Interviewing Tips

“If you fail to plan—You will plan to fail”

We take Interview Preparation very seriously at G&S.

The competition for each and every job today is fierce, We will prepare you like no other firm ever has. This is your chance to shine and you MUST PLAN and be PREPARED, no exceptions!

Its Game Day! Like the lyrics of the Eminem song “One Shot”

“You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, This opportunity comes once in a lifetime .Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity To seize everything you ever wanted…one moment Would you capture it or just let it slip? “

Everyone gets nervous in an interview. It’s normal! Especially since 90% of hires are based solely upon the interview according to a Harvard Business Review study. In fact, 63% of hiring decisions are made within the first 4.3 minutes of an interview (courtesy SHRM). So, the interview is probably the most important part of the hiring process. 

We’ve had thousands of candidates interview with a wide array of clients ranging from Fortune 500 Companies to small businesses. Regardless of the opportunity, there is always one constant: each candidate must interview well to get the job. Knowing this, we have put together our interview tips based upon years of experience meeting with candidates, as well as the feedback from our clients themselves.

Your G&S Recruiting  Specialist will contact you to set up a  “Prep” or Preparation session 24—48 hours prior to your interview. This prep session will be done on the phone or via video conferencing such as skype or other available tools.

Prior to your prep session , you will have received a confirmation email informing you of all details for your interview.

In Person-On Site Interview 

Some of our clients will have you fill out an application upon arrival , and others will have you do this  prior to your interview and will have you either submit it electronically  or bring it with you to the interview, Your G&S Recruiting  Specialist will discuss this with you. read more

Dress For Success—First  impressions mean everything ! Your dress should be appropriate and on the conservative side for the company and industry.read more

Practice

 FINALE

If possible and time allows--Always ask a few good questions (See Questions To Ask Dropdown) ,

read more

Phone Interview

If the interview has not started 10 minutes after the designated time--Please contact your G&S Recruiting Specialist IMMEDIATELY

In case you can’t reach your Recruiting Specialist—Please call our home office @ 877-679-3630

If talking on your cell phone---Make sure it is fully charged and that you have excellent reception and you can speak freely without any background noise or interruptions.

If talking on a LAN line---Make sure you are in a secure location and can speak freely without any background noise or interruptions.

Make sure you have printed out your resume, the job description and other information  as needed.

Do not do any muti-tasking or typing as it can be very distracting to the interviewer.

When you are interviewing via telephone, remember that the person on the other line is assessing several areas without the benefit of speaking to you in person. Assist the interviewer in evaluating your fit with the company. Remember, they are focusing on your:

  • Technical skills as they relate to their project or position.
  • Experience
  • Communication
  • Team building abilities and/or management skills
  • Tone, enthusiasm
  • Organizational fit
  • Overall responses

The objective of a Telephone Interview is very simple: to provide enough about your background and your personality/character that the hiring company will bring you in for a Face to Face interview.

Stand Up if possible – Sitting during any telephone conversation gives you little opportunity to burn off energy and/or adrenaline. The result is we tend to talk too much. When standing you do a better job of controlling your energy level and tend to be more thoughtful in your responses.

Be Passionate – About what you do, about the opportunity, about the company. The strongest indicator to a Hiring Authority of whether you’re a good fit is in your tone of voice.

Video Conference or Skype Interview

If the interview has not started 10 minutes after the designated time--Please contact your G&S Recruiting Specialist IMMEDIATELY

In case you can’t reach your Recruiting Specialist—Please call our home office @ 877-679-3630. Make sure your device is working properly, test it prior to the interview –both audio and video

The following things are important, Remember-you will be on video!

