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Interviewing for Success | Resumes and Cover Letters Tips and Hints | The Toughest Question in The Interview | 10 Most Common Interview Questions | 50 Most Common Interview Questions | 20 Cover Letter Templates | 8 Myths About Job Hunting
 

INTERVIEWING FOR SUCCESS!

•  Overview

•  Do's and Don'ts of Interviewing

•  Sales Process

•  Feb Selling

•  Questions asked by Employers

•  Situational Questions

•  Phone Interview Review

•  Ride Along/ Observation

•  Brag Book Review

•  Closing the Interview

•  Writing a Thank You letter

INTERVIEWING INTERVIEW

A.  60% of a successful interview is Enthusiasm , Excitement and Energy !!
•  Smile.
•  Stay positive (no one likes negativity).
•  Use 60-80% eye contact.
•  If you don't know what to do with your hands, talk with them.
•  If you have trouble exuding energy try a pot of coffee.

B.  20% of the interview is selling you.
•  Sales process.
•  FEB selling.

C.  20% of the interview is the close. The CLOSE can Make or Break future Interviews! Be Assertive and Aggressive!
•  The interview is a sales call; you are the product.
•  Ask questions.
•  Overcome objections

D . HAVE FUN!

 

DO'S & DON'TS OF INTERVIEWING

You'll never get a second chance to make a first impression.

 

BEFORE THE INTERVIEW

DO dress in a plain navy or dark colored business suit. Men: White shirt and conservative tie, Dark socks, Formal well-shined shoes. Women: Light colored blouse, Conservative pumps (color of suit), Light colored stockings
DO research the company.
DO examine sales books in order to brush up on your sales techniques.
DO arrive 10-15 minutes before an interview.
DO bring a copy of your resume.
DO prepare a copy of references.
DO bring a pen and notebook to takes notes before, during and after the interview.
DO prepare questions to ask during the interview.
DO greet everyone in the office with a smile and hello.
DO fill out all applications neatly and completely.
DO greet the interviewer with a smile and by his/her surname.
DO give a firm handshake.
DO make direct eye contact.
DO psyche yourself up! It's O.K. if you are nervous or a little frightened. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
DON'T be unprepared for the interview.

DURING THE INTERVIEW

DO be yourself. People can tell when you are faking it.
DO have a positive attitude. Life is good!
DO be confident. You are the kind of employee this employer needs.
DO represent yourself honestly.
DO maintain direct eye contact.
DO sit up straight.
DO use FEB selling to answer employer's questions.
DO ask questions about the position, company and the interviewer.
DON'T ask questions about salary, commission, bonuses, vacations or anything else the company can do for you. Wait until you've gotten the job offer.
DON'T get too comfortable. Remain professional and on guard.
DON'T ever say anything negative. Be careful when talking about past and present employers.

AFTER THE INTERVIEW

DO jot down notes to help you remember the highlights of the interview (questions, your impressions, your performance). This will help you in the future interviews and writing thank you letters.
DO fax, email or drop off a thank you letter with-in 24 hours.

SALES PROCESS

1. Build Rapport

2. Probe for needs (open vs. closed ended questions)

3. Sell to needs (FEB)

4. Overcome objections

5. Close

 

FEB SELL YOURSELF

During the interview it is essential that you SELL YOURSELF. Feature-Example-Benefit Selling, also known as FEB selling, is a fabulous way to do this! FEB selling teaches you to effectively sell yourself by using personal examples.

FEATURE : a fact that sets you apart from other people.
EXAMPLE : a specific, personal example that supports your fact.
BENEFIT : how your fact and example benefit the employer.

For example:
Feature - strong work ethic
Example - while attending college full-time, I worked 40 hours a week to finance my education.
Benefit - I'm used to working hard in order to achieve positive results.

By using the examples above, we come up with this statement:

I have a strong work ethic. For example, while attending college full-time I worked 40 hours a week to finance my education. What this means for XYZ Company is that I'm used to working hard in order to achieve positive results.

Below are some additional features many employers look for in their candidates. Examine your background and complete the example and benefit. Please use another proactive characteristic if there is one that describes you better and give example and benefit.

FEATURE EXAMPLE BENEFIT

Agressive

   

Goal Oriented

   

Motivated

   

Resilient

   

Persistent

   

 

QUESTIONS COMMONLY ASKED

Most of us make two mistakes when we are being questioned in an interview. First, we fail to listen to the question. We proceed to answer a question that was not asked or to give out a lot of superfluous information. Second, we attempt to answer questions without preparation. Not even the most skilled debater can answer questions off the cuff without damaging his or her chances of success. Bottom line… BE PREPARED!

