Content and readings

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Week 1 - Course introduction / Syllabus review

The Interviewing Skills course is intended to help you showcase your personality, strengths, interests, and abilities to potential employers. At this stage of your career exploration, you will have (or plan to) researched and targeted appropriate jobs and marketed yourself to these employers with an attention-getting resume and cover letter.

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Tip: Throughout the course, I will share helpful tools - one of these, for watching and recording video and making notes is: TurboNote - available as an add-in for Google Chrome

Week 1 + Week 2 - Pre-Interview: Research Thyself, Research Employers

Research Your Background, Skills & Experience

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Tip: A vital, often overlooked part of the interview process is researching your own background, skills and experience to create stories that succinctly communicated what you've achieved in quantifiable and qualitative terms, who it has impacted, and why it was important. These are called CAR Stories (Challenge, Action, Results).



Develop CAR Stories

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Tip: Regardless of the acronym used (CAR, PAR, STAR, SOAR), these stories are a powerful way of communicating your experience and 'can-do' abilities + Transferable Skills - in your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile and in behavioral interviews.


Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers (+ Week 3)

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Tip: Practice answering some of these standard interview questions. Preparation is the key to success!



Research Employers - Candidate + Hiring Manager's Perspective

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Tip: As you are researching the organization on LinkedIn, DO NOT ask for connections to people who you don't know. You could seriously jeopardize your chances of success - because you don't know them.

Researching employers (organizations) you want to work for is also very important. It gives you insight into the news, leadership and financial health of the organization, the strategic priorities, values and mission and culture. Also, you can learn about the products and services the organization provides and its key stakeholder audiences. An important resource is the Information Interview with someone who works in the organization, who can give you insight into the company culture, its hiring practices, norms and expectations. Also of importance is the Organization Chart, as well as an organization's employees on LinkedIn. You can learn about job titles and responsibilities, who reports to whom, career paths, and more.


Managing Your Expectations

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Tip: The average time to hire is 44 business days

Preparing yourself for interviews is also about managing your expectations throughout the hiring process. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Throughout the interview process, candidates have to take care of themselves mentally, emotionally and physically to ensure peak performance and recall of important facts and responses. There will be times that you perform your best and others less so - it's very important to not lose your momentum or focus if you've had a bad interview. Acknowledge what happened, debrief the experience and move forward - don't stop, obsess or engage in self-recrimination. Simply learn from the experience. This is not a positive or productive use of your time, energy and resources.


Video: Learning from the Hiring Manager's Perspective

Week 3 - Critical Success Factors for Interviews

The interviewing stage of your job search is where you will have an opportunity to convince employers that you are the right person they are looking for! You need a plan of action - you must take the initial steps necessary to help you prepare for that exciting, yet often anxiety-producing interview that lies ahead.

These article describes techniques and tactics to study prior to your first interview and differentiates between competency and behavioral answers. For example, click on Top 10 Critical Success Factors to learn about personality traits, skills, and abilities that "nearly every employer is seeking." To rise above the competition, the author suggests to prepare to show your competence in as many areas as possible. Links are listed that lead to many relevant articles such as the ones below."


  1. Top Ten Critical Success Factors
  2. The Eight Types of Interview Questions
  3. Fifty Standard Interview Questions
  4. Ten Tough Interview Questions and Ten Great Answers
  5. What to Do If You Are Asked an Illegal Question
  6. One Interview Question that Nearly Every College Student Fails
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Tip: Read this Fantastic Resource: Interview Questions by Type and Job Type

  • Although it is written from the employer's perspective, it will give you a great understanding of job-specific interview questions.


Interview Goals & Logistics

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Tip: Reduce the possibility of surprises by knowing your goals and interview logistics (e.g., name and title of the person you'll be seeing; approximate travel time; transportation options; parking, etc.

On the day of the interview, be confident, well informed, and enthusiastic. Debra Wolf's article also includes a helpful Interview Preparation Checklist and a Job Interviewing Quiz in this article on Job Interviews.


  • Interviews from Debra Wolf in Trusty Guides. Retrieved August 9, 2017.

Dress for Success & Create a Positive First Impression

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Tip: Dress to impress. For interviews, it's always better to dress up - even if everyone is in casual shirts and jeans. It's expected that the new person will dress this way, and it's a sign of respect - for the employer and you!

"You never get a second chance to make a good first impression." These articles offer suggestions for appropriate clothing, grooming, and jewelry, and remind us that, "The way you dress is how you want an employer to think of you.


Nonverbal Communication Skills (Cues, Body Language)

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Tip: Nonverbal skills / body language can account for as much as 70% of communication. Be aware of your tone, eye contact, responsiveness and enthusiasm - they really make a difference!

Readings - Candidate's Perspective

Videos - Candidate's Perspective

Videos - Employer's Perspective

Culture & Cultural Fit

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Tip: Researching the employer's culture to determine (1) whether you fit into the culture; and (2) whether you want to fit into the culture is an important part of the research and interview process.

Readings - Candidate's Perspective

Readings - Employer's Perspective

Appropriate - Legal and Illegal Questions

  • Candidate Evaluation Chart
  • Selection Interview Questions (call and response) - Respond and Pivot Like a Politican

Week 4 - The Interview Process & Types of Interviews

Every step in the job search journey you have taken so far has brought you to this stage: the interview process. You have probably sent out gazillions of resumes that reflect your education, experience, and career goals to potential employers of interest to you. You now have been invited to visit a company and convince the interviewers that you are the perfect person for the job! This unit offers resources to help you optimize the brief time you will spend with interviewers to learn more about their expectations, to convince them that you are the best fit for the job, and to determine whether acceptance of an offer would help you accomplish your career goals. Click here for the video on Youtube:

The Interview Process

This article discusses how candidates can maximize the brief 30- to 60-minute interview to convince a potential employer that they are the right person for the job. This is not a time to panic but to demonstrate that you are prepared, have presented your qualifications effectively, and that you are a good "fit" for the organization. The authors also list questions to ask yourself after the interview to evaluate your success and areas in which you can improve.


