The original format for this interview preparation checklist was provided by Bob Snyder, MRI Dayton in the USA, so do not hesitate to check his profile.
It has had a tweak from yours truly, it may need another to make it personal to you. To customise, free to copy and paste into MSWord or similar and use it to your advantage to get that new job. So to start:
A candidate has the following main objectives for an Interview
- To sell yourself and to separate yourself from your competition
- To gather enough information to make a decision
- To move forward to the next step or to get an offer!
What you now need to do is do the scroll, copy and paste from this point.
This will enable you to get parts or the full interview preparation checklist for free and to help you to start your preparation.
Questions to ask the company
- History of the company?
- Activities in EMEA, your markets, globally 5 years ago; 5 years from now?
- How do you plan to get there?
Job Specific Questions:
- Why is this position open?
- Who does this position report to?
- Scope of the job?
- What do you expect a person in this position to accomplish in the first six months?
- Any problems or projects that need immediate attention?
- What is the reporting structure?
- Can you describe the make-up of the team?
- “I’m curious, how long have you been with the company? (listen to how they answer the question, not necessarily what they say – are they excited about their company and products)
The 3 Impressions a Candidate Must Leave During an Interview:
The 1st Impression: I can do the job. (Ask great questions, provide detailed answers)
The 2nd Impression: I’m challenged by the job; I like doing this kind of work, I’m passionate about my job & career. Very few people are hired if they do not exhibit passion about the work.
The 3rd Impression: I “fit-in” or positive personal chemistry.
These characteristics can be created by using the following strategy:
- Say positive things about geography – happy with the area
- Give compliments about the company
- Give compliments about the company’s products or services
Three Options for Building Chemistry with the Company:
This is a powerful technique that really works! What does this mean?
Whenever you see, hear or touch something at the interview, (during a telephone interview, or even sitting in a conference room), that is impressive or something you are familiar with, you have 3 options. You can:
- Option #1: Remain silent
- Option #2: Say “umm”, “uh huh” or “well”,“yeah” or just nod your head as many do
- Option #3: Say “I understand” – “I’m very familiar with those problems . . .” or “I have worked with similar equipment or systems… ”(only if true)
Option 3 is a good way to “bond” with the people you are interviewing with, however you must be careful. The key is to “sprinkle them” throughout the interview, and to be “real”, in your own style, with sincerity and honest, a fake can be spotted a mile away.
Questions the company will surely ask you:
Look at Englishrecruiter.com interview series, read other posts and prepare specifically for the following:
“Tell me about yourself”
- Give them a very short summary (2 to 4 minutes) of your professional career, hitting the highlights, increasing responsibilities, promotions, etc…
- Do not tell your life story!
- Be quantitative and time related in stating accomplishments
- Have 3 accomplishments at your fingertips (figures/amounts/savings/sales)
“Why are you looking for another position or why are you out of work?”
The strategy for answering this question should be as follows:
Never answer this question until you have first elevated yourself
- You elevate yourself by telling the interviewer how you got to your current position; i.e., mention any positive events associated with your present / most recent employer, such as how you managed to get hired by your employer, any promotions you may have earned, increases in responsibility, awards, etc.,
- After elevating yourself in the above manner, then give the reason you want to leave or why you are no longer there.
Your reason for leaving cannot be a flimsy, it must be mature. It is not likely that you will be made an offer if you tell the interviewer that you want to leave because you have been with this company for 7 years and it seems like it’s time to leave or that you want more money.
Mature reasons are associated with special geography requirements, new boss is a micro manager, company is moving production to China, our company was just sold or similar.
Never come across as bitter or negative about the company you are leaving!
“Why do you want to work for our company?”
Give them a solid and mature reason why you want to work for the prospective company. Ex: “You are one of the fastest growing Fortune 500’s out there, along with your diversified products, and commitment to best practices!”
“Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 6 years?”
Tell them how you would like to be promoted within the company structure. If you are a Site Manager, maybe you want to be a Director within 5 years. Be specific about your career vision!
Be prepared for “Behavioral” questions
They want examples of how you have handled both positive & negative situations and problems in the past…with detail.
Behavioral interviewing questions usually began with one of the following:
- Tell me about a time…..
- Describe for me an event or project in which…..
- Walk me through the last time…..
Do not make the critical error of over-talking! Do not become the “Professor”, be clear and get to the point…still give detail, just not the overkill. It is often a major failure of interviews when candidates ramble on and tell a whole story.
Always be sensitive to the possibility that if you give too much detail you may be boring the listeners by telling them more than they want to know about the subject.
Bragging vs. Marketing
Telling a person about your accomplishments is bragging only if the interviewers do not care or have not asked you.
A company that brings a candidate in for an interview desperately wants to know how good that candidate is so that they can make an informed hiring decision! Consequently, a candidate must market him/herself. Never confuse bragging with marketing.
Other Questions that often come up during an interview:
- What are the best and worst aspects of your current / previous job, boss, etc…?
- Can you describe your leadership style?
- What is a change agent? How do you see yourself in company change situations?
- What would your current / previous boss (colleagues) say about you?
- In all of your jobs, which one did you enjoy the most and why?
Remember, some of these basic questions can open the door to problems, for example:
A sales manager interview where the candidate said “I really enjoyed my time in Product Development working with engineering on new technical specifications”
– it was not quite what he wanted to say, he was relaxed and the interview had been going well. It also took the interviewer by surprise as well. He did get the job but made it harder for himself from the first interview onwards.
Watch out for “What will it take to get you to come to work for us?”
Tell them what your compensation is and then say, “I’m open to a reasonable offer.” Never give a salary number…you can under-sell or price yourself out of the job!
Remember your current salary and outline expectations have already been provided to the company.
At the end of the interview
Ask: Do you have any questions or concerns about my ability to do this job?
- If you want the job, tell them that you’re very impressed and ask “Where do we go from here?” “What are the next steps?”
- If you do not want the job tell them “Thank you for your consideration, but this really isn’t for me”
It is common practice to send a “Thank You” email within 24 hours.
Tell them something you forgot or didn’t have a chance to tell them that supports your candidacy for the position.
Make sure you have checked your spelling along with proper English / sentence structure! – Google translate does not get it right every time
Examples have included:
- First paragraph: “Thank you for the consideration and kindness that you showed to me. I was very favorably impressed by everything I saw and heard.”
- Second paragraph: Tell them something that you forgot to tell them at the interview, or something that occurred to you after the interview, that relates to the opportunity. This is one more opportunity for you to sell yourself. DO NOT tell them something that you already told them – that is insulting.
- Third paragraph: “Again, thank you for your consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to saying ‘yes’ to an offer.”
Never Forget The Key Points:
Top companies only want to hire ENERGETIC PEOPLE! Be energetic!!
- Personality is key…let your personality come through!
- Give them a sense that you have “A strong bias for action!” You can make things happen.
- Demonstrate that you have the ability to sell your ideas, that you can influence others.
- Remember…most companies want the “WOW” factor from a candidate!
PLEASE CALL US ( Englishrecruiter etc.) RIGHT AFTER YOUR INTERVIEW!!
We need to provide feedback to the clients as well as learn from you your thoughts, reactions and feelings about the company and the new job opportunity.
You will we all hope be ready, have something useful to support you for that important interview.
As per the picture, your preparation work if you follow this checklist will be done.
The rest is up to you and the nice interviewer(s),
Good Luck !
If this helps you to get that job, please send Bob or I a note, we would love to hear from you.
Remember as well, Englishrecruiter.com can be accessed direct in your email inbox by subscribing to the blog or you can sign-up for the monthly newsletter.
Wishing you every success.