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 INTERVIEWING -Dr. Egan's Class

Play mock interview dvd

Each student is to write down:
1. The "Good" Interview
-What were three things he did well?
2. The "Bad" interview
-Write down all mistakes
-How could he improve?

Interviewing Fears: 
-Come up with one that you have-write it down-tell the class

Click here for PP

Mr. E's Three Day Interview!!
Day 1-The day before the interview
Study the employer
Map your directions to the interview
If possible, drive to the interview location
Go over the possible questions-Click here
Try to know what type interview
Practice-do mock interview with CS
Lay out you attire-Click here
Make sure they are pressed
Have a nice leather/semi-leather notebook and or briefcase
Try to get a good night's sleep-do not go out the night before
Day 2-The day of the interview
If you are nervous (99%), think about your defense mechanism
Arrive 10-15 minutes early
Be nice to everyone
Leave your coat in the waiting room-take only your notebook and/or briefcase with you
Smile, be positive, be enthusiastic, high energy, be confident, speak firmly, good eye contact, firm hand shake-if you hand is sweaty wipe it on your pants or in your pocket
Focus and pay attention to the questions
If you don't understand a question, ask them to repeat it
If you don't know the answer to a question, tell them you are sorry but I do not know the answer.  Tell them you will get back to them with an answer if appropriate
Be honest
Talk about what you have to offer them.  Tell about your accomplishments
If you are really verbal person be aware of when she/he is ready to move on
Have 2-3 questions ready. You can write them in your notebook
No $$$ questions
Thank them-smile-shake hands-make sure you have her/his business card
Write down your summary-what you did well-what you can improve on
Day 3-The day after
Send all (if possible) who interviewed you a thank you note-Click here
In your Networking Directory, record who you talked to, when and where.

Mr. E's 12 Biggest Interview Mistakes:
Being late
Poor handshake
Poor dress-especially no jacket, poorly tied tie, dirty shoes, mismatched or light socks, etc.
Poor grammar and slang (like, uh, cool, awesome, unreal)
Lack of eye contact-looking elsewhere
No know about MY company!!
Being critical of others
Not being happy and enthusiastic
Treating others in my office rudely
Asking about money or time off or vacation or flex time
No questions prepared

Questions you should have answers to.  Click here.

Situational or Behavioral questions-click here

Each person come up with two interview questions.  Ask those to the person to your right and exchange your roles.

Click here for CS Interviewing website

Click here for interviewing videos

Click here for Do's and Don'ts

Click here for what to wear.

Sample questions from you-click here.

Interview Jitters?-Click here.

Being stumped by questions
Not being dressed appropriately
Having a bad interviewer
Having a mean interviewer
An interviewer asks me an intrusive or illegal question?
Arriving late
Not being qualified for the job
Looking not as though I "fit"
I don’t know what to do with my hands during an interview
I fear I will just “freeze up” in the interview
How do I explain that I was fired?

Mock Interview:
Each person come up with three interview questions.
I will ask five people to come up front and they are to bring with them their questions and the person to their right!  You will ask that person the questions you have created.

How to "Ace" the Interview
Oh, job interviews. One of the most nerve-wracking experiences ever, especially if you’re going for a job you actually really want! While you probably won’t get every job you interview for, there are definitely some things you can do to help increase your chances. Here are my tips for impressing the pantaloons off anyone in an interview.

Be on time
This is the most important thing. Really.

When I used to go to job interviews, sometimes if I realized I was going to be late, I wouldn’t bother showing up at all. Naughty, perhaps, but honestly, most of the time, being late is almost impossible to recover from. If I was late for a job interview — theoretically the time where you are trying to be most impressive — what were the interviewers going to assume about my actual work?! It sends a pretty loud & clear negative message. I figured it was better to stay home & get some sleep instead!

Of course, there are exceptions. Sometimes there are very real & unavoidable reasons why you’re delayed. If this is the case, make sure you let your interviewer know as soon as possible, & let them know that you’re open to rescheduling if that is more convenient for them.

