INTERVIEWING -Dr. Egan's Class
mock interview dvd
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?
-Come up with one that you have-write it down-tell the class
Click here for
E's Three Day Interview!!
Day 1-The day before the
Study the employer
Map your directions to the interview
If possible, drive to the interview location
Go over the possible questions-Click
Try to know what type interview
Practice-do mock interview with CS
Lay out you attire-Click
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
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
Talk about what you have to offer them. Tell about your
If you are really verbal person be aware of when she/he is ready to move
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
In your Networking Directory, record who you talked to, when and where.
Mr. E's 12 Biggest Interview Mistakes:
dress-especially no jacket, poorly tied tie, dirty shoes, mismatched or
light socks, etc.
grammar and slang (like, uh, cool, awesome, unreal)
of eye contact-looking elsewhere
know about MY company!!
critical of others
being happy and enthusiastic
others in my office rudely
about money or time off or vacation or flex time
Questions you should have answers to. Click
Situational or Behavioral questions-click
person come up with two interview questions. Ask those to
the person to your right and exchange your roles.
here for CS Interviewing website
here for interviewing videos
for Do's and Don'ts
here for what to wear.
Sample questions from you-click
stumped by questions
being dressed appropriately
a bad interviewer
a mean interviewer
interviewer asks me an intrusive or illegal question?
being qualified for the job
not as though I "fit"
don’t know what to do with my hands during an interview
fear I will just “freeze up” in the interview
do I explain that I was fired?
-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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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!
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
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
Closing an Interview: Tips to Seal the Deal
the Deal With Strong References
You Accept the First Offer?
Words To Boost Your Career: Thank You
Seal the Deal With Strong References-Back
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Be patient, be flexible and be ready for an offer or an invitation for
yet another interview.
The Waiting Game-Back
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
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
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
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.
here for a thank you letter.
......... more events