Stan Gardner and Associates, Inc.
Stan Gardner and Associates, Inc.

Interviewing Tips

You must establish chemistry first thing in the interview. People hire people they like, and who are like them. Be sure your recruiter gives you some background information on the hiring authority.

Before getting into the interview, you must qualify the hiring authority by asking, "What characteristics are you looking for in the candidate you want to hire?" Then, go through your own background and show them why you match up. Be sure to write down what they are looking for, because you will refer to it again later.

Be prepared to ask a series of intelligent questions. Always find out how they will measure success for the position, so you can determine what their expectations are, and whether you are experienced enough to meet and exceed those expectations. Also, ask where the position will take you in the company, so you know what your career path will be.

In the interview, if you come to a question that has already been answered, say "You have already answered this, but I wanted to ask...". Often, you will be judged by the questions you ask, so don't skip over any of them or they won't know what you were thinking. Click here for several excellent questions to ask potential employers.

In every interview, you will be expected to explain how you work, what results you obtained, how those results changed your current company, who you have managed, how they responded to your style, and so on. To keep your thoughts logical, clear and concise, remember PAR when relating stories of your experience.



set up a real life situation


discuss the actions taken in the situation


show the positive results of your actions


In every interview, the hiring authority will have concerns. (If they don't, you should be concerned!) You must find out what their concerns are so that you can address them yourself. Before the interview ends, qualify the hiring authority by saying, "You told me you were looking for x, y, and z (which you wrote down earlier). It appears I match up well. Do you have any concerns that I can be successful in this position?" Listen carefully, and decide how to reply:

If the concern is not a real concern, then explain why it should not be a concern, and get agreement that it is no longer a concern. If the concern is a real concern, then minimize it and stress your strengths and compensating factors. If they repeatedly insist that they do not have any concerns, then ask for the job!

You must close for the next step before leaving the interview. The next step is to get agreement that you will go to the next step. If you cannot get agreement that you will go to the next step, then probe for more concerns. You must set the next step before leaving the interview.

A few other important points:

Remember, it is ok to have notes and to take notes during an interview, so go prepared. Don't forget to express your interest in the position! After getting answers to all of your questions, you must state that you want this position. Let there be no doubt about what you think. Money should not come up in a first interview, but be prepared. You should have decided already what is the minimum you will accept, and what will make you happy. Minimize the difference; it is your "reasonableness index". Make it easy to hire you! Be prepared to have references and proof sources available for yourself. Take a copy of any diplomas, transcripts, awards, certificates, articles, and other documentation of accomplishments. If you have published, take a bound copy of your publications so you can offer it before being asked. You must follow up with a thank you letter. We prefer an email to each person you met with.  They should be sent within 24 hours of your interview.