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Interview Tips.

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Presentation on theme: "Interview Tips."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interview Tips

2 The Interview The interviewer’s focus Your focus as interviewee
assessing your suitability Your focus as interviewee impressing the interviewer Panel Prepare for Q&A Find out who will be interviewing The purpose of an interview is to assess your suitability for the job. What kind of person you are What qualities and experience you bring to the job How you will fit in with the team They are already interested in you or you wouldn’t have gotten the interview opportunity. The interview is your chance to impress the interviewer and demonstrate your knowledge and practical experience Typically panel, all of whom are assessing your performance You’ll get one question at a time from one panel member Typically a good idea to address replies to all members

3 Job Interview Basics Know yourself and how your skills match up to the position. Make sure you are clear on what you can bring to the company. Research the company beforehand. Dress neatly and conservatively Make a positive first impression Arrive early (15-30 minutes) Dress appropriately - businesslike Bring an extra copy of your resume Do your homework/research – Know specifics/specifics/specifics: The type and number of employees; Work hours to plan and SPLY; Productivities; Mail processing / delivery / retail; Management staff/team; Any current initiatives / any current problems (that’s the only way you can share ideas you have for improvements you would make if given the job) Two of the ways to advantage yourself at the interview are preparation and rehearsal. Role-playing helps you to anticipate the types of questions that might be asked, organize your thoughts, and feel more comfortable (most important). It is NOT memorizing pat answers to pre-rehearsed questions. If you don’t have someone to role-play with you, stand alone in front of the mirror. Listen to how you sound (with a tape recorder). Some people like to write it down. Read postal correspondence so that you are up on the latest. Familiarize yourself with current programs, policies, and issues. Know service standards, the national agreements, the safety handbooks, the EEO policy. Find out who is going to be on the board and learn to pronounce their names correctly. Imagine the questions that might be asked. Work out what you want to say bearing in mind that content is more important than style. Plan how best to let them know about your KSAs. Your effort will be assessed as follows – no knowledge equals no interest (I’ll call a friend, I’ll look it up). The best evidence of your interest in the job is how much research you’ve done. This is the time to identify 4 or 5 or 8 or 10 key points about your KSAs that you want to make sure you weave into your responses. Making a memorable impression during the interview is crucial Arrive on time (or minutes early) - Dress appropriately (grooming too!) Dark suit, white shirt, solid or striped tie, black SHINED shoes Suit or tailored dress with matching jacket, neutral hose, dark SHINED shoes, minimum professional makeup and jewelry; No short skirts or backless dresses (sun dresses) or halter tops or evening gowns This is not the time to making fashion statements

4 Worst Interviewing Techniques
Rambling on and on and on … (The Board has no clue what your talking about) Not giving a strong example (Fluff, Fluff and more Fluff) No enthusiasm (a corpse would probably give a more upbeat interview, not motivated, too laid back) Examples should be job related if possible and current No eye contact with the Board member that is asking the question Bad closing statement (Need job change because of injured back, want to work days instead of nights, dislike manager and not able to transfer out) No closing statement or handshake

5 During Your Interview Master the formal handshake Smile Be yourself
Listen to the questions and answer them honestly Make good eye contact Be confident and alert Take each point in turn Ask for clarification if necessary If you don’t know, say so If you don’t have the experience, say so (similar?) Offer a firm handshake and look your interviewer in the eye to ensure a perception of openness and enthusiasm. Shake hands as an equal. Smile. An open smile gives a clear and positive impression. A smile is the most positive signal you can give because it reaffirms your enthusiasm and good nature. Be yourself. Unless you are a trained actor, your attempts at acting the part will be unconvincing. Remember that being naturally keyed up can help you to be enthusiastic. Listen - make good eye contact – look into the interviewer’s eyes, not the floor Be confident and alert (sit up straight, don’t fidget, don’t chew gum, go to the restroom as your last stop before the interview) Be logical in your thought process – taking each point in turn (don’t jump from one thought to another). If you don’t know, say so. If you don’t understand, ask for clarification. If you don’t have the experience, say so. But say tell them if you have similar experiences, just like you did on your 991 (Boy Scout leader). The board is looking to see if you can do the job AND whether you are the right person for the job.

