INTERVIEW TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS

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Dean Search will coach you through the interview process with prospective employers so you can feel comfortable and confident.​

We'll also tell you what you should do ... and what you shouldn't do ... during an interview.  Finally, we'll give you questions you should ask so you can wrap up the interview with confidence.

Obviously, candidates should fully participate in the interview process.  But sometimes, knowing the right questions to ask may be hard to formulate when you're in the middle of an interview.  That why Dean Search recommends you consider the following questions.

There are different types of questions -- behavioral, hypothetical and career objectives -- you may be asked during your interview.  Knowing the types of questions asked can help you prepare before the interview.

​Behavioral Interview Question Examples
​​​​​​​​​​1. What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
2. What do you like to do for fun?
3. What can you contribute to our company that is unique?
4. Describe your most significant contribution.
5. What did you do to make this contribution a reality?
6. Describe what your responsibilities are in your job/project?
7. Describe an unexpected technical problem you ran into during a project and how you tried to solve it. What was the outcome?
8. Describe a time when you had to analyze facts quickly, define the key issues and develop a plan which produced good results.
9. Describe a time when you went beyond what was expected of you.
10. Describe a goal you set that took a long time to achieve. 
11. Give an example of a situation where you had to overcome major obstacles to achieve your objective.
12. Describe a time when you led a group of people to accomplish a common goal.
13. Explain something significant that wouldn’t have happened if you had not been there to make it happen.
14. Describe a time when you were able to step into a situation, take charge, muster support, and bring about excellent results.
15. Give me an example of when you had to present information to a large audience.
16. Describe how you have been able to develop and maintain productive relationships with others, even though they may have differing points of view.
17. With so much to do, how do you mange to accomplish so much with so little time.
18. Describe a time when you had to balance many competing priorities and did so effectively.
19. Describe a situation where you had to be persuasive and sell your idea to someone else. 
20. Describe a time when you had to select the most important things in some activity and make sure those got done. How did you do it? What got sacrificed?

​Hypothetical Interview Question Examples
​​​​​​​​​​1. Where do you see yourself in five/ten years from now?
2. What could you bring to our company?
3. Why are you interested in our company?
4. What would your co-workers any say about you now?
5. What would your co-workers miss about you?
6. What makes a good Manager?
7. What are the 3 most important qualities you need in a new job?
8. What is your management philosophy?
9. How do you deal with management?
10. How do you deal with conflict? Stress?
11. Why should our company hire you?
12. What do you think would be the toughest part of this job?

​Career Objective Interview Question Examples
​​​​​​​​​​1. What are you looking for in a career?
2. What excites you about your current job?
3. What turns you off about your current job?
4. What are your long-range plans?

Questions for your recruiter and our “friendly tips”

How should I prepare?
​​​​​​​​​​1. Learn all you can about the organization, its products and/or services, techniques and procedures used, personnel make-up, problems and needs, financial picture, reputation in the field, location, size and age.
2. Visit the company website.
3. Get all the information you can from your recruiter.
4. Always act professional.

​How should I dress?
​​​​​​​​​​1. Always a professional suit.  Consult with your recruiter
2. Hair cut, no heavy makeup, cologne, jewelry, etc.
3. Polished shoes.
4. First impression is made in the first few minutes of the introduction.
5. Remove your coat before going into the interview room.
6. Being yourself. No one else can be you as well as you can!
7. Do not chew gum or smoke.

​What time should I arrive?
​​​​​​​​​​1. Your recruiter should provide an interview itinerary and directions. 
2. Ask your recruiter for profile information of the interviewer.
3. Get directions BEFORE the interview.  Or, go to www.mapquest.com. 
4. Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for the interview. If you arrive on time, you are late!
5. Greet the interviewer with a firm hand shake, good eye contact and smile.
6. Remember the interviewers name and use at least once or twice during the interview.

