Interview Insights | Interview Question: What do you like to do for fun?

running

What do you like to do in your free time?

The best employees have outside interests. They can include spending time with family, running marathons, organizing cook-outs, or reading novels. A well-rounded employee is marketable and your outside interests could very well boost your odds of getting an offer — it all depends on your specific interests. Continue reading

You Nailed the Interview — Now What?

One of the most difficult parts of any application—to a school program, for a job, etc.—is the interview. Often, depending on what you’re applying for, there are multiple interviews involved. But it’s that first one that will probably weigh on you for weeks, cause you to look up innumerable tips and strategies, and make you queasy the morning of.

The good news is, if you’ve done all this preparation for the interview, you’re probably going to nail it! And really, there’s no better feeling than sitting across the desk from a prospective employer and having all the right answers to his or her questions. Unfortunately, as great as this feeling is, it’s not the end of the process. In many cases, a strong applicant is expected to follow up on even the most successful of interviews.

So how does that work? Well, it’s actually a more intricate process than you may expect! But to help you out, here are a few tips on how to appropriately follow up after a successful interview.

For starters, there can be a difference between following up and sending a thank you note. An article on this same topic at The Muse made an important note in this regard, arguing that applicants should “get that thank you note out with lightning speed.” Indeed, politeness and humility are crucial in any application process. It’s important to let your interviewers know that you were grateful for the opportunity to express yourself in person, answer their questions, and so forth. A quick thank-you note immediately following the interview is a great way to start the follow-up process.

Next, before you delve further into the process of following up and awaiting a reply, it’s probably best to do some very honest self-reflection about your interview process, and how the interview itself went. Generally speaking, self-reflection is a huge part of applying to any school program or job. In a blog post for Menlo Coaching, Alice van Harten talks at length about how to address questions that ask you to assess previous failures or shortcomings. Incidentally, I’d highly recommend reading about this topic before you undergo an interview in the first place, as it’s something that commonly comes up. However, even after the interview, the thought process of answering these questions appropriately is important to understand. Applicants have to be able to look back at the interview and honestly understand where it went well, and where it may not have. Understanding your own performance will help you to strike the right tone moving forward.

When you’ve had time to send a thank-you note and assess your own interview performance, it’s time to think about an actual follow up, which should occur a short time after the interview. And at this stage, one of the most common questions people seem to have (at least in my own experience) is how, literally, to follow up. Email? Telephone? Text Message? Well, I’d point you toward an article in Mashable for the correct answer in this regard. In that article, the writer suggested reverting to the last communication medium used by the company (or employer, etc.) before the interview took place. So, if the last message you heard came via email, follow up via email.

As for what you actually say in the follow up, it will depend a great deal on what you’re applying for and how the interview went. It would be difficult to advise on any follow-up questions to ask or statements to make in a broad sense. However, one common tip that a lot of experienced applicants tend to act on is to record as much as possible about the actual interview once it’s over. Writing down specific information, high and low points, questions that might come to you right after the interview, etc. can give you a strong foundation for the follow-up. With this kind of information on hand you’ll be able to structure a few strategic points to emphasize and come up with some follow-up questions to ask when you do contact your potential employer again. If you need help with this, recruitment specialist Tony Beshara has even written up a template you can use to record your post-interview thoughts!

And the rest is up to you! Just remember to be prompt, concise, honest, humble, and positive, and you’ll likely craft a follow up that will boost your application just the way you hope.

Interview Insights | Key Question: Are you willing to relocate?

Interview question: Are you willing to relocate?

Which bucket do you fall into?

  • You have no intention of moving.
  • You are you single and flexible.
  • You love to explore the world.
  • You need to learn about the specific opportunity before saying yes or no.

Continue reading

Interview Insights | Key Question: What didn’t you enjoy about your former bosses or managers?

bossWhat didn’t you enjoy about your former bosses or managers?

Make sure to do extensive research on your new boss in anticipation of having to answer this question. Specifically, look them up on LinkedIn. Read their recommendations and endorsements to get a better sense for her leadership style. If you do not find anything then tread lightly. Ultimately, this question should not be sidestepped. Continue reading

Interview Insights | Key Question: What didn’t you enjoy about your last job?

hate-job-2What didn’t you enjoy about your last job?

You likely have a laundry list of items; yet, it is in poor form to complain during an interview.

So what’s behind this question? What are interviewers trying to figure out? Continue reading

Interview Insights | Interview Question: What are your salary expectations?

Salary-expectations-600x400What are your salary expectations?

There are a few great ways to approach this question as well as lame ones. The best way to tackle this question begins with your expected financial contributions to a firm. The worse way to respond to this question is with silence. This question takes as much self-awareness as it does your ability to research prospective salary ranges in your local market. Continue reading

Interview Insights | Key Question: Why don’t we start with you asking me questions. [Template & Sample]

question mark with speech bubles, vector on the abstract backgroundInterview question: Why don’t we start with you asking me questions.

Typically interviews begin with a broad description of the role that you are gunning for. Admit it, at that time, you’ll usually gather your thoughts, breathe, and prepare yourself mentally for responding to the eventual onslaught of interview questions that you prepared for. Continue reading

The 3 Least Intimidating Yet Effective Ways to Resurrect Your Stale Network

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Do either of the following scenarios sound familiar? 

You started out in education, but gradually moved into the marketing industry where you’ve worked for the past 15 years.  At this point in your career you want to return to education and have your eye on working for your alma mater.  Continue reading

Interview Insights | Key Question: What role will you play on the team? [Template & Sample]

team-leaders-changing-roleInterview question: What role will you play on the team?

This question comes from a recent client engagement. The goal was to uncover my client’s unique selling proposition.

The best way to do this is to see how you stack up verses your peers. Continue reading