What Should I Expect To Wear On My First Day
Dress code can be a touchy subject in interviews — you don’t want to reveal that you have deal-breakers so early into a hiring process. But, it is an important aspect of the job for many professionals. Sometimes business wear just isn’t your thing, but you still want to maximize your chances at getting a job offer.
If you want to get an idea of the company’s dress code without suggesting it’s a big deal to you, simply ask HR what you’re expected to wear on your first day. It’s a harmless question that gives you the information you need at the same time.
What Should I Be Prepared To Speak To In The Interview
Its unlikely that the scheduler will have an answer for this, so dont be surprised if the answer is vague and non-committal. However, on the off chance that you do get an answer, listen closely to what the scheduler says.
The answer will likely give you insight into the companys most pressing issues. What are the problems the company is trying to solve? More importantly, how will you solve those problems? The answer can help you understand what the employer most wants from potential candidates, and having this information can help you structure your answers accordingly.
What Is Something The Company Is Still Working On Getting Right
As a flip-side to the seventh question above, also consider asking HR what they think the company’s greatest challenge is right now. While other candidates might be skittish around a business’s weaknesses, this question shows HR you’re willing to accept the current negatives and join them on righting the ship.
Note the phrasing of this question, too. By asking HR this question precisely this way, you put focus on the positive and show the company that you have natural optimism .
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The Confident Direct Approach
In my job search Im focusing on roles in the $60,000 range, which is the going rate for people with my skillset and experience. Is this position in that range?
Sometimes it pays to be proactive and put your expectations on the table. Its a bold move, but youll definitely find out, one way or another, if the job will meet your salary demands. Just make sure youre not overly ambitious with your range. Ground your number in real data from people with comparable skills and backgrounds in your area.
Thank The Person You Speak To
At the end of the phone call, it can be essential to thank the hiring manager for their time. By ending the phone call with thanks, you may leave a lasting impression that’s positive and professional. Here are some examples for how to give thanks at the end of the call:
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.
Thank you for speaking with me about a potential position.
Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
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Tell Me About The Relationships You’ve Had With The People You’ve Worked With How Would You Describe The Best Ones The Worst
Each team is different, so this question helps you tease out whether the candidate would be happy, productive, and well liked on your team. Their answer will tell you how they interact with others — and which kinds of interactions they want to happen.
A good answer to this question:
Answers to this question don’t have to focus on just professional elements of a relationship with colleagues — they can also be related to business culture. Maybe the candidate enjoyed their coworker’s positivity or thought their attitude lowered morale. Good responses aren’t one-sided, though. Look for answers that explain how their colleague’s work style thrived with their own — not simply what their colleague did that benefited or offended them.
Many candidates are hesitant to bad-mouth their coworkers and bosses, so it’ll be interesting for you to hear how they navigate a question about their worst working relationships.
Make Sure You Don’t Seem Like Youre Looking For A Job
If you sound like youre really just looking for a job, theres a good chance this person will push you to HR or the companys career page. So be sure to make it clear that you really want to talk to them, to learn about their career history and perspective on the job or industry. After you meet and make a great impression is when you can mention the job hunt.
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What Are You Hoping To See From The Next Person To Fill This Role That Was Missing In The Last
A question like this will demonstrate your ability to address and tackle possible problems before they even surface. The answer can shed light on what might have made the last person lose or leave the job, as well as tip you off on the path to success. In an interview, you are selling yourself as the perfect potential employee, so its important to demonstrate that you are a team player who is not only interested in excelling at what you do but also in what your colleagues value.
Would Anything Change Your Mind About Leaving
People can leave for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons can be easily fixed.
Maybe employees want a new role to develop their career. Or maybe theyre looking for higher pay.
When you hold exit interviews early on, employees still have a chance to change their minds. If you can offer what the employee feels has been missing, theres a high possibility that the employee will at least consider sticking around.
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Where Do You Think The Company Is Headed In The Next Five Years
The response you receive will give you an insight into the company’s progression plans and its place in the market, while giving you a general idea about job security. You may also get a heads-up on any major upcoming projects.
Asking about future plans shows a real interest in the organisation and reiterates your commitment to the company.
