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SHRM Presentation

"Interviewing techniques and strategies from a career planning perspective"
October 4th at 3:30 in PH349-Meghan Pfaller

What this means to me is how can you do a job search in your field and land an interview!  If you are an accounting major you don't want to work in sales or if you are a Management major you don't want to end up in Financial Planning.  If you want to work in HR you don't want to end up NOT in HR!


1: Interview for as many jobs as you can
-Let's assume you have focused your search on certain types of jobs and types of employers.
-Some seem close but others don’t quite fit.

-But limiting your job search limits the possibilities.
-Once you create too many filters and requirements, you can easily overlook opportunities.
-You never know when an interview for a “not-quite-right” job will result in a surprising match.

Why you should interview as much as possible:
You need the practice.
Interviewing will refine your job search.
Interviewing will make your network stronger.
Interviewing may lead to unexpected opportunities.

2: Develop a compelling story
-The way your life has evolved; the things you’ve learned; your achievements, failings, and dreams—these things are unique to you and much more interesting than you realize.
-Sharing your well thought out story is a powerful interviewing technique.
-So learn to tell your story and tell it well, especially for interviewing and networking purposes.

Your stories:

-Give you confidence
-Increase your self-awareness
-Bring humanity to your resume
-Make you memorable and set you apart

Developing your story for job interviews
-What emerges as your passion? Mentoring others, doing research, helping a specific type of client, advancing knowledge in your field? What gives you joy? Are you a teacher, a leader, an entrepreneur, a risk taker?
-Practice makes perfect
-Once you’ve developed your story, the next step is to practice telling it—saying it out loud, ideally to others.
-The ultimate test will be the next time someone says, "Tell me about yourself."

3: Tailor your story to the job
-Lining up the stories that apply to the opportunity at hand is critical.
-You should also think about stories you can tell in the interview that reveal your skill set.
-Don’t rely on your ability to think on your feet. Anticipate the questions and have answers at the ready.

You may want to start by developing your stories around these areas:
-State times where you either made money or saved money for your current or previous company.
-Focus on a crisis or two in your life or job and how you responded or recovered from it.
-A time where you functioned as a part of a team and what that contribution was.
-A time in your career or job where you had to deal with stress.
-A time in your job where you provided successful leadership or a sense of direction.
-The failures you faced in your job and how you overcame them.
-The seminal events that happened during your career that caused you to change direction and how that worked out for you.

4: Be prepared
-The better prepared you are, the more comfortable you will be when the questions start coming your way.

Job interview preparation tips:
-Do your research. Gather information about the company and the position available. Try to specifically relate your experience to the duties the job opportunity entails.
-Practice interviewing.
-Record your practice sessions. Pay attention to body language and verbal presentation. Eliminate extra movements and verbal fillers, like “uh,” and “um.”
-Handle logistics early. Have your clothes, resume, and directions to the interview site ready ahead of time, to avoid any extra stress.
-Don’t forget about your references
-Don’t let your references be the last to know about your job search, or even worse, get an unexpected call from a potential employer.
-Are your references relevant to your current job search?

5: Anticipate likely questions
-Employers often turn to behavioral interviewing, an interviewing style which consists of a series of probing, incisive questions.

Sample behavioral interview questions include:
-Describe a situation in which you didn’t meet your stated goal, how did you handle it?
-Tell us about a situation in which you encountered resistance from key people, how did you convince the person or people to do what you wanted?
-Describe a situation in which you took the initiative to change a process or system and make it better, how did you identify the problem? How did you go about instituting change?

Preparing good interview answers
-Review your research about the company and the position.
-Make a list of key attributes for your desired job.
-Write sample interview questions that are likely to uncover the attributes you identified as important.
-Create answers to the sample interview questions based on a template such as “Situation – Action – Result” with specific details from your work experience.
-Practice answering the interview questions and follow-up questions so that you are very familiar with several detailed examples/stories. Rehearse key points.
-Learn how to communicate better and have more confidence

6: Ask questions during the interview
-Being prepared and asking great questions about the position and the employer shows your interest during the interview.
-Try to be thoughtful and self-reflective in both your interview questions and your answers.
-Be prepared to talk about which areas would present challenges and how you would address them.

Questions to ask potential employers in job interviews
-The people who do well at your company: what skills and attributes do they usually have?
-What do you like best about working at _____?
-What results are expected?
-What specific problems are you hoping to solve during the first six months?
-Who are the key internal customers? Any special issues with them?
-What happened to the person who had this job before?
-What communication style do you prefer?
-What is your philosophy regarding on-the-job growth and development?
-What are your goals for the department?

7: Focus on commonalities
If you set out with the intention to discover how you and the person interviewing you are connected and what you share, you will discover commonalities much faster. And the interviewing process will be much less intimidating because of it.

Tips for discovering commonalities with your interviewer:
-Do your research.
-Listen and pay attention.
-Lead with your interests and passions. How you introduce yourself and talk about yourself in the interview matters.
-Find common ground in the context. There is a reason why both of you find yourself at this unique place and time. Why are you both in this business? Do you know the any of the same people?
-While searching for commonalities, avoid pummeling your interviewer with a series of set questions.
-Once you do, the world will feel like a smaller, friendlier place and your anxiety over interviewing will shrink.

-Click here for 46 Interview Techniques and Tips


Give paper and pencils and write down your biggest fear of interviewing

Click here for PP

Click here for interviewing videos

Click here for Do's and Don'ts

Click here for what to wear.

Click here on what NOT to wear!

Questions you should be prepared for-click here

Situational or Behavioral questions-click here

Sample questions from you-click here.

Interview Jitters?-Click here.



























Being stumped by questions
Not being dressed appropriately
Having a bad interviewer
Arriving late
Not being qualified for the job
Looking not as though I "fit"


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