  • Dress for success
  • Make sure you are well groomed
  • Make sure that your surroundings are neat and un-cluttered
  • Make sure you have good eye contact and look at the camera directly
  • Do not do any mufti-tasking or typing as it can be very rude to the interviewer
  • Make sure you have printed out your resume, the job description and other information  if needed
  • Be Passionate – About what you do, about the opportunity, about the company. The strongest indicator to a Hiring Authority of whether you’re a good fit is in your tone of voice.
  • Be Honest – The worst thing you could possibly do is to misrepresent something about yourself and have that information “caught out” during a face to face interview, reference check or background check.
Game Plan for all Interviews

Remember that not all hiring managers are good interviewers!---It’s easy to assume that the person you are in dialogue with really knows how to discover the next superstar for their team. This is usually not the case, as most hiring managers spend less than 2% of their time each year on interviewing and hiring. As a result, it’s important that a candidate not take a passive approach in an interview, and wait for the hiring manager to ask that perfect question which will invite you to talk about your greatest career achievement. You must know ahead of time what your greatest achievements are, and look for opportunities to bring them into the conversation.

Game Plan

  • Review your resume- “You’re resume is fair game” which means that you should know everything that is on it, regardless of how long ago it may have been. Interviewers may see something on your resume from many years ago and you want to be able to speak about this without any hesitation. Anticipate and prepare for what will be asked of you based on your resume and the job itself and think of how you will articulate the goals of the individual projects that you worked on and be ready to precisely define your role with them.
  • Remember PPFEA –  Positive, Passionate, Friendly ,Enthusiastic Attitude.-- Interviewers are looking for positive, can-do candidates who are self-starters and eager to accept a challenge. Let your personality SHINE, You MUST have the skills but firm’s today like hiring friendly personable people who can interface well at all levels
  • The better you help the interviewer understand your competencies and accomplishments, the more convinced they will be that you have the skills to do the job.
  • Never answer a question with a simple “yes” or “no”. Elaborate with specific information on what you did, how you did it, and how much experience you have with it. If the answer is “no”, try to relate something you have done or used that is similar, and express a willingness to learn. If the answer is: “I don’t know what that is” then ask how they use it. There is a possibility that you have used or done something similar. If you find that you haven’t done or used anything similar, again emphasize your desire to learn, let them know that you will invest your time to ramp up as quickly as possible.
  • Keep your answers concise. Allow them to do the questioning for the most part. Do not interrupt their thought process. Be specific and remember, you have 60 seconds to make your point, or you will lose your listener.
  • Be Specific--The key is that you must lead with your strongest benefit to the employer. Be specific and don't wander about with some laundry list of skills or talents. Be clear, concise and on point with your responses. Don't run on.
  • Use professional language no matter what. Don’t use slang, sarcastic humor and be professional with your words at all times.
  • Ask appropriate questions, or wait until the end of the interview to find out more about the position if there are unanswered questions.
  • Be confident:--Your tone should be confident and sharp. However, don’t be too loud or overbearing and certainly don’t come across as too confident so it borders cockiness.
  • Maintain strong eye contact:--It’s important to maintain good eye contact with the interviewer, but be sure not to fixate yourself on the person.
  • Smile often and present an upbeat attitude. Watch your posture. Don’t fidget. Offer a firm handshake at the beginning and end of your time with each person you meet. Be cognizant of verbal communications and body language.
  • Research the company—Visit their web site and use google  to  learn as much as possible about them. Researching the company, its history, the hiring manager, the position… know the details, because they matter. Knowing the facts adds confidence. Find some details that show you did more than visit their website. Find some simple, yet compelling reasons as to why you want to work for the employer and what appeals to you about the role.
  • Research the Interviewers--Linked In is an excellent tool for this—Know their backgrounds.
  • Review the job description—Try to understand exactly what the job entails. Know what your strengths are relative to the job description and find a way to weave them into the interview discussion. 
  • Understand the chain of command: Sometimes you will interview with several different people. Sometimes all in the same day, other times, you may make a separate appointment. Know the process, and know the roles of each person. Never assume that they will speak to each other after they meet you. Sell yourself to each interviewer individually.
  • Beginning to end: Remember that an interview starts at the very first point of contact. Every conversation is a chance to make an impression. Be smart, cordial and friendly. You are being assessed from many angles, make sure they always see your best side!
  • Soul searching: Employers are looking for a candidate who is self-aware. Top employers have shared that employees should know what they could bring to a company. Know your past achievements, your methods and skills you’ve developed along the way. Having this information in the forefront of your mind will add an additional layer of confidence.
  • Practice makes Perfect: Test your responses to questions on friends or family. If you’re prepared, your answers are apt to be more confident, and you’ll gain points for being on your toes.
  • Build Rapport: If you’re just plain friendly and nice, you’re starting off on the right foot. People like when others are friendly.  Try to remember, that the interviewer does not want to see you fail, they want you to do your best. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be sitting in their chair.
  • Be yourself: Know who you are, and where you want to go. Just be yourself – “real works” and Enjoy the interview !
  • Relax and Breathe: Keep in mind that this may not be the perfect job for you. If that’s the case, you'll find the right one right behind it. Take the pressure off a little. If you don’t score the position, consider this interview “practice” for the next one.
  • Get a good night sleep prior to your interview so you are relaxed and refreshed for your interview
  • You always need to "take temperatures" because people have minds and they're changing them constantly. You need to listen to what they don't say.

