What to do before the interview

Before you even think of heading off to a first-round interview–or mass-mailing your resume–you’d better do some detective work. Recruiters constantly stress the importance of doing adequate research before you start interviewing.

While there are no easy answers when it comes to the job search, recruiters say that one factor clearly distinguishes the best candidates from the also-rans: their knowledge of the company … [ Read more ]

Questions about Industries

  • Who are the key players in the industry?
  • What is the history of the industry, and where is it heading in the future?
  • What are some of the major industry trends?
  • What skills are required to succeed in and contribute to the industry?

Questions about companies

  • What role does the company play in its industry?
  • What are the company’s key products, and what is its market share?
  • How has the company made money in the past, and what will its sources of revenue be in the future?
  • What skills are in demand at the company–marketing, engineering, finance, sales, product development?
  • What types of jobs are available for recent college and MBA grads?
  • Does the company

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10 Questions

Colleen Aylward, Web recruiter extraordinaire, has created all kinds of tactics to attract and to evaluate talent. And she’s heard just about every interview question ever asked. Here are 10 questions that she believes will always get you the information that you need.

  1. Take me through a time when you took a product or a project from start to launch.
  2. Describe the way that you work

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Four Ways to Read a Company

Professor Maura Belliveau, who teaches at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, gives this down-to-earth advice:

  1. Know some answers before you ask questions.
    “The best information about a company comes from the people who know the intimate details: current employees, former employees, customers. But these people may not know you. How do you persuade them to be frank? By becoming as informed as possible before

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Informational interviewing is a method of career exploration and a way of discovering jobs not publicly advertised. It is NOT the same as a job interview. Informational interviewing allows you to talk with people already in the industry you have targeted. By obtaining informational interviews, you have gained access to the “inside information” regarding career paths, alternate careers that will use your skills, and people … [ Read more ]

And What Questions Do You Have?

At some point during most interviews, the potential employer turns the reins over to you, and asks if you have any questions. What you ask can help you land the job. The right questions are like a self-portrait showing you’re a smart, savvy, think-ahead kind of person. Here’s how to paint that picture:

  • Ask the interviewer to talk about everyone’s favorite subject: him or

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11 Rules For A Successful Interview

  1. Show That You Are Knowledgeable About the Company and Its Operation
    Interviewers favor an applicant who has made an effort to research their firm. As an applicant it will help that you can show the interviewer in what ways you can contribute to their company.
  2. Present a Positive Attitude
    Preparation for the interview will undoubtedly give you self-confidence. Don’t hesitate to tell the interviewer your accomplishments

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  • It is less formal than an interview, so both you and the person you are meeting with will feel free to have a conversation rather than a cross-examination.
  • You define the agenda, and so you can learn about the broad issues and needs of the person’s organization. This will help you discover opportunities still in the making–as well as those that are already defined.
  • If you

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What to Say When it’s Your Turn to Ask Questions in an Interview

Are recruiters just being polite when they ask if you have any questions for them? NO. Are there questions you can ask that don’t sound totally canned? YES.

Asking questions is a key part of the interview process. It shows the company how interested in it and its industry you really are. But there’s an artistry to not asking too many questions, or annoying ones, or … [ Read more ]

Sell Yourself

Interviewing is about selling. Keep these three points in mind:

  1. The product you’re selling is you. Give them reasons to buy.
  2. Tell them what you can do for them. Emphasize what you can bring to the company‚ department and position.
  3. Convince them that your product is better than the competition’s.

Informational Interview Tips

Take the initiative to set up informational interviews with people in your network (alumni, people referred to you by your career center or your personal network, or other people you have identified in companies or industries you are eager to learn about). They should last about 30 minutes and be held in a place convenient to the interviewee.

During the informational interview, ask … [ Read more ]

Interview Preparation

Everyone has interviewed at some point in his life, it can be both an intimidating and exhilarating experience. However you view the interview process, the reality is that you need to understand and be prepared for this experience.

Information to Have on Yourself During an Interview

Be prepared to give examples and talk about yourself in terms of your skills.

  • Creative Skills: Develop models, experiment, apply theory, synthesize, predict, create new ideas, use imagination.
  • Organizing Skills: Keep deadlines, details, accept responsibility, reason, use logic, make contacts, arrangements, decisions, clarify, clerical skills.
  • Numerical Skills: Use computational and statistical abilities, inventory.

[ Read more ]

Interviewers’ Pet Peeves

Here are seven of the most common peeves provided by experienced interviewers, along with some tips on how to avoid them:

  1. Smells: Too Much of a Good Smell Can Be Bad
    Pat Riley, author of Secrets of Breaking into Pharmaceutical Sales, has a pet peeve story to relate: “Preparing for an interview is not like preparing for a date. I had one interview with a

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You are the Expert

The interview is all about you; you are the expert in this situation. Your job in the interview is to make sure the recruiter has enough information to make a yes decision at the end of the meeting. It is important to talk about your strengths and achievements throughout the interview. Try to make a strong case for the good fit between you and the … [ Read more ]

Information to Have on the Employer During an Interview

  • Organizational goals
  • Relative size of firm
  • Growth potential for security
  • Percent of annual sales growth last five years
  • Array of product or service line
  • Who are competitors?
  • Reputation
  • Organization structure by product line
  • Geographical locations –

[ Read more ]