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Taterbug View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Interview Tips
    Posted: Nov 16 2007 at 9:32am
Grettings, BHM!

I was at the bookstore yesterday and I read a very good book on interviewing skills. It's called 60-Second Sell. Basically, you need to condense the highlights of your resume to a 60-second response and commit it to memory. For example, if the job you are interviewing for deals with computer skills, your 60-second sell should talk about your experience with different computer applications, etc.

I also wrote down some answers to frequently asked questions in an interview. I know I've flubbed a couple of these myself, so I hope this helps someone!

1. Why did you leave your last job?
Respond with an answer about wanting more challenges or growth. Example: "I've gone as far as I can with this organization and I am looking for challenges with utilizes my abilities."

2. What are your proudest accomplishments?
Respond with WORK accomplishments that show your ability to do the position.

3. Describe your ideal supervisor.
Point out a management style that allows you to be productive.

4. What was your worst supervisor like?
Never badmouth the supervisor. Here's a good response: "My worst supervisor did not provide enough feedback. I don't need to be coddled, but I appreciate occasional input from my supervisor. This lets me know if I am doing well or if there are areas in which I need to improve."

5. What features of your previous job did you like?
ALWAYS try to relate them to the job you're trying to get. Example:if the new job requires organizational skills, describe something on your last job where those skills worked for you.

6. What features of your previous job did you dislike?
Select an example that has something POSITIVE to do with the new position. Example: "At my old job, we had to send all of our materials out to be printed. It caused a delay in productivity, which is why I appreciate the fact that this company has in-house printing facilities."

7. What is your greatest weakness?
A good answer involves being a stickler for details or being a perfectionist. Be careful not to raise any red-flags in regard to attendance or performance.

8. What are your strengths?
60-Second Sell.

9. Describe a time when you were criticized.
Use a specific situation and describe how you used the criticism to correct the problem.

10. I'm worried about your lack of .....
If it's a skill you know but did not list on your resume, explain. If not, discuss your determination to succeed and willingness to learn.

11. How have you dealt with difficult coworkers?
Describe a misunderstanding and how you correctly solved the problem (i.e., working together, asking for input, etc.)

12. Tell me how you work under pressure.
Example: "If I am involved in a major project, I plan them out on a reverse timeline. From there, I decide how much time will be devoted to each particular task and...."
Make sure the interviewer knows you work well under pressure.

13. Why do you want to leave your current job?
The interviewer wants to know that you are committed to doing this new job, particularly if you are entering a different field/less pay. Again, say something about more advancement, financial rewards or challenges. Another good explanation may be your commute time.

I have more, but I'm tired of typing. *LOL* I'll post the rest later!
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gemutlichkeit View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 16 2007 at 11:11am

Great idea Taterbug!

I'll post some tips too...which I found on Stockamp & Associate's website!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 16 2007 at 11:13am
Basic Interviewing Tips
 
Before the Interview:
Know Your Resume
Your resume is the best source of information about you that the interviewer has, so be aware of what's on it, and be prepared to discuss it. Interviewers will want to know how your background and experiences have prepared you for working with our firm, so be prepared to articulate this. Most Career Services Offices offer Resume Writing Workshops, so plan to attend one and take advantage of the knowledge they have to share with you. In addition, once you have identified the industry that you want to work in, have a number of people in that industry review and comment on your resume.
Practice Your Interview Skills
Look into mock-interview programs at your Career Services Office. If these programs are not available, find a willing friend and hone your interviewing skills. Try to anticipate the interviewer's questions, and think about the best response you could provide. Remember, you want to show yourself in the best light possible. Review the behavioral and case interviewing sections of our website for more information on interview preparation.
Research the Company
You're here, and that's a great start. Our website will help you learn more about many aspects of our firm. For a better understanding of what Stockamp does, be sure to review more than just the Careers section of the website. For example, check out our Services Overview and Case Studies sections to gain more information and data to help you develop insightful questions.

During the Interview:
Display Your Knowledge
Convey to the interviewer that you are knowledgeable about our firm and what we do. A great way to do this is to draw parallels to your own skills and experience. Interest is critical, so it's also important to display a sincere interest in joining the company. As you review our website, prepare a list of questions to ask your interviewers to indicate that you have done your homework.
Take Your Time
Don't rush into providing an interviewer with a quick answer. Take your time to consider the question and present an insightful response. Feel free to take notes if you wish. It could greatly enhance your ability to grasp multiple aspects of a question and structure your answer. Ensure that you have answered the question fully by asking, "Did I answer your question completely?" This will prompt the interviewer to seek clarification if it is necessary.

After the Interview:
Wrap-up
Have a plan for summarizing your thoughts, skills and interest level regarding the opportunity. Of course, don't forget to obtain the interviewer's contact information for follow-up questions and the thank-you note.
Thank You Note
A thank-you note/email is your opportunity to distinguish yourself from other candidates, so capitalize on it. It's acceptable to have certain portions of the letter in a standard or template format, but try to customize each note to include information that was unique to the interview discussion. This will convey a high level of interest and knowledge about the company.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 16 2007 at 11:15am
Behavioral Interviewing Tips
 
