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Job Interview Skills Webinar

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Job Interview Skills WebinarThis Job Interview Skills Webinar video is from the Proformative webinar "Interview Skills" held on November 16, 2012.  The webinar features a presentation from Mark Richards creator of


Job Interview Skills Webinar


"Welcome, everybody and as John said for me I started the CandidatesChair after I had my own job transition. Everything that you see here is really based upon my experiences in them, the experiences of fellow colleagues that I've met through job transitions, and in my running the local networking chapter in Minnesota. I've probably met with, I don't know, a couple hundred finance executives, so a lot of this is not just my own experience, but kind of the collective view.

That's the way the CandidatesChair is as well. It's just the collective view of all the things that I've learned and just put into one place. It's really from the perspective of someone that's looking from the job. Not so much from a recruiter or HR person, but kind of what we face day to day looking for work. Again, as I am a fellow finance executive and also been working with John as advisory for Proformative for the last several years, and have enjoyed it immensely.

We have a series also up there today on Proformative. You'll see that there are other job search series that we've done, that John and I have done together. A lot of that relates to helping you set your expectations for search and different types of networking that you can do to help you land that job. As John has talked about today, these are very specific tactics developed to improve your interview skills.

When I talk about my outline today for our Job Interview Skills Webinar, the first thing we'll talk about is your expectations. When I talk about where you need to be, I'm really talking about being in control. All of us have either interviewed or has done interviewing before and what you'll often find is that people are picking up your resume as you're walking into their office. To me, after seeing that several times I realized that I had a lot more control of it if I was prepared.

I don't mean control in a bad way like I'm trying to do something unethical. It just allows me to make sure that I was able to take control and deliver everything that I needed to deliver in that interview. We'll start there with the expectations and then we'll move on to which I think is part of your prep work, is matching your skills to the job, which is really kind of understanding yourself and the business. Then really getting down to what's critical in the role.

From there we'll go into talking about the preparation with your network, using your network to help fill in any of the gaps you've got, find out who you're interviewing and then, if possible, start to spread your message inside the company before you even get there. Then we'll go into what I think is the heart of the interviewing process, which is the questions. These are both questions that you'll ask and the questions that you'll answer. This, to me, probably where if you can invest time in this, this is where you'll really stand out from other candidates.

I'll talk about just interviewing strategies once you actually get in there, and then, lastly just coming up with a strong finish for yourself. I make this correlation between dating and job search, which we can talk about, we'll get to. Then, all these are something that always doesn't go right and what's the best approach if something doesn't go well in your interview, how to fix that.

Let's start with, I think of interviewing as people that are Googling a question. I say people don't Google answers. They Google questions. If you take an interview from a hiring manager's perspective, the first thing that they look at from the candidate is, "Can he or she help me succeed?" I don't say this in a narcissistic way, but the reality is, they're looking to add somebody on their team to make them successful.

You always say that jobs make your boss look successful to help yourself. They're looking for someone that can take the stress off them or handle some issues that they've got in the company. The first thing they're always looking at is, "Can this person help me succeed?" Then they look to, "Do you have the skills that I don't have time to teach you?" What are the skills that they want right off the bat?

They're really looking for very specific things because the issue there is some sort of issue that needs to get managed right off the bat. They're trying to think about, "What are the skills that are absolutely critical to me?" Then, lastly, when I look at people they say, "I'm looking for, let's say, a finance person that has a lot of experience with a sales team." Those are the types of things that people are talking on. "I'm looking for somebody that has a specific type of experience."

They don't look for, "I want someone with three to five years, and a degree in public accounting." That's not what they want. It's that, "I want someone that knows how to work with a sales team." Lastly, they just think about, whether or not he or she will sit around here, so they're trying to get the sense of your cultural (inaudible 00:05:17). As they're looking that's the question that they have.

What you want to offer in return is start with, "What's your promise?" When I look at it, that's really the first message you want to give. The promise really is, what's the promise of what you bring to that company'? For example, if you just say, "In addition to all my typical finance work, I have worked with over 100 clients doing pricing, client calls, etc. I'm a great liaison between sales and finance." If that's what the hiring manager is looking for that's the promise that you bring.

Sure, you've got lots of other finance experience, but you want to bring that promise to match up as best you can with what the hiring manager is looking for. Underneath your promise, that's where you start to talk about what your skills are that basically support it. Then, lastly, what were the experiences that developed those skills? Those all, your skills and your experiences support that promise.

Then, lastly, as you share, you talk about kind of what your personality is and your management style, your work style. Then, where have you worked? Have you worked in a family-owned business, because that's different from a publicly-owned, or a very small company or a large company. Whatever it is, those are the other things that you'll share. If you start here, these are the things that the hiring manager is looking for. It really provides a good background for where we're going to go and where you should be
studying when you think about how you want to approach an interview.

Editor's Note: The Proformative library of recorded webinars contains a vast quantity of videos on many different topics, including Emerging Market Strategies Webinar, Business Analytics Webinar, Business Intelligence Webinar, Corporate Financial Reporting Webinar and Renminbi Rebalancing Webinar. Proformative also offers an ongoing series of live webinars.

For expectations, I always say you really own the interview. You're as much there to interview them as they are to interview you. The reason that you, quite frankly, own the interview is because you have the benefit of time to prepare. You usually have time to spend looking at this company, figuring out how to prepare. Again, I think the more time you prepare the more control that you have.

What you want, you want to make sure that you're clear promise and that you openly distinguish yourself between the other candidates. I always it's not the best candidate that gets the job. It's usually the candidate that can best distinguish themselves, because chances are they picked that they picked to interview are going to have relatively similar background on paper. What you want to show is that you've had, again, that unique set of skills and experiences that go hand-in-hand that are different than someone else and stand out. You're trying to make yourself stand out.

Then, the other thing that you want when you go into each interview is, you want to define what the outcome is you want for each person that's interviewing you. When you think about it, each person has a different role in the company, so therefore they're going to be looking to you... For example, when you do that first screening, someone in HR is not going to be really studying your technical skills other than perhaps checking off the boxes to what specific things that the hiring manager is looking for.

Their role, really, is to make sure quite frankly that you'll fit. That you have the basic experience, but more importantly that culturally you've got the background. When you think about that HR person, you want to understand they're really going to probe your cultural side. Make sure you're ready for that. Then when you get in to, say, someone that you're going into a position and you're working, you're going to interview with someone that reports to the hiring manager. Most likely that their role is to figure out kind of what your technical skills are going to be.

Again, think about what that person's probably role is going to be as they interview you. Again, your job isn't necessarily to convince each person you're a perfect fit for everything in a role. That's really the job for the hiring manager that you want to focus on. Again, it might be a little different outcome for each person because ultimately each of them, the hiring manager and everyone get together and provide their input on you.

Again, try and think about what their role is going to be when they interview you. What they're going to be giving their opinion on about you. To get get that, to make that happen, the first thing you really need to do is start matching your skills to the job. Like I said before, you don't need to be the best candidate. You just need to be the best at distinguishing yourself. On Proformative you'll find - and when you go to this presentation there are, these are linked..."

End partial: Job Interview Skills Webinar

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