You Gain More Knowledge You Can Use For Future Interviews
Interviewers have a unique point of view that you’ll find valuable. Through them, you can find out what you were missing, which gives you a greater chance of success in your following interview. Allowing your interviewer to share their knowledge could return sound interviewing advice from someone actively hiring in your sector of interest. You can improve and promote such traits during future interviews if you know what the hiring manager was searching for and why they chose another candidate.
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How To Ask For An Informational Interview By Email
Informational interviews- whether you are actively looking for a job or just interested in learning more are an important networking activity for career advancement. Especially in our small, yet growing social impact sector, where connections and relationships matter.
While the best type of networking, is about the development of a mutually productive relationship- informational interviews, if were being honest- is usually more to benefit yourself . That being said, people for the most part do like to help, and the feeling of helping is something that motivates people to meet with you.
While Im not looking for a job, I often meet with people who are, or with experienced industry professionals to learn more about their work. And I like to use these conversations as opportunities to develop meaningful relationships- which I have with some.
Here are the elements you should consider when asking for an informational interview by email.
Keep it short.
Everyone is busy. If you open an email to a novella, it will likely be ignored or skimmed at best. Try to keep your email brief and to the point.
Be clear about why you are reaching out.
Be up front about you.
Be specific and flexible in your ask.
And dont forget the subject line.
ps- some bad email etiquette habits to try and avoid
While theres no perfect email template, if you keep in mind the tips from above youll be in a better position to get a yes.
Can You Tell Me More About The Day
Asking this question enables you to learn as much about the role as possible. The interviewer’s response will provide insight into what skills and experience are needed, and will also help you decide if the role is right for you.
The answer will give you an idea of what the employer’s expectations are, so if you’re offered the job there should be no surprises when you start.
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If I Want To Do Well In This Role What Skills Do I Need To Focus On
Learn what hard and soft skills are essential to the role by asking this question. This gives your interviewer the opportunity to elaborate on what abilities can help you succeed in this role. If you already have a lot of the skills they are listing, this can be a sign that you’re prepared for the job.
What Do You Find Most Challenging About Your Job
Ask this question to learn more about potential challenges in the workplace. This may be especially important if one of your interviewers is someone who will manage you directly if you receive this job. Use their response to evaluate potential organizational challenges, and discuss relevant experiences you have that may help resolve these issues.
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Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years
A job candidate who has professional drive and lofty career aspirations is valuable. Look for someone who is engaged in their career and has clear goals, and consider mentioning how your organization can help them achieve those objectives. Finding a prospect who is interested in career advancement and sees opportunity with your company increases the chances that theyll be happy in the long run.
How Soon To Follow Up After The Interview
How soon to follow up after the interview depends on your circumstances. If you were given a timeline for hearing back, wait until the deadline has passed. If you werenât given a deadline, wait a week or so.
If youâre simply sending a thank-you email, send it right away. Itâs appropriate to thank the interviewer the same day as the interview. Your thank-you email isnât where you should ask about interview status, however. The timing of your interview status email will be trickier.
This is because itâs possible to overdo it. If you ask about your interview status too soon, they wonât be ready to answer, and if you ask too many times they will find you annoying. Itâs important to strike the right balance when communicating with a potential employer.
If, during the interview, the manager gave an approximate deadline for hearing back, you should wait until that deadline has passed before you ask about interview status. Then, wait a day or two. You donât want to seem pushy. Once a day has passed since the deadline, you can write your follow-up message.
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Who Would I Be Working With The Most
While job descriptions tend to include what department you’ll be working in or who you’ll be reporting to, sometimes employers leave out this information. Asking this question can help you figure out who your potential team members and manager will be. With this information, you can even look them up on the company’s team page.
You Learn More About Hiring Priorities
Knowing what the hiring manager or team was looking for in a candidate is crucial information in the job search experience. This knowledge might help you fill in the blanks in job descriptions, so you know where and how to apply for jobs in the future. Asking for feedback increases your chances of being successful in your next interview.
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Excessive Number Of Interviews Or Drawn
In an ideal world, the interview process itself would be efficient and optimize stakeholder involvement and alignment, and not take more than a few months. A red flag arises when the number of interviews becomes excessive, and the process drags on for an extended period of time. Either of these can be a sign that the team or organization is overly consensus driven, indecisive, or has issues driving things to completion.
