Preparation is the key to solid performance in any interview. The time and energy you spend preparing will allow you to approach the interview with

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1 Preparation is the key to solid performance in any interview. The time and energy you spend preparing will allow you to approach the interview with confidence. At That s Good HR, we take our responsibility seriously to help you successfully navigate the interview process. This kit provides information and guidance custom designed by the professionals at That s Good HR.

2 The Goal of the Interview The goal of the interview is to continue the interview process and then receive an offer. The prospective employer will make their hiring decision based on factors such as those listed below: Attitude and Business Poise Image/Presentation and Communication skills Experience / Skill set Education / Certifications Transferable Industry and Technical background

3 Do Your Homework! On the company: Learn as much as you can about the company, industry, history, and future outlook. Start with the company website and then search for annual reports, journal articles, and periodicals about the company. Most companies now also have Social media sites where you can learn more about the company culture (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). Check these out. Go to the interview with intelligent, well thought-out questions that surfaced during your research.

4 Do Your Homework! On the position: Familiarize yourself with the job description. If you don t have one, ask for one. Have a solid understanding of the key responsibilities, expectations and qualifications for the position. In the interview ask who the position is reporting to, what has made a person successful in this position in the past, and where past candidates or incumbents may have missed the mark.

5 Do Your Homework! On yourself: Be prepared to provide specific, detailed examples about your work experience and accomplishments. You will want to focus your answers on your most recent positions, but don t forget to mention good examples that may come from your early career history. Know your strengths and areas for opportunity. Think about how you would describe them in relation to the position and company for which you are interviewing.

6 Interviewing Basics Arrive minutes early at the most Good posture and eye contact are important Be enthusiastic and positive Answer questions in a clear and concise, but detailed manner. Listen to each question completely before answering Do not make derogatory remarks about previous employers Demonstrate your ability to do the job. Highlight your achievements, records, and accomplishments Keep your HR related questions (salary, benefits, etc.) for the 2 nd or 3 rd interview Ask at least 3 questions about the position and the company Make sure you answer every question. If you re not sure you fully answered the question, stop talking and ask the interviewer if you have fully answered their question. At the end of the interview, ask what would be the next steps of the process

7 How Candidates Strike Out in the Interview What NOT to do. Be Late for the interview Criticize past employers / managers Lack sufficient detail when answering questions Demonstrate immaturity Show poor personal appearance Demonstrate lack of interest Over-emphasize money Answer your cell phone during interview (or even having it ring) Being over aggressive / High pressure Have no clear career path in mind Disclosing too much personal information Show an inability to take feedback / not open to being mentored Failure to ask relevant questions Failure to send a thank you note Little or no eye contact Demonstrating poor time management Inability to make decisions Not having a professional handshake Inability to express oneself clearly Lacking a strong work ethic Chewing gum during interview Rambling on when giving answers

8 Interview Questions The following two slides will provide examples of two different types of interviews questions that are most commonly used: Traditional Interview Questions Behavioral Based Interview Questions One of the biggest keys to success in interviewing is practice, so we encourage you to look through these examples and practice sample responses. You do not want to memorize answers to these questions because you will come across sounding rehearsed and robotic; you simply want to create an outline of your approach to similar questions that may be asked. When responding to behavioral/ situational based questions, we recommend using the STAR (Situation or Task, Action, Result) approach. This method should help you keep your answers focused and addressing exactly what the interviewer is looking for.

9 Traditional Interview Questions Why do you want this job? Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years? What did you like most about your last job? Least? What did you like most about your last supervisor? Least? Why did you leave your last job? What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest opportunity (weakness)? Are you most effective working alone or with others. What are two reasons why we should hire you? How are you best managed? What do you look for in a job? In what ways do you think you can contribute to our company?

10 Behavioral Based Questions Describe a difficult situation in which you took full responsibility for actions and outcomes. How did you act on this? Describe a situation in which a crucial deadline was nearing, but you didn t want to compromise quality. How did you deal with it? Tell me about a project you worked on that required you to persist in overcoming a series of obstacles. Describe a time when you delivered service in a way that clearly showed care and concern for your customer. Describe a time when you made a difficult decision and acted on it. Describe the most successful project you ve been a part of and what your contribution was to that project. Describe a time when you provided full support for a team decision, even though you didn t agree with it. Describe a time when you saved your company money.

11 Questions to ask the Interviewer What is the highest priority for this position in the next 6 months? Year? Could you describe a typical day or week in this position? Could you tell me about your training for this position? What are 3 key qualities you are looking for in a successful candidate? How does your department fit into the overall structure of the organization? What do you consider to be your firm s most important assets? What were the major strengths and weaknesses of the last person who held this job? What types of skills do you NOT already have onboard that you're looking to fill with a new hire? Are there any areas in my background or skill set that I didn t explain thoroughly enough or that you still have questions about? If you should find me to be a suitable candidate, what are the next steps in the process?

12 Handling the Money Question If you are working with a recruiter, let them handle it. Be flexible. Compensation packages are a combination of salary, benefits, and other perks. Be realistic. Don t expect a large increase from your current salary. Do research on typical salaries for people in similar positions to get an idea of market value. Give a salary range, not one specific number If asked about your current compensation, be honest.