If you’re someone who is chronically late, step it up, toots! Being late makes other people feel like you don’t respect them or their time, & time is precious to everyone. (Read this for more information.) If being late is something you always struggle with, start writing your appointments down for half an hour before the actual time!

Make conversation
Because work is where people spend the majority of their time, most employers are pretty conscious of the kind of people they want in their workplace. As a general rule, people want to hire other people with whom they get along. While weird, awkward, socially stunted people do get jobs, they will often be passed over for someone with comparable skills but a lot more charm. It just makes everyone’s life easier.

What this means is that you should make every effort to show how lovely you can be. If this statement confuses you, let me break it down for you. Smile! Laugh! Be positive! & above all, make conversation! It doesn’t have to be the world’s most scintillating discussion, but even throwing in a little anecdote about your morning or what you did on the weekend will make your interviewer feel like they’re actually talking to a real, relatable person & not some terrified robot or freaky automaton.

When it comes to an interview, usually you won’t get to that stage unless you have the skills you require for the role. So look at an interview as your opportunity to prove how super & cool you are, how awesome you’d be to work with, & how much fun you’d bring to the team.

Have questions to ask
...Other than “How much are you going to pay me?”, which should typically be left until later in the piece!

Why should you do this? Because it shows that you’re keen enough to take an active interest. It illustrates to the interviewer that you’ve thought about the job — you’re not just there because they were the only place to call you back.

Coming up with a few questions doesn’t have to be a big mission. I would often think about the role on my way there (while I was on the bus or in a taxi) & jot down a few thoughts about it. So you might like to ask them how long the role has been around — whether it has evolved & will continue to, or if it’s fairly static. You could ask about the level of autonomy you’d be gifted. You could ask who was in the role previously, why they left & where they went. You can enquire about the culture of the team or company, how social they are, what they’re like. & if you really want to score points, you could ask the interviewer how they got to where they are today. (Everyone loves to talk about themselves.)

You don’t need to get all Spanish Inquisition on it — just a few well thought out questions will do the trick & make you stand out from the other applicants.

Be enthusiastic
I know I say this all the time, but enthusiasm cannot be overestimated!

Everyone loves an enthusiastic person! Except for really grumpy people, but who wants to impress them anyway?!

This means you should demonstrably show your excitement about the role. (If you’re not excited about it, perhaps it would be better for you to find something that actually turns your crank, rather than bouncing from similar role to similar role, expecting things to change… We’re all guilty of this one at some point.)

You don’t need to skip into the interview room, but definitely smile, appear alert, lean in towards the interviewer when they’re talking, mirror their body language, say, “I’m so excited about this role!”, & let them know you’re looking forward to hearing back from them. Honestly, even just saying you’re psyched to be there will make them smile. Everyone wants to hire someone who really wants it! There’s nothing worse than a gaggle of lack-luster, bored-looking applicants. Make an effort to stand out!

You’ve probably heard this before, because I mentioned it in my How To Make Your CV Impressive article, but I once got an awesome job as a book buyer — for which I was wildly underqualified — because I was so enthusiastic. Never fear! Enthusiasm will get you there!

Do your research
If you know a little bit about the company you want to work for, you’ll be doing better than most of the people you’re up against. Google them before you go to the interview & read up on some vital stats or their latest news. You don’t necessarily need to demonstrate your knowledge in the interview, but if you have the opportunity, you should. If you don’t really get the chance, or it would be out of place to start reeling off facts, at least you’ll feel more secure in the interview!

Have ideas
This isn’t always going to apply, because often you won’t know much about the role you’re applying for until you actually get into the interview. But if you already have the low-down on what your job might entail, going into the meeting with a bunch of ideas is always a positive thing.

When I say ideas, I mean things you could do to improve their situation, which might range from implementing a new system to changing the way you deal with incoming phone-calls. While your ideas may never be implemented, just having them in your mind & expressing them to your interviewer speaks volumes. It will show that you take initiative, that you’re a good problem-solver, & that you’re invested in the role.

