With few exceptions, sitting in that chair getting ready for the interview can be nerving-racking; and the best way to take the edge off is to be prepared with answers to tough interview questions before you go in. To help you do just that, Kevin Donlin sat down and dived deep into David Perry’s well of experience and knowledge. What follows are the results and answers.
Butterflies are natural, as is confidence that comes from great preparation.
Guerrilla Job Interview Secrets
By Kevin Donlin
The competition for jobs today is tough.
And that means you will face some pretty tough interview questions from employers, who can afford to be choosy.
This is where David Perry, a working recruiter with 22 years of experience, and author of “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0,” can help you.
I interviewed Perry, who offers the following advice to help turn your next interview into a job offer …
Kevin Donlin: “I get a lot of email about this — when the interviewer asks that question we all hate, ‘Tell me about yourself?’ how should people respond?”
David Perry: “There’s really only one response. Memorize this: ‘I’d love to. Exactly where would you like me to begin?’
“That response lets the employer set the priority, and it gives you an indication of where to start talking. I have asked this question to candidates and they’ve said things like, ‘Um, well, I was born in New York City in 1950 …’ and I really don’t care.
“Five minutes later, when you’re still talking about high school, the interview is over. So, let the employer set the priority and make sure you know ahead of time what you are going to say.”
Kevin: “Another common interview question — usually at the end — is, ‘Do you have any questions for me?’ How can smart candidates reply?”
David: “You need to think ahead and be ready for this, because you will be judged by the quality of questions you ask.
“Here are four questions you could ask employers to show how smart you are …
1) “Ms/Mr. Employer, what are some major short- and long-range objectives that the company really has?” As you’re saying that, underline with your voice the word really.
“Do this because it makes them really think. I mean, everybody’s read the corporate website or brochure. Everybody knows what the CEO wants to do this year.
“What are the real objectives? Ask and hiring managers will tell you. And when they do, they’re telling you what’s key to their success as your boss, which is vitally important. Because, no matter what job you seek, everyone gets hired for the same job: To make your boss look good.
2) “Here’s another great question: ‘Ms./Mr. Employer, what are two or three characteristics you feel make your company unique?’
“The employer will pause, and then they’ll start to sell you on the company and the position. Also, they will very likely think: ‘Oh, my gosh! This person has another job offer!’
“You don’t even have to say anything. They think you have another offer. They start to take you very seriously. And they start to sell to you. It’s a beautiful moment in the interview.
3) “Next, you want to ask them, ‘In what areas does this company excel? And where does the company have limitations?’
“This is important because the answer will tell you what’s important to the company, and it’s probably going to tell you what’s important to them as a hiring manager.
“This lets you dig into your collection of achievements and say, ‘We had that same issue once, and here’s what we did about it.’
4) “The last question you want to ask, and it is always the last question, is this: ‘What would you add or subtract to increase efficiency at this company?’ This will tell you what you need to do to make that job work for you in the company.
“Once again, dig into your collection of success stories and pull out something relevant.”
Kevin: “Great stuff. Any final advice?”
David: “Yes, let me add something important. When you ask questions, you’re going to be judged by how well you listen to the interviewer’s responses. Make it a point to listen actively and attentively.
“If you just sit there nodding like a bobble-head doll, looking like you want to move on to the next question, you could be toast. Listen with your whole body because your body language speaks volumes.”
Hyo’s note – Having answers to tough questions is understanding that an interview is a give and take – a deep conversation between 2 parties sincerely interested in each other – not an interrogation. So, reflect on David’s advice and good luck.
About the Author –
Kevin is contributing co-author of “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap Into the Hidden Job Market using Social Media and 999 other Tactics Today” and “Guerrilla Resumes” (Which I review here). Since 1996, he has provided job search assistance to more than 20,000 people. Author of “51 Ways to Find a Job Fast — Guaranteed,” Kevin has been interviewed by USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Radio and others.Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. To learn about Guerrilla Resumes and how it could help you, visit his site at www.GuerrillaResumes.com