Calvary Assembly of God
Employment Support Group Information and Online Resources ~ 2600 Shipley Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19810 ~ 302-478-1275
Getting Hired: Interview Mastery
- Preparing Yourself Intellectually
- Preparing Yourself Emotionally
- Secondary Agenda
- Interview Master Model
- Secrets From The Other Side
1. Preparing Yourself Intellectually
- Be Prepared With Your Experience Statements
- Inventory your skills, talents, experiences, knowledge and results.
- SOAR Statements:
- Research the Company
- Have an answer to “What do you know about this Company?" - a critical part of the interview.
- The Internet is a great resource.
- Company website.
- Products/markets they serve.
- Types of customers they sell to.
- Knowing their competitors is a plus.
- Number of employees, sales revenue and possibly company history.
- Request a copy of job description and interview agenda before interview.
- Make a List of Things You Fear Most and Expect to be Asked
- Write them out and practice them.
- Usually, at the end of the interview, you are asked if have any questions.
- Be sure to have business questions for the interviewer. The worst thing you can do is say I do not have any questions.
- You can bring list - impressive to interviewer.
- Three copies of your resume.
- Any work samples.
- Potential references.
- List of questions you want to ask.
2. Preparing Yourself Emotionally
- Get in the best mood. The interviewer decides who to interview by looking at your resume. It’s determined who to hire during the interview by their gut feeling.
- Suggestions for the time before the interview:
- Get moving: Exercise, dance, stretch, run, walk, etc.
- Listen to your favorite music.
- Imagine/remember a time in detail when you were at your best.
3. Secondary Agenda
- First Agenda:
- The interviewer wants to learn about your work experiences and value.
- Second Agenda:
- The interviewer wants to access your personal qualities. The interviewer looks at your communication skills, enthusiasm, attitudes/beliefs, motivations, integrity, work ethics. Note: Every signal you send is being interpreted
4. Interview Master Model
4.1 Opening: The First Five Minutes
- Your objective is to find out more about the company, position and interviewer.
- Ask questions to learn what are the biggest interests the interviewer wants to learn about you.
- Ask questions to understand the overall environment:
- “I know some general things about the company and I would like to learn more. Can you tell me about the dept. business needs, future plans, culture and possibly your background?"
- The most important question is the TARGET question, which measures criteria they are measuring you against.
- REMEMBER TO ASK THIS OF EACH INTERVIEWER.
- If you interview with four different interviewers,ask four different times and you will get four different answers. Each interviewer has their own perception of what it takes to be successful.
- TARGET QUESTION:
- “What do you feel are the key skills required to be successful in this position?” or
- “What did you see on my resume that encouraged you to invite me in today?"
- (Article Author Michael Neece has coached thousands of candidates and he uses it himself - more than 98% of interviewers will answer these questions.)
- If the interviewer starts the meeting by asking typical interview questions like “Tell me about yourself,” answer them, then ask one of the target questions. When you ask a question, it gives you the ability to influence the direction of the conversation. This helps you understand the criteria the interviewer is using to evaluate you.
4.2 Selling: During Most Of The Interview
- Benefits, communication, overcoming weaknesses.
- Most interviewers believe past experience is best predictor of future performance.
- Discussing your experience with clarity and detail is very important.
- The interviewer is trying to correlate your experience to the benefit to possibly hiring you.
- Build a bridge by talking about your experience and benefits – use a transitional phrase. "Tell about the experience then say, "What this means is I’ll be able to take on a leadership role."
- It might sound like, “In my most recent role, I led a multi-disciplined project that was completed on time within budget and to company/client expectations. What this means is I will be able to take on a leadership role quickly in my new position and start delivering results you need quickly.”
- The best interviews are conversations not interrogations. Promote a two-way conversation by asking questions. Questions travel in pairs.
- If asked a question, answer it, then ask a question such as “Did I give you enough detail?", “Was I clear on that?", or "How important is this skill in the position?"
- By asking questions you get immediate feedback on how you are communicating.
- Interviewers are more impressed by questions than the points you try to make. They expect you to sell your background and make a point. The questions can indicate your knowledge of the industry or discipline and allow you to demonstrate insights and talents that may not otherwise come out in the interview.
4.3 Building Rapport
- If you are highly qualified for the position, but they do not like you, it is unlikely that you will get the offer. It is therefore imperative that you build a good rapport. Remember it is not the most qualified person who gets the offer, it’s the person who interviews the best who gets hired.
- Find common ground – something you have in common.
- Showing sincere interest in the interviewer, their actions and words. Ask questions about them. How long they have been working here? What they like about working for this company? What do they expect in the future?
- Many building rapport techniques are based on matching and mirroring: words they use, gestures they make, match pace of their speech, volume and tonality of voice.
- Pay attention to what they do. Simply align your behavior to the other person’s behavior.
