Piedmont Group
Executive Search Firm

Interviewing Tips...

How many times have you heard finding a new position can be a full-time job? As a "job", all of the behaviors associated with professional work are called into play: organization, planning, research, focus and acting in a way appropriate to the setting.

Viewing the pursuit of a new opportunity as an adventure, the most successful candidates are able to tap their imaginations. They use the interview as an opportunity to imagine themselves in a new setting, with new challenges, and with new people. It's like going on an exotic vacation, and fantasizing about what it would be like to live there.

Following are suggestions on how to enter that mindset:

  • Focus strictly on the positive aspects of the new situation while you're in the interview, and allow your excitement to show. For example, let the interviewer hear you thinking out loud about what it would be like to tackle a particularly challenging problem, or by sharing with the interviewer how exciting you think it would be to work for the company. This will allow the hiring manager to assess your skills and potential value to the company. Also creating an image of you as an enthusiastic, energized new team member. These images are powerful... if the manager can "see" you in the role, he/she is much more likely to make you an offer.
  • Focus on what is new and exciting about the position you are interviewing for, rather than what you'd be leaving behind. There will be plenty of time after the interview to reflect in a more balanced way on the pros and cons of the new position. Cultivate your excitement about what's new, rather than focusing, even in your own mind, on what you'd be leaving behind. There's no better way to kill your chances than by talking or even thinking about the position you'd be leaving, the accrued vacation time you'd be giving up, etc. There is a time and place for such "pro and con" thinking, but certainly not during the first face-to-face interview.
  • Managers are much more likely to hire "givers" , rather than "takers". During the interview, act as if you're already on board, by offering ideas and/or ways in which you would contribute to the overall effort. You want to be seen as a "contributor" by the prospective new employer. And remember: nothing will create the opposite impression as instantly as you talking about how much money you want.

...Until you are presented an offer, you are not in a position to negotiate.

  • If you are working with a recruiter, you will have the benefit of his/her experience. Also the advantage of a 3rd party who can negotiate issues for you in a way which protects, even enhances, your relationship with a potential new employer (issues such as: compensation, benefits, start date, position title, etc.).

More Interviewing Tips...

Whether you know it or not, when you mailed your resume to a company you actually mailed sales literature. Literature that highlights who you are and what you can or can not do. If you are invited to participate in an interview, it would be safe to assume the hiring authority viewed your features as potential benefits to the company, thus prompting your interview. Keep in mind, a job search is a sales process and you are the product being sold.

Some people will tell you to be yourself during an interview. That may not be good enough! You should be the best you can be! Preparation is the key to a successful interviewing experience. You must be cognizant of your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Before the interview, evaluate your assets which will benefit the potential employer. However, don't stretch the truth or say anything you can't substantiate.

Research the company. If the company is a publicly held corporation, information is often readily available. If the company is privately held, call their sales department and ask to be sent company literature. Or, in the event the company has a web site, information is just a few keystrokes away.

Remember the interview starts and ends with the receptionist. If you are asked to fill out an application, complete it (never write: "see resume"). If your appointment is for ten o'clock and the interviewer is running late, don't over react, be gracious. And, when you have completed your interview, remember to thank the receptionist on your way out. Then start constructing the THANK YOU note(s) you will promptly send to all individuals with whom you visited.

Anticipate questions, particularly tough ones. Write down key "questions and answers" and then rehearse them. Practice talking about yourself. Do it in front of a mirror so you can see what impression you are creating. Good preparation and practice will keep you focused. Make sure the questions you ask are well thought out and are appropriate for this stage of the hiring process.

Show and voice your enthusiasm early in the interviewing process. If you wait till the conclusion of the interview to do so, it is more than likely too late as the interviewer may have already decided you are not interested and ruled you out. When asking questions, ask as though you are already an employee.

Close... you are selling yourself and there is no sale unless you close. It is important to recognize buying questions such as, "Do you have any more questions". If this is the first interview, your close may be, "Yes, what is the next step?" or if it is the final interview, your close may be, "Yes, when would you like for me to start?"

Interviewing is an art form, not a science... only preparation, practice and attitude make perfect.

GOOD LUCK and call your recruiter
immediately after the interview!