Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Interview Techniques

Here are some ideas about preparing for any interview:

1. Consider each job requirement and responsibility in the form of a question regarding your experience and ability in each area. Come up with a general answer to the question and one example. The general answer should be one to two sentences. Then you say, "for example,..." and you go into a two to three sentence description of the example project or responsibility.

2. End a few of of your answers with the question "does that answer your question?" Not every answer, because that can make you look insecure. But one or two, so they get the sense that you want to make sure you heard them and that you are responding to their needs.

3. When they ask followup questions, limit your answer to two or three sentences. I suggest writing down the question as they ask it - so have a pen and paper with you from the beginning. Writing down some part of the question will help focus your mind and start you formulating the answer - it will also help you answer JUST the question. Rein yourself in from going into other areas. When you hear yourself saying "and" - it's time to wrap up your answer.

3. When asked about your past, give short, simple answers. Write down what you want to say about past employers - why you left, what you did. The answers should be one sentence - the bottom line, said in a completely positive way. Examples: "The company had four projects canceled and there was no longer enough work for my position." "I had an opportunity for a promotion and exposure to some new skills, so decided to take it." "I accomplished a great deal there and it was time for me to move on to something different."

Use those notes as your guide to help you say only the minimum. Then immediately move into talking about how your experience there prepared you to handle the responsibilities at the prospective employer. Examples: "The experience made me realize that I love doing xxx, which is why I am so interested in this position." "I now see that all the skills I developed have prepared me perfectly for this position."

4. Remember that you do know what you know, you have amazing experience, and will be a great asset to the employer. To help with that, remember your own Must Have List. Listen for clues that this IS the right place and position for you. You don't have to ask them specific questions about the job unless they invite that. What's going to be communicated subliminally is the attitude you will have of checking them out at the same time they are checking you out. It makes for a more even conversation and should give you more confidence as you speak to them.

Good luck!

1 comment:

interview techniques said...

Having read virtually all your articles, your personal interest ones are so compelling. The turtle story is still my favorite. It is the gentle side that makes them so good. It makes them memorable. And as you know, telling the truth is the only way to go.