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What interview advice do you have?

Veteran

Shannon Loring Fort Walton Beach, FL

Greetings, I am retiring soon and looking for advice with interview. Anyone interested in assisting me with a mock interview?

20 February 2021 17 replies Interviews

Answers

Advisor

Matt Johnson Chicago, IL

Many organizations use "STAR" interviews as the gold standard for the sort of behavioral interview where they throw you questions like "Tell me about a time you [were in a situation]". Situations Like: Team failed, led peers, persuaded someone, played an unusual role on a team, made an impact, burned a bridge, had an interpersonal conflict, encountered resistance, showed creativity, took initiative, worked without direction, sold an idea, completed detailed analysis, took a risk, led a difficult team, etc.

Next, consider your stories. Distill those stories down to a 2-3 minute version where you lay out the situation (for context), the task you were given (directed or implied), the action you took, the result of your action (measurable results are good, numbers are great, economic effect in dollar value is best), and then close out the story by tying in what you learned and how that's relevant to the role for which you're interviewing. Give each story a short word or phrase title to jog your memory. This all takes some time but it will make your stories more polished.

Best practice is to take all those possible situations (as well as the ones you hear about while researching the interview on glassdoor, coffee chats with employees, etc.) and put that on the X-axis of a Spreadsheet. Along the Y-axis, put your prepared interview stories. Go through this matrix and make a mark on every situation your story could fit (with the proper spin). Review and decide which story would be the primary, secondary, and tertiary story you could bring up if they asked you to "talk about another time you did this" or if you end up using your primary story when answering another question.

When I was last interviewing for jobs, I had some space in my notes dedicated to this. 2 columns with 10 rows with the situation (listed alphabetically) and then my primary, secondary, and tertiary story titles. If I ever got a curve-ball question that I couldn't answer on the spot, I could look down - check if it was in my notes and worst case scenario, I had a big list of possible stories I could employ.

Prior to the interview, prepare a list of questions - nothing that is easy found by google search or their website, asking things like "what did you wish you knew when you first started here". Be sure to get your interviewer's email so you can send a thank you note - write it almost immediately and include anecdotes from your conversation so you come off as a good listener and they can speak favorably about your interview if decisions are made before the end of the workday.

Best,
Matt

24 February 2021 Helpful answer

Advisor

Audrie Luna Houston, TX

Something that can help is to prep with the job description - take the job description for the role you are interviewing for and put it in a word document. Then, for every requirement/skill they list, list your experience right next to it and how it solves or fits with the skill they are looking for. Think big here too! Think of all the things you’ve done and how all of your experiences can contribute value to the company.
During the interview, have some open ended questions ready, questions that start with what, who, why, how. These allow the interviewer to answer with more than a yes or no and it gives you insight into the dynamics of the company.
Ask for business cards/contact info from your interviewer(s) and follow up with a quick email to say thank you for your time. Nothing too long, just a short acknowledgment of their time. Some folks might say no don’t do this because it will clog up their email, but this is where you’ll have to discern whether or not you think that’s the case.
Also, the best tip I can offer is to remember that you are also interviewing them - you have value to bring to the company so take the opportunity to get all of your questions answered. Best of luck!

26 February 2021 Helpful answer

Advisor

Lowell Sandoval Seattle, WA

Shannon,

You have a lot of great advice provided. I'm a keep it simple guy. I love strategy.

Interviewing is designed for the Interviewer to control and drive the conversation with specific questions that may or may not extract the value you can provide. I think flipping this on end and taking the consultative approach provides you with a strategic advantage by asking the right questions upfront, turning the interviewer into the salesperson.

Example:

Mr/Ms Interviewer, thank you for today's Interview. Before we get started, may I ask two quick questions?

1). What specific things caught your eye in my resume or qualifications that motivated you to meet with me today? (at this point become an active listener only, without interruptions).

2) If given the opportunity to take on this role, what will be my two top challenges to focus on in my first three months? And how would success be measured? (Again, become an active listener, no interruptions)

These two questions flip the tables on the interview and enable you to know how to target and focus each response to their questions going forward.

Hope this is helpful.

Lowell

29 January 2024 Helpful answer

Advisor

Jim Schreier Milwaukee, WI

Some very specific advice for veterans -- but also some strong advice for all at 212-Careers.com

The focus of your answers; short, Say a Few Words, or the C-A-R Mini story technique that is on the "Presentations" page of the site: https://www.212-careers.com/learning/212-learning-depot/

2 April 2023 Helpful answer

Advisor

Joseph M. Chuffa Clayton, NC

Best option is be yourself, relax and answer honestly as everybody was their own insights, personal triggers and prejudices so there is NO CORRECT ANSWERS, sorry to say but the truth. If they like “you”, you will be offered jobs, if they don’t then nothing you say will help. Also remember not all interviews are for employment, sad to say with oversight and rules, “everybody (sex, race, age, etc... etc...)” must be included and sometimes you are just a check-mark on some paperwork. Good luck and try not to stress out too bad, what will happen, will happen.

