Top 10 Interview DO’s
The PACE recruiting team interviews thousands of employees each year! Our interviews are unique in that we don’t focus on a specific job, but gather up information used to determine the type of job that will be the best “fit” for each candidate. We make sure our candidates know up front how important it is for them to tell us “everything” – which includes the good, the bad and the ugly about their previous work history, what they are looking for in their next job – no matter how “unrealistic.”
Unlike more traditional interviews, a PACE interview is all about uncovering the real “you” – what you like and don’t like to do; the bosses you’ve loved (and hated) in your past jobs (and why); what kind of working conditions you are or are not willing to deal with in your next job. We reward your candor by matching you up with one of many jobs we represent that best matches your “placement profile” – jobs where you can showcase your strengths and avoid your weaknesses, jobs that fit your specific work preferences. PACE interviews are opportunities for you to “get real” and have that frankness turn into something positive – a job that “fits”!
Unfortunately, the opposite is true when candidates get ready to interview with our clients. Not that we want them to lie or be deceptive, but we know that our client’s need to assess each candidate for their “fit” with a very specific job and a very specific work environment – a very different scenario. We know that many of our clients interview to avoid hiring mistakes and end up being more about screening out than screening in. One or two missteps in the interview conversation can cost even the most qualified candidate, a good job.
Make no mistake; interviews still matter – almost always trumping a candidate’s background and skills in terms of generating job offers. We do our best to prepare our candidates with the DOs and DONT’s that can make or break a candidate’s chances for getting a job offer.
This blog is all about our TOP TEN INTERVIEW DOs.
- Research the company before your interview. Check out their website. Know what they do, and the type of employees they hire. The more you know, the more confident you will be in your interview – and confidence counts!
- Bring a fresh copy of your resume. Come to each interview looking prepared and professional.
- Dress the part! If you are applying for an administrative position, come to the interview dressed like a successful administrative employee. If you make an error in your clothing selection – make the error on the upside, letting your interviewer know you “dressed up for the occasion.”
- Be prepared for the “interview basics” – i.e. how your skills, work experiences and accomplishments are relevant to the job requirements. Well trained interviewers will ask you for specific examples. Come prepared to describe situations where you faced some challenges, what you did to address them, and the results you achieved!
“I can provide you with several examples of situations that I felt tested my ability to work with people. My last job, for example, was working with patients who at times, were in emergency situations. I remember one time when….”
- Analyze the job requirements, and be prepared to describe 2-3 reasons why you should be hired. Now is not the time to be shy or to procreate – don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your 30 second elevator pitch. Come prepared to shine a light on 2-3 things that will set you apart from other candidates.
“One of the qualities I have that will help me with this job is my patience and ability to listen to others. When you speak with my references I think they will tell you that their customers often commented on how good I was in understanding their issues and providing solutions…and for me, it was all about being a good listener.”
- Focus your answers on the positive, even if your interviewer gives you permission to go negative.
“I’m sure if I thought about it, I could come up with something I didn’t like about my last job, but on the whole I really enjoyed what I did, my teammates, and my team’s leadership group. “
“I left my last job for personal reasons that had to do with my need to work closer to my home. I loved so many things about that job its hard to come up with things I didn’t like.”
- Prepare 2-3 questions ahead of time about the job or the company so when the interviewer asks “do you have any questions”, you are prepared. Interviewers like candidates who are fully invested in the interview process.
- Take the lead in starting the conversation off on the right foot. Interviewers are trained to put candidates at ease and they do it early in the interview conversation. But you can also play a role in setting the tone for the interview.
“I’ve been looking forward to meeting with you and discussing how I might be a good fit for this position. I have to say, the posting really got my attention because of how you described the work and the team!”
- Don’t be afraid to ask your own questions. If you didn’t understand a question, ask for clarification before you respond. If you want to know more about something that was only briefly referenced, don’t be afraid to ask a follow up question.
“You mentioned you’ve recently hired 4 new employees for this department. What’s causing the department to grow?”
Interviewers like to know you are fully engaged.
- Don’t forget to “close” – to pin down the next steps. When the interview looks like its coming to an end, it’s your turn to let the interviewer know you are interested in taking the conversation further. “I’m interested in hearing from you on the next steps. From everything you said, I think my background, skills and experiences, are a good match for what you are looking for. When do you think you will be making a decision?”
To become a great interviewer we recommend you practice the 3 P’s – PREPARE, PRACTICE, and (focus on the) POSITIVE..
Check out our list of INTERVIEW DON’TS here.
If you’d like to learn more about the different kinds of jobs that are available in the local job market, visit our website.
If you’d like to check out some of the jobs we’re currently recruiting for, check out our job board.
This blog was written by Mike Gunther, the Recruiting Manager at the PACE Staffing Network. Mike oversees all of the candidate sourcing recruiting activities at PACE, making sure that each candidate has a positive experience with the PACE team.
To make contact with our recruiters, call 425-637-3311 or e mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org