe an event that demonstrates how you used this </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe the results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discuss what you learned and how you continue to develop </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. The Tough Questions: Applying Damage Control <ul><li>Sample Questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gut Feel: What do you consider the biggest screw-up in your life? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trait: How has your self-esteem been set back by a negative experience? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversational: What would you like to change about your past? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behavioral: Tell me about a time at work when you disappointed yourself by not following your principles. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possible Responses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect humility : This period of my life had some things I’m not very proud of. At that time I had a problem with ______ : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Briefly describe a past event that shows what you learned from that experience and the changes you made </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>State your commitment to continue learning and improving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Express optimism for the future </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. The Tough Questions: Admitting that you are not perfect <ul><li>Sample Questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gut feel : “It sounds like you solve problems by taking the day off. Why can’t you tackle things head on? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trait: “ what is the biggest flaw in your personality when you get your feelings hurt?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversational : “What is the major principle you follow when you are having a problem with job stress?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behavioral: “Tell me about a time when you were not successful coping with a pressure situation.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possible Responses </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledge you are not perfect: I have to admit I am not perfect. I am committed to continuous improvement . When I discover an area I need to change, I develop a plan to use one of my strengths to help me improve. </li></ul><ul><li>Give an example that shows you are constantly learning for example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I faced the problem ____; I was hindered by ____; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The actions I took were: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The result was ___ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I learned that ___ </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. The Tough Question: Why were you fired? <ul><li>Preface your answer by explaining the circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>Briefly and succinctly tell the truth </li></ul><ul><li>Go on to explain what you learned from this experience </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to convert the experience to a benefit </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sometimes you get into a complex situation with different personalities/that didn’t fit with my values . . . </li></ul><ul><li>. . . And this was one of those times – yes , I was fired. “ </li></ul><ul><li>However by watching the effect of this person on others, I learned to be more alert to organizational politics” </li></ul><ul><li>I use this experience to create an atmosphere of respect towards those who I work with </li></ul>
  24. 24. The Tough Question: Perceived as being over-qualified <ul><li>Interview Question: Why are you interested in doing this type of work after doing ____ and ____? </li></ul><ul><li>Personally consider : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have the appropriate skills for the role? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How happy will you be in that role? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why are you considering this role? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Convincing your Interviewer: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Admit that you are worried too </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take salary off the table </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasize your strengths and accomplishments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discuss life style implications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Distance yourself from the higher qualifications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indicate you want to learn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a commitment </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. The Tough Questions for Baby Boomers <ul><li>How old are you variations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I have a friend who graduated from (school), When were you there? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How many more years do you plan to work before you retire? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Illegal – but be alert </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Graciously refuse to answer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I am incredibly energetic and plan to be working for a long time” </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. The Tough Questions for Baby Boomers <ul><li>Will you be using this Job as a bridge to retirement? </li></ul><ul><li>What are your Salary requirements? </li></ul><ul><li>How you feel about working in a fast-paced environment? </li></ul><ul><li>I’m excited about this position and plan to continue working for a long time </li></ul><ul><li>Try a non-committal answer first </li></ul><ul><li>(Shrouded age question) Provide examples of your experiences </li></ul>
  27. 27. What questions do you have for me? <ul><li>Interviewing is 2-way </li></ul><ul><li>Assess for yourself the organizational fit, environment, job directions </li></ul><ul><li>Moves you from passive interview to an active interview participant </li></ul>
  28. 28. Examples of Questions <ul><li>Leadership/Culture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell me about the environment in which this organization operates. What is the culture like? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the greatest strengths of this company? What do you think it could be better at? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why is this position available? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Industry/Competition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is this company’s toughest competitor? Why? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does this company growth compare with the growth of the industry? </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Examples of Questions cont. <ul><li>Job Specific Questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the most important characteristics you are looking for in a candidate? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the main objectives and responsibilities of this position? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is most pressing or problematic for you? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What challenges may be encountered in reaching these objectives? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wrapping It Up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the next steps in the selection process? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on our discussion of the company, the opportunity and my background, I find myself interested in taking this to the next step </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Summary <ul><li>Remember: Interviewing is another way to market yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Take control of the image you want to present and use language to leave the impression you want the interviewer to have of you </li></ul><ul><li>Structure your responses to enhance your strengths, skills and fit for the position </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare yourself to think on your feet </li></ul>
  31. 31. Suggested Resources <ul><li>Get Hired! Winning Strategies to Ace the Interview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Paul C Green, PhD Bard Press, 1976 </li></ul></ul>

Notas del editor

  • Hiring Manager becomes acquainted with candidate and vice versa Provide the candidate with an opportunity to learn about the organization Provide the candidate with an opportunity to market his/her skills and competencies
  • While these appear to be unstructured interviews, these are planned discussions. It is important that you stay alert so that you present the information you want – and not be seduced
  • Managing the “Gut Feel” Interview - Stay alert. Be thoughtful about your answers. Questions seem free-form, not connected
  • Tough Questions are those that you can’t answer (or don’t want to answer) Questions that may be illegal, irrelevant, incomprehensible or simply to trip you Questions may be challenging , stretch your ability to answer and let you demonstrate the skills that you have to offer
  • Questions for negative information
  • Job seekers who may appear to be over-qualified for any number of reasons – Particularly true of the mature worker