PREPARE FOR YOUR INTERVIEW
PREPARATION IS THE KEY TO SUCESS
The more time you spend preparing for an upcoming interview, the better impression you will make, and the more likely you will be hired. Below are some great videos to get you started. Watch the videos and then complete the form at the bottom of the page to notify your hiring manager.
PREPARE FOR YOUR INTERVIEW
Showing up to your interview unprepared and believing you will just “wing it” is a huge mistake.
Spend at least one hour thoroughly reading every page on the company’s web site.
It is extremely important that you are able to talk intelligently about what they do.
Understand exactly what products or services the company sells and who are their customers.
Be prepared to intelligently answer the question, “Tell me what we do here?”
What does the company do really well and what makes them unique?
What are their challenges?
Check out their competitors’ web pages too…it’s important to get a good feel for the industry and who the players are.
Google the company to read news articles, social medial posts, and employee reviews to be armed with great conversation topics.
Read the hiring manager’s LinkedIn profile to learn about his previous positions, where he or she went to school, and hobbies.
Jot down bullet points in a notebook and bring them to the interview.
This will prove that you did your homework and really want the job.
Before you receive a job offer, rest assured that the hiring team will look search for you on Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see if they can learn a little bit more about you.
So review all of your social media pages right now to remove any controversial posts or pictures.
First, create a free account on a site called BrandYourself.com.
It’s an awesome service that shows you what public content of yours is viewable to others.
If you spot any pictures or text featuring excessively partying, political rants, foul language, sexual situations, drugs, or anything that makes you wonder if it would be inappropriate, remove it immediately.
A good rule of thumb: If you would be embarrassed if your new boss, colleagues, or your grandmother saw the content, then remove it immediately.
You could always add it back AFTER you’ve been hired.
For now though, you want to have a squeaky clean public image.
The best way avoid being nervous during an interview is to anticipate questions you may be asked and then thoroughly prepare your answers beforehand.
It’s rare that you should be surprised by a question.
It’s the uncertainty of being forced to quickly think of a clever answer on the spot that makes job-seekers’ hands sweat.
Turn that nervous energy into confidence. It’s easy!
If you practice your answers ahead of time — in front with a friend or the mirror — you’ll be relaxed, confident, and ready to impress the hiring manager.
Here are nine popular questions.
Prepare your answers now because most likely, you’re going to get at least some of them.
“Tell me about yourself?”
“Why do you want to work here?”
“What are your strengths?”
“What are your weaknesses?”
“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
“What is your greatest accomplishment?”
“Describe a setback you’ve faced and how you overcame it.”
“What did you do at your former company?”
“Why should we hire you?”
Google “what’s the best way to answer the question” for ideas of what to include in your answers.
Make sure your answers sound appropriate for you.
Also expect to receive questions about your most recent one or two work experiences.
What was it like to work at this company? or What did you do there?
You should have a few examples of well-thought out answers for these questions.
Each answer should convey a positive attribute about you — a technical skill, character trait, etc.
Never lie or mislead.
Just be honest, transparent, and be yourself.
Avoid canned responses that sound fake or memorized.
Schedule 15-minute for an interview prep call preferably on video and at least a couple days before your scheduled interview time — with your 7 Eagle Group Manager.
He or she knows exactly what the hiring manager wants to hear from you.
You can practice answers to popular questions and get any last-minute questions answered about the position or company.
This “behind-the-scenes” information will help you build confidence, ace the interview, and give you a huge edge of your competitors.
STEP 1 — MAKE SURE ZOOM WORKS, YOUR CAMERA & AUDIO
- If you plan to us a laptop, confirm the Video and Audio to work properly. Test it with a friend.
- If you plan to use a Cell Phone (often a lot easier than a laptop and better quality too), download the free Zoom or Teams app.
STEP 2 — STAGE YOUR ROOM
- Identify a bright spot in your house so the video quality is sharp.
- The light source should be in front of you so your face is clear.
- A solid color wall free of clutter is an ideal backdrop.
- Select at quiet room free of dogs, TVs playing, or other background noises.
STEP 3 — POSITION YOUR CAMERA
- Prop up your phone or laptop on books or a shelf so it’s eye level (not looking up at you).
- Holding a phone while recording yourself results in a wobbly and amateur looking video
- Record horizontally, not vertically, so it’s a wide-angle view.
- Maintain eye contact with the camera lens when you are talking.
- If your eyes are looking down or at the ceiling, it conveys a lack of confidence.
STEP 4 — DRESS SHARP
- Wear the same outfit you would to attend an in-person interview — at least from the waist up!
- No tee shirts, baseball hats, or recording from your car seat.
- It’s okay to overdress!
- For example, a cyber analyst might wear a hoodie to work every day, but for an interview — or your Video Intro — you’ll be taken more seriously and make a great first impression if you wear a button-down shirt.
