Penn State Smeal MBA Program Confidence Building Strategies for Interviewing Success

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1 Confidence Building Strategies for Interviewing Success Presented by: Mike Brown Director, MBA Career Services

2 Interviewing = Consultative Selling Uncover buyers needs Communicate how you fulfill those needs Understand that you are the product 2

3 Features and benefits Features Skills, knowledge, experience Benefits Accomplishments Results you produced Solutions you provide 3

4 How Important is Each Attribute in Hiring Process? Percentage Rating Influential or Very Influential (Society for Human Resource Management Survey 2003) Interview performance Professionalism in interactions Years relevant work experience Fit with company culture Relevant certification(s) Internal candidate Background check Quality of resume References 96% 95% 91% 90% 82% 79% 79% 74% 73% Candidate s familiarity with your Candidate adds diversity to organization Advanced degree(s) Referred by current employee Quality of cover letter Total years in the workforce Test scores 60% 60% 58% 53% 50% 49% 44% Your familiarity with candidate s Prestige of school(s) attended 26% 23% 4 0% 50% 100% 150% 4

5 Unsuccessful interviews can be traced to lack of preparation, not lack of qualifications.

6 Preparing for the Interview

7 Your Interview Mission Address employer s concerns Skills Experience Education Knowledge Accomplishments Can Do Will Do Motivators Passion Interest Attitude Energy level Likeability Work style Social skills Communication Team orientation Dress and appearance How Fit

8 Map Qualifications to the Job You want: Problem solving Leadership Team building Communication Initiative Presentation skills I have: Resolved Led Developed.. Presented Took charge Delivered

9 Branding Message Your response to Tell me about yourself Strengths, abilities, knowledge Recent experience, accomplishments Articulates your career goals, ambitions Refer to: Create Your Branding Message Worksheet 9

10 Know Your Resume Career chronology Accomplishments Success stories Reasons for gaps Lack of continuity 10

11 Accomplishments Come from five areas of business: Money Time Customers Problems Workflow/processes 11

12 Prepare High Gain Questions Be prepared with 8 to 10 Performance objectives Challenges, priorities Management style, culture Based on your research Refer to: High Gain Questions to Ask Handout 12

13 Business Portfolio Samples of work (non-proprietary) Superior performance evaluations Designs, drawings, sketches Commendations, awards Letters of recommendation Articles, presentations 13

14 Company Research Key products, services, market niche History, reputation, competition Financials, market share, statistics Culture, management style What are their pain points? Refer to: Company Data Snapshot 14

15 Managing the Interview

16 Anatomy of an Interview Rapport building, 1 st impressions Typical & behavioral questions High gain questions you ask Close the interview 16

17 Interview Impact How you look Stance open or closed Facial expressions Clothes Manner Eye contact Handshake Grooming 55% 7% What you Say Content 38% How you speak Tone Speed Accent Hesitation Inflection Grammar 17

18 Be prepared for questions about Your professional experience Your educational credentials Your accomplishments Your strengths & weaknesses Your knowledge of the company 18

19 Most Common Questions Tell me a little about yourself (your "branding message"). Walk me through your resume. What are your short and long term career goals? Why did you return for your MBA and why Smeal? Describe your three greatest strengths. What is your greatest weakness? Do you work better by yourself or as a member of a team? Describe a situation where you demonstrated good communications skills. What s the biggest risk you ve ever taken? What would your previous supervisor say about you. 19

20 Behavioral Questions 55% predictive of future behavior 10% traditional interviews Past performance is the best predictor of future behavior 20

21 STAR Model ST Describe the situation or task A R What action, intervention did you pursue? What results, outcomes did you achieve? 21

22 Be An Active Listener Wait to respond Avoid jumping in or finishing the sentence Nod or acknowledge I understand Ask for clarification Repeat or paraphrase question 22

23 Responding to Negative Questions Use the U or Sandwich Model Start with positive End with positive Explain the negative 23

24 Close the interview I am interested in this position I think we have a good fit, chemistry This has been a fruitful discussion Will a decision be made from this interview? What are our next steps? May I have your business card? 24

25 One question you must ask What concerns do you have about my qualifications?

26 Post Interview Penn State Smeal MBA Program

27 Debrief within 30 minutes Make notes in your car or private area Do this while interview is fresh What went right? Where did I tap dance? Every interview is prep for the next one 27

28 Be remembered favorably Send a thank you within 24 hours Leave a thank you voice mail that night Telephone follow-up within 2 weeks Interviewer(s), potential associates, admins 28

29 5R s of follow-up Repeat your interest in the position Remind the interviewer of you Reinforce your key strengths Reiterate an agreed upon action Refer to a point not mentioned 29

30 Next steps? Practice your: Branding message Top 20 interview questions Accomplishment stories

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