Archive for the ‘Interviewing 101’ Category

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Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

A few years ago, we decided to decentralize our blogging into our individual accounts.  For more blog articles on Careers, Resumes, Interviewing, Connecting with Recruiters, and plenty other related topics, please visit:  https://jefflipschultz.wordpress.com/

The Interview is Done–Will the Phone Ring?

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

When the phone doesn’t ring within 24 hours of an interview, many job candidates start to assume they didn’t get the job.  The waiting game is worse than the interview itself for some.

Read what to do and NOT do during this stage in process in a JobHunt.Org article Post-Interview Waiting Game

Your Job Interview IQ

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

I read an interesting article earlier this year written by C.J. Liu of Payscale.com where she asks us to determine our Job Interview IQ.  She asks some pertinent True/False questions about interviewing and provides good insights with the answers.  I’ve added some of my own at the bottom of this post that I’ve discussed with candidates over the years.

What’s Your Job Interview IQ?

by C.J. Liu, PayScale.com

After networking, sending resumes, and waiting patiently by the phone, all your hard work has paid off with an invitation to interview. But, how do you prepare? What do you wear? And, how should you explain any layoffs or gaps in your resume?

See full article>>

My additions to her article:

11.  When asked the age-old question of where I see myself in five years, I should say, "in your position."

False.  It is good to show ambition in your interview and that you seek growth in your career.  However, unless you have really good information on the career path on this job, you’re guessing as to what the plans for this job are.  It is best to stay generic.  Let them know that you would expect in the next five years, you would have grown your skill set, learned their industry well enough to teach others, have enhanced your abilities in working with all types of people (vendors, clients, colleagues, management), and would be positioned well for any new opportunities the company has planned for you.

12.  When asked what is your pet peeve, you tell them you can’t stand people who eat their lunch at their desk and talk endlessly on the phone to their aunt in Tallahassee.

False.  Although this may be true, there is no need to share this pet peeve of yours.  The reality is, this is a trap question. There really is no good "real" answer.  So instead, use humor or a light-hearted comment that has little relevance.  Example: "I hate when I get my coat caught in the car door on the way to work and everyone is pointing at my car on the way in."  When pressed for more peeves, you can say you’re not the type to get "peeved."

13.  You’ll sound too desperate if you tell them you really want the job.

True/False.  You’ll sound too desperate if you say it in a begging tone or down on your knees.  But, I always advocate sounding very interested in the job.  During the interview, consider it your best option for a job (you can evaluate this assumption later).  Thinking this way will naturally guide your comments to lean toward enthusiasm, true interest, and excitement about the prospect of working there.  Interviewers gage this and want to hire candidates who really do want to work there, not just be employed.

For more insights on all these questions along with interviewing preparation, etiquette, and strategy for answering interviewing questions, feel free to download my eBooks.

The Importance of a Consistent Message

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Whether you are searching for a job or searching for the best candidate, a consistent message needs to be communicated throughout the entire candidate selection process.  For both parties, the message can center around the Five W’s:

  • who you are
  • what you seek in an employer or employee
  • where you are in your career or hiring process
  • when you expect to make a decision
  • why you are looking for a job or candidate
  • (and even how: how you expect to arrive at a decision)

For example, some who’s and what’s for both:

Candidate:  I am an experienced marketing executive looking to lead a team marketing custom software.

Company:  We are a Fortune1000 software development company looking for a marketing executive with 15+ years software marketing experience, an MBA, and five years experience leading others.talkdirectly

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  You might be surprised how often both sides veer of the path of delivering a consistent message. 

The Candidate’s Message:

Candidates need to follow the advice I’ve written for interviewing. Specifically, they need to understand what the company is looking for and communicate the experiences and skills that tie directly to those requirements.  An inconsistent message starts to form when a candidate starts layering in all the other things they might be interested in or relating skill sets that the company does not need.  Mentioning all these things dilutes the core message.

Throughout the interview, all the interview responses and examples provided need to tie back to the core message.  By doing so, a candidate will reinforce the impression that has started to form of what they are all about.  The more examples provided, the stronger the message gets.

The Company’s Message:

On the company side, the consistent message can get diluted when there are a series of interviewers who have not been prepared adequately.  Each interviewer should be asking questions tied to the same requirements.  Also, when asked, "what is the company looking for in a candidate," every interviewer should answer the question almost identically.  Granted, direct reports to the position may have different needs than the supervisor to the position.  However, all these answers should be agreed upon up front.

Another area of concern is the messaging on what the company is all about.  If one employee says the company’s core competence or mission is X and another says Y, what is a candidate to think?

Even little things like "where are you in the process?" can be a tripping point.  If one interviewer says, "we just started looking at candidates" and another says, "we’re close to picking three finalists," what is the candidate going to think?  Although, both statements could be true, it doesn’t sound very consistent.

Bottom Line:

Just like in traditional marketing, when the message is not consistent across all sources, the receivers of the information lose sight of the intended message.  A little preparation and strategy can go a long way (on both sides) to ensure both clearly communicate what they are looking for and what they are all about.

Interviewing is Easy…if Done Right!

Friday, August 21st, 2009

By Jeff Lipschultz

Well, maybe for some, interviewing if not easy.  It can be intimidating.  It can be unpredictable.  But, there are ways to deal with this.  The secrets lie in preparation and taking ownership of the interview.

I have compiled my collection of blog posts and guidance to candidates into reference guides in two flavors depending on the job seeker’s needs.

 

"I already know the basics, including the popular do’s and don’ts": 

Here is my newly released 15-minute guide from Job-Hunt.org.  It focuses mainly on preparation and ownership in the interviewing process.

Interview eBook

 

"I need as much information on the process as possible.  I’m new to this or rusty": 

You can also download the in-depth version of this eBook.  It covers the material above, plus a handy do’s and don’ts checklist for the day of the interview.  It also includes some tricks for answering questions you are not feeling strong about, plus key questions to ask the interviewer.

Download here: A-List Solutions Version

Q & A with Jeff on Working With Recruiters

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Unlocking the so-called mystery of working with recruiters has been a popular subject this year.  Many folks I work with in the job search industry have asked me to shed some light on the in’s and out’s.

Meg Guiseppi, an Executive Resume/Branding specialist, recently interviewed me and covered a lot of ground on:

  • recruiting the recruiter
  • personal branding
  • social media
  • interviewing
  • executive resumes

You can see the article with all the insights on her site.

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