Prepare Your Candidates For Interviews (Very practical)

Candidates, do this:

1. Write down 4 or 5 strengths and 1 or 2 weaknesses. Write a short, one-paragraph example of some accomplishment you've achieved using each strength.

2. For weaknesses, write up a specific situation where you've turned that weakness into a strength, or have overcome the weakness.

3. In an interview, answers should be about 2 minutes long. More than 3 minutes is boring. And you must give examples! Most candidates talk in generalities (yawn). But only real, specific evidence is convincing.

4. List your 2 most significant accomplishments. One should be an individual accomplishment, and the other a team accomplishment. Describe each in 2 to 3 paragraphs. Include examples of your strengths in both descriptions.

These write-ups will allow for better recall of this important information.

5. The interview should focus on a discussion of major accomplishments. If the you think the interview is going nowhere, ask: "From what I understand, this job involves (key functions). If this is correct, could you explain it a bit more? Then I can give you some examples of projects I've worked on that are comparable."

6. At the end of the interview, tell the interviewer that you are interested in the job, and would like to know what the next steps are. If the next steps seem unclear, ask if your accomplishments seem relevant to the job.

Understanding a gap allows you to fill it in with an example of a related accomplishment. Sometimes you have to ask for the job to understand what points you need to get across.

7. Recruiters, you can send the candidate's notes to hiring manager along with her resume and your formal assessment. Suggest that the manager discuss these two write-ups during the first 20 minutes of the interview. Interviews are nerve-wracking. This gives them something to get working on right away. And that helps both parties to calm down.

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