The one caveat I would add is that sometimes people are threatened by a bold thinker, so if you’re going to talk ideas, make sure you do it in a way that doesn’t imply that you’re going to bulldoze their entire department!

Pick up the interviewer’s slack
Let’s face it, your interviewer isn’t always going to be mind-blowing. In fact, often the task of interviewing just falls to the person who is available, not necessarily the person who is best qualified to do it, or even happiest doing it.

If your interviewer — let’s just say it — stinks, then it’s your job to pick up their slack. If you look at it objectively, they have nothing to lose or gain from the interview, really. They’re just doing their thing, & if they don’t like you, they won’t hire you, & then they’ll go back to their cubicle & play with their stack of Post It notes & then go out for their lunch break. But you? Well, if they don’t hire you, you have to send out more applications, go to more interviews, & keep looking for a job. You have much more riding on the situation. So it’s really in your best interests to do whatever you can to make sure you’re the person who gets the role.

Picking up the interviewer’s slack might include giving longer answers than you think they’re expecting, volunteering information that is relevant but hasn’t been asked for, being ultra-charming or asking them questions in the hopes that they will bounce them back to you. Really it’s just about taking the initiative, & taking control of the interview (in a non-threatening way).

Sell yourself
Most people go along to interviews, answer the questions, nod their head, smile nervously, shake hands & bolt. While they will eventually get hired by someone, it’s not what anyone is really looking for.

Make yourself sound like you would be an asset to their company, rather than just someone who is going to sit around & suck up a salary! How you do this will depend on your personality & the role you’re going for, but basically it’s important to make yourself sound like you’re worth hiring. If you have amazing skills, talk them up! If you’re the queen or king of conflict-resolution, say so! Don’t hide yourself away. You might be the world’s most wicked spreadsheet whiz, but if you don’t mention it, no one will know! An interview is not the time to be shy. In a situation like this, it’s much better to be cocky than forgettable.

Be appreciative
Let your interviewer know that you are thankful that they’re taking the time to meet you. This doesn’t mean kissing their feet or groveling or putting yourself in a subservient position (“Oooooh interviewer, thank you for picking meeeee, I’m not worthy!”), it just means showing your appreciation in a real way.

One of the best ways to do this is to look in their eyes while you shake their hand & say, sincerely, “Thank you for taking the time to meet with me”, but you can show your appreciation in other ways too. You could say thank you a billion times, but if you slump in your chair & stare out the window & chew gum, no one’s really going to be very convinced. Make sure your body language echoes your sentiments.

Do practice interviews
If interviews really freak you out, it can be helpful to have a couple of practice runs with someone you know. Have a friend ask you some typical interview questions (here’s a list!), & then take your time while you think about them & answer them. Honestly, you can do this on your own, you don’t need a buddy to help you, but it can be good to have someone else there to bounce ideas off.

Know your career objectives
You don’t have to know what you want to be doing in the next thirty years to make a good impression in an interview. The fact of the matter is that most people don’t know what they want to do with their lives until they’re about 35… & lots of people never really know.

You don’t need to know that in 10 years time you’d like to be CEO of Taco Bell — in many jobs, it’s really only important that you have some idea of what you’d like to learn. Don’t worry about slapping a title on it. So if your interviewer asks you, “What are your career objectives?”, it’s perfectly okay to just say the kind of skills you’d like to obtain.

Even if all you can think is that you’d like to work in human resources, or editing, or production, just say that. A vague direction is better than nothing at all; it gives them an idea of where you’d like to head (& creates a picture of what you might do within their company), & if they employ you, it will help them point you in a direction that is interesting to you.

Top 10 Interview Mistakes
1.  Not taking the interview seriously. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the interview is just a formality. Even if all of the preliminaries have gone well, don’t be cavalier and start imagining how you’ll start spending your new salary. The biggest error you can make is to assume that, because you’ve gotten this far, the job is in the bag.

2.  Dressing down. How you present yourself during your initial meeting with a potential employer is very important, and your physical appearance can speak volumes to someone who is meeting you for the first time. Even if you know that the firm allows employees to wear jeans, don’t sabotage yourself by showing up to the interview in casual clothing. Err on the side of conservative and show up in neat, professional clothing; a business suit is your best and safest bet.

