Following are a few of many questions we are asked as Career Coaches. We could go on and on for pages but instead we are starting with five commonly asked questions. In future posts, we will share an additional five at a time. If you have a question you’d like to ask about interviewing, join our complimentary “Ask a Coach” webinar on Monday, June 29 at 4 pm where both Shelly Stotzer, Owner of Crosworks and Celia Crossley, Founder, will answer your specific questions.
1. I received a call to schedule an in-person interview. What should I ask at this point?
“How much time has been blocked for the interview?” Knowing the amount of time you have for the interview is crucial for preparing and pacing your responses. Often times, the hiring manager does not have any formal training in interviewing techniques and may spend more time talking than asking. Do not let the time slip away.
“Who will I be meeting with?” is another great question. Getting the names and titles of the interviewers will help you do your research, prepare your questions and connect with the interviewers.
2. I finally got the call after a phone screening and I have an interview with the hiring manager next week. How should I prepare?
You’ve done something that worked, you got the interview! Review the homework you did on yourself and identify where your experiences can benefit the employer. Be ready to share them with real examples, short stories that sell. Research through the web, Linkedin, Glassdoor, all you can about the hiring manager and the company. In short, prepare by completing Crosworks’ “Interview Preparation Form.” It guides you through the steps to prepare answers to basic questions, research the organization and its people, demonstrate your readiness for the job and have great questions ready for the interviewer.
3. I thought the interview went really well, but it has been a week and I haven’t heard anything. When should I follow up?
Setting the expectation that you will follow up should be addressed at the close of the interview. Before leaving the hiring manager, stress your interest in the position and ask, what are the next steps? May I follow with you? Would you prefer an email or call? I know you’re busy.
4. How should I follow up after the interview?
Immediately draft a thank you note that you can email. Be sure to restate a few of the examples you shared about how your past experiences can benefit the employer and your enthusiasm for the position and the company. During the interview be especially attentive when the hiring manager responds positively to your success stories. This information will help you use the best examples to sell yourself. Send the email within 24 hours. A hand-written note, although not necessary, also still goes a long way.
Then, since you already asked about the timing of next steps (see #1 above) then be sure to follow up with your key contact in the time frame they suggested. And, use the opportunity to resell yourself in that follow up message!
5. How do I respond when I’m asked about my salary expectations?
Once again, best to have done your homework to determine the company’s pay practices and your value in the marketplace. Your network and current and former employees of the organization can be resources as well as Glassdoor and salary.com. I’d recommend responding to the question with a question, “What is your hiring range?” You can answer “That is certainly in the ballpark.” This is not the time for negotiating. Negotiations are done after an offer is made. Keep the communication going at this point in the hiring process.
Wishing you and yours safety and good health and a satisfying career.