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What is your greatest strength?
  3. What is your biggest weakness?
  4. What are you looking for in a position?
  5. What do you know about our company?
  6. Why do you want to work for us?
  7. Why do you want to work in this industry?
  8. Why do you want sales?
  9. What motivates you?
  10. Why should we hire you? What sets you apart from others?
  11. What qualities do you think a top sales representative possesses?
  12. Why are you leaving your current company? Past companies?
  13. Where else are you interviewing?
  14. What is your biggest achievement?
  15. What is your biggest failure? What did you learn from it?
  16. Why did you select your college or university?
  17. What motivated you to choose your major?
  18. What are your goals over the next 3 years? 5 years? 10 years?
  19. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years? What position do you see yourself in?
  20. How much money do you want to make this year? 3 years? 5 years?
  21. In your current or past positions, what features did you like the most? Least?
  22. What would be your ideal job?
  23. If you had your choice of companies, where would you go?
  24. How do you define success?
  25. What do you think it takes to be successful in our company?
  26. How do you spend your spare time?
  27. What books have you read recently?
  28. Will you relocate? Does relocation bother you?
  29. Do you have a problem with commuting to work?
  30. How do you think those that know you describe you?
  31. Give an example of a time you had a conflict with a co-worker and how you handled it.
  32. Did you every work for a manager you didn't care for? What did you do about it?
  33. Describe the relationship that should exist between a supervisor and sub-ordinates.
  34. Give me a specific example of a time when you dealt with a disgruntled customer.
  35. Tell me about an important goal you set for yourself in the past and how you achieved it.
  36. Give me an example of a particular difficult time you had to be persuasive in order to get your ideas across.
  37. Tell me about a time when you worked really hard for something over a period of time and did not get it?

SITUATIONAL QUESTIONS

RAPPORT BUILDING :

A demonstrated ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships with customers. An individual that communicates with others building trust and credibility.

Please describe a time when you had to build rapport with a customer or co-worker in a particularly difficult situation.

Follow-up Questions :
Who was the customer or co-worker?
When did you do this?
Why was it particularly difficult for you?
What did you do to build rapport?
What were the results?

Can you tell me about a specific time that was important for you to build trust and credibility with another person? How did you do that?

Follow-up Questions :
Who was the person you needed to build trust and credibility with?
Why was that so important?
What did you do to attain that?
What was the outcome?

SALES APTITUDE/PERSUASIVENESS :

A demonstrated ability to persuade others to take action in a specific direction.

Please give me an example of a particularly difficult time when you had to be persuasive in order to get your ideas across.

Follow-up Questions :
What was the situation?
Why was it difficult?
What were you trying to accomplish?
What specific steps did you take to be persuasive?

Please give me an example of a time when you were having difficulty closing a customer on your product or service.

Follow-up Questions :
Who was the customer?
When was this?
Why was it difficult?
What did you do to close the sale?
Did you make the sale?

PRO-ACTIVE/SELF-RELIANT:

A demonstrated ability to take action, being responsible for ones own success and failure. Take action to influence events and achieve specific goals. Demonstrates a willingness to originate actions.

Please tell me about an important goal you set for yourself in the past and how you achieved it.

Follow-up Questions :
Why was the goal important to you?
What steps did you take to achieve it?
What obstacles did you encounter along the way?
How did you overcome them?
What was the result?

Follow-up Questions :
Did you initiate any new procedures or systems?
How did you go about getting them improved?
Are they still being used?
How did they increase your effectiveness?

RESILIENCE:

A demonstrated ability to stick with a goal or desired result when faced with rejection or opposition. Maintain a positive attitude and work through obstacles.

Tell me about a time when you worked really hard for something over a period of time and did not get it.

Follow-up Questions :
What was your goal?

What effort did you put forth to get it?
What obstacles were in the way?
What obstacles get in your way of you doing your job at work? What do you do to overcome them?

Follow-up Questions :
How do you handle the obstacles?
Have you suggested doing anything differently?
Do these obstacles still exist?

COMMUNICATION SKILLS :

A demonstrated ability to present information in a clear, concise, well organized fashion. The ability to listen for an individuals needs and desires and identify hidden objections.

Can you give me a specific example of a time when you dealt with a disgruntled customer?

Follow-up Questions :
Who was the customer?
When did it happen?
What were the circumstances?
What was the result?