3. Not showing why you’re the best choice. Be familiar with the job description of the position for which you’re interviewing so that you can illustrate how your experience, abilities, and strengths are in line with the company’s needs. Many potential employers want to know why they should hire you specifically. Make it clear to them.

4.  Being too modest. Failing to talk yourself up during an interview is one of the most self-defeating mistakes that you can make. This is not the time for humility, so sing your praises! Don’t be afraid to talk up everything that you’ve accomplished, whether in school or in previous companies. This is your time to shine.

5.  Talking too much. Be careful not to talk over the interviewer. This meeting should be a two-way conversation, and many interviewees cover up their nervousness by blathering. Sit calmly, listen carefully, and answer questions thoughtfully.

6.  Focusing on the funds. Don’t talk money too soon into the interview. To focus on your salary requirements and previous salary history right off the bat may cause you to reveal too much. While the topic of salary will certainly come up, follow the interviewer’s lead. He or she may be saving that topic for a later conversation.

7. Trash talking. Even if you hated your former boss or felt that you were treated unfairly by your previous employer, a job interview is not the place to launch into a litany of complaints. Don’t go there. If you were laid off or fired from a previous position, be prepared with an explanation that puts a positive spin on the circumstances.

8.  Failing to ask questions. Your résumé may be impressive on paper, but employers also appreciate a candidate who can ask several intelligent questions during an interview. Prepare at least 3 or 4 questions in advance to ask the interviewer. Interviews are an exchange of information, and not having questions to ask can reveal a lack of preparation.

9.  Lack of enthusiasm. This is your first and sometimes only chance to showcase your personality. Don’t walk in announcing your bad day. Be polite and upbeat. Show your enthusiasm for both the job and the opportunity to interview for it. And don’t forget to thank the person at the end of the interview!

10 Forgetting the follow-up. Make sure to send a handwritten thank-you note or polite email to the interviewer expressing gratitude for his or her time and consideration. And while you don’t want to call the company every day, a phone call to check in a week after the interview is perfectly acceptable.


Closing an Interview: Tips to Seal the Deal
Seal the Deal With Strong References
Should You Accept the First Offer?
The Second Interview
The Waiting Game
Two Words To Boost Your Career: Thank You

Seal the Deal With Strong References-Back to Index
Your polished resume got you the interview. Your stellar interviewing skills made you the hiring manager's top choice. But the deal's not done. You have one last hurdle: The reference check.

Eighty-seven percent of human resource professionals say their company has checked prospective employees' references within the past year, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

Don't underestimate the importance of the reference check. This final, crucial step in the hiring process can mean the difference between an offer and a rejection letter.

A good reference confirms and elaborates on the information in your resume. More important, he gives positive feedback on your skills and experience.

Former managers, clients and colleagues make the best references, because they have first-hand knowledge of your job performance. If you're new to the workforce, you may want to ask a professor or teacher to serve as a reference.

Avoid using friends and family as references as well as people who have known you less than one year.

Most importantly, make sure you've asked permission before listing someone as a reference. In this case, the element of surprise won't work to your advantage.


Should You Accept the First Offer?-Back to Index
First Offer or Last Offer?

What else prompts people to accept the first job offer they receive? Typically, it's fear. Nervous job seekers will often wonder, "What if nothing better comes along?"

If you're being afflicted by this fear, evaluate your job search efforts to date. Have you done everything possible to attract all potential opportunities? Are you contacting recruiters? Is your most current resume posted on Yahoo! HotJobs? Does everyone in your network know you're looking for a new opportunity?

To truly assess all of your options, make sure you're leaving no stone unturned in your search.

Don't Settle for Second Best

Some job seekers cringe at the thought of accepting the first job they're offered because they fear their dream job is still out there. "What if something better comes along?" they worry.

