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Basic Interviewing Tips

November 21st, 2013 by Russ Bray

Happy businessman outside officePlease take a few moments to read these suggestions. These tips are for your benefit. Remember the purpose of going on an interview is to get an offer. You cannot accept or decline what you do not have.

1.) If traveling always carry a credit card. Sometimes arrangements between clients and hotels, rental car firms and airlines go awry. If you don’t have a credit card, make sure the client co. and/or recruiter is aware of this.

2.) Always dress for success (a business suit) unless instructed otherwise. You only have one chance to put your best foot forward. Regarding jewelry items – wear as little as possible. Be well rested and turn your mobile device off during the interview.

3.) If something delays your arrival to the interview be sure to let the interviewer know.

Check to make sure you have necessary contact numbers. If necessary ask your recruiter for a cell phone number. The worst scenario is you’re running late and no one hears from you.

4.). Offer a firm (but not hand-breaking) handshake and be sure to make eye contact with the people you are interviewing with. Do not accept an alcoholic beverage during lunch. Make sure your cell phone / wireless device is turned off. Have a few copies of your resume available just in case.

5.) Casual conversation should be initiated by the interviewer. Be prepared to talk about your accomplishments. Review your resume so you do not have to refer to it when questioned. Answer questions directly and to the point. Do not change the subject when an uncomfortable question arises. If it happens to be a negative in your background, address it and tell the interviewer what changes you’ve made as a result of that situation. When you finish speaking with an individual ask for a business card.

Be prepared for the question “Why are you looking for a new job?” A good answer will show that you have done your research on the company. “Your company offers me the technical challenges I am seeking at this point in my career.” Be prepared to expand on that if necessary. “I need to pay my bills” or “Your company will look good on my resume”, while possibly truthful, are not good answers.

Emphasize what you can do for the company

Make sure that you answer all questions fully and intelligently, but keep your responses short and to the point. You shouldn’t feel the need to keep talking if you have already expressed your point. Be a good listener when the interviewer is talking and wait until they are finished to ask questions. Don’t talk over the interviewer and don’t interrupt. On the other hand, don’t be too quiet. It might appear as a lack of enthusiasm, especially if you stick to “yes” and “no” answers.

6.) Don’t over exaggerate your accomplishments. Be honest about what you have or haven’t done.

7.) Prepare yourself with as much information on the company and the job as you can get your hands on. Visit and study their web site before you interview. Gain as much information from your recruiter as possible.

8.) Discuss salary and benefits with a human resource representative, if possible. Let the

interviewer bring up that subject.

8a.) How to handle the salary issue. This should be discussed with your recruiter prior to your interview. It is part of the recruiter’s job to make sure your expectations are in line with the company’s. Always be honest if asked your current salary or when filling out an application form. Misrepresentation could be grounds for dismissal later on. Break down your base and any bonus’s if necessary. Most company’s base their offer by comparing your experience with other employees. Rarely is it based on your current salary. If you are asked about your salary expectations during the interview process, the easiest response is “I will consider your best offer.” Avoid stating a figure, if possible. You could be low and sell yourself short or you may come in high and not get an offer. If pressed you can also state “I am not sure what your company would offer someone with my experience. I’d rather leave that up to you.”

9.) Avoid “bad mouthing” past employers / bosses. The interviewing company will think that is the way they will be remembered. Never make any comments referencing gender or race.

10.) If you like what you see and hear make sure the company knows it. Ask for a potential start date. Find out when you can expect to hear back.

11.) Be sure to have references available. They should be supervisors that can verify the quality of work you have performed. Make sure they are aware you are using them as a reference.

12.) Be sure to get back to your recruiter as soon as possible after the interview. Inform him/her of your likes and dislikes and whether you would accept an offer should the client make one.

 


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