SPECIAL REPORT: Three Easy Steps to Getting the Job Offer of Your Dreams!
Keep reading for your final step to achieving super job offers!
STEP 3: Do Your Research Before the Interview
In the ideal situation, the interviewer and the interviewee are equally interested in finding a perfect fit. Look out for yourself. Ask hard questions about work conditions, drawbacks, and low points. If asked tactfully and backed up with research, well-directed questions of this sort won't offend a responsible interviewer. After all, a happy employee is going to be more productive than someone who hates his job.
Vault.com offers insider company research on thousands of top employers. You can also fill out an employer survey on Vault and qualify to win $500. This is a great way to find out about an employer and impress the interviewer with your "insider" knowledge!
In a minute, you can read a great article that provides many winning questions you can ask in an interview, but first let's talk about a few possible pitfalls.
- What are the hours? If your research hasn't revealed this already, you should ask if a job advertised as 40 hours a week really takes 50 or 60 hours a week, or more. You have a right to know how much you'll be working and should protect yourself by asking in the interview whether or not this is truly a 40-hour-a-week job. Interviewers should be honest with you about this; it's information you need to know in order to make a good decision. If you're going to be slammed with work from nine to nine every day, it might not be worth it for you.
- Pay? Be aware that overeagerness to ask about salary can make you look unprofessional. Asking about salary while calling up to schedule an interview is a bad idea. The best time to ask about salary is after you've gotten the job, but before you've accepted. Even if money is your prime motivation, wait till late in the interview to ask money questions.
Still, salary and other benefits are important. Before you go in for an interview, think about how much you need to make to live comfortably, and how much you think you deserve to make, given the responsibilities and your qualifications. You can find pay information at specific companies with Vault company research.
- What type of work will I be doing? Before you go in for an interview, think about which type of work environment suits you best. As we saw earlier, different corporations develop different attitudes. The atmosphere on the floor of the New York Stock exchange is very different from a public library in a small town. Some jobs require you to work with a team in order to produce a final product, while you'll work in solitude in others. It's your responsibility to find the environment that best suits you.
- How long will I be here? Before the interview, you'll also wish to think about your commitment to the job. The interviewer will be concerned about how long you will be able to stay with them. Are you looking for summer employment between school terms, for a six-month experience, a three-month internship, or a lifelong career path? In establishing a career, consider that anything under a year does not constitute a valid work experience to some employers. In many jobs it takes six months just to get up to speed.
- Are there walls? When you go in for the interview, be alert to the work environment, both physical and human. Pay attention to the way the company gets its work done. Imagine yourself coming into that building every day. Do people in the office wear Armani or Levis, DKNY or Dickies? Do they crowd into cubicles or kick back in plush, well-ferned offices? Is there a backslapping, good-ol'-boy, "see the game last night, Joe?" feel to the place? Do the workers seem happy or do they wander round the office like zombies? Are there stains on the carpet, interesting art on the walls? If you look at the interview experience as an opportunity to gather as much information as you can about the company, you'll have plenty of factors to sift through when it's time to make a decision.
- Big fish in small pond or cog in machine? How big a company do you want to work for? Will you be more comfortable as a prominent player in an office where everyone knows one another, or as a single, relatively unnoticed cog in a massive corporate machine? Smaller companies are more likely to offer flexible hours and vacation policies, and they may offer more opportunities for immediate, diverse, and substantive involvement. In addition, a smaller company may be a growing company. It can be exciting to ride a company as it grows, to watch and participate in the formation of its culture and lingo. Smaller companies also tend to suffer less from bothersome bureaucracies, so your ideas have a better chance of immediate implementation.
By the same token, it's difficult to hide in a small company. Everyone will soon realize if you're not producing. It may be more difficult for you to take vacation, or even a long lunch. Small companies also tend to pay less and can't offer the benefits of a larger firm. And especially in these consolidation-crazy times, they're somewhat more susceptible to buy-outs and bankruptcy than a big, established operation. Fortune 500 companies, on the other hand, can usually afford higher salaries than smaller places can. They also offer more comprehensive benefits, and may offer a wider variety of potential places to live.
