Transition Masters

Developing Job Search Presentation Skills

What to do before, during and after an interview!

Before the Interview

  • Know the job description
  • Do research on the company
  • Have questions ready for the interviewer
  • Bring at least five copies of your resume (in case you have to face a panel)
  • Practice up to 20 of the most likely interview questions
  • Be prepared to take assessment/skills tests
  • Ask in advance if you will be given a test
  • Define your top three selling points

Stage Setting Questions

  • Can we leave some time at the end of the interview for me to ask you some questions and show you my work samples?
  • Is it okay if I take notes in my notebook during the interview?
  • Can you give me an overview of the duties of the job from your point of view?
  • Remember, base your interview strategy on what hiring manager tells you vs. what was in the formal published job description
  • What problems/pains and new initiatives are you dealing with right now?
  • What do you expect the person filling this position to do during his/her first 90 days on the job?

Types of Interviews

  • Pre-screening (usually over the telephone but can be a Skype video interview)
  • One on one - face to face with HR and/or hiring manager
  • Multi-level interview – screener, HR staff, immediate supervisor, department manager.
  • Multi-person interview
    • Multiple people asking questions as a panel or group
    • Manage your emotions and energy

Face to Face Interviews

  • Be 10 minutes early
  • Dress appropriately
  • First impression (80% of the ultimate decision is based on the first 2 minutes of the interview!)
  • Be positive when answering questions
  • Express interest in the job!
  • Show energy & enthusiasm
  • Controlling Interview Anxiety
  • Relax – Calm your mind
  • Relaxation Response, Dr. Herbert Benson
  • Breath from your belly (not your chest)
  • Inhale – take twice as long to exhale
  • Be in the moment (not thinking about the past or the future)

During the Interview

Interview Communications

  • 55% Body Language and Gesture - Facial liking
  • 38% Tone of Voice - Vocal liking
  • 7% Words - Verbal liking  
  • From the 1967 Albert Mehrabian study on communications styles

Types of Interview Questions

  • Traditional questions
    • “Tell us a little about yourself?”
    • “What are your strengths?”
  • Behavioral questions
    • “Give me an example of a goal you reached and….?”
    • “Tell me how you would handle a situation where…?”
  • Situational/Scenario Questions
  • Stress Questions (designed to see how you react)

Interview Question Sampler

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.
  2. What are your greatest strengths?
  3. Why did you leave your last job?
  4. Why do you want to work here?
  5. Why should I hire you?
  6. What are your salary requirements?

Interview Strategies

Techniques for Effectively Answering Interview Questions

  • Speak as if you’re talking to your best friend
  • Smile & maintain eye contact
  • Show enthusiasm in your voice
  • Maintain good posture & no fidgeting
  • Take 5 seconds to think of an answer before responding
  • Keep answers short and concise to be effective (30-45 seconds)
  • Try to address the question from the employer’s perspective
  • Provide enough detail so interviewers don’t have to dig to get the information they want
  • Practice answering questions with family/friends to get feedback on your performance or leave a voice mail for yourself with the answer to see how it sounds to you


  • Use concrete work examples to support your answers since they are easier to understand and are more memorable
  • Include quantifiable accomplishments, 2 line compelling testimonials or awards whenever possible to show proof of the value you produced for your previous employer

How to Close Out an Interview

Three closing interview questions:

  • Based on my resume and this interview, is there any reason you can think of that I may NOT be considered as the leading candidate for this position?
  • What is the hiring process from this point forward?
  • How and with what frequency should I follow up with you?

After the Interview

  • Within 24 hours send them a thank you note!
  • Follow up again in 7-10 days with a telephone call, note, letter, or email – depending on when they expect to make an offer.
  • Expect it to take longer than you wish for them to make a decision and an offer.
  • Expect an average of 5 interviews with different companies before you get THE offer you take.

Human Resource Interview Goals (What the employer is looking for in an interview)

  1. Are you qualified?
  2. Will you fit? (company culture - team fit and critical skills)
  3. What are the risks of hiring you?
  4. Can they afford you?