Job Interview Tips: Securing The Offer - Get Hired for the Job!

Job Interview Tips: Securing The Offer - Get Hired for the Job!

GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.

CONTENTS

  • "Why Should I Invest My Time To Prepare?"
  • Questions to Expect in Your Interview
  • Questions YOU Should Ask in Your Interview
  • Things to NEVER Say
  • Avoiding Career Limiting Comments, Questions & Demands
  • What Are Interviewers Looking for?
  • Body Language
  • "Why Should We Hire You?"
  • Effectively Managing Questions About Money
  • Effectively Managing the Question, "What Salary Do You Want?"
  • Real Time Needs Analysis
  • Looking Your Best for the Interview
  • Lunch Interviews
  • What If I Am Not Being Asked Any Technical Questions?
  • The Phone Interview
  • Excelling at the Team Interview
  • Interested In The Opportunity? What to Do
  • Thank You Cards
  • Prepping the Candidate
  • Blue Sky Questions

"Why Should I Invest My Time To Prepare?"

If you are taking the time to open and read this packet you care about your success. This packet contains the wisdom gained from managing over 5,000 face-to-face interviews. It is our hope that the successes we have seen, and the failures we have lived through will provide you with the tools to help you SECURE THE OFFER.

If you were shopping for a home would you be excited about seeing one that is poorly lit, had garbage strewn around the lawn, and cockroaches and spiders scurrying about?

The condition of the home would most certainly affect not only your decision to buy but also THE PRICE you would be willing to pay. And we all want to get the best price, don’t we?

A professional real estate agent will "prep" the property before allowing you to see it. He will make sure the exterminator has been out and that the house is clean and attractive with a strong feeling of warmth.

Just as the real estate professional goes the extra mile before the sales call, so should you before your interview.


GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Questions to Expect in Your Interview

An interviewer’s questions are your key opportunity to sell yourself and to set yourself apart from the competition. Preparing for anticipated questions gives you a chance to construct meaningful, thoughtful responses that best present your skills and abilities and ultimately places you in the best possible position to receive a strong offer. Questions commonly asked include:

 

  • Why are you looking for a new job?
  • Why did you leave your previous job?
  • What are your goals? Why?
  • How do you set your goals? How do you measure your results?
  • Where do you want to be in 5 years?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are you weaknesses? (Everyone has them. Be sure to prepare an answer and how you overcome your weaknesses!)
  • How do you deal with conflict?
  • What don’t you like about your current job?
  • What do you like about your current job?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What kind of team player are you?
  • What does being a team player mean to you?
  • What are you interested in?
  • What is your current salary?
  • What type of salary do you want? (See how to handle this question )
  • When can you start?
  • What has been your favorite job so far? Why?
  • Why did you take your last/current job?
  • What do you want out of a company?
  • What did you do at "X company"?
  • What did you accomplish in your last/current job?
  • What would your current manager say about you?
  • What job related accomplishments are you the most proud of?
  • What is your experience with "x" (a specific skill)
  • Describe how you would "x" (a task directly related to your skill)?
  • What can you contribute to us?
  • What questions do you have for me?
  • Why did you choose to (go to this college, accept that job, etc)?
  • Why didn’t you finish your degree?
  • Why didn’t you go to college?
  • Why did you choose this career?
  • What kind of employee are you?
  • What interests you outside of work?
  • What motivates you? Why?
  • What turns you off? Why?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What makes an ideal manager for you?
  • What type of manager do you dislike?
  • What is the right way to manage you?

You can answer many of these questions by giving either a short version or a long version. When a question is open-ended you might consider saying, "Let me give you the short version. If you would like to explore any aspect in more detail I will be happy to go into greater depth."

You should always tailor your answer to what the interview needs AND WANTS to know and without a lot of extraneous rambling or superfluous explanation.


GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Questions YOU Should Ask in Your Interview

(open-ended questions to get the interviewer to talk)

  • In your own words, what is the role you need me to fill? What will I be doing? What contributions and/or accomplishments will you expect of me?
  • What will you expect me to do in my first six months here? What projects will I be working on? How critical are these projects to the overall mission of the company?
  • What are your long-term expectations for this position?
  • What are the characteristics of the most successful people here?
  • What are the key skills and abilities necessary to be successful in this position? What are you looking for?
  • Why is this position open?
  • What defines outstanding performance here? How is that performance evaluated?
  • What would I have to do to be considered a key resource on your team?
  • What value would I bring to the team?
  • How would you position me on your team?
  • How would my skills help meet your goals?
  • Show the interviewer you are a problem-solver and ask for a relevant current, previous, or hypothetical problem to solve.
  • Tell me about some of the issues that you are faced with.
  • What has your team accomplished in the last 12 months?
  • What are your objectives for the next 12 months?
  • What goals does your group have that you are excited about?

GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Things to NEVER Say

All too often candidates unknowingly eliminate themselves from consideration. Here are some quick tips to avoid being one of them:

  • Never say ANYTHING negative about another company, a previous employer, a teammate (current or previous), or anything else. ALL of your comments should be positive and uplifting.
  • Never say you want to own your own business.
  • Never say you aren’t really looking for a job.
  • Never curse or use slang even if the interviewer does.
  • Never say anything about politics.
  • Never talk about personal, marital, health, or emotional problems/issues, etc.
  • Never say you don't like to work as a team member / you are not a team player.
  • Never show programs you have written for other employers unless you have express permission to do so. If you do have permission, make sure you point it out. You don’t want to give the impression you will run off with confidential information.

GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Avoiding Career Limiting Comments, Questions & Demands

The interview is NEVER the time to place any demands on the employer, or to ask potentially embarrassing questions. ANY specific requirements or concerns you may have should be directed at your recruiter exclusively unless your GoTechNow recruiter advises you differently. All of these questions can quickly and easily turn off the interviewer. We have witnessed countless interviews destroyed by this foolishness. LET YOUR RECRUITER HANDLE IT. That’s our job.


Examples:

  • "I require 30 days notice if the contract is going to expire."
  • "I require my employer to pay for parking."
  • "I need guaranteed time off."
  • "Do you offer flex hours?"
  • "I want to work from home/telecommute, do you offer that option?"
  • "I work best with a 21" monitor."
  • "When will I be eligible for a raise?"
  • "How much vacation will I get?"
  • "Will I get my own office?"
  • "Why are you working with X and not Y?" (You can get the information a better way - "A lot of companies are working with X. What was the reasoning (the company) chose to work with X, rather than Y?")

GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


What Are Interviewers Looking for?

Your success in an interview will depend on your ability to discover the interviewer’s needs and empathize with him. You can do this by asking questions that verify your understanding of what you have just been told without editorializing or expressing an opinion. By doing this you’ll be in a better position to freely exchange ideas and establish your suitability for the job.

Enthusiasm – Quite often the candidate who shows the most genuine enthusiasm in the opportunity will be the one who comes away with the offer. Leave no doubt as to your level of interest in the company. You can show genuine enthusiasm by

  1. Dressing professionally for the interview.
  2. Listening properly.
  3. Understanding the position, the company’s business, and its technical environment.
  4. Showing an interest in its needs.
  5. Preparing for the interview.
  6. Being on time.
  7. Asking good questions.
  8. Tell the interviewer you are interested in the job.
  • Show him that you love what you do for a living, someone who is always excited about his work is always an asset.
  • Demonstrate confidence in yourself and your skills (without being cocky).
  • Honesty.
  • The ability to effectively and easily communicate, express and discuss ideas in both oral and written form.
  • Clear enunciation and voice tone.
  • Clear, direct, complete, and concise answers.
  • A "can do attitude" and a willingness to do what it takes to get the job done.
  • Positive attitude.
  • Professional demeanor.
  • Results oriented.
  • Knowledge.
  • Being energetic and alert.
  • Team player.
  • Firm handshake.
  • Good eye contact
  • Open-mindedness.
  • Career direction- knowing what you want, why, and expressing it.
  • Clear and reasonable reasons for changing jobs.
  • Pleasant / cooperative attitude.
  • Desire to learn, grow, and improve.
  • Acceptance of personal responsibility for both personal success and failure.
  • Ability to deal with stress.

GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Body Language

Repeated studies of human communication reveal a startling fact. Only 7% of the message our target receives comes from the specific words you choose during verbal communication. 38% comes from voice quality (voice inflection, tone, etc.), and a whopping 55% from non-verbal communication (body language). You’ve heard the phrase "First impressions are everything." The message you communicate non-verbally is the lion’s share of that first impression. Before you say your first words the interviewer is already forming an impression about you. Your smile, your eye contact, your handshake, how you are dressed, and how you stand say everything says something about you.


If you have been involved in hiring others think back/look back at candidates you most remember. Which ones stand out? The ones who drone through facts and figures, or the ones who smiled, used hand gestures, and interacted with the interviewer instead of simply talking to them? Your body language should back up your words.

What can you do? It’s simple. Just smile, use hand gestures once in a while, and show some energy. If you say you are excited about working for this company, show enthusiasm with your eyes, your smile, and your voice inflection. Your interviewer will appreciate it, and you will stand a better chance of being the professional he selects!

Some key points to consider (each can be easily practiced beforehand with friends):

  1. Hand shaking: The most pleasant handshake is a firm handshake with dry and warm hands. Don’t be the bone-crusher. If your hands tend be cold, run some warm water over them just prior to meeting the interview. If they tend to be sweaty, run cold water.
  2. Posture: Stand and sit erect. Slouching shows them you don’t care. It’s too cavalier. Don’t be "ramrod" stiff either.
  3. Eye contact: Make eye contact with the interviewer. It’s not a staring contest, so don’t be aggressive about it, but eye contact is how people communicate mutual interest with each other. Occasionally look away from the eyes (maybe at the desk, the interviewer’s hands, etc.) Poor eye contact communicates nervousness, lack of confidence, or strong discomfort with the other person.
  4. Your hands: If you were to videotape yourself talking with your friends, you would see yourself doing a lot of gesturing, also called "talking with your hands." It is a very natural way for us to communicate, and you should carry this over to your interviews. Be careful not to overdo gesturing. It should not feel too uncomfortable.
  5. No fidgeting: It is a monumental distraction during the interview to be swaying in your chair, playing with your hair, swiveling or rocking back and forth in your chair, clicking a pen top, or unconsciously touching parts of the body (hands together is a common one).


Practice your non-verbal communication with a friend or tape yourself to identify potential areas for improvement and your strengths that you can capitalize on.


GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


"Why Should We Hire You?"

A tough question to answer, but it is still a legitimate one. Explain the benefits your previous employers enjoyed by hiring you. Keep it professional. Think about what you have delivered in the past, and help the interviewer visualize your performing the same for him. Some examples are:

  • "I take great pride in my work, and my managers could always count on me to get the job done. My references will verify this, and isn’t that the kind of resource you are looking for?"
  • "Peace of mind. The solutions I deliver have a history of high-reliability, and I have a reputation for getting it right the first time. My references will verify this, and isn’t that the kind of resource you are looking for?"
  • "I delivered X% in efficiency gains with XYZ, and I believe I can contribute greatly to your efforts. My references will verify this, and isn’t that the kind of resource you are looking for?"

GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Proper Representation of Your History on the Application

Offers can easily be rescinded (or never made at all) if an employer discovers that the candidate misrepresented, intentionally or unintentionally, his background. Many companies specifically verify ALL the information you write down on the application (which you sign). When you sign it you are verifying the authenticity of this information. It is absolutely imperative that 100% of the information you write down on your application be accurate. Never estimate or guess on the application. If you do not know then leave it blank and advise HR. Examples include dates worked (be specific to the month), schools attended, degrees earned, GPA, etc.


GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Effectively Managing Questions About Money

Employment applications typically ask you current salary and desired salary. Your answer to those questions can have tremendous influence on the amount of your offer.

  • Current salary: Be honest. List your base salary plus any bonuses (break it out if possible). The total sum in this box should equal your annual W-2 income (what is reported to the IRS by this employer as taxable income)
  • Desired salary: This box is too small to "negotiate" effectively, so leave yourself room to do it verbally. The best response here is to write "negotiable" or "open." This way you have not pinned yourself down to any specific figure. (IMPORTANT NOTE: It is nearly impossible to anticipate the size of an offer, especially since you haven’t even had the opportunity yet to really sell yourself, and therein is the danger. You stand the greatest chance of either low-balling yourself (putting in a number too low and getting an offer less than you should) or overshooting and missing an offer you really wanted because the manager thought your expectations were more than he could handle. Keep your options open as long as possible.)

GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Effectively Managing the Question, "What Salary Do You Want?"

It has been our experience that most employers will make the fairest offer they feel they can based on three criteria:

  1. internal company policy,
  2. your skills and abilities and how they match up against other internal employees and their compensation package, and
  3. market forces.


Companies have a wealth of information to draw upon to determine the best offer they can make, and they will want to make an offer that you will not only accept, but one that you will be genuinely excited about. Your best resource to determine your value to the market, in addition to your existing compensation, is an impartial salary survey.

When a hiring manager asks you what salary you are looking for, he is generally looking for answers to these questions:

  1. Can he afford you? Do you fit within his budget constraints?
  2. Is your focus on his opportunity or on how much money you will make? Naturally, the hiring manager is going to be more enthusiastic about the candidate that ranks the opportunity as a more critical issue than the compensation, and will typically offer more money to the less greedy candidate. Companies are looking for a team committed to their objectives and the long term instead of "fast cash."


Your Safest, Best Answers:

1. "That’s a flattering question Mr. Hiring manager. However, I haven’t really had time to evaluate this opportunity and weigh all that will be expected of me versus what I know I can deliver. Any answer I give you right now wouldn’t be fair to you or to me. Can I have some time to think about that?"

He can’t argue against that, and it demonstrates your willingness to work with him, how reasonable you are, and that you are not prone to rash decisions. The bottom line is that if you give him a dollar figure at that moment you may come in too low, and you will have LOST the opportunity to negotiate a higher figure. Or, if you come in too high, he may choose to pass on you BEFORE you have had a chance to really show him the value you would bring the company. What’s the probability you will say the right figure when on the spot in an interview? VERY LOW.

2. "Mr./Ms. Employer, like everyone else, no matter how much I earn, there never seems to be enough. Like everyone (with a grin) I want as much as I can get." (Turning serious) Money is important to me Mr./Ms Employer, but it isn’t my primary goal. I’m more interested in the people I will be working with on a day-to-day basis and the kind of long-term opportunities here at ABC Co. But since you brought it up, what kind of salary RANGE did you have in mind?"

If the employer names a salary range the stock response would be "If you decide I am the person for you, I am sure we can come to an agreement in that range." If forced to name figures you should respond with a salary range of your own and add, "Does that fit into the range you had in mind?"


GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Real Time Needs Analysis

Some of the Hiring manager’s needs must be identified real time during the interview, and you will need to adjust your interview style accordingly.

  • How assertive does the hiring manager want me to be?
  • Do I really understand his needs?
  • What can I do to convince the decision maker that I am the right person for this opportunity?
  • Have I convinced him that I have the skills and abilities he needs?

GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Take Pride In Your Appearance

The interviewer will assume that the way you dress for the interview is the best you will ever look, and you will be evaluated accordingly. General tips to looking your best.

