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1 Interview Skills Workshop Inuvialuit Career Centre April 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Interview Skills Workshop Inuvialuit Career Centre April 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Interview Skills Workshop Inuvialuit Career Centre April 2006

2 2 Acing the Interview Agenda When the potential employer calls Before the interview A picture is worth 1000 words Handling the interview Types of questions Common concerns & mistakes After the interview

3 3 You’ve Got an Interview! When They Call… Confirm the position Ask who will be interviewing you Confirm the time, address, phone number and a contact name Ask is there anything you need to bring? Is any preliminary testing required?

4 4 Remember … You and the employer are two business people exchanging information to help one another: The EMPLOYER needs an employee to do a job necessary to keep the business running. YOU need an employer to hire you and pay you for your work.

5 5 Prepare an Agenda Outline your qualifications with relevant examples based on the job advertisement. Identify your key strengths and relevancy to job Gain information which demonstrates your knowledge of the organization or field. Compile a list of questions you want to ask the interviewer.

6 6 A Picture is Worth 1000 Words You want the interviewer to remember you, not your outfit Dress one step above appropriate on-the-job attire “Conservative” is the key word for dress, make- up, jewelry, fragrance, etc. Do a final check of your appearance before the interview

7 7 Handling the Interview Arrive 10 minutes early Present a professional appearance Bring copies of your resume Bring your references Bring your employment portfolio* Be friendly, pleasant and business-like Follow the interviewer's cues Listen carefully to all questions Ask when you may expect to hear about a decision Have a reliable way they can contact you

8 8 Employment Portfolio Educational & employment certification Awards Samples of your best work –Spreadsheets –Presentations –Programs you developed –Business letters, etc. Performance evaluation reports Recommendation letters

9 9 Body Language Positive Firm handshake Direct eye contact Open, relaxed appearance Firm voice Appropriate volume Sit upright, lean slightly forward Negative Fishy handshake Lack of eye contact Bored expression Inappropriate smiling /laughter Nervous mannerisms Too quiet/loud a voice Cover mouth when speaking Slumping posture

10 10 Interview Tips Many employers use predictable questions, so pre- think strong answers to them Match your skills to the needs of the job Acknowledge the facts Give focused answers Present your answers as advantages, not disadvantages

11 11 Five Basic Questions from the EMPLOYER 1.Why are you here? 2.What can you do for us? 3.What kind of person are you? 4.What makes you unique? 5.Can I afford you? Source: What Color is Your Parachute? Richard N. Bolles, 2002

12 12 Five Basic Questions For YOU What does this job involve? What top skills do I need for this job? Are these the kinds of people I would like to work with? How can I persuade them I’m unique? How can I get hired at the salary I need/want? Source: What Color is Your Parachute? Richard N. Bolles, 2002

13 13 What Are They Really Asking? “Tell me about yourself…” The interviewer wants to know: “How would you describe your background and how has it prepared you for this job?”

14 14 Traditional Questions Closed –“Are you able to start right away?” Open –“What are your strengths & weaknesses?” Hypothetical –“How would you handle a situation where you have to report to three supervisors?”

15 15 Behaviour-Based Questions You may be asked to give concrete examples of how you responded to specific situations. For example: –“Give me an example of a time when you…” –“Tell me how you…” Give something positive (what you did or what you learned) out of every experience you’re asked to relate, even a negative one.

16 16 S.T.A.R. Answer a behavioural question with: S ituation –setting/situation? T arget – what needed to be done? A ction – what action did you take? R esult – how did the organization benefit? Relate the result directly to your action or involvement.

17 17 STAR EXAMPLE Situation: One time, while I was working as a customer service representative a customer was unhappy and complaining loudly that he had received the wrong information over the phone. Task: I was responsible for ensuring customer satisfaction. I knew it was important to learn the facts and to make a decision about what steps needed to be taken to resolve this issue.

18 18 STAR EXAMPLE continued Action: I knew I needed to calm him down to resolve the situation quickly. I asked him to explain his side of the story. I felt that by asking his side of the story he might calm down. After listening to him I explained our policy but gave sent him the item he originally ordered. Result: The customer agreed to my offer and I was able to resolve the situation quickly and to mitigate the potentially negative experience of the other customers.

19 19 Anticipate Behavioural Questions Consider situations where you … –Demonstrated leadership- Handled criticism –Solved a problem- Met/missed a deadline –Increased profits- Worked as part of a team –Made a good/poor decision- Handled change If the job includes making presentations, expect questions about a speech where you did or did not achieve your goal

20 20 Do You Have Any Questions? Do your research and be prepared to ask some good questions about the organization and the position. Some examples: –What would a typical day look like? –Do you expect the market in this area to remain strong? –If you had an ideal candidate, what skills and personal qualities would that person have? –When do you expect to make a decision?

21 21 Common Mistakes Believing you must have this job Misunderstanding the purpose of the interviewer’s question Not knowing your skills Demonstrating the wrong attitude Projecting an unprofessional image Not communicating effectively Answering the wrong question Giving unsolicited or negative information Appearing indifferent Discussing salary or benefits too soon

22 22 After the Interview Replay your interview in your mind – how could you do better next time? Obtain name and contact information Send a brief thank you within 2 days At the agreed time, call to see if a decision has been made

23 23 Quyanaq (Thank You) April 2006

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