Interpreting the Signals

Be bold. If you sense some concern surrounding a particular issue, bring it out in the open. When it’s your turn to ask questions, and after you’ve asked a few of the more standard ones, say something like, “Are there any concerns or small question marks about my candidacy that I can have the chance to address before I leave?”

Most recruiters will appreciate your … [ Read more ]

What’s Being Evaluated

To make it above the watermark, you need to have done your research on your chosen company/industry and be prepared to talk about yourself and the content of your resume as well as why you want and are qualified for the job. You’ll want to connect with the interviewer, answering questions directly, succinctly, with thoughtfulness, substance, and authenticity. These are the minimum requirements.

If … [ Read more ]

Taxonomy of an Interview

A first-round interview typically has five distinct phases:

  1. Breaking the ice
  2. Asking questions of the candidate
  3. Probing or circling back to areas for more in-depth information
  4. Directing questions to the recruiter
  5. Following up and going over next steps—the close

Be sure to visualize and prepare for each phase, but not … [ Read more ]

Decoding the Interview and Evaluation Process

Here are some insights into the interviewing and evaluation process.

Case Interview Cheat Sheet

Tips to help you crack the case every time:

  •  Listen carefully to the material presented. Take notes if you want to, and be sure to ask questions if you are unsure about details.
  • While you’re thinking through the problems, concentrate on the three Ps: Presentation, Poise, and Persuasiveness.
  • Take your time. You’re not expected to have

[ Read more ]

An Introduction to Case Interviews

The case interviewing style is particularly common among management consulting firms, law firms, counseling and social work organizations, police departments, and other organizations that place a premium on understanding your thought process. Most likely, the case will be the final part of a screening or hiring manager interview.

“Suppose . . .”

The case interview consists of presenting you with a typical set of “facts” that … [ Read more ]

Problem (or Situation)-Action-Result formula (PAR)

When interviewing candidates, Kenneth Widelka, acting general manager of Pearson Reid London House, always asks them to provide examples of how they’ve used certain strengths. He analyzes the stories based on the PAR format, as follows:

  1. Problem
    Start by describing the problem or situation that you faced.

[ Read more ]

Behavioral Interview Cheat Sheet

Questions You Should Expect

You will be asked to describe specific situations that demonstrate your abilities in a requisite competency. Here are some examples of typical behavioral questions and the competencies they demonstrate:

  • Describe a difficult problem that you tried to solve. How did you identify the problem? How did you go about trying to solve it? (Demonstrates problem solving)

[ Read more ]

Behavioral Interviews and the Career Changer


How Behavioral Interviews Work

In a behavioral interview, the interviewer will evaluate your competencies (such as teamwork, analysis, planning, and initiative) in relation to those she has determined to be required for successful performance on the job.

Behavioral interviewing is designed to elicit information from a job candidate about relevant past behavior and performance. The theory is that past behavior is the best predictor of future … [ Read more ]

Behavioral Interview Questions

Tell me about a time when you…

  1. Prioritized the elements of a complicated project.
  2. Handled a difficult situation with a co-worker.
  3. Were tolerant of an opinion that was different from yours.
  4. Had to deal with an irate customer.
  5. Surmounted a major obstacle.
  6. Worked effectively under pressure.

[ Read more ]

50 Behavior Based Interview Questions

For Behaviors that Revolve Around Leadership:

  1. Tell me about a time when you accomplished something significant that wouldn’t have happened if you had not been there to make it happen.
  2. Tell me about a time when you were able to step into a situation, take charge, muster support and achieve good results.
  3. Describe for me a

[ Read more ]

Answering Tough/Unusual Questions: A General Strategy

You can adapt the following approach to most questions recruiters can dream up. Moreover, you’ll be armed with responses interviewers won’t have heard before. You’ll be able to answer with enthusiasm and passion that can’t be duplicated in a textbook response.

Success Stories

The first step is to prepare three or more career success stories and two or more that had less than favorable … [ Read more ]

A Guide to the On-Site Interview

Most companies recruiting on campus include a company visit as a part of the hiring process. The company visit is generally a day of full interviewing and related activities at the company site. There is no way to describe every aspect of what can be expected from a company visit because structure and content may vary.


The company visit:

  • Allows the

[ Read more ]

Age-Old Question: How to Reply to Illegal Queries With Grace?

But older candidates often aren’t interested in filing discrimination lawsuits. They want a job. So how should they address age questions without making themselves seem unpleasant or spoiling the interview atmosphere? If you tell the truth, the interviewer then knows your age and may not want to hire you because of it. If you say you don’t want to answer the question, you could come … [ Read more ]

6 Species of Interviewers

  1. The Absentee
    His Style: Sometimes an interviewer isn’t mentally in the room. Maybe his boss dropped a big project on him earlier that day, or maybe he’s completely unprepared.

    Your Best Approach: It’s almost impossible to make a strong impression on someone so distracted, so keep

[ Read more ]

6 Answers Interviewers Need to Hire You

  1. Do You Have the Skills to Do the Job?
  2. Do You Fit?
  3. Do You Understand the Company and Its Purpose?
  4. How Do You Stack Up Against the Competition?
  5. Do You Have the Right Mind-Set for the Job and Company?
  6. Do You Want the Job?