  • Do NOT bring your own food or drink – period (this includes chewing gum).
  • Have your hair done or cut.
  • Make sure your hair is neatly groomed.
  • No facial stubble. Be clean-shaven and / or have your facial hair neatly groomed.
  • Don't carry a messy brief case or an old and beat up one!
  • Make sure your glasses are clean.
  • Make sure your clothes fit properly – nothing too tight or too loose.
  • Clothes should be clean, pressed, and preferably relatively new.
  • Dress conservatively.
  • Your briefcase or portfolio should be neat and attractive. No frayed edges, and nothing to make it look beat up.
  • Make sure your shoes have a nice, professional shine.
  • Don't have a pen or pencil in your shirt pocket. In fact, don't have anything in your shirt pocket.
  • Don't wear lots of jewelry - for men no bracelets, diamond rings, or earrings.
  • Jeans, shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops, sandals, and tennis shoes, are never acceptable.
  • Worn or frayed clothing is also a very bad idea.

If professional attire is expected:

  1. For men, GoTechNow recommends a navy blue or charcoal gray suit (avoid trendy suit colors, like olive green), a white long sleeve shirt, a leather belt, nice dress shoes with a good polish, dark dress socks, and a rich looking red or burgundy silk tie. If possible, avoid anything polyester (shirt and tie especially). Wear a white undershirt. Have a little starch in your shirt. Make sure the knot in your tie is crisp and tight - always button the top button on your shirt.
  2. For women, something compatible for this type of professional attire is highly recommended.


If professional casual attire is expected:

  1. For men, nice slacks and button down shirt will do just fine. A pair of slip on loafers (with a nice shine) or lace-up casual shoes is fine. Remember to wear a leather belt. An undershirt is also advisable.
  2. For women comparable attire is recommended.

GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


The Lunch Interview

Lunch interviews are tricky because it is easy to let your guard down. Don’t! You are "on trial" from the moment you walk into the office building until the moment you leave. EVERYONE is evaluating you at ALL TIMES. The front desk receptionist, the hiring manager’s assistant, the security guard, everyone. Be sure to be courteous and professional to each of them. We have seen many offers lost due to a bad recommendation from the receptionist.

With a few basic tips, you can navigate the lunch interview successfully and professionally:

  1. Do not order messy or finger foods. Your order should be easily eaten with knife and fork. This means no cheeseburgers, ribs, sandwiches, etc.
  2. If your host orders something light (like a salad) he may be on a diet. Ordering the chicken fried steak with fries isn’t the best idea. You want him longing to hire you, not longing to eat your lunch. Order something light as well.
  3. Avoid things that will give you bad breath: onions, garlic, etc. Your interview isn’t done until you leave the site.
  4. Try to order something in the same general price range as your host.

GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


What If I Am Not Being Asked Any Technical Questions?

If you are close to wrapping up your interview and you realize that very few or no technical questions have been asked of you, YOU should jump in and volunteer the needed information. Under these circumstances, it is vital you demonstrate your technical knowledge. The simplest way to do this is to ask a question about the current projects, then jump in and describe, at a technical level, a similar task you have accomplished. Include the technical details on how you overcame specific obstacles. For example: "Can you tell me how you are handling the data mapping for your conversions from all the legacy systems into SAP 4.7?" After he answers describe your most relevant technical skills in this area. You can even be so bold as to ask at the end of this "Do you have any technical questions for me about my skills, or are there any technical tests you would like me to take?"


GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


The Phone Interview

You should treat the phone interview with as much preparation as a face-to-face interview. Preparation is still the key. There are a few techniques unique to the phone interview we should quickly review.

  1. Always make sure you are distraction free. Find a private room with no distractions. Distractions include ALL other people, pets, the TV’s being on, the stereo’s being on, the computer’s being active, driving a car, being outside, etc. The interviewer expects your undivided attention for that small amount of time he has carved out of his day to get to know you – make sure you have the opportunity to be 100% focused on him.
  2. Stand up during the call. When you stand up, your voice naturally projects better and with more confidence, and you become a more effective communicator.
  3. Smile during the call. Stand in front of a mirror if you need the reminder. Your voice will sound more friendly and warm when you smile. An interesting statistic: only 7% of the message you communicate comes from the words you choose during verbal communication. 38 percent comes from voice quality (voice inflection, tone, etc.), and a whopping 55% from non-verbal communication (body language). Don’t cheat yourself. Stand up and smile during your phone interview!
  4. MAKE SURE YOUR CELL PHONE BATTERY IS FULLY CHARGED. You don’t want the interview to think you hung up with him because your battery died, do you?
  5. When using cell phones and cordless phones make sure you are in a clear reception area. Test the area BEFORE the phone interview to be sure.

GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Excelling at the Team Interview

Be sure to make eye contact with each interviewer. This is critical. One of the goals of the team interview is to identify how you will react in a team environment while on the job. You want everyone to feel included, and eye contact will help you accomplish that. Another good idea is to periodically refer to another team member's earlier comments or questions.


GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Interested In The Opportunity?

Find out where YOU stand and how YOU did on your interview before leaving your interview. Asking the following questions, in this order, will give you an idea. Be sure to ask these questions as they are stated, and in the order presented here.

1. "Is there any reason you feel like I would not be a fit for this position? Do you have any concerns about my ability to succeed in this role?"

The key here is to use the word "concerns," not problems or objections. Your objective is to identify their concerns and to try to manage them immediately, before they become a real problem. Their concerns may be unfounded, or simply untrue, and this gives you a chance to correct it. Also, DO NOT HELP THE INTERVIEWER WITH THE ANSWER! Ask the question and be silent. By helping him with answers, you may inadvertently create a problem where there wasn't one before.

2. "What qualifications do the other candidates have that you don’t see in my background?"

Same reasoning as for number 1.

3. "What do I bring to you that make me a match for your needs?"

This one is tricky to say, so be sure to make it your own. Your objective, after discussing the negatives, is to turn the conversation back onto the positives. Feel free to help him with the answers and encourage them to verbalize them as much as possible.

4. "Mr. Hiring Manager, I am excited about what I have learned here today, and am looking forward to hearing some great news soon. When can I expect to hear from you?"

OR

"Assuming I am the right candidate for the job, how soon would you like me to start?"

Asking for the job can make all the difference in the world, and it's the best way possible to wrap up the interview. The above is merely a suggestion, but it also demonstrates an inoffensive way to ask for the offer.

If the manager tells you that you don't have the right technical experience, you can respond with something like this:

"Well, let me tell you what I DO have. I have 10 years of being on time every day. I have 10 years of giving honest effort. I have 10 years of getting along well with my co-workers. I have 10 years of a winning attitude. I have 10 years of learning progressively more complex roles. I have 10 years knowing that my job depends on the profit of the company, and I want the security of a job. That's the kind of experience you need, isn't it? I can start immediately, or would you prefer next week?"


GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Thank You Cards

Why send a thank you card? Because your competition probably isn't, and sending a card can make the difference in who gets the offer. Sending a card is professional and shows genuine interest in the opportunity. GoTechNow recommends sending a thank you card versus a letter because it stands out and is more likely to be read quickly by the hiring manager.

GoTechNow recommends that you use plain, simple thank you cards readily available in any card shop or grocery store. There should be no writing on the card except for the thank you on the cover. A plain tan color is just right. If you are interviewing for a contract position, an email followed up by a "snail mail" card is appropriate. When interviewing be sure to get the correct spelling (write it down) of each person you interview with. Use blue ink. First, thank the interviewers for their courtesy in meeting you, then reference some of the strengths you bring to the table that interested them in your interview, and close by asking for the job.


Sample text:

"Dear Robert,

Thank you for your courtesy this morning. I enjoyed meeting you and your team. To recap, I believe my two years of J2EE development matches your needs and that I will be able to help your team meet it's rollout deadline. I am looking forward to hearing some great news.

Take care,

John Doe."


GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Prepping a Candidate for an Interview

I have been a recruiter far longer than I care to remember but I am still amazed how many basics I learned over 25 years ago that still apply. Interview preparation was one of the big keys to making placements then and remains so today. We must give a candidate a solid idea of what to expect in the way of questions and good ideas and principals to incorporate into his/her presentation.

