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Marble Jar Gang Career Counseling: The Interview

The basic premise or formula is to recognize that when your skills + traits + behaviors are placed in the right environment the outcome will give you a greater chance of success and happiness in your work.

After completing the Preparation Steps (previous post) you are now headed for some face-to-face time with your potential new employer. You have been selected for this next step because you look like a contender on paper and made it through the phone stage. This is a commitment of company resources (time, money and people) and your real first impression to ‘make’ or ‘break’. We know you will be kind of nervous so bring some water to sip on, leave behind the mints which dry out your mouth and concentrate on the Q&A that you have been preparing.

And needless to say, do not be late even a minute.

The Handshake Moment- the interviewer initiates this step. Keep eye contact, smile and thank them for the opportunity to meet them.

Present the Resume – place one copy on the desk, face up and facing the interviewer. They may have one printed and not need it. Get out pen and notebook to be ready to take notes. Ask for a business card for your files.

The Chat Portion – plan on the easy questions (see Prep post) and practice good posture, eye contact, being positive, being truthful and most important be concise and focused on their questions.

Answering Tips – tie your answers back to your skills and accomplishments as noted on the resume and job description. If you have been a job-jumper then plan to discuss why. Never speak negatively about previous experiences. If something didn’t work out well then focus on what you learned or gained from the experience.

Your Turn To Interview the Interviewer – Have your prepared questions on the company that could include their mission/values and culture. This is the time for unanswered questions on the position itself, management style, traits of other successful employees, compensation and benefits.

For a deeper dive into discussing your salary requirements check out: https:///

Next Steps and Interview Close – It is appropriate to ask about next steps in the hiring process if it has not already been brought up. This should give you an idea if you have made a positive impression. If you think something may have gone wrong or an answer may not have been spot on then ask the interviewer for feedback. “Did I provide you enough examples of my ability to succeed in the XXX position?” “In comparison to my competition for this job, where would you rank my abilities?” If they are forthcoming, take notes and follow up with probing questions.

If you see any of these signals from the interviewer then you have made the right impression:

· Asked if you can meet others on the team

· The interview time is running over and the conversation is still going well

· Smiles and nods and comments that shows they agree with/understand your answers

· Asks for those references you have prepared

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