4.4 Overcoming Weaknesses
- The ideal candidate usually does not exist, and who is the ideal candidate is only a matter of opinion. Every candidate has a weakness to compensate for. The person who wins the job is the one who handled the interview the best and is skilled at
handling the weaknesses that came up during the interview. When faced with a specific experience for which they are searching, you need to demonstrate that you can still get the job done. Companies hire people who can deliver the results required and
who they like.
- Validate the weakness or their concern and educate them with the strengths you do bring to the position.
- Validate: “That’s a good concern.”
- Educate: “However, what I do bring to the position are the following strengths..."
- Confidence: “I’m confident that I can still get the job done by building on my strengths."
- Example: “For example, when I was a program manager and XYZ company, I was tasked with getting ABC accomplished under a tight timeline and I had no previous experience in this area. What I did was ... and in the end I got the results needed and the results were accomplished on time, within budget.”
- Question: “Let me ask you a question. 'What did you do to learn this knowledge before you started at this company?' ", or you could ask, “What would you recommend I do before starting that would accelerate my learning curve on this topic?”
4.5 Handling the Salary Question
- When asked how much you are making now, or what your salary expectations are, it is in your best interest to delay discussing salary until you have negotiating leverage. Prematurely giving a salary figure can only screen you out of consideration.
- Respond with these three easy steps:
- Say that you would rather not give them a specific number.
- Communicate that you feel interested in the position.
- All you’d like is that they make the best offer that they feel comfortable offering.
- It might sound like this: “Regarding salary I’d rather not give you a specific number right now. I’m very interested in the position, and I expect that you will make the best offer you are comfortable with at the right time."
- Another way to respond is to say that you are happy to respond when there is a strong interest in your background.
- "What is the salary range for the position?"
- You can say that your salary expectations are in line with the higher end of that range.
- "When considering a position, salary is only one factor that is not the most important. More important factors include: quality of the position, growth opportunities, quality of the people that I work with and work for, the company culture and location."
- Remember, the first person to give a salary number is at a disadvantage.
- You want to discuss salary only when they are absolutely convinced that they can’t live without you.
4.6 Closing: The Last Five Minutes
- This is where you want to understand the perceptions that each interviewer has of you.
- Ask closing questions of each and every interviewer such as:
- “What strengths do you feel I bring to this position?" (You want their opinion of your strengths. You’re asking what you like about me.) Hopefully they state a positive about you - when they are done you can agree with them and add any additional strength you wish to emphasize.
- “What concerns do you have about my background?" (This uncovers hidden concerns they may have about your qualifications. It is the undisclosed concerns that derail your chances for a position. This is asking what you don’t like about me.) If you learn about a concern, you can address it right there face to face. They are telling you about a concern and they need more information. You want them to remember the positives. Follow the same five techniques discussed in Overcoming Weaknesses above.
- “How do you feel my personal style might work with this team?" (This is asking do you like me.) Final analysis they will only hire you if they feel you fit within the company. Asking this question lets them know you understand “fit.”
- "What is the next step in the process?""When would you like me to follow-up with you and how?" You want to communicate that you are interested and feel qualified in the position.
- It is the interviewer’s professional obligation to give you feedback, but you have to ask for it.
5. Secrets from the Other Side
- Most interviewers have little or no effective interviewing training. They are likely to be as nervous as you are and be much less prepared. They are, however, thrilled to meet you and really hope that you are the right person for the job. They really want to fill the position so they can stop interviewing and get back to doing their real job.
- Interviewer technique: Use of silence pressures you to say more things than perhaps you would not have said. Many folks are uncomfortable with silence and continue talking just to fill it up.
- If they are still silent, ask a tag on question such as did I give you enough detail. Make sure you don’t repeat all that you just told or say something else you might regret.
- Another technique is to state the last few words of your stated response as a question. They are asking you for more details. Don’t just repeat all that you have just said. Say “Was I clear on that?", or "Would you like to learn on that?"
Author/Reference: Neece, Michael R. "Interview Mastery – Monster Presents (Summary of 1st CD)." InterviewMastery.com. Caseridus, Inc.). Web. 05 June 2011. <http://www.interviewmastery.com>.
- 1. Welcome Packet
- 2. Job Transition
- 3. Skills Assessment
- 4. Career Development
- 4.1. Career Choices
- 5. Getting Hired
- 5.1. Networking
- 5.2. Web Site and Internet
- 5.3. Job Fairs
- 5.4. Government Jobs
- 5.5. Recent Graduates
- 6. Cover Letters
- 7. Resumes
- 8. Elevator Speech
- 9. Interviews
- 9.1. Dress
- 9.2. Telephone Interviews
and Phone Screenings
- 10. Job Offer Negotiations
- 11. Financial Management
- 12. Motivation, Poems and
- 13. Quotes and Scripture
- 14. Bringing Christ Into