You can put these worries to rest by creating a "new opportunity checklist" at the beginning of each job search. What are your must-haves? What are you nice-to-haves? Weigh your first -- and every -- job offer against your checklist. What's there? What's missing? What additional information do you need to make an informed, intelligent decision?

Also, assess your post-interview mood. Did you leave feeling excited about the possibility of working at that particular company alongside the people you met? If you're not feeling very enthusiastic, you might be settling. And, as a result, you might find yourself searching for yet another job sooner rather than later.

The Wisdom of Rejection

An often-overlooked benefit of evaluating and rejecting a job offer is that you can discover what's really important to you.

You might notice some of your nice-to-haves are actually must-haves. You may come to learn that you don't want to change industries. You could determine that you're interested in relocating to another part of the country.

Whatever your realizations, exploring your opportunities will give you the confidence to accept or reject your first job offer. And it is confidence -- not desperation -- that drives the best decisions.


The Second Interview-Back to Index
This time around, expect to spend more time at the company, talk to more people, individually and collectively, and have your skills and personality scrutinized more closely.

The Employer's Point of View

From an employer's perspective, the second interview is a chance to closely evaluate a candidate's abilities and interpersonal skills. Your prospective employer wants to see that you can do the job and work well with colleagues.

Be aware that many employers bring in several candidates on the same day to streamline the second interview process. Your challenge is to distinguish yourself from the other candidates.

To show you're a good fit with the company, focus on explaining how your abilities and experiences would enable you to do the job. Be specific. Offer concrete examples that highlight your competence and compatibility.

Who You'll Meet

On your first interview, you probably met with one or two people. This time, be prepared to meet several more over the course of the day, including potential managers, coworkers and other staff members.

You may meet individually with several people, who will most likely ask you similar questions. Keep your answers consistent but mix up your delivery so that your answers don't sound stale or staged. If possible, before the interview acquire a list of the people you'll be meeting with and do a little research on each one. Then ask questions that show your knowledge of each person.

If you meet with a panel or group, be sure to make eye contact with both the individual asking the question and the group as a whole.

Steps for Follow Up

It's rare to receive an offer on the spot, but it does happen occasionally. If the feedback is consistently positive over the course of the day, you may get a job offer at the end of the interview. If that happens, don't make a hasty decision. Ask for time to think about it.

If you don't get an offer, be sure to immediately send a brief thank you note to every person you spoke with. Some companies make hiring decisions in a matter of days, but many can take weeks to make their final choice.

Be patient, be flexible and be ready for an offer or an invitation for yet another interview.

The Waiting Game-Back to Index
There's a fine line between being conscientious and being annoying.

The first rule is: Don't wait for the recruiter to contact you. You need to keep in touch not just to stay informed about the interview process, but also to stay fresh in the recruiter's mind.

So how long should you wait after an interview to make contact?

The majority of recruiters (53 percent) said candidates should wait one week before following up, according to a Yahoo! HotJobs survey.

When you do follow up, reiterate your interest in the position. Ask what the next step is (if you don't know) and find out when the company anticipates making a decision.

Don't Stop Searching

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is taking a break from their search in the hopes that an offer is imminent.

It's very hard to predict if you'll be offered a particular job. So even if you're confident that an offer is coming, keep looking.

You won't lose your momentum if the offer never comes. You'll also increase your chance of getting another offer, which can be helpful when negotiating.

Two Words to Boost Your Career-Thank You-Back to Index
Beginning with the "thank you" for your first job interview and ending with the "thank you" for your retirement party, your career can benefit enormously from simple notes of gratitude written along the way. Frequent, well-written thank-you notes can foster professional success in unimaginable ways, and they are especially important after a job interview.

The Mechanics

Thank-you notes should be printed on letterhead stationery or personal-business stationery, or -- for a little warmer tone -- handwritten on fold-over note cards. You can simplify the process by sending an email thank-you message (more on this later), which is not as distinctive as a handwritten note but far better than no message at all.

As you're writing, don't worry about being creative or clever or profound. People are so charmed to receive thank-you notes at all that they are seldom very critical. "Thank you very much" are words that everyone likes to read.

Click here for a thank you letter.


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