‘Twas the Night Before the Big Job Interview and I Bet That the Only Creature Stirring is You

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Preparing for an interview can be very stressful. However, bearing in mind three key strategies not only reduces the stress, but also can dramatically improve your chances for success.

Preparing for an interview can be very stressful. However, bearing in mind three key strategies not only reduces the stress, but also can dramatically improve your chances for success.

The first strategy, is your mind set. Understand that for the hiring manager or the executive recruiter, the interview is neither emotional nor personal. So be careful not to wear your emotions on your sleeve. Controlled self confidence is what you want to portray.

Second, to portray that controlled self-confidence, be prepared with your two minute (or less) “infomercial”. Your infomercial is designed to answer that inevitable first question in an interview: “Tell me about yourself.”

Your infomercial should stick to business-related information and the results you’ve achieved. You should never talk for more than two minutes in answering any question in an interview. Most people begin to tune out after two minutes and you will come off as rambling and unprepared.

Third, for management level positions, you need to prepare your answers to the twenty most commonly asked interview questions. I can’t quantifiably certify that these are really truly the 21 one most asked interview questions. These are generated from my experience as 1) a candidate for executive level positions (I’ve held senior executive positions at three large publicly traded companies), 2) as a hiring executive, I’ve used these questions in dealing with candidates and 3) I’ve spoken with some of the nation’s top retained executive recruiters about the questions they ask candidates.

Your answer to these questions needs to focus on results you’ve achieved and to draw linkages from what you did to what you can do for the interviewing company.

Here are my top 20 interview questions:

1. Describe your management style.

2. What are you looking for in a career?

3. Why do you want to leave or have left your current employer?

4. Why do you want to work for this company?

5. How can you add value to this company?

6. How did you contribute to your company’s success?

7. What have you learned over the last three years?

8. What valid criticisms have been made of your work?

9. What does success mean to you?

10. How have your goals changed over the last 5 to 10 years?

11. How would you describe yourself as a decision maker?

12. How do people react to you?

13. How do you spend your spare time?

14. What are your pet peeves?

15. What type of people interest you?

16. Tell me about the last time you disagreed with your boss.

17. Tell me about the last time you had a conflict with a peer.

18. Tell me about the last time you had difficulty with a direct report.

19. Where do you see yourself/your career five years from now?

20. Tell me about the last time you fired someone.

At the end of the day, candidates are hired based up two criteria; 1) do they fit within the company (cultural fit) and 2) do they bring value that far exceeds the high compensation they are asking for.

It is important to understand that it isn’t always the most talented person that gets the job offer, it is the person that COMMUNICATES their value in a winning way that gets the job offer.

For more information in preparing, not just for the job interview, but all aspects of a career search from resume preparation to negotiating the job offer, please go to http://www.sixfigurejobsearch.com

About the Author

Other works by Rob Waite include his hit book “The Lost Art of General Management”, “Walking With The Wise II” and he produced the computer based interactive seminar “The Six Figure Job Search”. In addition to being a writer and speaker, Rob Waite is Vice President of a division of Worthington Industries.

To learn more about “The Lost Art of General Management”, “Walking With The Wise II”, and “The Six Figure Job Search” please visit http://www.robwaite.com. For an interview with Rob Waite, please contact Pam Drellow at 716.386.7656

Copyright 2004 robwaite.com, inc.

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