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Debbie S
03-23-2011, 10:51 PM
Here are some tips from a doc I got once (from a headhunter) about interview questions:


What information do you need to decide whether to work at this company? Make a list of at least 10 questions to take with you to the interview. Depending on who is interviewing you, your questions should vary.

• If you are interviewing with the hiring manager, ask questions about the job, the desired qualities and the challenges.
• If you are interviewing with the human resources manager, ask about the company and the department.
• If you are interviewing with management, ask about the industry and future projections. This is your chance to demonstrate your industry knowledge.The director of the dept would be considered management. So you'll want to ask about his/her thoughts on the future of the industry, and also the company and dept and where he/she thinks they are headed, how your role fits in, etc.

Aceon6
03-24-2011, 01:00 AM
Here are some tips from a doc I got once (from a headhunter) about interview questions:

The director of the dept would be considered management. So you'll want to ask about his/her thoughts on the future of the industry, and also the company and dept and where he/she thinks they are headed, how your role fits in, etc.

A good question series might be, "What is your group's major focus this year?" followed by "How do you see this role contributing to (whatever s/he said)?" With luck, his/her answer will give you an opportunity to show how your experience could help them reach their objectives.

As for the money part, the less you say the better. It's best for them to throw out the first number. Also, salary is only a part of the equation. If they don't offer health benefits, or if the amount you need to pay is quite high, a number that might sound good today may look really bad in your paycheck. If you're asked about the salary level you're looking for, just say that you are comfortable with the typical salary for this type of position and a lot depends on the total compensation package, not just the salary.

Before your interview, check their website to see if it has a benefits page and get an idea of what they offer. If you do get an offer, and they don't have the benefits info online, do ask about other components of the total compensation package such as health insurance and incentive pay. One thing though, never, never, never ask about time off.

Debbie S
03-24-2011, 03:45 AM
Real quickly, look up the company on glassceiling.com. They will have the salary ranges for your work at that company--that will give you an idea of what they offer. You can also look up salaries with competing companies to get a sense of how competitive their salaries are.I believe the website you are talking about is GlassDoor.com (http://www.glassdoor.com).

agalisgv
03-24-2011, 06:25 PM
I believe the website you are talking about is GlassDoor.com (http://www.glassdoor.com). Yes, thank you.

WRT questions, I would ask about the the short-term and long-term projections for the company. Are they in a period of expansion, or contraction? How have they weathered the recent economic slump? Where do they see themselves going in the next five years? In the next ten years?

What you need to know is how secure is this position. You don't want to start working somewhere only to be downsized six-months or a year later. So you want to get a sense as to the health and direction of the overall company, and particularly the area in which you'll be working.

Once you've determined that, ask questions about what opportunities do they provide to expand your skills. Do they have opportunities for promotion within the company? How does that work? I've found employers tend to look favorably on applicants who want to stretch themselves and look for long-term advancement within the company. It also signals to them at the outset you want to be viewed as an up and comer, and that can help when evaluating for future promotions.

I would also have ready a good spiel about how you are excited by the opportunities this particular company has to offer, and some ideas you have for contributing to the department. Sound confident, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable, and you should do well.

Best of luck!

FiveRinger
03-27-2011, 05:11 PM
Hello again---
I have another question, as I prepare for tomorrow's interview. The position that I am applying for had an original start date of Apr 4, and when this whole process started, there would have been enough time to give my current employer a full 2 weeks notice. It's become obvious that if I am offered the position and it does still have a start date of Apr 4, I won't be able to give my current employer full notice.

In my interview, if I am asked the question about a potential start date, how do I handle that? Do I tell them that I would prefer to give my current employer 2 weeks notice? Will I screw myself out of an offer? How will my potential employer feel about not giving 2 weeks notice? This scenario has me really nervous.

Debbie S
03-27-2011, 06:40 PM
Hello again---
I have another question, as I prepare for tomorrow's interview. The position that I am applying for had an original start date of Apr 4, and when this whole process started, there would have been enough time to give my current employer a full 2 weeks notice. It's become obvious that if I am offered the position and it does still have a start date of Apr 4, I won't be able to give my current employer full notice.LOL! I laugh b/c this is the scenario of pretty much every interview process I've been in. Everyone wants to fill the job ASAP. But job search processes being what they are, everything gets pushed back. Don't worry about what was originally listed on the job description. Based on where you describe they are in the process - just calling people in for in-person interviews - it will be at least a couple weeks. If they ask how soon you can start, just say that you need to give 2 weeks notice to your current employer but other than that, whenever they need you. And if they want a dedicated employee, they likely wouldn't want someone who would ditch their current employer at a moment's notice. :)

And the when-can-you-start question is really about seeing how interested you are in the job. Anything about notice to the current employer is fine (unless you're in a long-term contract and can't leave for 6 months or something). What a potential employer doesn't want to hear is that you have other interviews lined up and you're waiting to hear from them first - so just don't say something like that, even if it's true. ;)

Aceon6
03-27-2011, 07:02 PM
Agree, something along the lines of "On or after x date, as I need to give my current employer proper notice."

numbers123
03-27-2011, 11:43 PM
My sister does the hiring at her place of business. She is an account manager for a large corporation. She hires mostly support staff such as clerical, administrative, and above.

Here are some tips if you are interviewing:

Learn something about the company before you show up for your interview.