21 February 2021 Helpful answer

Advisor

Jason Lail Richmond, VA

Shannon: You have received tons of good advice here. The one thing I'll add is that you should ensure the interview is truly a 2-way street. You're there to ensure the role and company are a good fit for you, just as much as they're vetting you for that role. I've seen candidates work too hard on selling themselves for a job, and then end up in a role that was NOT a good fit for them and they didn't enjoy their job.

Advisor

Hank Pietraszek Naples, FL

Shannon,
Im going to forward a program called Interview Skills. Feel free to call (312-953-1077) or email (htpietraszek@gmail.com) if you’d like to discuss further.

INTERVIEW SKILLS
Decision made in first 10-15 Minutes
Appearance
May I take notes. (Interviewer feel important)
Eye Contact.
Be Yourself.
Company Research. (write down questions)

Questions to ask
I want a career not just a job.
Why should I work here?
Opportunity for growth for new employees?
What is your company’s Mission?
Explain my responsibilities?
Who will I be working with?
How many are interviewing?
How many are you hiring?
Finished “Can I expect to hear back from you?”

Possible Questions Company May Ask??
Why should I hire you?
I want a career not just a job.
I want to contribute to this company’s future success.
I’ve prepared for this next phase of my life. (explain what you have done)
I will make you proud that you hired me.
I come from a family of successful people.
How have you prepared? (explain your work background)
Do you have any references they can call?
List of references. Not family or friends. A coach, co worker, a teacher, a boss, a subordinate.
Call and tell them you used them as a reference.

Write a follow up letter/email.

Veteran

Kenneth Madison Suffolk, VA

You are not just being interviewed
..you are interviewing the interviewers as well.

If you find that you don't like them...don't ask for the job.

Advisor

Mark Tegtmeyer Denton, TX

Couple simple pieces of advice for you. First, think locally when they ask why you want to work there. The company may have a global footprint, but saying that you are impressed with something the company does but does not related to the position you're applying to makes it sound like you just checked some headlines before you interviewed. Talking about what interests you in the position or that specific location is much more meaningful.
Next, when asked "what questions do you have" at the end of the interview, have 2 or 3 solid questions ready. It always worries me when someone doesn't have any questions. Some of my favorites are "what is the difference between a good day in this role, and a great day in this role?" or "what would I be expected to do in order to impact this role the most?".
Finally, you can practice interviews in non-traditional ways. Talk about your military experiences with someone that isn't remotely familiar. You can just tell stories, and try to explain why you earned a particular award, or what your daily job was like, systems you used, but challenge yourself to only tell it only using terms and in ways that make sense to someone that doesn't have a military background. So even in every day conversations you can become more familiar and comfortable with non-military jargon in a professional setting.

Advisor

Sasibhushan Rao Chanthati Owings Mills, MD

Hello Shannon Loring, I can assist you with interview preparation and i can also help you with mock interviews. you can reach out me @ sasichanthati@gmail.com

Advisor

Brooke Beeson Lancaster, NY

Hi Shannon,

One thing I found that most people forget to do is thank them for their consideration of you and look them in the eye and ASK for the job. Tell them that you feel confident that with the proper training you would be great for their company/team. A follow up thank you reiterating why you would be an asset is very important. This will set you apart.

Advisor
Advisor

Shannon Morrissette Phoenix, AZ

Hi Shannon,

First and foremost, thank you for your service! It looks like you have some great offers for assistance with interview skills and practice. One thing that I have found can set you apart after an interview is the Thank You note. It is a great way to follow up on an item discussed in the interview and show the interviewer that you take initiative even after the interview is over. I would be happy to help with this area if you would like.

Best regards,

Shannon M

Advisor

Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

If you’re looking to practice and want to do that over the phone, I’d be happy to help. Prepping for an interview is terrific but there is nothing like practice - presenting yourself and your credentials and answering the behavioral type questions you are likely to get during an actual interview. Feel free to message me if you want to schedule a practice interview over the phone. Jeff

Advisor

Sam Hoffman Roslyn Heights, NY

Best advice is to be open-minded in your answers. The company will likely consider you for a high turnover position because it's too big a risk on someone who's never been in the private sector.
So when they ask you for example "a lot of people don't like business development roles, how do you feel about it?" you'd say "I've never done that before, I might start doing that and I love it!"

Advisor

Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

Shannon,
Know the language of your new career, the position and even the company. The more you can relate to the company and specifically the position, you eventually want a conversational tone. Tell accomplishments as stories, easy to remember and people like to hear a story versus regurgitating facts and numbers.
The best interviews are when the interviewer(s) and interviewee are carrying on a conversation about the profession, specifically the opening. This comes from being comfortable about the subject (you) and the position/career.

Advisor

Sharon Parker Roanoke, TX

Shannon, thank you for your service!

I would be honored to assist you with a mock interview! I can be contacted directly at sharon.parker@charter.net - looking forward to talking with you.

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