Archive for the Tips For A Successful Interview Category

Tips For A Successful Interview (Part 7)

Posted in General Management, Tips For A Successful Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Interview tipsThere it is, the finish line. Winning that job is just steps away. A few more “finishing” touches and you’ll have all my tips and techniques for a successful interview.

Taking notesIn addition to your resume, I’d recommend bringing a nice notebook. Even a notepad will work, if it’s in good condition. Just don’t let them see the notes you took at the last interview. Keep it looking clean. So what do you write down? I’d start with the names of the people you met. You don’t want to get them wrong when you thank the interviewers on the way out or in the ‘Thank You’ notes. Assuming all is going well, you’ll want to write down whatever steps occur next in the interview process. If you’re working with a recruiter, the details will probably be given directly to them to pass along to you. Very important, make sure that whatever you choose to write down doesn’t interfere with your focusing on the discussion.

Follow-up callIf you got the job through a headhunter or recruiter, give them a call to review the interview. Don’t call the company directly. If you’ve been given the interviewers’ business cards, you can send them ‘Thank You’ notes…and you’ll also want to send one to the recruiter.

You did all your preparation and you aced the interview. Now it’s out of your hands. Try not to put all your eggs in one basket. Keep looking for other opportunities. Continue to use all the tips and techniques, and the odds will be in your favor. If all goes well, you’ll receive more than one offer. Now there’s a problem worth having.

Good luck!!

If you have any questions or comments,
please write them below or email me at

Tips For A Successful Interview (Part 6)

Posted in General Management, Tips For A Successful Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Interview tipsWe’re rounding the final turn and in the home stretch. Landing the job is now in your sights. We’ve covered all the necessary Preparation – research, logistics, what to bring and what to wear. Then we moved into the Interview specifically – demeanor.

Let’s head toward the finish line, shall we.

Interview discussionDiscussion
I mentioned before, stay focused. Keep your goal in mind. With that said, make sure your comments are very much oriented toward what you will bring and add to their organization. In Part 1, I recommended preparing for the inevitable questions. Have a few of your own as well. They need to be well-thought out and relevant. They need to show your understanding of the responsibilities, interest in the position and excitement for the opportunity you’re being given.

I highly recommend you don’t do the following:
Do's and don'ts1. Don’t ask TOO many questions. Although you are, to some degree, interviewing them as well…that’s not how they see it.
2. Don’t bring up salary and benefits, until they do. If they’re ready to talk about it, you’re doing great. If they’re not, don’t get discouraged. But you might as well wait until they are. It really serves no purpose discussing it prematurely.
3. Don’t answer questions with only a yes or no. Elaborate, with clear, concise explanations and examples from your experience.
4. Don’t joke around too much. Show your personality and enjoy the interview process. Keep it light. But if you used to be the class clown, this isn’t the time or place to prove it.
Don't lie5. Don’t, and I repeat, don’t lie or misrepresent your qualifications. It’s all part of having integrity. You are who you are. I promise you, if not today, then someday, lying during an interview will come back to haunt you and your reputation.
6. And while you’re not doing any of these five things…don’t chew gum…no matter how much it calms you.

You’re pulling ahead of the pack now. No photo-finishes here. Tomorrow will be the last chapter in this series. I’ll meet you in the winner’s circle.

If you have any questions or comments,
please write them below or email me at

Tips For A Successful Interview (Part 5)

Posted in General Management, Tips For A Successful Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Interview Tips You’ve taken all the necessary steps to prepare for an interview, but what happens when you get there? There are subtleties that are very important. From the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, you are being judged. In other words, when you step out of your car…it’s showtime.

Firm HandshakeThe first moments of your arrival and introduction telegraph a lot about you. If you’re nervous, take a couple of deep breaths, try to change your state by imaging yourself in another place – perhaps one in which you feel calm and confident. I can’t tell you how important it is to walk in displaying a positive, friendly attitude. Smile and give a firm handshake. Use formal greetings, “Nice to meet you, (their name).” “Thank you for your time.” Be conscious that your posture is upright and you make eye contact. I think you get the idea. Save the street slang for the street. But I do want you to be aware of creating rapport. Listen to how they speak and notice how they move. Whether it be consciously at first and then subconsciously, you can use the same language and movements. Think of it as mirroring their general style, speaking tones and speed. Building rapport is critical during an interview. You want to be remembered, and if they feel comfortable with you and impressed, you’ll have a great shot at landing the job.

