Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Okay, I Got the Interview That I Wanted, Now What?

Yes, I recently landed a job. That's why I hadn't posted anything for a few weeks. I was out of town, then got called to an interview, had to quickly prepare, interview, got called with a job offer, and within a quick week, was walking through the door of my new employer.

Many things have been posted about the interview and the process. I won't go into deep discussion about telling you to practice, practice, practice.

Nor will I cover common things about what questions that you will be asked or how to sharply dress (by the way, err to the formal side. I was told to show up in business casual, even a golf shirt would do. I wore a jacket and tie).

Other things that are covered in depth are things like, provide bright and professional copies of resumes in special folders along with your business card, putting the resumes and everything else needed for the interview in the car the night before so it's not left behind, making a dry run to find the interview location, studying traffic patterns so you arrive about ten minutes before the interview. Don't arrive sooner and for heavens sake, don't be late. You will be watched from the time you drive onto the company property, until you leave. Be courteous to everyone that you meet. These brief encounters may help to determine your fate.


Take your time during the interview, think about the response that you are about to make. Be professional. Be as brief but as thorough in your responses as possible. Make the interviewer interested enough to ask you more. Don't ramble with your response and don't do all the talking.

Do your home work. Know the company. Search the internet for recent news articles about the company where you are interviewing. Study their web site. You don't have to memorize everything there, but know what's there. Also, if you are changing industries, know a s much as you can about the industry.

One thing that I've learned from one interview to the next is that you should always have ten to twelve good questions prepared to show those that are interviewing you, that you have a deep interest in becoming a team member in their company. You should not ask them all at once, one after the next, but rather, work them in at appropriate times during the interview.

During my Career Search process, I've refined my list of questions. I'll share those with you. They may not work for you as I have them listed, nor the order in which I listed them. But this may provide you a little guidance, should you need a little help.

1.) How do I excel at this position?
2.) What are the position major responsibilities?
3.) Beyond the job description, and what you've already told me,what are your expectations?
4.) How would you describe the candidate that is a great fit for the company?
5.) How long has this position existed? Why is it vacant? How long has it been vacant?
6.) What situations, with respect to this position, need immediate attention?
7.) What are the growth areas and/or what is the career progression from this position?
8.) What are the company goals? What is the company vision for the next 5-10 years? What about long term goals?
9.) How has this economy affected this business, the company?
10.) How do you see my candidacy for this position?
11.) What skills, experiences am I lacking to perform this job successfully?
12.) What is the next step in the hiring process?
BONUS QUESTION: Do you have a business card (this way you'll more than likely have their e-mail address so you can send a "Thank You" e-mail)?

Be energetic, this shows an interest in the position.

IMPORTANT NOTE: ASK FOR THE JOB! Don't ask directly, but you can say something like this; It looks as if my skill set and experience are a match for this position. I'm definitely interested in this opportunity. I think that I would be a great fit and look forward to the next step in the hiring process.

Also, hand the interviewer a copy of your business card (and tri-fold, if you have one)while you are asking for the job.

Don't forget to send a "Thank You" e-mail and a handwritten "Thank You" note as soon as you can physically get it done. I can't tell you how many stories that I've heard over the past few months where the folks interviewed, were selected above a tie, because they sent a simple "Thank You".

Well, I'm certain that I forgot something. Practice, practice, practice your interview!

I hope that this blog article helps you land that next job and soon!

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