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​Will I fill out an application?
​​​​​​​​​​1. Bring fresh copies (3) of your resume, letters of recommendations, awards, transcripts, samples of your best work.
2.  Fill out application neatly and completely.
3. Be prepared to complete with accurate dates, phone numbers, address, etc.
4. Never put "see resume" on application.
5. Put "open" in the space for salary desired
6. Have three business references and bring their names, addresses and phone numbers. (They should be the same you gave your recruiter.) You should contact them and be sure they will give you a great recommendation.
7. Edit for spelling errors

​What should I do during the interview?
​​​​​​​​​​1. Sit attentively in the chair.
2. Meeting the interviewers eyes when you are talking and listening. Communication: 7% verbal, 38% is tone, and 55% body language.
3. Listen to description of the job/find the main keys.
4. Do not interrupt.
5. The position will be described to you.  Listen closely to the specifications and find out how you fit in. 
6. Describe how your background relates to job specifications. This is where you sell and effectively communicate your skills, talents, background, immediate career interest and the reasons for your choices.  Use real life examples using phrases to include; For instance, for example, etc. 
7. Keep answers short and the point.
8. Stay focused.
9. Stay positive. Attitude is everything.
10. Maintain a high energy level.
11. Do not share any negative comments about past or present employers.
12. Observe any cues that the interview is over. Leave on time but do not leave before making a statement expressing your interest and enthusiasm.
13. Thank the interviewer for his/her time and consideration before leaving.

​How do I answer any questions about salary?
​​​​​​​​​​1. Explain that you are open or negotiable. "Money is not my main concern; opportunity is the most important thing." 
2. Be open on title, shift, hours, etc.
3. Express your interest in the job. Ask the employer if he has any other questions.
4. Ask for the job. Where do we go from here?

Offer

If you are offered position during the interview, accept on the spot, or ask for 24 hours to think about it.  Never say no! (Unless you really don’t want the job!)

​Thank you
​​​​​​​​​​Getting your name back in front of the interviewer is crucial.  We highly recommend that you follow interview protocol.  Ask for business cards of all parties in the interview to send a thank you letter.  Your letter should be sent promptly to all parties you spoke with so you can express your interest, citing something you spoke about in the interview and thanking them for their time

Call your recruiter with feedback immediately after the interview.  This is for your benefit.  The employer will call the recruiter for feedback, it’s very beneficial to relay positive feedback as quickly as possible.

​Questions for the employer
​​​​​​​​​​You should have a minimum of 3 questions to ask during the interview.  Follow some of these examples:

• If I am hired, will I participate in any training program?
• Describe a typical workday.
• How is an employee evaluated and promoted?
• What are the expectations for new hires?
• What are the opportunities for new hires?
• Is there a probationary period?
• Did my application generate any questions I can answer?
• What qualities are you looking for in your new hire?
• What qualities does a successful person have at your company?
• How much travel is normally expected?
• What hours will I be working if hired?
• How much supervision would I receive as a new employee?
• Why is this position open?
• Would you describe your own concept of the ideal candidate?
• For whom and with whom will I be working?
• What is the overall structure of the department?
• What are the company’s plans for future growth?
• Where is the position located?
• How can you utilize my skills?
• When do you expect to be making a final decision?


NO - NO - NO - NO - NO - NO - NO - NO - NO

1. DO NOT - Fake answers or make up things to sound impressive.
2. DO NOT - Extensively explain and defend what you think are your weak points.
3. DO NOT - Begin the interview with a negative remark such as "It’s stuffy in here," or "I had a terrible time finding this place."
4. DO NOT - Take a seat before the interviewer invites you to.
5. DO NOT - Sound unsure or scattered about your career preferences by saying you will "take anything," "I don’t mind doing that," or by describing a wide range of unrelated career interests.
6. DO NOT - Oversell you are not a "superperson."
7. DO NOT - Undersell you DO have skills and talents to offer!
8. DO NOT - Take interviews for the "practice."
9. DO NOT - Exhibit unrealistic expectations about your entry-level job in terms of responsibility, freedom, salary and promotions.
10. DO NOT - BRING UP SALARY.

11. DO NOT - Answer only "yes" or "no" to most questions.
12. DO NOT - Take notes during the interview. A few memory jogs written down afterwards are a good idea.
13. DO NOT - Use expressions like "To tell the truth" or "Frankly Speaking" or "To be honest with you."
14. DO NOT - Act hostile or annoyed if the interview doesn’t go well for whatever reason.
15. DO NOT - Expect the interviewer to hire you on the spot.

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Dean Search