Feel confidentThere are of course some things you shouldn’t do. Don’t act overly relaxed. Take the interview seriously. Don’t slouch. When reviewing your job history, never bad-mouth former employers or co-workers. If your experience in the past was less than positive, you still need to take the high ground. Tell the interviewers what positive experiences and learnings you got from each job. If the interview doesn’t seem to be going as you had played it in your head, don’t be discouraged. Some interviewers play games just to see how you react, and they’ll detect a shift if you begin to react negatively or discouraged. Remain positive and remember be true to yourself.

You got the interview, so there’s something about you that interested them. Keep you head and confidence high. More tips tomorrow.

If you have any questions or comments,
please write them below or email me at

Tips For A Successful Interview (Part 4)

Posted in General Management, Tips For A Successful Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

interview tipsWe have just one more area to discuss in regards to the preparation, having already covered Research, Logistics and What to Bring. You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Dress for success.” Well, there’s some truth to that. When you go on an interview, you need to fit in with the culture of the company, and how you put yourself together makes a difference.

Dress for successLike some of the other tips I’ve provided, they’re just common sense, but each is important and shouldn’t be forgotten or deemed unnecessary. Take the time to put yourself together. Make sure you give the impression that you care about the interview, the time they’re giving you and the opportunity. Dress appropriately. If you’ve done your research (which I know you have), you’ll know how formal or casual the environment is. On an interview, I would suggest dressing more to the formal side. Better to overdress than under.

Too much bling for an interviewDon’t overdo the cologne or perfume. Trust me, if you stink, good or bad, you’re not going to get hired. Remember, during an interview, the interviewers are thinking about more than just your qualifications. They’re imagining what it would be like to work with you. Make sure you fit in. If you’re standing out for the wrong reasons – not good. Keep what you’re wearing simple. Avoid T-shirts with controversial messages and anything with distracting prints. You need to be more interesting than what you’re wearing. General rule, if you have tattoos, cover them. Over the last decade or so, they’ve obviously become much more acceptable and common, but you need to know the employer. Most still don’t want them visible in the workplace. And finally, keep the accessories to a minimum. Don’t walk in with all the bling you own. Again, distracting. This is about you, your qualifications and personality. Leave the shining to them.

Preparation complete. Next week, I’ll dive into some tips for the interview itself.

If you have any questions or comments,
please write them below or email me at

Tips For A Successful Interview (Part 3)

Posted in General Management, Tips For A Successful Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

interview tipsSo far, we have Research and Logistics ready to go. If you take care of those two, the job is yours. I wish it was that easy. Let’s take a small step back and look at a few other things that you need to consider during this preparation phase.

What to Bring
Resume folder presentationYeah, you guessed it…the resume. As I mentioned before, remove the fluff. I’ve read hundreds of resumes and it’s obvious when someone is filling in the page with useless information. You’re not going to be hired because you enjoy origami…unless you’re interview is with a paper folding company. Only if it directly correlates with the interests of the company should it stay on or be added on. I can’t stress this enough…proofread your resume. Making careless mistakes here will imply that you make them elsewhere too. Think of it this way, if you were hiring for this position, what would you want to see on a resume. Now make sure you have that on yours. If you don’t have that specific experience, be ready with an answer as to how you’ll overcome that challenge.

pen and paperMake sure you have a professional pen and notebook/folder to write in. Do not use some old chewed up thing. Take notes, but never let it be a distraction. Stay focused. If you printed up information on the company, bring it in the folder. You can refer to it during the interview. I’ve always appreciated the added effort some candidates put in prior to interviewing them. This is a good way to show it. Don’t forget to bring all the pertinent information you’ll need to fill out an application (ID, references, employment history, supervisors, addresses, phone numbers, etc.). You don’t want to have to call it in later.

How about a few more do nots? Okay, don’t walk in eating, chewing gum, carrying a drink (let them offer you something) or on your cell phone (it should be off). If you’re a smoker (quit), do not smoke in the parking lot. You don’t want to smell like a carton of Marlboros during your interview. Cough, cough.

