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Slam Dunk the Interview

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Tips on how to make the most of your interview.

Text of Slam Dunk the Interview

  • Sponsored in part by Workforce Development Agency, State of Michigan, Michigan Works!, through your local Workforce Development Board and Muskegon County Board of Commissioners. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities EEO/ADA/Employer/Programs - TTY# - 711. Slam Dunk the Interview And Win the Job!
  • Do interviews SCARE you? Do you get NERVOUS and forget what to say?
  • RememberYOU were asked to be interviewed because they believe you might be the right person for the position. The interview is your opportunity to confirm their belief!
  • Preparing for the Big Game the Interview! Do your Research Visit the company website Organization size and location of facilities Product line or service, potential markets, competitors Mission and Vision statements
  • Know Yourself What special skills do you have? Analyze your strengths and weaknesses Review your accomplishments Make a list of your best selling points for the position Preparing for the Big Game the Interview!
  • Prepare Yourself Who is interviewing you? What special skills/experience are required? Where is it located? How should you dress? What should you bring with you? Preparing for the Big Game the Interview!
  • Do you practice for an interview? YOU SHOULD! Practice Your Drills!
  • Ive always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I dont do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results. Michael Jordan
  • You never get a 2nd chance to make a first impression and you only have a few seconds to do it! First impressions affect the rest of the interview.
  • How to Ace the Interview
  • The hiring decision usually gets made early in the interview All researchers agree that the die is cast in the beginning within the first 1-5 minutes Start Strong! Dress to Impress Be Early Be Smart Be Friendly
  • Send the right non-verbal signals; make good eye contact Build good rapport Communicate carefully Be enthusiastic Be a Star Candidate
  • Market yourself with conviction and confidence Be clear and concise Participate, dont dominate Ask questions Close well Be a Star Candidate
  • Telephone Interviews Pick a quiet setting Avoid interruptions and allow plenty of time Speak clearly and listen well You dont have the advantage of body language Have your notes at your fingertips
  • Panel Interviews Typically 2-5 interviewers Smile and introduce yourself to each person Try to connect with each person Shake hands with all members before leaving
  • Group Interviews Multiple people interviewed at the same time You dont need to dominate Be interactive Interject with well thought out content when it is appropriate Listen, listen, listen
  • Prove by Example Situation: Briefly describe what happened. Task: Explain the goal that needed to be achieved. Action: Emphasize the specific action you took to solve the situation or complete the task. Results: Close with the result. What outcomes were achieved? Use the STAR Method
  • Tell me about yourself. This wide-open question is a gold mine Sell yourself; dont give your life story Use your 30 second drill or elevator speech Showcase accomplishments, strengths, adaptability, flexibility, and results
  • Why did you leave your last job? Never talk badly about an employer Be honest yet discreet Turn a perceived negative into a positive Focus on what youve learned in your previous position and how you are ready to use those skills in your new position
  • Be honest Overcoming being fired is difficultmake sure youve taken the time to get your confidence back Dont shout it from the rooftops, but be ready to discuss the situation if it is brought up Show how you have objectively analyzed and learned from the situation If you were fired for misconduct, convince them it wont happen again What if you were fired? Why did you leave your last job?
  • Example Answers Layoff: I really enjoyed working at ABC Company. I was able to apply my skills in ______ and develop new skills in _____ . Because of the economy, the company decided to eliminate 6 departments, including mine. Quit: I enjoy challenges and learning new things. I decided to look for a job with higher levels of responsibility and where my ______ skills would be used more fully. Fired: I enjoyed my job at ABC company and did well in the _____ department. Unfortunately, I had car problems that caused me to be late and miss work. I was terminated because of points. My supervisor said he was sorry to see me go because I was a good worker with an eye for detail. I now have reliable transportation, so you can be assured I will be here on time or early every day! Why did you leave your last job?
  • Companies want to recruit people who are enthusiastic about their products Use your company research Relate your career goals and give evidence that you can make a contribution Why do you want to work for us?
  • What are your greatest strengths? You are really being asked, Do you have what it takes to effectively do this job? Align your strengths with the key functions of the job opening Support your answer with examples
  • What are your weaknesses? The employer is looking for proof that you can identify your areas of development and then do something about them Minimize weaknesses and emphasize strengths After naming a weakness, discuss what you have done to overcome it Pick a weakness that you have overcome or explain how you will develop the skill within their organization
  • Give an example of a problem youve faced on the job and how you handled it. This is a problem-solving question that tests your critical thinking skills Show that you are a creative and capable problem solver Try to tailor your answer to a problem that you are likely to face on the job
  • Tell me about a time you had to work with someone you didnt get along with. How did you handle it? Stay positive Explain your ability to get along with others Provide evidence of success or great effort
  • What challenges do you think youll face in this job? The interviewer is trying to extract real fears and apprehensions about the problems you would face in this role Show how you can fulfill the needs of the company Demonstrate confidence and anticipation rather than fear and concern
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? The interviewer wants to see if the position fits in your overall career goals Show interest in the position as well as your growth in the company Be honest, realistic, and positive
  • Do you have any questions? Prepare several questions beforehand Show your interest by tailoring questions to that specific company and position Ask for constructive criticism Never request information about pay or benefits
  • The employer may be concerned that youll grow dissatisfied and leave They might be worried about how well you would work with a line manager and peer groups which are potentially younger and less qualified than you Give a clear picture of why youre interested in the position and how youre the best fit What if youre overqualified?
  • What to Avoid Never lie Never criticize Never ask about pay or compensation Dont be late Dont be arrogant Avoid touchy subjects: ex-boss, spouse, health
  • Reviewing the Game Plan! 1. Keep your answers brief and concise 2. Include concrete, quantifiable data 3. Support your strengths with examples 4. Prepare 5 or more success stories 5. Put yourself on their team
  • Reviewing the Game Plan! 6. Be conscious of your nonverbal communication 7. Ask questions 8. Maintain a conversational flow 9. Research the company 10.Keep an interview journal
  • After the Interview Send a thank you note or email Keep a log or journal Take any steps

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