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The Panel Interview

An interview is stressful; you are on display and have to sell yourself as the best
candidate for a position in a company.  The only thing worse than an interview is the
panel interview – when two or more people are asking you questions and watching your
every move.  This situation may not intimidate everyone, but it is certainly not a
comfortable position to be in.

The reason for a panel interview is to get the opinion of multiple people at the same time
on the viability of a work candidate.  Typically the people that attend are from various
departments within the company – a representative from human resources and the
department that is hiring at a minimum.  This saves time and money for the company and
lets them see how the candidates react under pressure. Continue reading

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August 27, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Ask Your Own Questions

Okay, you have made it to the end of your interview and the interviewer says it is now
your turn.  They want to know if you have any questions for them.  And most likely you
do:  “How did I do” and “Are you going to hire me” – unfortunately you can’t ask either
one.  But there are questions that you can ask to glean some information on how you
performed and to determine if the company is a right fit for you. Continue reading

August 23, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Pauses and Silences are Okay

There are going to be a lot of periods during an interview when there are going to be
pauses in conversation or flat out silence.  This can be initiated by you or the interviewer
and in most cases either is not an indicator that something is amiss.

You can ask for a moment to think of an answer and during this time there is most likely
going to be complete silence.  This is fine and perfectly normal, don’t get distracted
because no one is talking, use the time you have asked for wisely and think of the best
answer or example you can give. Continue reading

August 19, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Put a Positive Spin on Everything

A potential employer wants to hire people with a positive attitude.  You should project
this image in your demeanor, facial expressions, and most importantly in the content of
your answers.  You may be the strongest candidate that the interviewer has seen but you
still will not get the job if you are negative and insult former bosses or co-workers.

The best way to do this is to put a positive spin on all of your answers.  Many interviews
will include a question along one of these lines:

*    Have you had a challenging relationship with a co-worker or boss?  Tell us about
it.
*    What conditions in a workplace make it hard to do your job?
*    How can people tell when you are in a bad mood at work? Continue reading

August 15, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Be Honest in Job Interviews

There is a difference between telling a story highlighting the positive to make you sound
better and lying to the interviewer.  It is rare for a company to not conduct reference
check these days so don’t say anything that can not be verified by your boss or other
references that you provide.

There are many ways to get into trouble during an interview and lying is the most severe.
Common fibs that are told include educational degrees that you do not hold, saying that
you are a manager when really you are a team lead and taking credit for a project that was
completed by a coworker.  All of these things can make you sound good at the time of the
interview, but what if the interviewer talks to your boss about the stellar project you ran
for the company when it really wasn’t you.  Your boss is not going to lie for you and if
you were in the running for the job, you won’t be anymore. Continue reading

August 11, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

Procedural Questions

Procedures are a part of life, especially in the working world.  Each company has their
own set of policies and rules that they expect their employees to follow.  An interviewer
is going to ask questions to determine if you would do things they way they want (for
instance making a sale or handling a customer complaint).  Without training, you will not
know with any degree of certainty how the company would want you to handle different
situations but there are ways to answer that can increase your chances of getting the job. Continue reading

August 7, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment

If you Get Stumped by a Question

You can prepare for an interview until you are blue in the face and still get stumped on a
question during the process.  It is okay, it happens to a lot of people.  Some questions
come out of left field, sometimes you draw a blank, and others – you really don’t know
what to say.  Here is a brief run down of what you can do in these three situations.

A (Seemingly) Off Topic Question – These may be thrown in to the interview out of
curiosity by the interviewer or to gauge your knowledge on a certain subject.  It is not a
reason to dismiss the question though and not pay it the care and attention you would to
any other one.  Do your best, and if you really can’t figure out the correlation between the
question and the job you are applying to, you can ask at the end of the interview – along
the lines, “out of curiosity….” Continue reading

August 3, 2008 Posted by | Job interview | , , , | Leave a comment