Most of this is common sense, but you’d be surprised how often people forget these little details. I know you won’t be one of them.

If you have any questions or comments,
please write them below or email me at

Tips For A Successful Interview (Part 2)

Posted in General Management, Tips For A Successful Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

interview tipsGotta get that job?! Follow the tips I laid out yesterday and will continue over the next few days. The likelihood of showing up to an interview unprepared and landing the position is very unlikely. It’s never easy, and in this crazy economy, where jobs are scarce but candidates aren’t, you’ve got to do your homework and be well-prepared.

interview puzzle piecesYou’ve done your research and prepared your resume. There are a few logistically details to keep in mind. Depending upon how far in advance you’ve scheduled your interview, I suggest you reconfirm the date, time, place and people you’re meeting with the recruiter or human resources. Situations change, as do staffing. Who you were going to meet a week ago might be different today. If that’s the case, you might have to jump back online and see if there’s any information on the new interviewers. If you’re in a situation where you will have multiple interviews, be taking a test, participating in a job-specific discussion group, going on a tour, whatever it could be, you can again confirm that the agenda has remained the same. Last minutes changes or no changes, you have all the pieces of the puzzle and they’re in place.

Directions compassDirections…get ’em. Use Google maps and your GPS too, but that might only get you to the block where the company exists. There might be a specific building and parking details you’ll need to know. The last thing you want is to feel lost once you’ve arrived. Speaking of which, don’t get there too early. Stay in your car if necessary…but make sure you know exactly where your meeting is. Walk in about 15 minutes prior. Don’t be late!! I hesitate to even mention it, but if you are going to be, call them. You’re excuse better be spectacular…cause traffic ain’t gonna cut it. You need to plan ahead, just as an employer would expect you to do if you were attending a meeting as an employee.

When you get there, be polite and personable. The first person you say hello to could be the person you’re about to interview with. Remember, first impressions…. And don’t ask anyone for “pointers,” “the inside scoop,” or anything else related to the job. They expect you to know everything there is to know. Be confident!

You’ve done more homework than most applicants. You’re in good shape.

If you have any questions or comments,
please write them below or email me at

Tips For A Successful Interview (Part 1)

Posted in General Management, Tips For A Successful Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

interview tipsThe job interview! Ooooh, scary. For some, it’s a total nightmare, and yet for others, it’s exciting, with the realization that a new opportunity awaits. That’s the way I looked at it and that’s the way I suggest you do too. I was prepared, confident and ready to step into the next chapter of my professional life. Over the years, I’ve interviewed quite a few times. I didn’t always get the job, but that was their loss, right? And if I could have a dime for every interview I’ve conducted, I’d be a rich man. So I decided to put some tips down in my blog that I’ve learned over the years. Hope they help you too.

job research preparationResearch
This is where it all begins. You’ve found a job descriptions that interests you. Remember, you don’t have to have every qualification listed. We’ll get to that later. Read the description thoroughly though. Get a feel for what they’re looking for. Do you know anyone who works there? (Just a reminder why networking is SO important). Always helpful to have someone on the inside pulling for you. If the company has a website, study it. Find out who they are, who the management team is, what their products are, their plans for the future, where they’re located, are they global, growing, a public company, and if so, how’s their stock performing. The more you know about them, the more confident you’ll feel when you go in for that interview…with your appropriately detailed resume. Lose the fluff, the hobbies (unless they somehow relate to the company), pictures, etc. Your resume needs to be targeted specifically for each company you interview with. As I said, the more you know, the more armed you’ll be…and your resume can help reflect that.

interview questionsAdditionally, prepare yourself for the inevitable questions.
“What is it about our company that interests you?”
“What are your 2 year and 5 year goals?”
“What are you weaknesses and strengths?”
“Why should we hire you?”
“Why did you leave your last job?”
“Give an example of a problem you’ve solved.”
And after you’ve thought these through, come up with your own. If you’re not experienced in all the areas covered in the job description, plan a response in case you’re challenged on those points. Boost up your strengths so that they overshadow any of your shortcomings.

You will significantly improve your odds of landing the job you want if you follow these simple interview tips. It’s competitive out there, so give yourself an advantage by being prepared.

If you have any questions or comments,
please write them below or email me at