Content and readings
- 1 Week 1 - Course introduction / Syllabus review
- 2 Week 1 + Week 2 - Pre-Interview: Research Thyself, Research Employers
- 2.1 Research Your Background, Skills & Experience
- 2.2 Develop CAR Stories
- 2.3 Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers (+ Week 3)
- 2.4 Research Employers - Candidate + Hiring Manager's Perspective
- 2.5 Managing Your Expectations
- 3 Week 3 - Critical Success Factors for Interviews
- 3.1 Readings
- 3.2 Videos
- 3.3 Interview Goals & Logistics
- 3.4 Dress for Success & Create a Positive First Impression
- 3.5 Nonverbal Communication Skills (Cues, Body Language)
- 3.6 Culture & Cultural Fit
- 4 Week 4 - The Interview Process & Types of Interviews
- 4.1 The Interview Process
- 4.2 Types of Interviews
- 4.3 Phone / Internet (Skype) Interviews
- 4.4 Challenging Situations & WorkArounds
- 4.5 Managing Stress
- 4.6 Technical Interviews / Whiteboarding
- 4.7 Reputation Management
- 4.8 Executive Interviews
- 4.9 About Recruiters & Headhunters
- 4.10 CAVEAT EMPTOR
- 4.11 Questions to Ask Hiring Managers, Recruiters & Interviewers
- 4.12 After the Interview: What To Do
- 5 Week 4 OR 5 - Negotiating salary and compensation
- 6 Additional Resources
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.
Week 1 + Week 2 - Pre-Interview: Research Thyself, Research Employers
Research Your Background, Skills & Experience
- Transferable Skills - Assess & Rank | Google Doc Available - Make a Copy
- 10 Resume Accomplishment Samples
- United Nations Careers: Competency Based Interviewing
Develop CAR Stories
- Behavioral Interview Techniques: The STAR Approach, Wayne State University
- CAR Story Explained - simple & effective
- PAR / STAR Stories, Nova Southeastern University.
Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers (+ Week 3)
- Fifty Standard Interview Questions (and Awesome Answers), from CollegeGrad. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- Video: Best way to answer "Behavioral Based" interview questions (13:53). Don Georgevich
Research Employers - Candidate + Hiring Manager's Perspective
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.
- The Ultimate Guide to Researching a Company Pre-Interview, in Forbes. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
- Step-by-Step Guide to Researching Companies: How to Conduct Job Research, in LiveCareer.
- 7 Things to Research Before Any Job Interview, in GlassDoor.
- How to Research the Company Before the Job Interview, from WikiHow.
- Best 6 Steps to Find Keywords for Your Resume, Personal Branding Blog.
- Informational Interviews, Wikipedia
- 3 Steps to a Perfect Informational Interview, The Muse.
Managing Your Expectations
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.
- 30 Business Days To Your New Job (Google Doc)
- Rowboat / Breathing Technique, in CollegeGrad.
- Using Mental Rehearsal to Prepare for Interviews from University of California Berkley Career Center.
- Best Bet for Job Interview Prep: Rehearsed, Mock, and Video-Recorded Interviews by Katherine Hansen. (Google Doc)
- How to do a Practice Interview that Will Actually Help You
- Rutgers Resource: Rutgers Career Services Mock Interview System
Video: Learning from the Hiring Manager's Perspective
- Video: Moishe Lettvin - What I Learned Doing 250 Interviews at Google (1:00:24) - A Hiring Manager's Perspective. (See: 0:00 minutes to 6:00 minutes; and 17:59 - 24:56 minutes)
- (: Additional videos and readings are available from the Hiring Manager's perspective later in the course: (1) Nonverbal Interviewing Skills (Body Language); and (2) Cultural Fit).
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."
- How to Talk to People According to Terry Gross, The NPR Host Offers 8 Spicy Tips for Better Conversations, Jolie Kerr, November 17, 2018, New York Times
- Practice Tips and Activities to Improve Your Interview Skills in Huffington Post.
- The Job Interview: All Time Classic Do's and Don'ts in LinkedIn blog post.
- Interview Tips: Dos and Don'ts for College Students in Career Profiles.
- Mastering the Interview from CollegeGrad. (Read at least 6 of the readings.)
- Top Ten Critical Success Factors
- The Eight Types of Interview Questions
- Fifty Standard Interview Questions
- Ten Tough Interview Questions and Ten Great Answers
- What to Do If You Are Asked an Illegal Question
- One Interview Question that Nearly Every College Student Fails
- Although it is written from the employer's perspective, it will give you a great understanding of job-specific interview questions.
