During my search, I have been doing a lot of phone and face-to-face interviews and I want to share some suggestions that’s made me confident.
First, you’ll want to mentally prepare yourself. Reflect on the job you want and how you’re sure you’ll deliver in that job. In reality, we can accomplish anything. This isn’t an inspirational statement, it’s a fact. We all get caught up in not becoming who we want to be based on what someone else stamping qualifications on us. The reality is that we can become anyone we want– anyone who can come of anything outside of a popularity contest such as the presidency. I’m talking about concrete attainment– A equals B; you do this, you obtain that, etc. This guy is a fucking six year old girl.
Again my stepfather graduated from Georgetown with a Bachelors in Literature and he’s since been a Manager at CVS, an Account Manager for a branding agency, and now a Job Recruiter. I’ve composed a table to exemplify how broad and interchangeable our abilities are. This little bit of research will assist in pushing your talking points.
We’ve already looked for several common denominators that converted the resume from one type of resume to another. Now we have to believe that those things means the another thing and verbalize it. This is when you start telling yourself you’re a Retail Store Manager or an Account Manager or a Recruiter or whatever. I mean, if your role actually did change from Retail Store Manager to Account Manager with very minor changes to your main responsibilities, what would you do? Imagine your capacity, what kinds of responsibilities would be introduced to you, how guarding inventory is similar to guarding an account, and then vocalize what you imagine by telling the interviewer that that’s who you are.
You’d most likely get an email setting and confirming a date and time for the phone interview. I always Facebook or check the LinkedIn of the sender of the email. This is just something I do with everyone. I love getting into people’s business.
Before you go in, be sure to look over which resume you submitted so you can be prepared for the talking points they’d likely bring up.
So an anonymous number pops up on your phone screen.
- Your first thought should be whether or not your surroundings are quiet. The car is the best place for an interview. If not, a closet, a spacious room to wander around, or an office huddle room is great. Anywhere to get away from the embarrassment of bragging about yourself in front of others– because that’s what interviews basically are.
- You answer. “Hi, Sarah? This is Pete Campbell from Sterling Cooper responding to the resume you submitted for the Account Manager position. Do you have a minute to talk?”
- Remember the name of the interviewer and the position. Repeating their name is very impressive. “Yes, this is a good time to talk. How are you?”
- Interviewer: “Great! We were really impressed with your resume and wanted to talk a little more about you being a good fit for our company. Why are you interested in working for Sterling Cooper?”
- You: “I’m mainly responsible for assigning daily tasks to employees and taking corrective action at the moment. I wanted to offer my skillset to a new company but I mostly wanted to take up new skills through a new role. I “
- Interviewer: “I see you’re located in Philadelphia. Why are you interested in moving to Manhattan.”
- You: “My husband and I recently gave birth to our son but we hardly have any family support where we live. My relatives currently live in and around the county. We wanted to move forward to an area we know we will be supported.”
Basically have to have an answer for everything. I mean, what you should really be doing is studying four year old kids’ negotiation skills.
- “What’s your biggest weakness?”
- “My biggest weakness is that I take myself too seriously. I value focusing in on my work as opposed to socializing while at work. Fortunately, I’ve had an opportunity to become better about balancing work and fun through an invitation to my supervisors’ church. I try to go every Sunday if I’m not reviewing memos.”
- Interviewer: “How proficient are you in Microsoft Office applications?”
- You: “Well, I’m a millennial so I basically grew up on them. If anything, I adapt to any kind of technology very easily.”
The internet will give you a script but there’s no physical template you should be following. I love phone phone interviews because they’re way less nerve-racking than in-person interviews. Phone interviews help me practice talking loudly; next to your responses, interviewers are minding how loudly and clearly you are talking.
During an in-person interview, appearance, body language, and demeanor are the primary characteristics interviewers are minding. There’s no telling what the interviewer prefers in terms of appearance. I always go in wearing pointed-toe flats because I’m a terrible heel-walker. I basically dress like a librarian– collared dresses, midi skirts, professional sweaters. Hopefully everything works out in my favor in the kooky, quirky way Jess Day portrays.
A face-to-face is similar to a phone interview in terms of evaluation but the interviewer in a FTF might want to make use of the potential of the tone becoming casual. I generally try to consider interviews a professional hang out sesh– the interviewer just wants to get to know you. They want to see how well you compact being professional and cool at the same time. Every question the interviewer asks, consider sprinkling your responses with a personal fun fact but not one in which you’re boasting. Once you get into the thick of the interview, the interviewer might start to like you and share some tidbits about their life. At this point it’s appropriate to share some tidbits back, which is awesome because sharing personal experiences that make you proud should come easily; not only that, your stories might be entertaining and impressive. This is where I’ve established a formula to keep from rambling.
For every two questions the interviewer asks, share a brief story that showcases your storytelling skills on the third question. And always tell the story to bring it right back to how it applies to a work environment.
- “I want to take up new challenges because I’m really grateful for all the skills I’ve learned thus far. Before I enlisted in the military, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had just finished my second year at St. John’s and returning for a third year wasn’t an option. After graduating from training, I realized I had become a totally different person. I was quicker, I retained material more easily, I was optimistic. From there on out, I was a sponge. When I was offered the management position with CVS, I learned that there was even more to learn. I’m all about growth and I think that I could contribute what I’ve learned to an organization that would value my skillset. At this point in my life, however, I also want to settle down in this area with my family in a role that could grow with me.”
In this statement, I showcased a little bit about my life experience, I showcased my drive, and I told the interviewer that this role better be promotable.
I’ve thought about doing a classic brown-nosing casual mentioning of something I know the interviewer is into. I’ve also thought about simply saying, “I checked your LinkedIn. It’s incredible we have access to so much these days! Well, I saw you went to school in Massachusetts for a little. I was stationed up there just south of Amherst for about a year.” It might spark more conversation; it might creep the interviewer out. You’ll never know until you try!
The interviewer will finally ask if you have any questions. You could Google any site and store an inventory of standard end-of-interview questions for the end of the interview. I always say, “I just have one question– Are you looking for an immediate hire?” Once they answer that, I’ll then say, “Understood. I actually have one more question” and then I’ll ask the interviewer something entailing the marketability or efficiency of their product, service, or business.
I put two months notice in with my job because there was a gray area regarding a potential base transfer up north. This also gave them an opportunity to decide if I was of value to them. Fortunately, with them being informed, I comfortably took phone interviews on the job before they decided that I was of value to them. Cool!