In the interview process, employees at small companies understand that they don't have the name recognition of bigger places and won't expect you to know as much about them. This is why it's an especially good idea when interviewing with a smaller place, to find out who they are and what they do. Make sure you thoroughly check their web site, if they have one. At least research the industry in which the company's involved if you can't find anything more specific. Also, Vault.com's company research provides insights into workplace culture at major employers.
Click here to learn more about how you can research your future employer at Vault.com. You can also fill out an employer survey on Vault and qualify to win $500. This is a great way to find out about an employer and impress the interviewer with your "insider" knowledge!
Now, here's a great article with tons more interview questions you can ask a recruiter during the interview...
Interview Questions: How To Stump The Interviewer
By David Richter
In the limited time an interviewer has with you, their mission is to know you and assess your worth, especially in relationship to the other candidates interviewed. Asking you questions is the way they accomplish that mission.
Since interviews are two-way streets, your time should be spent assessing the position, the company, the employees and anything else that could sway you toward, or detract you from, the job opening at hand. To accomplish this, you'll want to come to the interview prepared to ask your own questions. Keep in mind that although an interviewer may like you and want to see you continue through subsequent interview stages, you may decide that, based on their responses to the questions you have posed, the job may not be for you.
The following represents a sampling of questions an interviewer may ask. Preparing meaningful responses in advance will impress your interviewer:
- Tell me about yourself?
- How are you different from other candidates?
- Why should I consider you for this position?
- If hired, what will your greatest challenge be?
- Tell me how you would perform on the job, if offered?
- Why should I want to get to know you better?
- What qualifications do you possess that pertain to this position?
- Tell me about your professional background?
- What did you like the best about your most recent job?
- What did you like the least about your most recent job?
- Name your biggest strength.
- Name your biggest weakness.
- What are your goals – short and long-term?
- How do you set goals for yourself?
- What was your biggest accomplishment in your previous job?
- What motivates you to be successful?
- What was your biggest disappointment?
- Why did you leave your last position?
- How would your previous boss describe you?
- How would your previous subordinates describe you?
- What was a major problem you faced in your last job, and how did you deal with it?
- Describe a time you had problems with a supervisor, and how you handled that.
The following represents a sampling of questions you may want to ask. Knowing ahead of time the responses you require will allow you to quickly assess the viability of your pursuing the position further:
- Are you the one who will be making the hiring decision?
- Who will I report to?
- How much travel is involved?
- Where do you see the company headed?
- What are the company's short and long-term goals?
- How would you size up the company’s position in the marketplace?
- What are the opportunities for growth here?
- What new products are being developed?
- How would you assess revenues, year over year?
- How would you describe the corporate culture?
- Is this a new position, or am I replacing someone?
- If I am replacing someone, what happened?
- What exactly are the responsibilities of the position?
- What are the biggest problems facing your company?
- What qualities are you looking for in a candidate?
- What is the next step in the interview process?
- What is your timeframe for bringing someone onboard?
Copyright © 2005 TopDog Group. All rights reserved. David Richter is a recognized authority in career coaching and job search support. He has spent many years in recruitment, staffing, outplacement, counseling psychology and career management spanning most industries and professions. David founded TopDog Group in response to the needs of job candidates to have a higher quality of career coaching and support available on the Internet. David understands the mechanisms for success. He has formulated specific strategies anyone can use to secure interviews and receive offers. His extensive knowledge and experience sets David apart in this field, allowing him to offer a wealth of information and a vast array of tools, resources and strategies not found anywhere else. He has shown countless job seekers how to differentiate themselves and leverage their potential to the highest possible level, making a real difference in their careers. David holds both a Bachelors and Masters degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology. David's website address is: http://www.procareercoach.com
The bottom line is... ask the right questions, and you'll not only be in a better position to evaluate the company and the job you're applying for, you'll also be quite likely to impress the interviewer with your thoroughness!
So, there you have it... 3 easy steps to landing the job offer of your dreams!
STEP 1: Customize your resume to each job.
STEP 2: Customize your cover letter to the employer.
STEP 3: Do your research before the interview.
Follow those 3 steps and you'll do well in the job hunt!
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