6 During Your Interview Don’t give one-word answers
Stress achievements factually and sincerely (quantifiably) Watch how you frame your responses What you have versus what you don’t have Short, positive, focused on skills Prepare/practice sound bites Avoid “yes” or “no” – try to elaborate – ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are guaranteed conversation killers – the interviewers just move on to the next question It always comes back to haunt you if you lie or exaggerate. Stick to the facts and your integrity will remain intact. Use numbers (quantifiers) as much as you can. Don’t just say “I made budget”, talk about how many hours you were budgeted, what your savings were in terms of dollars or work hours, etc. The manner, the style of responding to an interviewer’s question reveals an attitude that tells a lot about you – how you communicate, how you typically interact with others. Are you aggressive? Negative? Cautious? Positive? Listen to yourself. Do your responses suggest that your glass is half full or half empty? Keep your answers short, positive and focused on the skills you have and what you can do for the selecting official. The KISS principle “Keep it Short and Succinct” works every time. A 5 minute oration detailing your career versus a short, succinct response will tell the interviewer: How organized your thoughts are; How you communicate; What the selecting official can expect from you as part of the management team Keeping the message short and succinct requires PREPARATION – PRACTICE before the interview. You’re enthusiastic about the position, you’re excited about the interview, you’re nervous about what you are going to say, and you want to give the interviewer the benefit of knowing everything about you. But providing a detailed, longwinded explanation of your expertise does not benefit you. If you try to deliver your message in a massive transfer of information, you will likely lose the interviewer’s attention and perhaps create an unfavorable impression.

7 At the end of the interview
When it is time to ask questions… Show what you know about the office/job (key points) What are the primary tasks the person will do in this job? What are the key skills they are looking for in this position? Express real interest in the job (ask for the job) Thank the interviewer/panel Often the interviewer will say “do you have any questions or anything else you’d like to make sure we know about you?” Use this as an opportunity to sum up what you know (key points) and to clarify any questions you have. Do not proceed to interrogate the employer at length. Don’t bring a list of questions with you. Most questions should have been answered by your research. (don’t ask how much will I get paid? Or will I be in charge of the clerks or the carriers?) But make sure you find out as much as you feel you need to from the interviewer / promotion board. An example might be when you are likely to learn the results of the interview. Express real interest in the job. Make a statement that indicates you can do the job and that you want it. You must convince all parties in the interview process that you are the right person for the job….not that you are entitled to it because of level or seniority. (or the opposite, that someone else is better). End with a thank you and a firm hand shake. Leave a positive impression by thanking them for their time and consideration.

8 After the interview Reflect Make some notes Ask for feedback
Keep practicing using mock interviews You should take some time to reflect on how the interview went. Make some notes on the questions asked and how you think you performed. If you should like feedback, it is perfectly acceptable to telephone the interviewer after the selection is announced. If your technique needs improvement, practice! Practice in the mirror. Practice with a friend. Mock interviews help you overcome nerves and become more confident in answering questions. You can record them on tape or on video to look at everything from facial expression to hand gestures….fidgeting, inappropriate laughter, etc. Keep a smile on your face and a good attitude. How you “lose” often tells the board more than how you handling winning. Bad attitudes can come across like you thought you were entitled to the job, and that travels through the postal grapevine quickly. Remember, keep your integrity in tact.

9 How to Answer 3 Common Interview Questions?
Tell me about yourself. Why do you want to work here? Why should I hire you?

10 “Tell Me About Yourself”
I ‘ve been in the _____field for___ years and I still enjoy the challenges it bring. I began my career as a ____(job) with _____company and since then I have developed expertise in ____which I think will be very helpful in this position. Some of my major accomplishments include___, ____, and ____. I’m sure I could be a good fit for your company

11 Why Do You Want to Work Here?
I like the fact that you are involved in ____ because that seems to be the way the industry is heading. I respect your mission I share your commitment to ________.

