In Person Interview Guide
The following is a guide to help prepare you for that all important interview.
CPS prepares hundreds of candidates each year for personal interviews. The CPS method of interviewing is designed to improve your chances of getting the job. It is proven and time tested to work.
THE FIRST IMPRESSION:
The interview starts when you enter the facility. The courtesy and professionalism you show to security and administrative staff can influence the results of the interview.
Once you are at the facility, turn off your cell phone. If you have forgotten to turn off your phone and it rings, apologize and turn it off. If you are expecting a call that is more important than the interview, cancel the interview.
A smile is the first thing that a prospective employer wants to see on the faces of people they are considering to employ. Smiling will also put you at ease. This is important – Remember to Smile.
A firm handshake, not a tight vice grip, but firm and not wimpy is what the customer also wants to feel. This is the same manner in which you will be meeting with the customer’s users or other IT staff so pay attention to this detail. Also, make sure your hands are dry before you extend them for a handshake; sweaty hands are a sign of uneasiness.
Conservative dress is advisable for an interview. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT YOU ARE COMFORTABLE IN DRESS AND APPEARANCE
Wait to have a seat until you are asked to do so. This is good manners, and good manners are important during an interview. Once you are seated, sit upright in your chair. DO NOT SLOUCH. Sit upright and lean forward to show that you are interested in what the customer is saying.
Eye contact is extremely important during any conversation, and especially during an interview. Look the customer in the eye when listening to their questions and when giving your answers.
Always speak up, don’t let your voice trail and slide. Speak firmly, clearly and loud enough that you are easily understood.
ANSWERING THE GENERAL QUESTIONS:
How will you answer the following questions if asked?
- Tell me about yourself.
- What is your 5-year plan, or 3 year plan or tomorrow’s plan?
- Why should I hire you?
- Tell me why you are leaving your current firm.
- Your resume is unusual for an IT contractor because it has so many short-term contracts. Explain your contract work.
- Why do you want this job?
- Why do you want to work for our company?
- Review your answers to these questions with your Recruiter/Account Manager prior to meeting the customer
ANSWERING THE TECHNICAL QUESTIONS:
- Never, never lie to a customer during an interview or at any other time.
- Never, never bad mouth any company or manager that currently employs you, or employed you in the past. The interviewer will think that you could be negative about he/she or the company also.
- Answers should be about 45 seconds to 90 seconds long. Answers should respond exactly to what the customer asks. If you are unclear that you have answered the customer’s question, ask them “Does this answer your question?”
- If you are unsure of the customer’s question, ask them to rephrase the question. Don’t answer a question you don’t understand.
- Answers should be of a narrative and conversational style. Avoid single word answers.
- Try not to give answers that are vague and general. Be specific. Be articulate. Don’t answer with “We did this.” without saying what the team effort was, and what your exact role was.
QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK:
- If I were hired here or if I were to start next week, what would be my first task? Once the customer answers this question or others like it, then you should call upon your experience, and tell the customer something like, “Great, that is exactly what I did at the so and so company, and this is what we accomplished.”
- What is your greatest, current problem?
- How can I help solve that problem?
- Where can I be of use to help make the biggest impact?
In each of these cases, play on your experience to show the customer how you can hit the ground running and make the biggest impact in the shortest time for the customer. “Where do you see me fitting in to help the most?”, is another excellent question.
Your questions should all be in line with “what can I do for you?”
If you display this attitude to the customer, they will want you. The interview never becomes an excuse to show how great you are, but to show how much you care about being of service.
CLOSING THE INTERVIEW:
In closing, ask about their decision-making process. Ask questions like,
“When will you be making this decision?”
“I am very interested in this position, and feel that I can offer some immediate help in your areas of concern.”
Do not be afraid to say, “I can start in two weeks, once I give notice.”
Show to the customer that you play by the rules and do give proper notice to your current employer.
Call your Recruiter or Account Manager Immediately after the Interview:
If we don’t hear from you we have to assume you are not interested. The Client is frequently making a decision in a time sensitive manner and a candidate that has shown interest has the advantage. The Client wants to hire someone that wants to work for them so let us know that you are interested in the job.
If you follow the advice on these pages, then you have done all you can.
Be ready to accept the job if it is offered!