Let's Talk About Your Interview
In the JobGiraffe world, there are two types of “interviews”:
The JobGiraffe interview. Interviewing through an agency is different than interviewing on your own. When a client company is paying an agency fee they expect to see only pre-screened, pre-qualified, tested and reference-checked candidates, and it’s our job at JobGiraffe to provide exactly that.
If after we review your resume and decide you have the education, skills and experience that are most relevant to our client’s position, we will invite you to come to one of our offices and meet with a JobGiraffe consultant. You will be asked to complete an extensive application and go through a personal interview during which we will review your education, work history and many other things pertaining to your background.
Additionally, we are also very interested in what you want and need in your next position. We will spend a large part of your interview with you learning about:
- Your expectations for your next position
- Your salary needs and expectations
- Your benefits needs and expectations
- Your location and the distance you are willing and able to travel to a new job
- Your needs and expectations regarding hours and time off
- Your home/family situation and how it interacts with your job
- Your short and long term career goals
So although your JobGiraffe interview may seem tough, ultimately we are on your side. Our goal is to get to know you and your background and make sure we refer you to the right client with the right job. We only collect a fee from our client if both of you are happy!
The client interview. After the JobGiraffe interview, if you are selected to meet with the client – congratulations. You have reached a major milestone in one of the toughest job markets in our lifetime. Even though many of the things you would need to cover with a potential employer on your own, such as background, skills, employment history, and job and salary requirements, will already have been covered for you by your JobGiraffe consultant, you still need to be well prepared. You will most likely not be the only candidate interviewing for the position and competition nowadays is fierce. Here are some handy Giraffe Tips to help you get through ANY job interview, and present yourself in the best possible light.
Start with research. Learn as much as possible beforehand about the company you will be visiting and the position for which you will be applying:
- You should be prepared to answer questions from the interviewer such as “What do you know about our company?” and “Why do you want to work here?” To be prepared, visit the company website and read through as much as you can about who they are, what they do, their past performance, their current performance and their future plans.
- Read the press releases in the “News” section of the site to familiarize yourself with recent developments and possibly other new hires.
- Google the company to see what other information may be available online. Try to get a sense of who their competitors are and the market forces at work in their industry.
- Verify the location of the interview and plan your route to it. If necessary, download a map or use a GPS. Anticipate unexpected delays like traffic jams and/or bad weather that may slow your trip even more. Don’t be late – not only will it hurt your chances as a candidate, but it will stress you out and possibly effect your performance on the interview.
Gather your tools...
The day before the interview, gather all the materials you will need the following day. Make sure you have:
- Two clean copies of your resume printed on good paper, along with any letters of recommendation. Also, bring any examples of your work that would be relevant.
- A portfolio and pen. Your pad should contain key points you wish to convey to sell yourself and previously prepared questions to show your interest and that you’ve done your homework about the company. Those questions should always be based on curiosity about the company, its products or services, goals, etc.
Remember – at this stage it’s not about what the company can do for you; It’s entirely about what you can do for the company.
- All necessary dates and support information regarding your education and/or any technical school, training classes or certifications, going all the way back to high school graduation.
- All necessary dates, support information and paperwork regarding any military service including a copy of your DD214 for any military service.
- All necessary dates, support information and paperwork regarding your employment history – even for part-time and/or internships, again, going all the way back to high school.
(Be very conscious of differences between your resume and the information you will be required to fill out on the actual application. Be prepared to explain the differences and fill in additional data if/when needed. Check to make sure your objective applies to this interview and that your relevant experiences and skills are properly emphasized.)
The single most important rule: don’t be late, but also don’t be too early. Enter the building no more than 5 minutes early, and if you arrive earlier than that, stay in your car until five minutes before your designated appointment time.
While you’re waiting in the reception area, observe the company’s surroundings and employees; how they’re dressed, how they interact with each other. Be polite and friendly to everyone you meet; some employers check with their receptionist/secretary to see how they were treated by a candidate waiting to be interviewed. With everyone you meet at the company, have good eye contact and a firm handshake when you first meet them and when you say goodbye.
The First Impression Lasts
Employers usually form 90% of their decisions in the first 30 seconds and spend the rest of the time justifying that decision. Always be upbeat, personable and energetic. Keep your eyes focused on the interviewer, not down or looking around.
Don’t be nervous about the interview. The client knows you possess basic qualifications for this position; otherwise they would not have agreed to the meeting. Remember - they are as hopeful that you will like them as you are they will like you! Interviewing is sales; you will have to sell yourself.
It's the Interviewer’s Show...
If the interviewer asks you to talk about yourself, know that they are most likely not interested in your personal life. They are interested in learning about the qualities that make you a good choice for this position. Take time to carefully review the list of sample interview questions provided below and practice at home or with a friend. Your reactions and answers to an interviewer’s questions frequently will have the biggest influence on whether or not you will be considered for the position!
Both your JobGiraffe consultant and the clients we send you to will ask you lots of questions during your interview. Study the list of sample interview questions below and be prepared to answer not only the required questions, but also expect to get several questions from the “maybe” list too.
JobGiraffe – Reach Higher®