Dress neatly and professionally - dress slacks/jacket/dress/skirt for women and suit or dress slacks/shirt and tie for the men and appropriate shoes. She absolutely frowns upon women who have a lot of cleavage showing!!

Wear clothes that are pressed, fit well, and most importantly - clean!

Don't mumble, don't interrupt while the interviewer is speaking - save your questions and comments for later in the interview, when asked.

DON'T ASK ABOUT BENEFITS AND "PERKS". These are discussed after she makes an offer of employment.

That's not too much to ask!

I think that overdressing is better than not knowing what to wear. I would suggest a black or navy suit - shoes should not be noticable different colors than the suit. Absolutely no cleavage showing. Cover tattoos, unless you know that the company's dress code regarding tats. Same with piercings. As much as I love stilletto heels, I would never wear them to an interview because a) you might trip or get the heel caught in the elevator door and b) you probably don't know what appropriate shoe wear is for the company.

Posture - stand or sit upright, no slouching. Small thing, but that slight impression is a big thing.

Mumbling or lots of uhm/likes/you know/yeah - the interviewer is thinking what kind of phone presence is this person giving out.

One of the last job interviews I had - was a multi-level interview. And the "HR person" was uncomfortable in telling me who everyone was. Gave me the impression that the final person that I would interview with was the office secretary. I discovered later that she was in fact the hiring manager - and the director of the project. The fact that I didn't ask about perks really put her off - like I would be so desperate for a job that I didn't want to know why I would want to work there. I had in fact pulled off the company web page all the perks and felt it would be inappropriate to ask.


Hello again---
I have another question, as I prepare for tomorrow's interview. The position that I am applying for had an original start date of Apr 4, and when this whole process started, there would have been enough time to give my current employer a full 2 weeks notice. It's become obvious that if I am offered the position and it does still have a start date of Apr 4, I won't be able to give my current employer full notice.

In my interview, if I am asked the question about a potential start date, how do I handle that? Do I tell them that I would prefer to give my current employer 2 weeks notice? Will I screw myself out of an offer? How will my potential employer feel about not giving 2 weeks notice? This scenario has me really nervous.

I think any potential employer would want you to honor the previous employer's termination policy. If your current employer requires a 2 week notification, and you commit to that policy, the potential employer might/probably would feel that is a great quality in a new employee.

agalisgv
03-28-2011, 04:14 AM
I discovered later that she was in fact the hiring manager - and the director of the project. The fact that I didn't ask about perks really put her off - like I would be so desperate for a job that I didn't want to know why I would want to work there. I don't understand--she told you after the fact she didn't hire you because you didn't ask about perks and benefits?

Also, how are job benefits related to why you want to work at a place? The ideal is you (speaking generally) want to work somewhere not simply because of salary and perks, but because you feel you are a good fit for the work they do and their future vision for growth.

numbers123
03-28-2011, 04:36 AM
I don't understand--she told you after the fact she didn't hire you because you didn't ask about perks and benefits?

Also, how are job benefits related to why you want to work at a place? The ideal is you (speaking generally) want to work somewhere not simply because of salary and perks, but because you feel you are a good fit for the work they do and their future vision for growth.

No - I don't remember exactly how it was worded, but as soon as I said I didn't have any questions about perks, she asked if I had talked to anyone in HR..slammed shut her book and said this interview is complete.

Aceon6
03-28-2011, 02:18 PM
No - I don't remember exactly how it was worded, but as soon as I said I didn't have any questions about perks, she asked if I had talked to anyone in HR..slammed shut her book and said this interview is complete.

Hmmm. I guess I need to add a good answer to my stock list if that comes up, something along the lines of "The company website had good information on benefits. Could you tell me more about...?"

FiveRinger
03-29-2011, 10:20 PM
Hi guys! I just wanted to give a quick update. I went for my second interview yesterday morning. This time I interviewed with another manager and the director of the department. I was prepared to speak with the director, but not with the other manager, but I think that I managed to get through everything okay. This is a very member based organization, and I was able to stress how my experience related to them and how I could be an asset to the organization.

I was asked to fill out an application when I left. I hope that that's a good sign. I am supposed to get a response by end out week. And, thank goodness, the start date was pushed back to 4/18. I specifically asked this question, making it clear that I would like to give my current employer proper notice. I just emailed my thank yous--not enough time for snail mail.

Again, thanks to everyone here for your invaluable support and your willingness to answer all of my questions, no matter how trite. I will keep all of you posted. Fingers and toes are definitely crossed!!! :)

skaternum
03-29-2011, 11:01 PM
Good luck, FiveRinger!

Aceon6
03-30-2011, 01:34 AM
Fingers crossed for you.

4rkidz
03-30-2011, 02:43 AM
I'm a huge fan of really good reference checks.. anyway today I was a reference for a CEO job.. got a really interesting question that I had never heard before.. it was this..

If we hire @#$% what will be our biggest surprise in 6 months :confused: I'm a good yapper and that really stumped me.. I ended up saying some B.S. about his sporting life and making a joke.. :blah:

For me personally when I'm hiring, I'm always impressed by how much research they have done on our agency, even summer students which I'm doing right now the first question is always.. 'so what can you tell me about our agency'... I'd say 50% haven't a clue.. they go to the bottom of the list.. I never ask finances at a first interview but make it clear what the pay scale is depending upon education and experience.. that can be negotiated later..

Good luck FiveRinger..