Interview Goals & Logistics
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
"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.
- Interview Dress Suggestions from Kentucky Office of Employment and Training.
- Dress for Success from North Dakota State University Career Center.. (Read the introduction and click on an industry under male or female to learn the critique of the model's appearance.)
- Is Hiding Body Art During Interviews, Then Revealing It on the Job, Deceptive?, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Nonverbal Communication Skills (Cues, Body Language)
Readings - Candidate's Perspective
- Nonverbal Interviewing Skills, Salisbury University.
- Why is Nonverbal Communication Important, LinkedIn post, by Susan L. Martin
- Rutgers Resources for Special Populations, Students with Disabilities; Diverse Students & International Students
- Reading - In Pictures: Secrets Of Nonverbal Communication, Forbes, 2009
Videos - Candidate's Perspective
- Video: 30 Seconds to Impress (6:52), Duke University Career Services
Videos - Employer's Perspective
- Video Interviewing Technique: Getting It Right (4:24), Gemma Burton
- Video: Body Language that Gets the Job (4:26), Forbes
Culture & Cultural Fit
Readings - Candidate's Perspective
- Interviewing Across Cultures (PDF, 14 pages), Pamela Leri in GoingGlobal.com
Readings - Employer's Perspective
- 18 Cultural Fit Job Interview Questions to Assess the Candidate's Fit in Your Workplace, by Susan Heathfield, 2017
- Recruiting for Cultural Fit, by Katie Bouton in HBR.org, 2015.
- How to Interview Candidates for Passion and Cultural Fit, by Sharon Waldrop in Monster.com
- Seven Tips for Interviewing Culturally-Diverse Candidates, Monster.com
- 16 of the Best Job Interview Questions to Ask Candidates (And What to Look for in Their Answers), by Lindsay Kolowich, HubSpot blog, 2017.
- The End of Culture Fit: Facebook's Managing Unconscious Bias Training
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: https://youtu.be/Rs704XbTFik
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.
- The Interview Process, Connecticut Department of Labor
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.
- Ready for every kind of interview? Learn how to be., CareerOneStop
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."
- Types of Interviews, Cohen Career Center
- Ten Tough Interview Questions and Ten Great Answers, CollegGrad (repeat reading)
- Fifty Standard Interview Questions (and Awesome Answers for Each), CollegeGrad (repeat reading)
- Former Google Recruiter: Here's How to Ace a Remote (Video) Job Interview, Fast Company.
Videos - How to Answer Interview Questions
- Video: How to answer "Tell Me About Yourself?" (4:25), by Jobspeaker
- Video: How to answer "Where do You See Yourself in 5 Years?" (3:13), by Jobspeaker
- Video: How to answer: What is Your Greatest Strength?" (2:33), by Jobspeaker
- Video: How to answer "What is Your Greatest Weakness?" (4:23), by Jobspeaker
- Video: How to answer "How Did You Handle a Difficult Situation" (3:45), by Jobspeaker
- Video: How to answer "Why Should We Hire You?" (3:43), by Jobspeaker
Challenging Situations & WorkArounds
- Acknowledge Gaps, Pivot and Share CAR story + Transferable Skills
- LYFT didn't hire me, by Josh Fechter post on LinkedIn, Sept. 8, 2017.
- PAIN Letters in Forbes, by Liz Ryan
- https://hbr.org/2018/11/what-to-do-if-your-career-is-stalled-and-you-dont-know-why What to do if your career is stalled and you don't know why] in HBR, November 2018
- When Healing Is Needed, Seek Out These Immunity-Boosting Foods, Washington Post, 2017
Technical Interviews / Whiteboarding
- How to Prepare for (and Ace) the Technical Interview, Staffing Careers
- Five Tips to Crack Any Technical Interview, LinkedIn
- How to Ace Your Technical Interview, Forbes
- Video: Cracking the Coding Interview with Author Gayle Laakmann McDowell (9:05)
- Video: How to: Work at Google — Example Coding/Engineering Interview (24:01)
- Video: HARD Google Interview Question - The 25 Horses Puzzle (1:01)
- Common Interview Questions for Executive Level Jobs
- Executive Job Interview Preparation
- 5 Smart Interview Strategies for Executives
- Top 20 Executive Interview Pet Peeves from Hiring Decision-Makers
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Why Recruiters Rely on The Overqualified Word and What You Can Do About It, by Russ Finkelstein, LinkedIn Post, Aug 22, 2017
- She Flipped Off President Trump and Got Fired from Her Government Contracting Job, in Washington Post, November 6, 2017.