Types of Interviews

This article lists types of interviews including phone screening, selection, work sample, peer group, group or panel, luncheon, stress, video conference. A brief description and tips are offered for each type of interview.


Phone / Internet (Skype) Interviews

The phone / Internet (Skype) interview is often the candidate's first step in the hiring process. In this reading, Newberger describes the advantages to the company for this initial screening tactic and offers tips to job seekers on how to "manage" the telephone interview. The goal of the telephone interview is to secure an in-person interview. Therefore, preparation once again is the key to success! To learn how to prepare for other types of interviews, click on a link on the left of the page under "Types of Interviews."

For example, to prepare for "Behavioral Interviews," you are advised to rehearse answers to potential open-ended questions relating to your knowledge and skills. Learn about "Case Interviews" by following the link on the left of the page. This type of interview will test your ability to answer hypothetical questions by creating assumptions and forming possible conclusions from those assumptions. Other interviews listed include "2nd Interview, Site Visit," and "Meal Interview."


Videos - How to Answer Interview Questions

Challenging Situations & WorkArounds

Managing Stress

Technical Interviews / Whiteboarding



Reputation Management

Executive Interviews

About Recruiters & Headhunters

There are internal and external recruiters. In both cases, the recruiter is employed and paid by the organization (or on a contract / contingency basis). They are friendly but NOT your friend or confidante.

Internal Recruiters

  • May / may not know a lot about the organization's business processes and/or technical responsibilities other than what is in the job description
  • Follow a specified process

External Recruiters

  • Specialize in quickly finding specialized expertise
  • Looking for (almost) perfect matches
  • Are a broker between HireCo and Candidate - and are paid by on a sales commission or retainer basis
  • Source less than 5% of open positions
Placement Agencies
  • They hire / pay you directly
    • After a specified period of time (set by the Agency), the employer you work for may be able to hire you - and pay the agency a fee.
  • They invoice the employer directly and pay you a % / portion of the contract
  • They may pay you as an employee or contractor
    • You may / may not get benefits - part of the contracting process and negotiable
  • Have their own interview process
  • Have their own terms of service and contractual obligations


Questions to Ask Hiring Managers, Recruiters & Interviewers

Although you have researched the company and listened carefully to the interviewers, you will demonstrate your enthusiasm and gain important information by asking questions. This article offers lists of suggested questions to ask human resource personnel, hiring managers, headhunters, third parties, and peer-level interviewers, and it highlights the top 5 questions to ask in each type of interview.


After the Interview: What To Do

  • Thank You note
  • References
  • Followup / Follow Through / Communication - 'fish on a hook'


  • Unwritten, Unspoken Rules of Job Hunting / Interviewing - "Everything is Negotiable"
  • Be What Your Role Says You Are - i.e., Comms, Sales, etc.

Week 4 OR 5 - Negotiating salary and compensation

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Tip: Speaking up too quickly about salary requirements can be costly. Try to save that conversation for when you are offered the job - in writing!

Salary Requirements

Discussions of salary requirements during an interview can be tricky. There are no absolutes about when you may be asked your salary requirements: It can be during the initial screening interview on the telephone, casually asked during the interview, or during a second (or even a third) interview. In general, it is good to say that your salary is in line with the current market rate - and move onto discussing the requirements of the job.

You may have had several interviews or this may be your first interview. In either case, the subject of salary may have the effect of making you feel embarrassed or shy. This is the time to Raise Your Voice - by being prepared and asking (within reason) what you need in terms of salary and compensation. Employers expect candidates to be informed about their marketability for a given level of job in a particular industry.

The CareerOneStop reading offers information about how to obtain salary information for a specific type of job or occupation. Click on the "Identify the Salary" link highlighted under "Evaluate the Offer Wisely" to find salary information for over 800 different occupations. You will read how to communicate your ideas and concerns effectively. Because salary negotiation is a type of dance in which you and the employer may go back and forth in discussing issues, tradeoffs, and so forth, the article helps you to "understand the rules of the game" in order to achieve your desired outcome.

It is important to be prepared and not be taken by surprise. The article includes various scenarios in which you are asked to respond to questions about your salary expectations and offers possible responses to these questions.


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Tip: Know Your Worth: Calculator - Annual Salary to Hourly Rate

Negotiating Job Perks

Salary is not the only opportunity for you to negotiate with a potential employer for a desirable outcome. Many of today's employers offer perks as "extra vacation time, flexible scheduling, continuing education benefits, and tuition reimbursement" to retain valued workers and attract new employees. This article offers eight tips to "negotiate for perks in lieu of a higher salary."


Interview Debrief & Learning

  • What did I learn about myself?
  • What did I learn about the company?
  • What did I learn about the hiring manager?
  • What did I learn about the hiring process?
  • What did I learn about other opportunities - where I could be of service?

Course Evaluation

  • SIRS Form - emailed directly to you!

Additional Resources




Pitching to Investors

Managing Stress




Other - More...

You can quit now and get away with it.-

Future Trends