Things To Remember:

  • People have to buy you before they buy from you.
  • People hire and accept emotionally first and justify logically later.
  • People are most sold by your conviction rather than by your persuasion.
  • Know your technology, but think PEOPLE.
  • Most people prefer to be around positive people. Be happy, engaged and in the moment.
  • The decision to hire is made in the first 5 to 10 minutes of the interview, with the remaining time spent justifying that decision.
Ask Questions

If you don’t ask questions, it can easily be inferred that you’re not interested in the position and company. One of the key ways a hiring authority determines interest level in a candidate is by the kind of questions they ask. If a candidate asks well-thought out, critical questions it communicates that the candidate is intelligent, analytical, and interested enough in the opportunity to spend the time to research and prepare questions. If a hiring manager is able to address the main points of concern prior to asking the questions, and then says “do you have any questions?” don’t reply with “no, you’ve answered them all.” Go down your list of questions and say, “you answered that one, and that one, . . .” In doing that you communicate that you came prepared to ask some good questions.

Know what questions not to ask. For example, don't inquire about salary, bonuses, vacation time, benefits or your office space. These questions are appropriate only after there is serious interest in hiring you. If you're asked what salary you want, give a range based on your conversation with your G&S Recruiting Specialist, but indicate that you're more interested in the opportunity itself.

You never want to ask questions that you could have and should have researched on your own or discussed with your G&S Recruiting Specialist.

Remember, there’s two sellers and two buyers in the dialogue

Each person in the interview wears two hats: a buyer and a seller. The candidate is selling themselves as well as checking out the company and hiring manager to see if they are the right fit. At the same time a hiring authority is selling the opportunity as well as checking out the candidate. Be prepared to inquire about the position as well as sell yourself.

Questions you can ask

  • The interview is a two-way street and you are expected to ask some intelligent questions of your own. The following are some examples of the kinds of questions you might want to ask - but don't waste the interviewer's time by asking too many questions just for the sake of asking questions. Ask only those that are truly relevant to you in determining if the position and company are right for you.
  • What are the skills, or strengths vital to this position?  From the job description, what do you see as the primary duties and responsibilities of the position - the most important elements?  This is an excellent icebreaker question for you to ask The Hiring Authority and a great start to a successful interview becuase it forces them to extract the key things they are looking for from a candidate and it gives you a chance to address the items and how you fit during the interview.
  • What would I be expected to accomplish in the first six months on the job or What are the short and long term goals set for the person in this position?
  • What characteristics do the high achievers in this company seem to share?
  • How is an employee evaluated and promoted?
  • Do you have training programs?
  • What are the challenging aspects of this job?
  • What's the work environment –culture like at your company?
  • What is the structure of the department that this position is in? -How does the reporting structure work for this position?  Get an understanding not only of who your Manager is, but who they report to - all the way to the top of the organization chart by title. 
  • Is this a new position or a replacement?
  • What happened to the person who held the position previously?
  • Will I work independently or with others?
  • What is the next step in the hiring process?
  • Who by title and function does this position interact with the most - you need to understand who your Peers will be and who you will work with and for most often. 
The Finale

If possible and time allows--Always ask a few good questions. It not only expresses your level of interest and passion for the role but leaves the interviewer with a feeling that you are the type of employee they want on their team. At the closing of the interview make a brief closing remark, let them know you're interested in the company and opportunity.