Before the Interview:
Why Behavioral Interviews
Companies use behavioral interviews as a means of predicting future success through past performance. We identify specific job-related skills and abilities that we believe will make our employees successful. Interview questions then center on these behaviors to determine if the candidate possesses these traits. Questions typically start out with: "Tell about a time..." or "Describe a situation...."
How to Prepare
Preparing for a behavioral interview is the key to success! The best way to prepare for a behavioral question is to practice. Take advantage of interviewing workshops and mock interviews offered through your career center. You can also prepare by researching our website. Try to identify key themes or traits we are looking for in an employee so you can begin to predict which competencies we will look for in the interview. Once you have identified these potential competencies, think of examples from your past experience that demonstrate them well. We recommend Quintessential Careers as another resource to review prior to your interview.
During the Interview:
Be Specific
In the interview, your response needs to be specific and detailed. You should be prepared to describe the situation, what specific action(s) you took and the positive result or outcome.
Use Varied Examples
Use examples from a variety of your past experiences. Examples can range from work experience, internships, school projects, activities, etc. Make sure you vary your examples; don't take them all from just one area of your life. Use fairly recent examples as opposed to those that occurred more than three years ago.
Use Compelling Examples
Try to use examples that are compelling and challenging, not those that required little more than an average effort to complete. You should also choose examples where you can describe the result, as opposed to discussing projects and situations that are currently in-process.
Discuss Your Role
Be specific and detailed about your individual role in the situation you are describing. If you are describing a group project, make sure you identify your role in the project and what you specifically did to achieve the desired outcome. Refrain from using “we” in responding to the question.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 16 2007 at 11:17am
Case Interviewing Tips
 
What is a case question?
A case question is a fun, intriguing and active interviewing tool used to evaluate the multidimensional aspects of a candidate.

What is the purpose of the case question?
Interviewers ask case questions to judge how well candidates listen, how they think and how well they can articulate those thoughts under pressure. They ask case questions to gauge self-confidence, discover the candidate's personality and to see if problem solving genuinely intrigues them. In addition, it gives the candidate a chance to experience the type of work consultants do.

What's the objective of the case question?
The objective is not to determine if candidates get the "right answer," but rather to evaluate the process they use to structure a competent approach to derive a solution.

Why do firms ask case questions?

• To test and determine analytical ability
• To test and determine the candidate's ability to think logically and organize his/her answer
• To observe the candidate's structure and thought process
• To test and determine the candidate's tolerance for ambiguity and data overload
• To assess poise and communication skills under pressure
• To determine if the candidate is a good fit with the company

What are firms looking for during their interview?
Associates at our firm spend every week at our client's site. We work in teams and are responsible for managing change within the client environment. Our Associates work under great pressure, often in turbulent environments while dealing with seemingly unmanageable problems. It takes a certain type of personality to remain cool under pressure, to influence the client without being condescending and to be both articulate and analytical at the same time. So as you work through the case, the interviewer is evaluating the following items.

Is the candidate:
• Relaxed, confident, and mature?
• A good listener?
• Engaging and enthusiastic?
• Exhibiting strong social and presentation skills?
• Asking insightful and probing questions?
• Able to determine what's truly relevant?
• Organizing the information effectively and developing a logical framework for analysis?
• Stating assumptions clearly?
• Comfortable discussing the multifunctional aspects of the case?
• Trying to quantify his response at every opportunity?
• Displaying both business sense and common sense?
• Thinking creatively?


NOTE:
Be sure to ask the firm you are interviewing with what type of case question they ask, as there are a variety of questions that can be utilized. The most common "types" of case questions are:
• Brainteasers / Logic Problems
• Market Sizing / Estimating
• Business Cases (Operations/Strategy)


CASE COMMANDMENTS
These Case Commandments are the result of years of research from interviewing recruiters, consultants and hundreds of students.

1. Listen to the Question
Listening is the most important skill a consultant has. The case isn't about you or the consultant; it's about the client.

2. Take Notes
Taking notes during the case interview allows you to check back to the facts of the case.

3. Summarize the Question
After you are given the question, take a moment to summarize the highlights aloud.

4. Verify the Objective
Professional consultants always ask their clients to verify their objective(s). Even if the objectives seem obvious, there could be an additional underlying objective.

5. Ask Clarifying Questions
You ask questions for three main reasons: (1) to get additional information, (2) to demonstrate to the interviewer that you're not shy about asking probing questions under difficult circumstances, and (3) to turn the question into a conversation.

6. Organize Your Answer
Identify and label your case, then lay out your structure. This is the hardest part of a case and the most crucial. It drives your case and is often the major reason behind whether or not you get called back.

7. Hold that Thought for "One Alligator"
The interviewer wants you to think out loud, but think before you speak.

8. Manage Your Time
Your answer should be as linear as possible. Don't get bogged down by the details. Answer from a macro level and move the answer forward. Stay focused on the original question.

9. By the Numbers
If possible, try to work numbers into your answer. Demonstrate that you think quantitatively.

10. Be Coachable
Listen to the interviewer's feedback. Is she trying to guide you back on track?

11. Be Creative and Brainstorm
Consulting firms like candidates with intellectual curiosity who can "think outside the box" and offer up a new and interesting perspective.

12. Exude Enthusiasm and a Positive Attitude
Recruiters want people who are excited by problem solving and can carry that enthusiasm throughout the entire interview.

13. Bring Closure and Summarize
Create a sense of closure by summarizing the case. Review your findings, restate your suggestions and make recommendations.

Source: Excerpts from: Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation. Marc Cosentino, Burgee Press, 2004. www.casequestions.com
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 16 2007 at 11:44am
Girl......you are on point!!!!!!! Thank you for posting this!!!!! Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 16 2007 at 6:43pm
REally really good!  BUMP!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 16 2007 at 6:48pm
Great posts!  Good job, posters. 
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