Interviewing Skills with Keith

Preparing For The Interview

 

  • Review your resume. Don’t memorize your strengths and accomplishments—KNOW them.
  • Practice, practice, practice!
    • Consider the job requirements and come up with a series of possible questions you expect will be asked during the interview.
    • Do a web search for common interview questions.
  • Research the company. Interviewers often ask why you want to work for their specific organization.
  • Write down questions you have for the interviewer.
    • Interviewing is a two-way street!
    • Come up with some specific questions about the company and about the job itself.
  • Don’t leave the interview open-ended. Be sure to ask when you can expect to hear back about the job offer.

Making A Good Impression

  • Remember: The interview starts with the first phone call/email.
    • When responding to the initial call or email about coming in for an interview, be polite and clear. Go to a quiet place to reduce background noise.
    • Voicemail greeting should state your phone number clearly. First and last name—even better.
    • Use a plain email address (e.g., firstname_lastname@gmail.com).
  • Dress appropriately.
    • Overdressing is better than underdressing!
    • Err on the conservative side. Don’t draw too much attention to yourself (excessive jewelry, tattoos, etc.)
  • Leave early. Plan for unexpected delays on the way to the interview.
  • Walk in and introduce yourself with confidence.
    • Stand tall, head up, look forward.
    • Shake hands with each interviewer. Introduce yourself with first and last name.
    • Don’t just sit anywhere. Wait for direction.
  • Eye contact is key.
  • Maintain good posture. No resting elbows!
  • Use your voice.
    • Don’t talk in monotone. Convey different emotions with your voice. If something about the job excites you, sound excited when you talk about it!

During The Interview

  • Bring copies of your resume—one for yourself.
    • You can refer to it for quick inspiration.
    • It allows you to follow along with the interviewer.
  • Bring a notepad.
    • Questions & answers ready for quick reference.
    • Jot things down to circle back to them later.
    • Gives you a focal point if you are thinking. (Instead of looking around.)
  • Consider what they are really asking.
    • Some questions are designed to get a sense of your attitudes and behaviors.
    • Example: “What would you identify as a weakness in your job performance?”
    • Avoid being overly negative or apathetic. Address the issue, but show that you are aware and taking steps to improve.
    • “In the past I have had issues with multitasking, but recently I’ve been working to improve in this area by planning better ahead of time and by asking for help when necessary.”
  • Stumped?
    • Ask for a few moments while you think about the question.
    • Ask if you can come back to that question later.
    • No matter what, don’t sound nervous. Remain calm and conversational (maybe add a little humor?).
    • Even if you don’t give the “best” answer, the interviewer may remember that you don’t cave under pressure.
  • End of the interview— the interviewer usually asks, “do you have any questions?”
    • Always answer, “YES.”
    • Have a list of questions ready and/or circle back to questions that you jotted down during the interview.
    • Shows that you’re interested, confident, and really looking to be part of the organization (not just to collect a paycheck).
    • Always ask about next steps and/or when you should expect to hear back.

After The Interview

  • Send a “thank you” note when you get home.
    • Email the interviewer(s) individually, thanking them for their time and consideration.
    • If you only know one email address, be sure to include something like, “Please thank Ms. ____ and Mr. ____, as well.”
  • Send a follow-up call or email, if you don’t hear back within the timeframe given.
    • Use the opportunity to reiterate your interest in the position.
  • Offered the job? Great! Now’s the time to discuss salary and benefits.
  • Offered a second interview? Back to practicing! Use your notes from the interview to come up with new strengths/accomplishments to discuss, address any weaknesses in your first interview performance, and emphasize any points that were not made.
  • Want to decline? Be sure to leave the door open. Emphasize your interest in the company, but that a different position might be a better fit. Interviewers will remember you!
  • Not offered the job? It happens. Not everyone is the perfect fit.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask what you are lacking in relation to the chosen candidate. They may not respond, but if they do, such feedback is invaluable.

