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The Interview

The Interview

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The Interview

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  1. The Interview

  2. PURPOSE OF THE INTERVIEW • Meet the employer in-person or by phone • Sell your strengths and skills as they relate to the employer and position • Learn about the position and the employer • Assess if the employer/position are a good fit for your career goals, values and needs

  3. Types of Interviews • Traditional • Behavioral • Case-Method/Cased-Based

  4. Traditional • Requires you to relay factual information • Employer is taking your word at face value • Sample Questions: • Why you want to be a personal trainer. • What qualities do you think all good personal trainers posses • What are a few good/bad qualities you have seen in personal trainers • What qualities are your strongest/weakest as a personal trainer

  5. Behavioral • Based on the belief that the best predictor of a person’s future success is past behavior • The interviewer will ask probing questions that require the candidate to share examples of how they have demonstrated particular behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities • Sample Behavioral Questions: • Tell me about a time when you exhibited teamwork • Give me an example of a challenge you experienced and how you dealt with it • Tell me about a rewarding accomplishment

  6. Behavioral • Recommendation: • Use "STAR" framework to structure your responses: • What was the SITUATION? • What was your TASK? • What ACTION did you take? • What was the RESULT?

  7. Case-Method/Case-Based • Commonly used interview method in business and consulting fields • Interviewee is requested to analyze a problem/situation and present a solution • Employer assesses analytical ability/thought process, not the accurateness of the response • Calculation/estimation/guesstimate/ numerical/ market sizing case • Brainteaser/logical puzzle/IQ question

  8. Preparation for the Interview • Research company prior to interview • Know who you will be meeting with and their position in the company • What are the company’s products or services? • When they were founded and by whom • Do they have more than one location? • Who are their competitors? • Do they have any particular training philosophies or ideals? • What is the work atmosphere like? Conservative? Liberal?

  9. Preparation for the Interview • Create a list of questions to ask about the company and position • Confirm the appointment the day before • Bring resume to the interview and portfolio/notepad/pen

  10. Preparation for the Interview • Confirm the interview time, place, and with whom you will be meeting, including titles • Be sure to get directions and ask about parking • Figure out where you’re going • Drive by the location a day or two before the interview • DO NOT BE LATE • Best to arrive ten minutes early

  11. Interview Attire • Recommendations: • No heavy cologne/perfume • No visible tattoos • No visible body piercings • Fresh breath • No purple, green, etc. colored hair • Ironed, appropriately fitting clothing • Freshly bathed/showered • No body odor, use deodorant

  12. Interview Attire • Men: • No long side burns or long hair • Well-groomed facial hair; cleaned and trimmed nails • No earrings or other jewelry (wear a conservative watch) • No athletic attire • No athletic shoes or sandals • Business casual-khaki pants, buttoned solid shirt, leather belt, socks, and leather shoes

  13. Interview Attire • Women: • Dark coordinated suits, properly fitted, with matching dress blouse (no plunging neckline) • Polished matching dress shoes with moderate heel (no open toe/heeled shoes) • Hair past shoulder length pulled away from face • Natural looking make-up • Minimal conservative classic jewelry (no flashy, dangling earrings or necklaces) • Clear or conservatively colored nail polish, no chipped nail polish

  14. When Does the Interview Begin? • As soon as you meet Mr. or Mrs. business owner • No • As soon as you walk in the door • No • Actually, the interview starts as soon as you make contact with the company or sooner • You are on show from the moment anyone in the company can see you • Approach everything you do as an interview

  15. Make A Positive First Impression • Show respect and courtesy to ALL employees with whom you interact, as they may be asked to provide input on you • Turn off cell phone prior to interview • Shake hands firmly at the beginning and end of interview • Maintain good eye contact throughout interview • Speak positively about yourself and others • Listen • Do not interrupt the interviewer

  16. Make A Positive First Impression • Use body language to show interest – Nod – Sit forward – Sit up straight – Smile • Be sure that you understand the question asked, or ask for clarification. If you need to pause to collect your thoughts before answering a question, do so. • Thank the interviewer

  17. Telephone Interview • Number of interviewers can vary from 1-3 or more • Conversational skills main focus • Your ability to verbally convey your skills and qualifications will be examined closely • Speak directly into the phone and keep mouthpiece about 1 inch from your mouth • Select a quiet space for your phone interview

  18. Telephone Interview • Do not eat food, chew gum, smoke, drive, watch television, or type during the interview • Have a copy of your resume and references in front of you during the interview • Smile over the phone • Pretend as if the person is right in front of you, it will help you sound “friendly” and relax you • Avoid discussion about salary and benefits until 2nd interview

  19. Ask The Right Questions • What their role in the company is • What are the long-term goals or growth plans of the company? • What kind of day-to-day supervision is provided for the person in this position? • Where can a position of this type lead to within your company? • How did this position become available? • What does your orientation/training process entail?