12 Why Should I Hire You? I excel in the kind of _________ working environment you have built here. This is my dream job and I am particularly good at ______. I have a unique combination of ____ and ______which means I’ll be able to bring value to your company.

13 How to Answer the Salary Question?
I know you need to be sure that my salary expectations are consistent with the salary range for the position. To ensure that we are on the same page, please tell me your range for the position. I am very interested in the position and I’ll be happy to discuss my salary history when we determine that I’m the right person for the position.

Be Timely Be Friendly Express Yourself Show Your Enthusiasm Skills & Knowledge Be Yourself Be Positive Dress Properly Be a Good Listener Maintain Eye Contact Plan a closing statement Be Aware of Body Language

15 Sample Interview Questions
What would you do if an employee was not pulling his/her weight? Tell us about a time when you didn’t deal well with a situation. What would you do differently next time? Describe a conflict you’ve had and how you handled it. Describe what you consider to be your greatest accomplishment. Why do you want to leave your current job? There are always ‘commonly asked questions’ in each interview. It is my contention that if you are prepared to answer these questions, you can answer the other questions that come your way (confidence). You should always answer questions in positive terms. Most of the general questions about you and how you think will be open ended questions such as these. This is an opportunity to sell yourself and position yourself as the ideal candidate. So while the questions are standard, your responses should account for the situations you have encountered that set you apart. They should link your skills, experiences and achievements to our corporate goals. When someone says “tell us about yourself”, you might be inclined to give a verbal autobiography. But your response needs to be succinct with a focus on the KSAs. In other words, the message you are trying to get across is that, given your background, you are well prepared to address the responsibilities of the position. Remember, I said positive. What are you going to say when someone asks you to describe your greatest weakness? Even negative questions can be answered in a positive way. You need to address the question but not dwell on the negative. Acknowledge your weakness or something you’ve been criticized about, and point out the positive result. “I’ve been criticized for being a perfectionist but that same drive has also helped me to be successful when tackling projects. For example…” You need to claim your humanity but demonstrate what you’ve learned, giving an example of the ability you have to change. I’ve heard a spectrum of answers to negative questions that range from self-serving and unbelievable (I really can’t think of any weaknesses I might have) to the blame-it-on-others style (My boss is very demanding and I could never live up to his expectations) to the tell-it-all style (I really don’t function very well until about 10:00 in the morning). Remember, you have weaknesses, just talk about what you are doing (or have done) to change it into a strength. (I find it difficult to delegate, but I know I need to learn to trust others to get the job done, so I’ve worked really hard at letting go of projects and just following up when I need to rather than doing it myself). You should also be prepared to answer more technical questions about your qualifications, such as how to handle the report of an accident or how to handle a mail piece with suspicious powDer spilling out of it.

16 Sample Interview Questions
Tell us about a time when you had an opposing view from your boss and how you handled that. What will you do if you are not selected for this position? How have your education and training prepared you for this job? Looking back, tell us about a mistake you made that you could have avoided if you had exercised great foresight. What have you done in your current job that was/is successful?

17 your Better becomes BEST!!!
Before The Interview PREPARE Always the best strategy is to prepare thoroughly. You should be able to demonstrate that you are capable of taking initiative. You need to be able to show that you are well-suited to the position – but also that you have the ability to learn new skills and handle different and difficult situations. The decision that is made by the selecting official will be about the potential you have to add value to the organization. So think about who you are and how you differentiate yourself from everyone else in your current job. Think about being a living example of competence and flexibility. Remember that this is a race, and all athletic contests are planned well in advance. The players work to develop their skills, and they know everything about the game. They develop strategies and tactics that lead to victory. They go into the contest with a game plan. The same is true of your next interview. Finally, do the best job that you can in the job you have now – and be yourself during the interview – and keep trying if you don’t succeed. Rejection is a fact of life and you need to deal with it as well as you would if someone told you that you “got the job” Now, who wants to take a deep breath and seize the day???? Good, Better, Best, never let it rest until your Good becomes Better And your Better becomes BEST!!!

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