List Of Action Verbs

Analytical

  • analyzed
  • ascertained
  • assessed
  • compared
  • computed
  • conceptualized
  • concluded
  • confirmed
  • critiqued
  • deciphered
  • deliberated
  • determined
  • devised
  • diagnosed
  • estimated
  • evaluated
  • examined
  • forecasted
  • formulated
  • integrated
  • investigated
  • justified
  • measured
  • negotiated
  • prescribed
  • prioritized
  • projected
  • questioned
  • rated
  • recommended
  • researched
  • scrutinized
  • studied
  • substantiated
  • synthesized
  • validated

Communication

  • addressed
  • apprised
  • arbitrated
  • attested
  • authored
  • clarified
  • communicated
  • composed
  • convinced
  • corresponded
  • drafted
  • edited
  • explained
  • informed
  • interpreted
  • lectured
  • marketed
  • persuaded
  • presented
  • promoted
  • publicized
  • queried
  • reported
  • spoke
  • summarized
  • translated
  • wrote

Creativity

  • brainstormed
  • constructed
  • designed
  • engineered
  • envisioned
  • fabricated
  • illustrated
  • produced
  • shaped
  • visualized

Flexibility

  • accommodated
  • adapted
  • adjusted
  • altered
  • amended
  • balanced
  • converted
  • grew
  • improvised
  • tailored

Initiative

  • accelerated
  • accomplished
  • achieved
  • acquired
  • advanced
  • bolstered
  • boosted
  • built
  • coordinated
  • created
  • dedicated
  • demonstrated
  • enriched
  • established
  • expanded
  • expedited
  • implemented
  • improved
  • increased
  • initiated
  • innovated
  • inspired
  • introduced
  • launched
  • minimized
  • mobilized
  • modernized
  • modified
  • multiplied
  • overhauled
  • pioneered
  • revamped
  • revised
  • spearheaded
  • stimulated
  • suggested
  • updated
  • upgraded

Leadership

  • administered
  • advised
  • allocated
  • allowed
  • appointed
  • approved
  • assigned
  • authorized
  • chaired
  • coached
  • delegated
  • designated
  • directed
  • educated
  • elicited
  • employed
  • empowered
  • enabled
  • encouraged
  • endorsed
  • enhanced
  • facilitated
  • fostered
  • founded
  • guided
  • hired
  • influenced
  • instructed
  • interviewed
  • judged
  • led
  • moderated
  • monitored
  • motivated
  • officiated
  • recruited
  • sanctioned
  • supervised
  • trained

Organization

  1. arranged
  2. assembled
  3. budgeted
  4. calculated
  5. cataloged
  6. centralized
  7. charted
  8. classified
  1. collected
  2. compiled
  3. consolidated
  4. correlated
  5. indexed
  6. linked
  7. orchestrated
  8. organized
  1. oriented
  2. planned
  3. processed
  4. purchased
  5. recorded
  6. regulated
  7. scheduled
  8. systematized

Problem Solving

  1. aided
  2. alleviated
  3. ameliorated
  4. augmented
  5. counseled
  6. customized
  7. debugged
  8. eased
  9. elevated
  10. enlarged
  11. extended
  12. extracted
  13. finalized
  14. fulfilled
  15. generated
  1. identified
  2. interceded
  3. invented
  4. lightened
  5. polished
  6. procured
  7. reconciled
  8. rectified
  9. reduced
  10. refined
  11. reformed
  12. rehabilitated
  13. reinforced
  14. rejuvenated
  15. relieved
  1. remedied
  2. remodeled
  3. repaired
  4. restored
  5. retrieved
  6. revitalized
  7. revived
  8. settled
  9. solicited
  10. solved
  11. streamlined
  12. strengthened
  13. supplemented
  14. transformed

Teamwork

  • assisted
  • collaborated
  • contributed
  • cooperated
  • mediated
  • participated
  • partnered
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