Career Services
Interviewing Guide

 

A hiring manager of a potential employer has evaluated your credentials and asked you for an interview. You want the job. What's next?

At W.H. Gurley Associates, we believe that the most important factors influencing a successful interview are:

  • Show interest from the start. Without this, nothing else matters.
    Research the company. Have good questions. Be enthusiastic.
  • Be prepared for the "tell me about yourself" question.
    Give a brief career summary. Cite one major accomplishment. State your career objective as related to this position.
  • Present behavior-based answers to the interviewer's questions.
    Give examples, not philosophy.
  • Be prepared to discuss compensation.

  • At the end of the interview, ask for the job or determine the next step in the hiring process.

Thorough preparation is critical. It's great for your confidence and it leaves a positive impression with interviewers. How should you prepare?

Preparing for the interview

  1. Get the logistics right. Know the time, location, and the interviewer's name and position title.
  2. Do your research. Find out as much as possible about the company: size; location of corporate office and field offices; financial/stock performance; market share; and range of products and services. Resources include the company website and annual report.
  3. Do more research. Make sure you have key data (such as annual sales volumes) about your existing and most recent employers.
  4. Do even more research. Ask former co-workers to tell you about your professional traits. Find what they most admire about you. Try to find some faults as well. You will be more prepared for questions such as "what are your greatest weaknesses" or "if I were working with you..."
  5. Prepare questions. As the hiring manager assesses your fit for the position, take the opportunity to determine if the company and the position are right for you.
  6. Practice. Take time to run through some of your answers. Don't over-rehearse, but make sure that you are confident.
  7. Find out what the company culture is regarding business dress. If in doubt, dress more formally rather than less formally. Make sure you are well groomed on the day of the interview.

Practicing for the interview is part of your interview preparation. Focus on your responses and presentation.

Practicing for the interview

  • Be descriptive. Don't just answer "yes" or "no" to questions; also avoid over-answering. Give examples, where possible, instead of stating your opinion.
  • Sell yourself to the interviewer, but without exaggeration or arrogance. Market yourself, "blow your own trumpet," and explain why you'd be right for the role.
  • Avoid making negative remarks about employers or colleagues. Negativity will reflect only on you.
  • Be determined. Make it clear that you want the job. Even if you are given information in the interview that sheds a new light on the role, be positive and evaluate the opportunity again after the interview.
  • Demonstrate positive body language and maintain a good posture.

Expect unexpected questions. It's fine to pause for thought. It's also acceptable to admit you don't know the answer.

W.H. Gurley Associates provides feedback to candidates following interviews with client companies.

 

"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there." --Yogi Berra

 

 

 

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