Assuming that you are interested in this opportunity, be sure to leave them with that impression! This is not the time to be timid. If you find a job you really want and are qualified for, let them know it.

Thank them for their time and let them know you enjoyed meeting them and are very interested. “I feel you are doing some really exciting things and I’d love to help you move forward with your objectives,” is a good way to conclude. By all means, end the interview on a positive note.

Call your G&S Recruiting  Specialist immediately after any interview or as soon as possible when things are still fresh in your mind so that proper follow up with our clients can take place.

NEVER take thank you letters along with you and leave them at the front desk on the way out. Why? If you think about it from the company’s perspective you have just indicated to them that interviewing is something you’ve done a lot of and you have even been able to standardize on your thank you letter. BAD APPROACH.

Try to get a business card from everyone that interviews you and take the time to personalize your thank you to each one when you get back home.

Do NOT SEND  a Thank You letter without speaking to your G&S Recruiting  Specialist first!

A  Thank You letter should be sent the day of or the day right after an interview. An effective follow up letter will do the following: thank the hiring manager for the opportunity to talk, re-cap why you are the best candidate for the job, and reinforce your enthusiasm about the company and position. This should be no longer than one paragraph in length (about 5 sentences) but this should NOT be sent until its discussed with your G&S Recruiting Specialist first.

Dress for Success

Interviewing for a job is stressful enough without having to worry about your clothing and appearance.
All interviews are formal situations. A clean and neat professional appearance is an important step in making a good first impression. Dress as you want to be seen: professional, successful, and the kind of person the company wants to represent it.
When you feel good about the way you look, you naturally convey confidence and a positive attitude. These nonverbal messages are as important in the interview as the verbal skills you use in selling yourself.

Remember to have one good outfit ready to wear. That way you won't have to scramble when you get a last-minute interview.
In any job interview, you need to make sure that your clothes fit well and are clean, not wrinkled or stained. Clean, appropriate shoes are also important.

Below are clothing items that are not acceptable for interviews:

  • Denim and shorts
  • Flip flops, sandals, or tennis/running shoes
  • Trendy or loud clothing
  • Very short, tight, or low-cut clothing

If you are interviewing for a corporate, professional-level job, your wardrobe basics should include formal business wear:

  • a two piece gray, black, or navy suit
  • a long-sleeved, white, collared shirt
  • clean, polished, and dark-colored conservative dress shoes in good condition
  • Men should wear a conservative tie that coordinates well with the suit. Dress socks should match shoes and pants. Pants should be high enough to cover the ankle and leg while sitting.
  • Women's hosiery should be a neutral tone or sheer black. Skirt suits should be no shorter than the top of the knee, and you should be able to sit comfortably. Heels should be closed-toed and no higher than 1 1/2 inches.

Grooming
Personal grooming is just as important as what you wear. You may select the right clothes, but neglecting personal hygiene can ruin the image you wish to present. Review the following grooming checklist before meeting with an employer.

Before you leave for the interview, make sure you dress the part. When you look good, you feel good, and you give a great first impression. Even if the company's dress code is business casual, go a step above. Being overdressed is preferable to being underdressed.

  • Get a good night's sleep.
  • Wear a classic or simple hair style. Avoid extreme hair color.
  • Be freshly bathed and showered. Use deodorant.
  • Keep makeup to a minimum and use neutral or muted colors.
  • Have your nails trimmed and neat.
  • Have facial hair trimmed and neat.
  • Have well-brushed teeth and fresh breath.
  • If women do wear nail polish, it should be a subtle color and style. Nails should not be excessively long.
  • Wear little or no cologne or perfume. (Many people have scent allergies.)
  • No body piercings should be visible beyond conservative ear piercings for women.
  • No tattoos should be visible.
  • Keep jewelry items (such as watches, necklaces, bracelets) at a minimum. No large earrings or thick chains.
  • Do not chew gum or have candy in your mouth during the interview.
  • Don't wear sunglasses.
  • Avoid smoking before the interview. The smell of smoke will linger on your clothes and in your hair.
Practice

Practicing means that you should be prepared with content and form-the way you answer questions.