STEP 5 — BE YOURSELF
- Imagine you’re having a casual and relaxed conversation with a buddy.
- You want to appear loose and not come off as stiff.
- Do not read from a script.
- It’s extremely easy for a hiring manager to notice your eyes darting back and forth, and that looks horrible.
- Just be yourself and let your personality shine.
- That always makes the best impression.
STEP 6 — SMILE!
- Smile often!
- It’s extremely important that you look like you’re having fun, enjoying yourself, and would be a pleasure to work with you.
- It’s okay to laugh and not be so serious.
STEP 7 — ENTHUSIASTIC TONE
- Show energy and enthusiasm in your voice, hand gestures, and facial expressions.
- It’s crucial you sound excited for this job opportunity.
- Dull, monotone, and super serious candidates rarely get hired.
STEP 8 — BE CONFIDENT
- Be aware of your posture.
- Sit tall in your chair – shoulders back, no slouching, no crossed arms.
STEP 9 — THINK THROUGH WANT YOU WANT TO SAY
- Spend 30 minutes now thinking about what you want to say when we’re recording, and your Video Intro will be amazing.
- Again, don’t memorize or write down a script. Just think about what you would say so you’re relaxed and confident when the camera is rolling.
Keep the focus on why you’re a great candidate. It’s okay to boast about your accomplishments. This is no place to be modest!
- Avoid long-winded answers and irrelevant details — be concise and get your points across quickly and confidently.
HOW TO IMPRESS ON INTERVIEW DAY
If you’re unsure what to wear, the safe play is to overdress so you look professional.
Dress one rank above — for example, wear what the supervisor of the position you’re going for wears.
Even if the position only requires casual attire, wear nicer clothes so you make a great first impression.
For guys: never wear anything less than slacks, button-down dress shirt, dress shoes, dark dress socks. No jeans, tee-shirts, baseball hats, sneakers, etc.
For women: appropriate business interview attire like skirt, jacket, nice shoes, etc.
Iron your interview attire or get it dry-cleaned…no wrinkles!
Shower, shave, use deodorant, and brush your hair…look sharp!
Go easy on the cologne or perfume…you don’t want your scent to be how they remember you.
Cover up any tattoos if possible.
Remove excessive jewelry.
Never smoke before the interview. The smell will stay on your clothes.
Take pride in your appearance so you look sharp, You’ll feel more confident and impress any hiring manager.
Plug in the address of the hiring company into Google Maps beforehand so you know exactly what time you need to leave your house.
Arrive at least 30 minutes early so you’re relaxed and not stressed and sweaty from rushing.
It’s important that you arrive with time to spare.
NEVER be late to an interview. It’s an instant way to get put in the reject pile.
You should print the directions too just in case you lose internet connection while driving.
Also make sure you have the name of the person interviewing you, his or her phone and email, and any specific parking or building entry instructions.
If you sense you will be even five minutes late, ALWAYS phone the interviewer as soon as possible before your allotted time to apologize and let him/her know when you will arrive.
If you cannot connect to the hiring manager, call your 7 Eagle Group manager immediately.
Arrive early to your interview so you are calm and ready to go.
Wait in your car beforehand and listen to music or relax with deep breathing.
You can even go for a walk to get some nervous energy out.
Imagine a scene in your mind of you nailing the interview, and impressing the hiring manager, and getting offered the job.
Play it over and over.
Be confident and plan on success!
Do a touchdown pose in the parking lot or in the the bathroom — hands over your head and repeat confidently to yourself, “I got this!”
It sounds silly, but it’s scientifically proven to have a positive effect and increase your performance.
Leave your phone in the car.
If you do bring it to the interview, turn it off, and NEVER take it out of your pocket.
Do NOT smoke a cigarette before your interview…you don’t want to stink.
Enter the building five minutes early…no sooner!
The first impression you convey to the hiring managers is crucial, so make it count!
Be the first to extend your hand and give a warm greeting, i.e. “Hi, I’m Jordie, it’s so nice to meet you and thank you so much for this opportunity to interview for the position. I’m really excited.”
Use a firm handshake…no wet fishes!
Mirror the strength of the handshake. If you get a firm one, give a firm one back. If you get a more delicate one, don’t crush the other person’s knuckles.
Maintain good eye contact. Smile often!
Have an upbeat and enthusiastic attitude.
Pay attention and be in the moment.
This is so important.
Employers hire people who are friendly, have a great position attitude, and fun.
Watch your posture when standing or seated…head up, shoulders back, chest out…carry yourself tall.
Do not slouch. It makes you look small and weak.
When sitting, rest you hands comfortably in your lap, fingers crossed.
Do not cross arms or place your elbows on the table.
It’s okay to have one leg crossed, heel or shin resting on opposite knee.
