INTERVIEW TIPS

Before the interview:

  • Do your research! 

    • ​​​Before the interview, we’ll share with you who are you meeting with; it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of your interviewer(s) background. LinkedIn is a great resource for this information.

    • Check out the company website and learn who the top executives are within the firm. It is possible one of them will unexpectedly sit in on part of the interview.  

    • Learn about the company’s background and any current projects they’re working on (GlobeSt and BizJournal are both great resources). 

Items to take with you:

  • Resume (3-5 copies), Project List, Property List and/or Transaction Sheet

  • Employment Application (if applicable)

  • List of questions you would like to have answered.  (Prioritize them 1-10; this way if you don’t get through them all, you’ll at least cover the most important ones).

  • List of your accomplishments and successes. Keep the following examples in mind: 
     

    • Where you have made or saved your company money

    • Crises you have handled well

    • Special projects you have been involved with

    • Awards you have received 

 

  • List of reference names. No need to volunteer this information, but it’s good to be prepared in case the interviewer asks for them.  

 
Attire:

We believe in the old adage, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.  Professional business attire is always recommended for first interview.  Both men and women should wear a clean, conservative business suit.   
 
Two reasons for the interview:

  • For you to learn more about the company and the opportunity.

    • Having well-planned questions based off your company research helps this process go smoothly.

  • For the company to find out about you.

    • This is where you want to sell yourself. We recommending having a well-rehearsed “Reader’s Digest” version of your background, including multiple positive points about yourself.  Don’t rely solely on your answers to their questions as a means to describe your background. Make sure you express points about yourself to help show why you are a good fit for this role. 

 
H
ow to handle the topic of compensation:

  • If you have ever interviewed someone yourself, you know if their second question is, “How much does it pay?” they are more interested in the money than they are in the opportunity. That’s why we strongly recommend that you do not bring up the topic of compensation; the employer will bring it up when he/she feels it’s the appropriate time.

    • If the interviewer asks, “How much would it take?”

      • Don’t quote a specific figure (or even a range).  When you quote a specific number two things can happen, neither of which are good:
        1) If you say “x” and they’re thinking “x” + 5, you’re not going to get the extra 5.
        2) If you say “x” and they’re thinking “x” – 5, there might be other parts of the compensation package where you’d consider a lower number on a base salary.

    • The best way to handle a compensation question is to put it back in the interviewers lap:

      • “Mr. Interviewer, I’m like anyone else, I’d like to make as much money as I can, but I need to learn more about your company, and the opportunity, before I can give you a number.  Besides, if I’m the right person I’m sure you can make me a fair offer.”

      • If the interviewer still presses you for a number, just give him/her an honest salary history outlining your compensation package – Base, Bonus, Profit sharing, and Benefits.  Then say, “I’ll leave the offer up to you.” 

 
End of interview:

  • At the end of the interview you will most likely know if you are interested or not.  Either way, always leave on a positive note.

    • If you are interested, be sure to let them know it.  There is no need to commit to a start date, but ask them what the next step would be.

    • If you are not interested, don’t let it show.  There may have been something said that was misunderstood; something that could be cleared up at a later date. It is never a good idea to leave a meeting on a sour note. 

 
Follow-up:

  • Be sure to get business cards from everyone you meet during the entire interview process.  You will want to send a follow-up/Thank You email to everyone you met with after the interview.  It is important to send this email within 24 hours of your meeting.  The email should be no longer than 1 paragraph (3-5 sentences) and should reiterate your interest level. 

©2019 JOHN MORROW & ASSOCIATES INC.