  • Be Descriptive – Try to avoid answering “yes” or “no”. Your answers need to be colorful but not too long.
  • Sell You – DON’T EVER LIE, but remember you are there to market yourself. Explain why you are the right choice for the job but avoid being arrogant.
  • Avoid Negative Commentary – Whether about your current employer or a past one; a current colleague or a former one, keep things positive. Everything you say is a reflection on you.
  • Be Determined – Make it clear that you want the job even if you get information that sheds new light on the role. Be positive then reevaluate when you’ve left the interview. It is easy to “bow out gracefully” from an opportunity but impossible to get a “second chance”.
  • Be Aware of your Body Language – We all rely on visual cues as well as oral. As you observe the interviewer’s body language they are observing yours. Sit erect, be interested, be excited and be an exceptional listener.

When answering questions: 

  • Use "I" NOT "we". You want to be clear to the interviewer that you handled these responsibilities directly and it was not a "team" effort where you may have had little direct input.
  • Give in-depth answers. One of the most common reasons why candidates are not hired is because, according to our clients, the individual "was not able to articulate in depth what they had done." Do not assume they will understand your background based on just the resume.
  • When you have finished answering a question, at times, you might want to ask, "Have I answered the question thoroughly?" "Would you like me to go into more detail?" This assures you that you have not left out any details the interviewer might be looking for.
  • Always speak positively about past employers
  • Don’t be cliché with your answers. What it means: "I'm just one of the crowd."
  • Do not use inappropriate language.
Application

Many clients will ask you to fill out an application when you arrive. and many will have you fill it out prior to your interview to be brought with you or to be submitted electronically.                                                      

  • Make  sure everything you enter is accurate as a background check will most probably be performed     
  • If there is anything that MIGHT come up in a  background search---Please make sure your G&S Recruiting Specialist is informed of this.
  • Make sure your handwriting is neat and legible.
  • Please remember to write G&S Technology Group as the referring agency.
  • Make sure the application is filled out in entirety
  • If you are unsure of any precise details—leave this blank and make sure you discuss with your G&S Recruiting Specialist.
Interview Questions

Interview Questions: Work History

  • What were your expectations for the job and to what extent were they met?
  • What were your starting and final levels of compensation?
  • What were your responsibilities?
  • What major challenges and problems did you face? How did you handle them?
  • What have you learned from your mistakes?
  • What did you like or dislike about your previous job?
  • Which was most / least rewarding?
  • What was the biggest accomplishment / failure in this position?
  • What was it like working for your supervisor? 
  • What do you expect from a supervisor?
  • What problems have you encountered at work?
  • Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager?
  • Who was your best boss and who was the worst?
  • Describe your ideal boss.
  • Why are you leaving your job?
  • Why were you fired?
  • Why were you laid-off?
  • Why did you quit your job?
  • Why did you resign?
  • What have you been doing since your last job?
  • Why have you been out of work so long?

Job Interview Questions About You

  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • How will your greatest strength help you perform?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • Describe a typical work week.Describe your work style.
  • Do you work well with other people?
  • How would you describe the pace at which you work?How do you handle stress and pressure?
  • What motivates you?
  • Are you a self-motivator ?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What do you find are the most difficult decisions to make?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What has been the greatest disappointment in your life?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What do people most often criticize about you?
  • When was the last time you were angry? What happened? 
  • Why did you choose your major?
  • If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do differently?
  • If the people who know you were asked why you should be hired, what would they say? 
  • Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?
  • Give some examples of teamwork.
  • What type of work environment do you prefer?
  • If you know your boss is 100% wrong about something how would you handle it? 
  • Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it. 
  • Describe a time when your workload was heavy and how you handled it.