- I was an associate in IBD. This is why women leave banking, Sacha Nitsetska, in E-Financial Careers, April 9, 2018. Read the comments too.
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.
- Asking Questions, CollegeGrad
- Video: How to answer "Do you Have Any Questions for Us (3:14), by Jobspeaker
- Cultural Fit Interview Questions by Workable (: This reading is written from the hiring manager's perspective (as are most like it). As a candidate, simply think about how you would respond, if you were asked these questions - and prepare accordingly.)
After the Interview: What To Do
- Thank You note
- 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
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.
- Negotiate Your Salary, CareerOneStop
- Salary Questions & Negotiation: Responding to Questions About Your Salary, Virginia Tech
- Video: Negotiating Compensation: Interviewing Skills (3:02)
- Video: How to Handle Salary Questions (1:36), by Jobspeaker
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."
- 8 Ways to Negotiate for Job Perks, CareerBuilder
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?
- SIRS Form - emailed directly to you!
- Audio: Why humans ditched the mono brow for two eyebrows, CBC Radio, Quirks and Quarks, April 14, 2018 (7:23)* [https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/17/style/self-care/terry-gross-conversation-advice.html
- How to Talk to People According to Terry Gross, The NPR Host Offers 8 Spicy Tips for Better Conversations, Jolie Kerr, November 17, 2018, New York Times
- 7 Ways to Land Public Speaking Gigs. Fast Company
- How to Blog on LinkedIn and Generate Leads - Attraction, Engagement, Do Something (graphic)
- ValueProposition Examples - Words that Get Meetings, Jill Konath (i.e., Value Propositions are CAR Stories)
- How to Use Google Search for Lesser Known Jobs, Fast Company
Pitching to Investors
- Intro to Yoga: The Practice - Demonstration of Physical Poses (or Asanas) (52:41) - Start at 1:00. Downward Facing Dog pose (one of the most popular poses) starts at 16:07)
- Intro to Yoga: The Basics - Origin, Styles & Props (11:47)
- Five Parks Yoga Channel on YouTube - Nice Range of Yoga Videos
- Women, Careers and the Financial Industry, in E-Financial Careers, April 2018
- She bombed the LSAT. She was too short to play Goofy. Then she invented Spanx. Now she's a billionaire, in CNN Money, April 2, 2018
- How to Control Fear: Legendary Free Climber Alex Honnold
Other - More...
- How to Ace an Interview - https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/08/use-these-3-steps-to-ace-a-job-interview-youre-not-100-percent-qualified-for.html
- Amazon Interview Questions - Be Prepared to Answer - https://www.businessinsider.com/tough-amazon-interview-questions-you-should-be-prepared-to-answer-2018-1#how-would-you-manage-a-difficult-business-group-area-manager-candidate-15
- Overcoming Your Customer Interviewing Anxiety - https://customerdevlabs.com/2017/04/24/customer-interviewing-anxiety/
- Customer Development Labs - Interviewing - https://customerdevlabs.com/?mbrStatus=unlock
- I Want to Be an Aid Worker - https://youtu.be/tEp7tBaIa6o
- Ghosting a Job - These workers quit their jobs without two-weeks notice. Here’s what they did instead.
You can quit now and get away with it.- https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/12/18/these-workers-quit-their-jobs-without-giving-two-weeks-notice-heres-what-they-did/
- I worked on the trading floor of Goldman Sachs for years. Here's why I became a nerd to survive on Wall Street., Business Insider, December 2018 - https://www.businessinsider.com/goldman-sachs-executive-on-technology-automation-wall-street-2018-12
- The New 50s: Far From Retirement, NYT - https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/04/business/retirement/50s-far-from-retirement.html
- What Straight-A Students Get Wrong, Adam Grant, New York Times, December 2018- https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/08/opinion/college-gpa-career-success.html
- Audio: Future Trends (podcast - RadioLab - Podcast - Breaking News (or, the 'technological rabbit hole of strangely contorted faces and words made out of thin air'}, Originally aired, July 2017 (26:00)
- Your Next Job Interview Might be with a Robot, Wall Street Journal, https://www.wsj.com/articles/its-time-for-your-job-interview-youll-be-talking-to-yourself-1543418495?mod=e2li