Interview Tips

Keys to a Successful Interview

These tips have been compiled by our Search Consultants and are the cumulative result of hundreds of interviews.

Arrive 10 minutes early. Do not be late.

Ask for directions if there is any question about the location.

Visual impressions are extremely important - Dress Appropriately. The interviewer will make judgments about you based on your attire alone. When there is a question about casual dress versus professional dress, always dress professionally. Men should wear a dark suit, pressed shirt, clean tie that hangs to the belt and shined shoes. Women should also wear a suit, conservative blouse, hose, polished pumps and moderate makeup.

Relax, to the extent possible.

Being relaxed in an interview comes from practicing your answers to the questions you will most likely be asked. At a minimum, you should rehearse answers to the basic questions about strengths, weaknesses, reasons for leaving and qualifications for that particular position.

Body language is also extremely important. Look the interviewer right in the eye.

Maintain good posture while seated. Smile and laugh when appropriate.

Focus on answering the questions completely and concisely and be sure to avoid rambling.

Remember to pause after an important question. This "thinking pause" increases the value of your answer. Answer questions honestly. Use specific examples whenever possible.

Be prepared to ask 3 or 4 key questions. It is best if these questions come from research you have done about the company prior to your interview. Use the Internet for research.

Ask for the job.

Too many candidates leave interviewers wondering about their interest. If you are truly interested in the position state that clearly to the interviewer and inquire about the next step.

Send thank you letters to each person you interview with.

Keep these letters brief and be sure to send them timely. Verify names and titles prior to sending.

Interview Q & A

Regardless of formality, an interviewer will ask a series of questions to determine an applicants potential. This is the time to 'sell yourself', so be prepared to answer with detail, clarity and confidence.

Every interviewer is different, but these are the essential questions that every applicant should be ready to answer:

Beware of the Counter Offer

Deciding to make a career move can be exciting and financially rewarding. Now, more than ever before, individuals who manage their careers wisely are taking the necessary steps to move ahead.

One of the most common missteps made by professionals is the counter offer. A counter offer is an offer made by management upon learning that a valued employee is leaving. These offers are usually made in haste and represent a final attempt by management to keep an employee. Counter offers can often be a source of deep emotional stress for the leaving employee and if accepted, often prove to be poor long-term career decisions. Remember, even though a pay rate may change, more often than not the circumstances that brought an employee to want to leave in the first place remain the same.

What will a manager say to keep you from leaving?

The following are a few commonly heard examples:

Why would a manager say these things?

Here is typical management thinking:

When an employee quits, it is viewed by upper management as a direct reflection on the manager. Unless one is an extremely poor worker or a thorn in management's side, the manager looks bad by allowing a valued employee to leave. The managerial gut reaction is to say or do whatever is necessary to keep the employee from leaving; until he or she is ready to let the individual go on the managers terms.

Before accepting a counter offer, please consider:

All things considered, few candidates ever really gain from a counteroffer. In fact, large majorities of people who accept the "bribe-back" end up either being released from their position within a year or quit within six months. The only one to gain is the company that extended the counteroffer as it provides them the necessary time to create a succession plan, and to find a suitable replacement. If an individual has thoughts of accepting a counteroffer, it is highly recommended to not even begin searching for a new position.