13 Appropriate Dress suggestions for Men Conservative business suit in black, dark blue, or gray with a long sleeved shirt underneath. Shirt should be pressed and it is always safe to go with conservative colors. Tie should be conservative Dark socks (over the calf) Dark, freshly shined shoes Jewelry: wrist watch and wedding ring only Fingernails should be clean and trimmed Facial hair should be clean-shaven

14 Appropriate Dress suggestions for Women Conservative business suit in a subdued color (black, navy blue, gray or tan). If wearing a skirt, keep the hemline at the knee, not above. Shoe heel height should be moderate and comfortable. Shoes should be clean and heel tips should not be worn down. Minimal jewelry Nails should be well manicured and polished in clear or light, conservative colors Hair should be neat and clean; Don t fidget with it during the interview Make-up and perfume should be tastefully and lightly applied

15 What to Bring to the Interview Hard copy of your resume. Make sure you take the most recent version submitted to the recruiter, especially if they made any changes for you. List of supervisory references. Make sure these are former supervisors who can be testament to your work ethic and performance. Any documents needed to fill out an application Portfolio with clean note pad for taking notes

16 Phone Interview Preparation Phone interviews are frequently a first step in the interviewing process. These conversations are normally your first contact with a company, therefore the first impression. Here are a few helpful hints to help you through the process: Schedule a specific time for the call so that you are prepared. Treat the phone interview just as you would a face-to-face interview. Just because it is over the phone doesn t mean that you should take it less seriously. Make sure the phone you plan to use is of high quality and has a good signal and battery. Make sure your family members know that you are expecting a call and know how to answer the phone professionally. Sit in a quiet room by yourself with no distractions (kids, pets, radio, television, etc.). Do not interrupt the call to answer call waiting. Be prepared with notes and questions. Have paper available to take notes.

17 Phone Etiquette Remember that your phone interactions before, during, and after the interview process are just as important as your face-to-face interactions. Make sure your voic and/or answering machine messages are courteous and professional. Do not have a ring back tone or music on your voic . Your message should be you speaking and should be clear, concise and contain only relevant information. Example: You ve reached the voic of John Doe. I m sorry I can t take your call, but please leave me a message with your name and number and I will return your call. Thanks! Answer the phone with, This is name_. If you are in a location that is noisy or doesn t have good reception, don t answer the call. Let the call go into voic and return the call when you are able to be in a quiet location without distractions. Return calls within a timely manner (24 hours MAXIMUM). Make sure that your family members that could potentially be answering the phone know how to answer professionally and take messages.

18 Thank You Letter A well-written and timely follow-up letter will enable you to make a positive impression and show your genuine interest in the position. It is an example of both your work habits and writing skills. To gain full advantage of this opportunity, here are a few points to consider: Send the letter as soon as possible. This conveys a sense of urgency and a high interest level in the opportunity. Ideally, your letter should go out the next day. Be brief. It shows respect for other s time. The body of the letter should address four main points: Thank them for their time. Express interest and enthusiasm towards the company and position. Highlight experiences/ accomplishments that amplify your qualifications, using the manager s own words from the interview. Ask for the next interview. Have someone carefully proofread your letter, then it in MS Word to your recruiter for a final proof (we ask you to do this in order to avoid a letter being sent out that does not represent you well!). Sign a hard copy, and drop it in the mail. Sending thank you letters via is a little on the impersonal side, so we recommend avoiding ed thank you letters, unless it is requested.

19 Resignation The resignation process can be stressful and emotional. Follow these tips to help make the process go as smoothly as possible: Put the resignation in writing. This makes it formal and protects you. It will also become a part of your permanent record. It will help you keep the focus on the positive aspects of your career move, rather than any negative aspects of the current situation. It can serve as a guide of the things you may want to cover with your supervisor during the resignation. Give fair notice (2 weeks). However, the sooner you can leave the company, the better. Do not talk about counter-offers; it is the single worst thing you can do in the resignation process. (See following slide for more detail)

20 Reasons NOT to Accept a Counter Offer Statistics show that if you accept a counter offer, the probability of voluntarily leaving in six months or being let go within one year is extremely high. 85% of people who accept are gone in six months, and 90% of people who accept are gone in twelve months. You have to question a company where you have to resign before they pay you what you feel you are worth Where is the money for the counter offer coming from? Is it your next raise early? Once you accept a counteroffer, your company may start looking for a new person at a cheaper price. In many cases, you could be training your replacement. You now have made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this day on your loyalty will always be in question. This could affect your future. The same circumstances that now cause you to consider a change will repeat themselves in the future even if you accept a counter offer. Things about your position and company rarely change. Once the word gets out, the relationship that you now enjoy with your co-workers will likely never be the same.

21 A Word About Social Networking Sites It is no question that employers are beginning to use social networking sites to review candidates that they are considering for positions. Here are some tips to ensure what they are finding doesn t hurt you: Make all of your social networking pages private, especially Facebook and MySpace. Clean up the content you have on your pages in case it can somehow still be viewed. Remove any pictures of you in precarious situations. Remove any derogatory comments from your wall. Only accept invitation requests from people you know. Keep your business sites (e.g. LinkedIn) professional only and social sites (Facebook and MySpace) personal only. Google yourself so you know what comes up and what a potential employer might see.

22 We hope that all of this information has been helpful for any positions that you may be interviewing for now or in the future. If you have any questions or want further advice on any of the topics covered, please don t hesitate to reach out to one of the members of the That s Good HR team we d be happy to help. Best of luck!

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