Tell me about a time when you had a conflict or disagreement with someone at work. How did you handle it?

Follow-up Questions :
Who was the conflict with?
What was it in regard to?
How did you approach the person to resolve it?


PREPARING FOR A PHONE INTERVIEW!

1. REMEMBER : This is a formal step in the interviewing process. It may actually be the MOST important because this step will determine whether or not you get in front of the company!!!

2.  What to have in front of you: your RESUME , paper, pen, questions you have prepared, company materials and a glass of water!

3.  Be in a QUIET environment: no dogs, no kids, dishwasher running, TV etc.

4.  Be in professional attire! Business is as business does….Professional attire will put you in a business frame of mind.

5.  Be on a LANDLINE phone! You want clear reception without interruptions….Cell phones cannot be trusted! If you use a cordless phone – make sure your battery is FULLY charged. FYI – you can turn OFF your call waiting feature by pressing *70 on your telephone.

6.  Speak slowly, clearly and annunciate!

7.  Build rapport and ask lots of questions (this should be easy – you will have them in front of you)!

8.  STAND UP and move around to keep your energy level up!

9.  Remember you are on the PHONE – so you should take your energy and enthusiasm up a notch. Interviewer cannot see your non-verbal communication, body language, etc – so you have to accentuate your VERBAL communications!

10.  Create a VIRTUAL REALITY! Imagine yourself face-to-face!

11.  Always sell – DON'T tell!

12. CLOSE! CLOSE! CLOSE! Your GOAL is to get a face-to-face appointment!
•  Thank them for the time. Tell them they were very informative and that you are very interested in the position!
•  You want the job AND:
When can you come in for a face-to-face appointment?
Will you be recommended for the next step?

 

 

RIDE ALONG/OBSERVATION INFORMATION

 

1.  Remember that this is still a formal step in the interview process and perhaps the most important. You will be observed throughout the day.

2. Be professional in dress, speaking, body language and demeanor. Be attentive and eager, remembering to build rapport and ask a lot of questions.

3.  At the beginning of the day, say “I would like to try a sale on my own, but I need to watch you a couple of times first.” (Note: It is very important to phrase it this way.)

4.  Get involved! If the trainer or rep is moving equipment or doing a demonstration, roll up your sleeves and HELP!

5.  Remember, the rep will go back with a recommendation on whether you will fit in with the company and do well in the industry.

6.  Understand a negative interview! Many companies will have the rep sell negative on the position. For example:
•  cold call 100% of the day
•  tell you that you will work long hours, when normal hours actually apply
•  take you to all the difficult accounts

7. CLOSE!!! Thank them for their time. Leave the rep with this information:
•  You learned a lot and they were very informative
•  You would enjoy working with him / her in the future
•  You want the job and will they be recommending you for the position

** ALWAYS SELL ~ DON'T TELL **

 

BRAG BOOK REQUIREMENTS

Use a 3-ring presentation binder with inserts, transparencies, and 5 sections. Have a master copy for yourself and a copy for each interview .

SECTION 1

Copy of your resume with specific objective tailored to the interview.

SECTION 2

Brochures of your current position- what you do and what you sell. Use this section during the interview to do a mock sales call. Show them how and why you are successful

SECTION 3

Awards and achievements!!! Include what the quota was, how you achieved it, and what rankings you had within the company. If there were no rankings, show a growth pattern- how much the territory has grown because of your sales, how quickly you were promoted, etc. Include computer graphics to support your statements. Also include any trophies, awards, training certificates, rings, pins or letters from customers/employers that you were rewarded from your previous employers.

SECTION 4

Any research on the industry or the company you are interviewing with. Include any articles from business magazines and highlight the information that is interesting to you. Also include a marketing plan of how you plan to increase their customer base and their profits. Show the company why you want to work for them.

SECTION 5

Copy of DMV record, college diploma and college transcripts. Also include 3-5 references of past managers and customers (name, title, address, 2 phone numbers).

CLOSING THE INTERVIEW

It's the winning score, the bottom line, the name of the game, the cutting edge, and the point of it all. If you haven't guessed, closing is the most important part of your entire interview. The following is a step-by-step guideline to get you through closing the interview. The interview is a sales call; you are the product. If you don't close the interviewer on you, how can you expect them to visualize you closing a prospect on their product or service?
Employers expect you to close. Don't be surprised if they make it tough on you!

After the interviewer has concluded his/her questions, you must proceed into your close.
•  Ask the employer questions.
•  Ask a lead-in question.
•  Overcome concerns/objections/hesitations.
•  Close for the next step/job.