Your shoulders should always face the person you’re speaking to.
Be friendly to anyone you meet…assistants, other job applicants, the janitor, etc.
You never know who can influence the hiring decision.
It’s really important that you’re comfortable talking with people you’ve just met and are good at small talk.
Google “how to small talk” so you’re confident starting a light conversation.
Definitely watch Amy Cuddy’s Ted.com talk on body language…it’s excellent!
Make sure to watch our video featured on our app, “Prepare For Your Interview Questions” if you haven’t yet.
It’s crucial that you anticipate the questions you are going to receive before the actual interview so you have time to prepare great answers.
Do this and you’ll feel less nervous.
You’ll interview with more confidence because you won’t have the uneasy feeling of having to think of a clever answer on the spot.
You’ll already know the answers you want to provide.
Now this one is important.
When answering questions, always talk in terms of what the company wants, not what you want. i.e.
Here is an example of a self-serving answer a hiring manager does not want to hear.
“I’m looking for a company where I can develop my skills and have more job stability,”
Instead, talk only about the value and contribution you will bring to the company — specifically about how you are going to help the company achieve its goals, increase profits, and what makes you a great employee.
It’s okay to take a couple of seconds to think about what you want to say before you begin talking.
You won’t be penalized for this.
In fact, it shows that you are engaged, paying attention, and eager to give a great response.
Answer each question you get succinctly and then stop talking.
Do not ramble on.
Memorize at least one great example from the military or past jobs that demonstrates your top notch skills, dedication, hard-work ethic, leadership, etc.
Prepare a different example for each of your best character traits.
When constructing your answers, use this format:
Describe the problem, describe what you did to solve it, and then describe the specific result you achieved.
Don’t just say you’re a hard worker or a people person.
That’s vague and meaningless.
Give a specific and measurable example that proves it.
Hiring managers want to hear how handle a challenge, deal with adversity, lead co-workers, take direction, communicate with customers, generate new business, reduce expenses, etc.
Here’s an example: ”Our entire staff was divided on how to obtain an important new account. I decided to get everyone together and I led a really construction discussion that got everyone back on track. As a result, we landed the account which generated $75,000 in new revenue…our biggest account to date. My boss was so impressed with my initiative, that invited me to lunch with the CEO.”
Answering questions like this proves that you’re results-oriented and focused…traits employers love.
Also, keep every answer positive.
Never speak badly about a past boss, company, or colleague — even if you were fired or hated your boss.
That reflects poorly on you.
Right up until the point you receive a job offer — during all of your interviews — imagine you are a sales rep and the hiring manager is a potential customer.
Remember, you are only one of many candidates and it is up to you to convince the hiring manager that you are the best match.
So constantly promote yourself and let the manager know about how much value you can bring to their organization.
Volunteer this information throughout the interview…don’t make him or her have to pry to get it out of you.
Now is not the time for modesty — it’s okay to boast about your accomplishments in a non-conceited manner.
Don’t make the mistake of sitting back and having the attitude that the hiring manager must convince on why you should work at the company.
Even if you’re in demand and other companies are recruiting you aggressively, continue to think of yourself as a sales rep and the company as the buyer.
Remember, the more job offers you receive, the better position you’ll be in to get the highest possible salary.
Also, avoid asking the “self-serving questions” during the initial interviews — vacation days, the medical plan, promotions, and when is quitting time each day.
If you do, the company will assume you are more concerned with your own needs and probably not the team-player they want to hire.
For now, your job is to constantly sell yourself.
Once the hiring manager is convinced you’re the best person for the job and decides to make you an offer to you, then the roles flip.
You can now become the buyer, the hiring manager becomes the seller, and you can get all of your concerns and questions addressed.
As your interview winds down, you will be asked, “So, what questions do you have for us”
Always have a few well thought out questions ready to ask.
It’s a horrible mistake to say, “No questions. You answered everything.”
Hiring managers take that as a sign of non-interest.
Avoid questions that are easily found on the web page (i.e. “When were you founded? What products do you offer?”) — it just proves you did not do your homework.
If you need some clever ideas of what to ask, Google “Best interview questions to ask.”
Two good ones:
What makes someone great at this position and what are the biggest challenges someone in this position faces?
However he or she answers those questions, follow them up with positive statements.
For example, if the manager says “Anyone who can sell $250,000 of product/year is a superstar employee.” explain how you’ve always exceeded all of your sales goals and provide numbers to back it up.
If the manager says, “One of the challenges of working here is you need to have a flexible schedule and be willing to travel 25% of the time,” say “I love to travel and would thoroughly enjoy working in a variety of locations…it would never be dull, that’s for sure!”
Remember, you’re interviewing the company as well to make sure this position will be a good fit for you.
These two questions also give you a chance to evaluate if your potential new boss’ expectations are realistic and this is a company you can envision yourself working for.
