Interviewing well (PowerPoint)

Interviewing Success
Claiming your power in the interview
Presented by the Humphrey School Career Services Office:
Lynne Schuman, Director
Martha Krohn, Assistant Director
Interviewing Success - Agenda
Measuring success
Preparing, conducting, and following-up
Using the power of story
Common interview questions
Questions that you ask
Handling illegal questions
Measuring Success
Success for employer?
Success for candidate?
Interviewing in three steps:
Prepare: The Employer’s Viewpoint
Why is this position important to the organization?
What are their needs?
How can I demonstrate that I meet those needs?
How can I address any concerns they might have?
Prepare: Content
“An interviewer controls the flow of the interview, but the
interviewee controls the content. “ H. Anthony Medley
Examples - that demonstrate your
accomplishments using skills and abilities
important to the employer
 Answers - to common interview
 The question you hope they don’t ask
 Questions for the organization
Preparing for Difficult Subjects:
Craft Good Answers
Welcome the question or acknowledge
the employer’s concern
 Minimize concerns by briefly explaining
your solution
 Tell employers what they gain by hiring
you - be specific
 Be proactive if you can minimize a
problem by bringing it up
Prepare: Interview Formats
One-on-one interviews
 Panel or group interviews
 Phone interviews
 Video interviews
Conduct: During the Interview
 Strong
beginning, strong ending
 Listen
 Slow
down. Pause
 Be professional in ALL interactions
 Be wary of using humor
Interview Follow-Up
Two Types of Behavioral Questions
Behavioral - focused on past behavior
Situational – focused on future possible
Using the Power of Story –
to demonstrate past behavior
 Structure
=> S-A-R
◦ Situation – a specific situation in which you played a
significant role
◦ Action – or actions that YOU took
◦ Result – the good outcome that was a result of your
Preparing S-A-R stories
Using position description, pick out
important skills, knowledge and duties
 Prepare a S-A-R story for each relevant
quality you can claim
 Practice telling these stories concisely
Teamwork Story
 S: I was on a 4 person team in my Economic Development class.
One team member kept missing meetings and not keeping up her
part of the work.
 A: I volunteered to talk to her. We met outside school & discussed
how things were going. She felt completely overwhelmed and unable
to keep up. We worked out a schedule for the project that felt
more realistic for her. In return, she promised to make the rest of
the meetings.
 R: The team project came together in good time, and we presented
it to the class. The instructor gave us an A for the project and
complemented us on our smooth functioning as a team.
Other Common Interview Questions
Tell me about yourself.
Can the candidate sort and prioritize
information that is relevant to this job and this
Strategy: Often the first question – prepare a
strong response.
Give brief experience/education history,
emphasizing how it led you to your interest in
this career area/organization.
Why are you interested in this position?
◦ Do your interests mesh with the job?
◦ Will you stay engaged and interested?
◦ What do you have to give and what do you have to
Strategy: Prepare a brief explanation as to why your
background (experience, training, interests) makes this
position a logical one for you.
This is where you could address “overqualified”
Where do you see yourself five years from
 Key:
◦ Is your future vision compatible with the
direction this job and this organization will
take you?
◦ Are you worth investing in or will you leave
What is your greatest strength? Your greatest
◦ Are you self-aware and analytic?
◦ Can you discuss strengths in a way that
relates them to the job to be done? (Can use
a S-A-R story to illustrate)
◦ Do you take responsibility for weaknesses,
problem solve and correct/mitigate them?
Selecting Your Weakness
 Generic, not personal
 Not essential for this job
 A problem that you are solving –
emphasize the solution in your answer
Asking YOUR questions
Fill in gaps in information
 Learn organizational culture
 Explore challenges and trends
 Express interest in and knowledge of
their work
 Clarify the hiring process and timelines
2/3rds of questions should be about the
work & organization
Handling illegal questions
Personal information not related to job
Areas to be aware of
Marital/family status
Religious beliefs
 Medical history
(physical or mental)
 Arrest record
 Military discharge
Responding : Your Choices
Answer the question, or
2. Refuse to answer the question, or
3. Answer the concern.
Interviewing Well
“In my career I have interviewed a lot of
job candidates, and I can tell you the ones
who stand out – and get the jobs – are
those who project a clear sense of
James A. Johnson
2006 HHH Commencement Keynote Address
Other Resources on Interviewing
The Six Reasons You’ll Get The Job: MacDougall and
Sanders-Park, 2010. Looking at a position through the employer’s viewpoint.
Discusses the 6 areas that employers look for in a candidate, whether they know
it or not, and ways to demonstrate how you have them.
Sweaty Palms: H. Anthony Medley, 2005.
Going Global: Access through – Online resource
on career opportunities around the world and how to secure them.
Ted Talk: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are by Amy Cuddy :
Quiet: Susan Cain, 2013. Subtitled “The Power of Introverts in a World That
Can't Stop Talking”
HHH Career Appointments: Meet with Lynne or Martha
for interviewing coaching or a mock interview: Go to &
click on “Make An Appointment”