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Interviewing Techniques
The first hurdle to getting the job you want is succeeding in the interview. The better prepared you are, the better your chances are for securing that job offer. But don’t simply show up and hope to succeed on your charm. You should be as well prepared for the interview as you would be for your first day on the job. Rule number one is to do your homework. Prepare for the interview by researching the company thoroughly. Visit the company’s Web site for background information. In addition to reviewing the company’s products and services, spend some time reading the latest press releases and financial statements.  Employers appreciate it when you are up to date on their latest technology innovations and profitability.

Take time to network with colleagues in your field who have additional information about the company. You can also gather valuable insight from the netPolarity account manager. Often, netPolarity already has a relationship with the hiring managers and will know what they are looking for as well as the kind of questions they might be asking. 

Your netPolarity account manager will inform you about the workplace environment ahead of time and whether to wear a business suit or khakis and a polo shirt.  To avoid any pitfalls, organize your attire the night before, map out a transportation route, plan for parking and carry a few extra copies of your resume. On the day of the interview you should arrive a few minutes before the scheduled time, calm and well groomed, with your clothes pressed and your shoes polished. Making a good first impression is important. Greet your interviewer with a smile, make eye contact and offer a firm handshake.

Speak confidently during the interview and express your knowledge in the technical subject matter. Consider the questions being asked and answer them succinctly and directly, offering concrete examples of your experience when you can. If you don’t know something, simply say, “I don’t have experience doing that, but can quickly learn.”  This is a perfect chance to cite a specific example where you had to quickly learn a new skill on the job and did so successfully. If you are interviewed by several managers, you might be asked repetitive questions. Make sure your answers are consistent. Throughout the process, show interest and enthusiasm by asking questions when prompted to do so. A good place to express interest is at the end of the interview. Let the manager know you are interested in pursuing this further. Ask for the job at the end of the interview.  If you don’t feel this is appropriate in the situation then at least ask what the next step is, how many other candidates are being considered for this position and when you can expect the manager to reach a hiring decision.  Be sure to ask the manager if he/she feels that you are qualified for the position.  That way you can immediately address any concerns that the hiring manager has and avoid any confusion about your qualifications that could lead to the rejection of your candidacy. 

Afterward, communicate your interest to the netPolarity account manager, so it can be passed along. Also consider sending a thank you note to the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.  The thank you letter gives you one more chance to reiterate your qualifications and express your strong interest in the position. 

Here are commonly asked interview questions to help you prepare your responses:

Tell me about yourself? Start by using powerful adjectives that describe you.  Limit it to about 3 adjectives that best describe your personality and work ethic. Be prepared to describe your professional career briefly. Give a brief recap of your past positions, highlight your strong points from each job, the growth you achieved in your technical area and explain how those skills will serve you in the position you are interviewing for.

Describe your strengths and weaknesses? The interviewer wants to see how self-aware you are. Highlight a few strengths that best suit this position. Try to objectively consider one weakness you have, and how you have been able to overcome it in past positions.

Why are you looking for a new position? Never be negative about past employers. Explain your most recent position and the growth you’ve made. It's a good idea to rehearse a reasoned response to the question of why you are out looking for a new position. 

Describe a challenge you overcame at your current employer? This is an opportunity to show initiative and highlight skills and enthusiasm. Prepare a detailed anecdote from your current job that illustrates how you mastered an issue that made a difference for your present employer.

Why do you want to work here? If you did your research, you should have an answer for this one. Explain to the interviewer that you know the direction of this company and add why you are enthusiastic about working there. 

What qualifications do you have that make you feel you are well suited for this position? Pick a few qualifications from the job description and what you have learned so far from the interview; explain why you are suited to those areas. If this position is above your current job, explain how your experiences have made you ready to handle more complex tasks and responsibilities.

Where do you think you will be in five years? Avoid coming across as arrogant or unrealistic. Consider the natural progression of your technical field and suggest a modest advancement from the current position.

Are you a team player, or do you work best by yourself? Most companies want someone who will work well with others. The right answer is usually “team player.”  Offer examples of previous collaborative efforts. But do let the interviewer know that you are one to take the initiative and stand out from the crowd.

How do you handle difficult situations? Avoid negative comments about past work experiences. Use your diplomatic skills to offer another example of overcoming a technical challenge.

Questions For You to Ask
  • What are you looking for in an ideal candidate?
  • If I am hired, what is the number one goal that needs to be accomplished?
  • What is the biggest challenge in this position?
  • What is the prospective supervisor's style of management?
  • What is the corporate culture like?
  • Is there anything you can think of that would prevent me from being offered this position?
Final thoughts: Never answer a question with only a Yes or No answer. Always elaborate. Additionally, be sure to ask for a business card from each interviewer so you can follow up with them by sending a thank you letter.
netPolarity Bridging the Gap