Avoid all self-serving questions dealing with work hours, vacation days, benefits, salary, promotions, company car, etc. until AFTER you get an offer.
If you get asked the question, “So what’s your salary requirement?”, that’s a great sign they’re interested in you.
However, this is a tricky one so be careful how you answer it because it could cost you dearly.
Resist the urge to divulge the salary you want.
Think of this as a poker game with the goal being to get the hiring manager to lay down his or her cards on the table first.
Once you share a specific salary, you might just have priced yourself too high — or too low — for the position.
A much better strategy is to negotiate your salary after you get an offer.
If asked the question, answer with something like:
“I’m 100% confident we’ll be able to work out a fair salary if you decide to offer me a position.
I’m more concerned right now with making sure that I’m a good fit for you and that this company is the best place for my career right now.”
If asked an illegal question like ”What are you making right now?”, the best approach is not to call them out on it, but to instead respond with a vague answer like:
I would prefer to focus on the value I can add to this company rather than what I’m paid at my current job. I don’t have a specific number in mind for a desired salary, and you know better than I do what value my skillset and experience could bring to your company. I’m excited about _____(mention something specific that demonstrates your interest in the job) and am looking forward to hearing more about your goals for this position. I want this move to be a big step forward for me in terms of both responsibility and compensation.”
Expect your interview to reveal some concerns you may have about working at the company — maybe red flags regarding vacations, the medical plan, salary increases, promotions, work hours, or something you witnessed during the interview.
Addressing your concerns during this first interview is often a mistake.
It makes you sounds like someone who is only interested in him or herself, or someone who is going to complain a lot.
For example, the manager mentions that all employees are required to work every other Saturday. If you question that policy now, it will look like you’re not a team player.
It’s much more important for you to keep the tone of this initial meeting positive and upbeat.
There will be plenty of opportunities to get all of your concerns addressed after you get the job offer.
It’s much easier to negotiate too and get exactly what you want once the client decides you’re their #1 choice.
As the interview winds down and you sense that they like you and this company is your top choice, go right at them with a question like this:
“What concerns do you have about me being a perfect fit for this position?
Anything about my skills or background that I can clarify?”
When you’re finished with the interview, give the hiring manager a firm handshake, look him or her in the eye, stand up tall and leave them with a confident statement about why you’re the best fit for the position.
Something like this:
“You mentioned you need someone to manage and supervise the 75 manufacturing workers and improve the production numbers. I know I can do that exceptionally well for you and exceed all of your expectations. This is right in my wheelhouse and exactly what I want to do with my career right now. I’ll represent your organization with nothing but class and professionalism. Give me a shot, and I’m you’ll be proud you selected me. Thanks again for the opportunity to be considered for this critical position. I really appreciate your time and would be honored to join your team.”
Make sure you get the business cards of anyone you met so you can send thank you notes the moment you get home.
PLEASE COMPLETE THIS FORM BEFORE YOUR INTERVIEW
IMMEDIATE AFTER YOUR INTERVIEW
It’s important you take five minutes immediately upon exiting the interview to phone your 7 Eagle Group manager. Don’t wait until you get home.
We want to hear from you while everything is fresh in your mind.
The company’s hiring manager usually phones us right away and it’s important for us to know exactly what you liked and didn’t like about the company.
If there’s mutual interest, the manager usually wants to know what it will take financially to get you to accept an offer
Honest feedback puts us in a strong position to best represent you and obtain the financial package you want.
Write a hand-written thank you note to everyone who interviewed you and mail it immediately.
An old-fashioned letter proves that you really want the job and makes a powerful impression because so few people make this effort.
If you prefer email, send it immediate after you get home.
Double-check all spelling of names and titles before sending the letter or email.
Keep it brief and reiterate your interest and how much value you could bring to the company.
Mention something specific from the interview so your letter has a personal feel.
If you’re unsure what to write, email a draft to your 7 Eagle Group manager if you would like to have an outside opinion on your note before you send it.
THANK YOU NOTE TEMPLATE
Address it to a person or team (pick one)
- Dear Bob,
- Good morning Ms. Smith,
- Hello Interview Team,
Open with Gratitude (pick one or write your own)
- Thank you so much for meeting with me today.
- I really appreciate the opportunity to meet with you today.
Make it personal – include something about the interview/company/you (pick one to two or write your own)
- It was such a pleasure to learn more about <company/team/position/unique approach>.
- I’m very excited about the opportunity to join and help with your team.
- I know I would be a great asset to and could bring me to the <position/specific work center>.
- I know my experience in ____ will be an asset to ____.
Close it with more gratitude (pick one or two, or write your own)
- I look forward to hearing from you soon.
- Thank you again for meeting with me.
- I appreciate your time and look forward to talking again soon.