  20. Ask The Right Questions • What type of continuing education or training does the company provide? • How will I receive feedback about my performance, and how often? • What are you looking for in the ideal candidate? • What do you like about working here? • Can you describe the daily environment of your department/company? • Timing for when you will make a decision

  21. Questions you DO NOT Ask Them Wages, Benefits, and Salary • Although money may be a high priority for you, asking about salary indicates to the employer that you are more interested in what the job pays than the work itself

  22. Illegal Interview Questions • What’s your race? • What is your national origin? • Are you a U.S. citizen? • How old are you? • Are you married? • Do you have any children? • Do you have any disabilities? • What is your religion? • Have you ever been arrested? • What type of military discharge did you receive? • Have you ever filed for bankruptcy?

  23. After the Interview • Jot down notes from the interview • Who you met • What you learned • Any other thoughts or ideas • If you like what has been discussed in the interview, let the employer know that you're excited about what you've heard and are still very much interested in the position

  24. After the Interview • Before leaving, be sure to thank the interviewer for his/her time • Find out about the next step in the hiring process and when decisions will be made • Immediately email or write a thank you letter

  25. Thank You Letter • The letter should be addressed to the person(s) with whom you interviewed. Ask for your interviewers’ business cards, or write down the interviewers' titles and the proper spelling of their names before leaving the interview site • Prepare your letter using a business letter format on high quality linen or bond paper • Mail your letter within 24 hours

  26. Thank You Letter • If you have previously corresponded with the employer by email, it is acceptable to also send your thank you "letter“ via email within 24 to 48 hours • Keep your letter brief and concise. Mention the date of your interview and your continued interest in both the position for which you interviewed and the organization. • Express your appreciation for the opportunity to interview, tour the facilities, meet other employees, etc., and confirm follow up procedures

  27. Dear Jeff Richards: Thank you for the opportunity to interview with you on Friday, May, X XX. I appreciated the company tour and an opportunity to meet a number of your staff. The Personal Trainer position we discussed is an excellent opportunity for which I feel uniquely qualified. As we discussed, my background in fitness as well as business will enable me to interact effectively with both existing club members and prospective clientele.

  28. If you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at (123) 456-7890, or via email at Again, thank you for the opportunity to interview for this exciting position. I look forward to hearing from you soon. ------------------------------------- 1 Line Space Sincerely, ------------------------------------- 3 Line Spaces Miles Rush

  29. After the Interview • Follow-up • The hiring process takes longer than you would think or like • Don’t self-select yourselves out of the process • Do not assume that you did not get the job just because you didn’t hear back by a certain time

  30. After the Interview • Follow-up • Stay involved but don’t be a stalker • Touch base every ten days to two weeks • Email or voice mail, not both. Maybe a short written note • Don’t put them on the spot, but say something like, “ I just wanted to touch base and see if you had any questions, or needed any addition information

  31. Interview Don’ts • Don’t be late • Don’t lie, oversell or misrepresent yourself • Don’t dominate or take over the interview • Don’t talk salary • Avoid discussion on politics, religion or other potentially sensitive issues • Don’t talk negatively about anything

  32. Interview Do’s • Research the company before the interview • Practice sample interview questions • Practice discussing your strengths and weaknesses • Prepare a list of stories about yourself that show you solving problems or contributing to a team • Practice interviewing with a friend • Bring extra copies of your resume with you • Limit jewelry and perfume/cologne and cover tattoos • Arrive early and dress appropriately • Be positive and confident • Find out next steps • Send a thank-you note

  33. Common Reasons for Applicant Rejection • Poor appearance • Poor voice, diction, grammar • Little enthusiasm, passive, indifferent • Evades, hedges answering questions • Late for interview, disrespectful • Talks too much, rambles • Unable to handle silence • Lack of purpose, career goals • Negative attitude • Couldn't sell him/herself to the employer • Overbearing, aggressive • Unwilling to start at the bottom • Lack of courtesy, proper etiquette

  34. Common Reasons for Applicant Rejection • Poor eye contact, extreme nervousness • Lack of poise, lack of confidence • Condemnation of previous employer • Lack of leadership skills • Didn't ask for the job • Talked about salary

  35. Mock Interview Practice • With a partner ask the interviewee six questions from the hand-out: • Interview: 15 minutes • Feedback: 5 minutes • The Student: • Think about what type of job you might be applying for (or have applied for in the past) and share this with the interviewer before you begin the role-play • Give interviewee feedback on the following: – Physical presence (posture, smile, eye contact…) • Verbal communication – Positive portrayal of him/herself and others