ASK THE EMPLOYER QUESTIONS
Choose 3-5 questions for your interview. These questions are guidelines. Use your own creativity. It is important to be yourself in an interview. Employers will quickly see through a memorized and over-rehearsed question. **Never ask a company about sick leave, paid vacations, holidays or other benefits that allow you to get away from work unless you are getting an offer.
•  What has your career path been?
•  What have you liked most about the company and what have you liked least about it?
•  What expectations do you have for the company in the next 5 years? 10 years?
•  Could you please describe a typical day?
•  What does the training program consist of?
•  What are my opportunities for advancement?
•  How are promotions evaluated?
•  How is performance evaluated?
•  What ate your expectations of a new hire?
•  What separates your top producer from everyone else?
•  What is your competitive edge?
•  What is your company doing to gain market share?
•  What are your company's strengths and weaknesses?
•  What is the territory currently producing?
•  What goals do you have for the territory in the next 12 months? What do you think it will take to get the territory to those numbers?
•  If you had to isolate 3 things that determines a persons success with your company what would those be?

ASK A LEAD-IN QUESTION
The purpose of a lead-in question is to identify if you did your job of selling yourself in the interview. If asked properly these questions will pull out objections/hesitations the employer has about you filling the position. Choose one of the following questions or create your own based on the examples given.
•  How do you see me fitting in?
•  How do I compare to other people you have hired?
•  Describe to me your top sales person…Do you feel I have those same qualifications?
•  Describe your ideal candidate…Do you see me as that type of person?
•  Am I the kind of person you are looking for?
•  Are there any concerns you have about me filling the position?
•  Can I count on your recommendation for the next step?

OVERCOME CONCERNS/OBJECTIONS/HESITATIONS
If after you have asked your lead-in question the employer has not set up the next step or you are not filling out the new hire paperwork, there is still work to be done. The employer may still have genuine concerns or may create concerns to see how you handle the situation. Use FAB selling to overcome the objections. Until you feel you have overcome all of the hesitations that the employer has…only then should you proceed to the next step.

CLOSE FOR THE NEXT STEP/JOB
Now you are on the home stretch. Consider yourself on 3 rd base with bases loaded and up to bat at the same time. The good news is, you are almost done! The bad news is, this is the most important part. It is absolutely crucial you ask the following questions:

For initial interviews: Where do we go from here? Can we set that up right now?
For final interviews: Where do we go from here? When can I start?

Don't forget, as you have practiced your close, the employer has spent many an hour thinking of ways to strike you out. Some “strike out” statements are:
•  I still have more people to interview.
•  I will be getting back with ???.
•  I will be letting you know in a couple of days.

Beware of those smokescreens. DO NOT be fooled into thinking you will get the next step. If you don't set up the day, date and time of your next interview, it probably will never happen.
As a rule of thumb, attempt to get the next step 3 times. You may have to refer back to overcoming objections/concerns/hesitations to achieve this goal.
*As with everything, there may be an exception to the rule. For some unknown reason the interviewer may not have the power to set up the next step. At least find out if the interviewer will be recommending you for the next step.


WRITING A THANK YOU LETTER THAT SELLS!!!

A thank-you letter should be more than a polite thank-you. Besides expressing interest in a position, thank-you letters can reinforce, correct a first impression or build on the relationship you've already established with the interviewer. Your thank-you letter should be emailed, faxed or dropped off with-in 24 hours of your interview. Don't delay!

The letter should be in a professional, business format. Below is a four-part structure to get more mileage from your message:

1.  Tell the interviewer how much you enjoyed meeting him or her.
2.  Express your enthusiasm for the company and position.
3.  Reiterate a specific selling point that was discussed in the interview.
4.  Establish your next point of contact.

Remember it is very important to sound genuine and sincere, that requires a personal touch. Here is a sample thank-you letter.

 

January 1, 2006

Mr. Adam Smith
Vice President Marketing
Company Name
2222 _________ Street, Suite 400
Washington , DC 21200

Dear ___ ____________,

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to meet with me. I am very excited at the prospect of joining ____________ as one of your results oriented Marketing Managers.

I believe we have a good fit based upon my background and the job description. My marketing experience, selling skills, education and high energy level will assure success. Especially when partnered with ____________ strong market presence, continued success and steady growth through product diversification.

I look forward to talking with you again in the next few days. If any additional information will be helpful regarding my candidacy, please do not hesitate to call me.

Again, many thanks for the opportunity.

Sincerely,

John R. Smith

 
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