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Preparing for a 'bad interviewer' experience

It may be a phone or in person interview.  It can be a bad interviewer for several reasons or opinions.  So how can you best prepare for someone who just doesn't know how interview well and/or how to ask meaningful questions?  Here are some quick tips not to be caught off guard:

  • The interviewer who reads your resume to you... This is the person who literally takes one of your bullet points and says "Tell me about how you Managed a team of 4 project engineers to reduce costs by $20K monthly by analyzing new vendor contracts and shifting production methods". The good news is that you should have already built strong stories around each of your bullet points to nail this answer. The bad news is that this interview is going to be a little frustrating but hang in there and focus on specifics and results to impress this person.
  • The interviewer who only asks ‘standard' questions... This interviewer asks "What are your strengths?" "What are your weaknesses?" "Why should I hire you?" Anticipate these in various phrasings and get specific examples to help the person understand the skills and experience you have that align with the job requirements.
12:42 pm          Comments

Three interview questions you need to be able to answer

So you've landed an interview which is great but now you need to prepare.  Depending on your level of experience and industry, there will be specific questions the hiring person will ask.  These may be about skills pertinent to the role, licensure or certifications, and/or technical skills needed for the job.  But what are three general questions that you should always be prepared to answer?

1.      Why are you leaving your current job/Why did you leave your last job?  Bad answers would include comments about how you didn't like your manager, had an issue with a client, or couldn't get along with your co-workers.  It is reasonable to identify that you want to change industries, gain increased experience in a certain area or move forward and your previous/current employer will not allow that to happen.  Be honest and tactful.

2.      What separates you from the other candidates?  This is a little bit of a potential ‘gotcha' question.   Obviously you can't know what qualifications and background the competition has.  This is an opportunity to highlight the top three skills the job requires with the best examples you have with the greatest positive impact you made in a previous job.  Sharing the ways you can provide value to the employer will always help the manager identify you as qualified for the position.

3.      What questions do you have for me?  "I don't' have any." - Wrong answer.  There is no way you know everything about the job and expectations even if you are interviewing internally in the same company.  Ask about specific short term expectations and objectives, challenges you can expect to encounter, and/or training opportunities.  Prepare at least three questions that will provide you greater insight into the job and the manager's goals.

12:50 pm          Comments

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