Job Interview Questions About the New Job and the Company

  • What interests you about this job?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What applicable attributes / experience do you have?
  • Are you overqualified for this job?
  • What can you do for this company? 
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why are you the best person for the job?
  • What do you know about this company? 
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What challenges are you looking for in a position?
  • What can you contribute to this company?
  • What do you see yourself doing within the first 30 days on the job?
  • What would you do if you found out the company was doing something illegal? 
  • Are you willing to travel?
  • What is good customer service?

General

  • What experience, skills, aptitudes, or traits do you have, or think you might have, that could be of some use to some employer?
  • What skills have you developed, at least to some degree, that you have never used at work?
  • Do others, at work or elsewhere, come to you for any particular kind of help? What kind?
  • Have you ever given a talk, speech, or presentation, or provided training to anyone at work or elsewhere? Give the specifics.

Responsibilities, Activities:

  • How many people did you Supervise? Manage ?
  • How large a budget did you manage?
  • To whom did you report?
  • What was the highest level in the company that you reported to or communicated with directly?
  • Did you coordinate anything?
  • Serve as liaison between groups or key individuals?
  • Mediate between groups or individuals? Resolve any conflicts? Serve as mentor to anyone?
  • Did you do, or participate in, strategic planning?
  • Did you set or evaluate or participate in the setting or evaluation of policy?
  • Did you evaluate any individual or group performance, or any task or project research?
  • Did you communicate with customers? How?
  • What was your function on the team, or your contribution to winning? Your team's percentage of wins?
  • Ever serve as a troubleshooter? In what area?
  • Did you back up someone? Who?
  • Design or manage any processes, systems, or projects?
  • Organize any events, conferences, meetings? How many?
  • Did you administer anything?

Achievements, Accomplishments:

  • How much reduction in costs or increase in profits did you contribute to?
  • What did you do?
  • Did you add any smoothness, quality, or economy of operation that noticeably improved the way things were before you assumed responsibility?
  • Did you propose, suggest, or initiate any programs, changes, or improvements that were implemented at least partly because of your initiative?
  • What positive results occurred?

Awards, Recognition:

  • Were you praised, recognized, or given a pat on the back for anything a particular assignment, a method of working, a trait of character? How? By whom?
  • Were you promoted ahead of schedule?
  • Selected for any special responsibilities or programs?
Reasons People Don't Get Hired
  • Application form or resume is incomplete or sloppy
  • Overly aggressive behavior
  • Lack of maturity
  • Lack of interest and enthusiasm
  • Nervousness or lack of confidence and poise
  • Responding vaguely to questions
  • No genuine interest in the company or job
  • Lack of planning for career; no purpose and no goals
  • Over-emphasis on money
  • Unwillingness to start at the bottom
  • Negative attitude about past employers
  • Failure to express appreciation for interviewer's time
Application

Many clients will ask you to fill out an application when you arrive. and many will have you fill it out prior to your interview to be brought with you or to be submitted electronically.

Make sure everything you enter is accurate as a background check will most probably be performed

If there is anything that MIGHT come up in a background search---Please make sure your G&S Recruiting Specialist is informed of this.

Make sure your handwriting is neat and legible.

Please remember to write G&S Technology Group as the referring agency.

Make sure the application is filled out in entirety

If you are unsure of any precise details—leave this blank and make sure you discuss with your G&S Recruiting Specialist.

Some of our clients will have you fill out an application upon arrival , and others will have you do this  prior to your interview and will have you either submit it electronically  or bring it with you to the interview, Your G&S Recruiting  Specialist will discuss this with you. NEED LINK  to (See Application Dropdown below)

Dress For Success—First  impressions mean everything ! Your dress should be appropriate and on the conservative side for the company and industry. NEED LINK to   (See Dress For Success Dropdown below)

Practice

 

FINALE

If possible and time allows--Always ask a few good questions (See Questions To Ask Dropdown) ,

NEED LINK to (See Questions To Ask Dropdown)