While the number of interviews and duration of the interview process is likely to be positively correlated with the level of the position , Peppercorn considers 10 to 12 interviews to be excessive. . While this many interviews could make sense for a C-level candidate, it does not for a director. She said, It should be the hiring manager that makes that decision, so why do you have to have 14 interviews? What is that saying about the organization and its ability to get things done? Some companies, like , are actively taking steps to shorten drawn-out interview processes to be more competitive in the war for talent.
Why Are You The Right Fit To Succeed In This Role
You should use the interview as an opportunity to say something interesting about your skills and experiences that relate back to the role at hand. Remember that interviewers will be looking for you to demonstrate key skills that match the job and behaviour that align with the organisation’s culture, so prepare examples in advance that you can call on when required.
Examples of the key attributes employers look for include:
- Project management skills
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What Has Surprised You About This Interview Process So Far
This is a question no candidate can really prepare for, and it’ll give you some indication of how candidates are feeling about the whole thing. Plus, you can see how they think on their feet.
A good answer to this question:
You’re looking for specifics here — something about the office space the personality of the team an assignment they were given to complete.
Honest answers are good answers, and answers that are directed at you are even better, as they show the candidate is confident speaking their mind in front of decision-makers. For instance, maybe the candidate was surprised you asked them about something on their resume that they don’t personally pay much attention to.
Questions About The Company
7. How would you describe the culture here? What type of people tend to really thrive here, and what type dont do as well?
Sometimes hiring managers are pretty bad at accurately describing the culture on their teams in part because they have a vested interest in seeing it a certain way and in part because they have an inherently different vantage point than their staff members do. For example, Ive heard incorrigible micromanagers tell candidates that they like to give people a lot of independence and autonomy and they probably really believed that about themselves. So take managers descriptions of culture with a heavy grain of salt , but theres still value in hearing what they do and dont emphasize.
But asking about what types of people tend to thrive versus those who tend to struggle can get you more revealing information. Youll often learn what that manager really cares about in their employees, or which traits will set you up to clash with them, or whos likely to bristle at their management style.
8. What do you like about working here?
You can learn a lot by the way interviewers respond to this question. People who genuinely enjoy their jobs and the company will usually have several things they can tell you that they like about working there and will usually sound sincere. But if you get a blank stare or a long silence before your interviewer answers, or the answer is something like the paycheck, consider that a red flag.
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What Kinds Of Challenges Can I Expect In This Role
Before accepting a job offer, you want to anticipate what kinds of barriers you might have to overcome. This question can give you insight into what challenges the company might be experiencing. It could even lead to a further conversation where you can show employers that you are eager to take on a challenging role.
Smile During The Call
Throughout the call, try smiling while speaking to the hiring manager. Though they might only be able to see you if you do a video call, smiling while talking may help you feel more positive and confident. This may help you seem friendly, which can make a good first impression. Try smiling while speaking to friends, family members or coworkers, which may help smiling feel more natural while on the phone with a potential employer.
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Did You Feel Equipped To Do The Job Here
Asking this question gives you direct insight into how to train new employees. It can even help you understand how to retrain your existing employees.
You may receive straight answers that make you feel uncomfortable , but youll also receive actionable information with which you can make immediate changes.
Common Behavioral Interview Questions To Expect
These questions have common themes, such as:
- Adapting to organizational change
You’ll get different questions depending on the role you’re applying to and the company culture. For instance, an interview for an HR role may involve behavioral questions about how you handle conflict. Prepare accordingly.
Don’t be surprised if your interviewer uses one of the following commonly-asked questions:
- Tell me about your greatest professional achievement.
- Give me an example of a time when you had to adapt to change.
- Tell me about a time when you dealt with failure.
- Describe a time when you had to handle a difficult situation.
- Have you ever had to resolve a major workplace conflict?
- Describe a situation where you successfully motivated someone else.
- Tell me about a time when written communication skills made a difference.
- Give an example of a time when you had to prioritize multiple projects.
- Describe a time when you acted like a leader.
- Tell me about a time when your critical-thinking skills came in handy.
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