Most candidates adopt an attitude that is almost fatalistic. "I’ll answer all their questions honestly and let the chips fall where they may," so most of them get the old "other people scheduled for interviews . . . We’ll get back to you" response. This is because, although most candidates want to make a good impression, many of them don’t have a clue. In the old days, we brought every candidate into our office before the interview and spent 30 to 45 minutes preparing him or her for an interview. Many times, if they were not dressed and groomed appropriately, interviews were rescheduled. Because many of us work across the country, this is out of the question. However, a 15-20 minute phone call prior to the interview to discuss technique can be time / money well spent. After all, a prospective employer may be spending a lot more money setting up and paying for travel arrangements. Recruiters should make the time investment needed to help that candidate get the job offer.

Please note I said OFFER. I stress to each candidate that they have no decision to make, as far as a perspective employer is concerned, until they GET THE OFFER. Here are some of the principals, learned long ago, that still apply today.

Turn the interview into a conversation. Easily said, difficult for many candidates to accomplish. The key is explaining to them how to answer questions and incorporating a question into a response. Simple example: "Mr. Doe, are you willing to travel? Yes I am. Can you please give me an idea of the extent and kind of travel involved in MY position?" The candidate gets valuable information to factor into a decision beyond "--% of travel", and by personalizing the question forces the interview into visualizing him/her on the job. Which is a key part of using assumptive interviewing techniques. Personalize the interview whenever and where ever possible. Never discuss Job responsibilities or job duties. Use phrases like "What will I be doing for you on a day-to-day basis? Who will I report to? Who will be reporting to me? There seems no question as to whether the candidate will get the job because the interviewer is visualizing the candidate on the job in order to answer these questions.


GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.


Blue Sky Questions

What I call blue sky questions (generally asked by human resource interviewers) can cause candidates problems because they are forced to deal with abstract ideas rather than skills and facts. A question like "What are your long term goals?" can be tricky because many candidates think in terms of job titles and answer "I want to be an operations manager some day." There are no pat answers here, but try to give candidates an idea why the question is asked (expectations vs. ambitions). A good general answer discusses future job CONTENT such as "I would like to have the responsibility for people reporting to me, helping them to realize their potential, strengthening weaknesses, motivating them, etc. Is this opportunity available to me here at ABC Co?" Another question, generally from HR or an astute manager, may ask a candidate to discuss weaknesses. Again, explain the reasons for asking the question (has the candidate done a self-assessment). One can’t hope to become a better person without knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses. I ask candidates to think of traits they may have noticed in themselves that they are trying too change, i.e.; too bold, impetuous, impatient, etc. A response to this question might be "I am aware that sometimes I am too impatient. When I see someone doing a job that I know a better technique for, I want to jump in and do the job for him or her. I try to remind myself that people have to learn on their own so I try to hold myself back. Later on I will mention to the person that they might try this technique. Sometimes I forget and dive in, but I’m working on that issue."

When an interview closes, be sure to ask for the job. Most employers close an interview by saying, "we have covered a lot of ground today. I have to discuss this with ... Do you have any further questions at this time?" The best response should be something along the following lines "Thanks for your time. I’m sure that I’ll think of questions I should have asked, after I leave. However, based on our conversation, I want you to know that I am very interested in this position. I’m confident I can more than meet your expectations. How do you see me fitting into your team?" Or if the candidate has a feeling that there is a doubt in the employers mind "Do you have any question about my ability to handle the work?" The fitting in question finishes off the assumptive interview by seeking re-enforcement from the employer that the candidate has succeeded in creating a favorable impression. The ability question should only be used if the candidate is unsure of the interviewer's impression.


GTN Technical Staffing is a Dallas & Fort Worth based technical staffing company. Are you looking for a Dallas IT job?  Visit our job search page to find available positions in your area.



If you have any questions please contact us or your recruiter.

Thank you, and GOOD LUCK!

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