The job interview is your opportunity to sell yourself face-to-face. There are numerous books on this important aspect of your career. This section highlights the most important things you should know about interviewing.
Before your interview appointment, go over the job description or ad, and reread your cover letter and resume. These are the documents that your interviewer has and will base some of the interview upon. Consider what questions might come from these sources and be ready to answer them. For example, if your resume outlines your success selling widgets, be prepared to back it up with additional facts.
You also must be ready mentally and emotionally. Be focused on your interview and don't walk in thinking about the parking ticket you might get. Don't be late. Be neat and clean. Dress for success. Be confident in the outcome. Relax and enjoy this opportunity to present yourself as you learn about the opportunities. Remember that you are hiring an employer, not just she you.
Behavioral interviews are the most common. The interviewer will ask you a variety of open-ended questions to learn more about you as well as how you respond. Typical questions are:
Tell me about the time when you had to make a very problematic sales decision.
Give me an example of something innovative that you've done.
Tell me how you've handled an irate customer.
Give me an example of a time when you've had to walk away from a sale.
Describe the situation when you've had to work with someone you didn't like.
These questions are intended to determine facts not presented in your resume. Be attentive to the type of questions asked, as they can help you better understand your employer. In addition, don't be afraid to ask for a clarification so that you can answer the question more accurately.
Stress interviews are used when the job requires the employee to handle stress well. This can be true in positions that interface with the public, such as sales and customer service. Your answer, often, is not as important as how you respond. Here are some examples:
I'm not sure that you're responding well to me. Can you answer that question again?
What would you do if you discovered that your boss was taking merchandise home?
What do you think is wrong with the country today?
How do you feel that this interview is going?
What questions can and cannot an interviewer ask?
Labor and anti-discrimination law states that employers cannot ask questions that may bias them about candidates on the basis of race, creed, religion, or gender. For the specifics of current labor laws, contact the U.S. Department of Labor.
Your response should be thought out and not impulsive. In fact, the interviewer probably is trying to make you mad or upset in order to gauge your anger. As you know, anger has no place in the workplace. Be very careful that you don't take the bait.
Two sales are being made simultaneously at job interviews. You are selling yourself, and the interviewer should be selling the employer. That means you should be asking questions of the interviewer and others to discover what you can expect as an employee. In addition to salary and benefits, you can ask:
How do you see me fitting into your company?
What is the company's mission, and how is it doing toward fulfilling it?
If hired, what opportunities for growth are available to me?
Why should I not consider this job as my next?
You want to be sure of hiring your next employer. You want it to be a mutually profitable partnership that also fits into your long-term career and personal goals. You want your employer to give you a compelling reason to “buy.”