It's always important to practice your interview answers, or to role-play an interview, before your actual interview. Practicing your answers means that you will be less nervous, more confident, and more effective at selling yourself for the job. If English is your second language, this is even more important. Practicing means that you will say what you mean to say, and you will be able to deliver your answers smoothly and confidently.
If English is your second language, here is an excellent tool to help you practice your job interview answers:
This series consists of 50 different videos where I ask a job interview question that you can answer on your own, and then you can play my answer. Compare both, and easily see how to improve your answers immediately. These are the answers that will get you hired.
I've been hearing many comments from folks who aren't as comfortable with English telling me that they love this tool. I encourage you to give it a try and see for yourself.
These questions are pulled from my How to Answer Interview Questions Series. The series contains 101 questions, so feel free to explore and get even more interview answers that will get you the job. Also, Forbes has a great list of 50 questions to ask before hiring sales employees. I encourage you to look over this list for additional questions you may be asked, and practice how you would answer them. When it comes to interviews, it's always better to be over-prepared and ready for anything.
The best tool you could ever bring to any job interview is an action plan for how you would attack the job and be successful in it. Writing an action plan shows who you are and what you can do in a substantial way, and makes you stand head and shoulders above those who did not write their own plan.
Just like with any big goal, the best place to start is to break it down in to smaller, more specific goals. So, with an action plan for the first 90 days on the job, you'd break it up into smaller sections: the first 30 days, the next 30 days (60 day) and the last 30 days (90 day).
Then you'd think about what specifically you'd need to take action on in each of those time frames.
Got a sales job interview coming up? Get ready to talk about your sales strategy. Giving the interviewer a sample sales strategy is a great way to demonstrate how you will operate on the job.
When you are asked about a sample sales strategy, it will likely come in some version of the classic challenge: "Sell me this pen." This is a role-playing exercise that many sales managers love as a part of their job interview questions. After all, there's no better way to see how you sell than to see how you sell.
There are a lot of opinions (ahem...) about this issue, but I will tell you that as a sales recruiter, I can ask this of my candidates and tell what someone's skills are like, or if they are missing skills using this strategy. So this is very valuable to hiring managers, so expect that you may be asked to role-play a sales scenario.
No matter what they ask you to 'sell' to them, the principles and the strategy are the same--just use the same principles you would use in any sales process. I am a big fan of SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham. SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implications, Need-payoff.
The words you use to describe yourself in the job interview should be as strategically chosen as any job interview answer you give. Every word you use in the job interview should work for you to sell you for the job.
What are great words to describe yourself in a job interview?
Dynamic – this says that you can change and adapt in order to succeed
Successful – if you are successful in some areas, chances are you’ll be successful in others
Strategic – you can make good decisions with the big picture in mind
Motivated – great for sales positions
Creative – this is a must for creative-type jobs, of course, but also good for companies that need problem-solvers
Focused – you don’t get distracted by unnecessary or unhelpful things
Organized – organized means you are in control and things happen the way they are supposed to
Enthusiastic - this means you will also be motivated to work hard and well
Valuable – this is a great lead-in for some way you have made or saved money for your previous employers
Think about what qualities you possess that would be especially valuable for this job, and point those out in your interview.
For more words to describe yourself in a job interview, see these posts:
A 90 Day Interview Plan is also known as a 90-Day Plan, a Business Plan, or a 30-60-90-Day Plan. Whatever you call it, the point is that it’s a plan—a plan for how you will attack your new job in the first 90 days of employment. Having a plan, or a strategy, in place helps you show your true value to a potential employer.
Why does a 90 Day Interview Plan give you a better interview?
Discussing your plan with the interviewer goes much deeper than standard interview questions and answers. It helps them “see” you in the job and shows them who you really are and what you can do to benefit their company. It’s one of the best interview tools to enhance your communication (which is what interviews are all about).
What’s in a 90 Day Interview Plan?
The easiest way to create a plan is to subdivide it into 3 sections:
First 30 Days – This usually consists of getting familiar with the company and all the details of your new job. You’ll meet your co-workers, counterparts, customers, and support departments. You’ll organize yourself and get situated before you can be effective in your job.
Second 30 Days (60 Days) – This is when you get more involved in the details…become more active, make evaluations of your actions so far, and get feedback.
Last 30 Days (90 Days) – By now, you should be on your own…implementing changes, beginning projects, generating ideas, going after new customers, etc.
Every plan should be customized for the job you’re interviewing for, and each section should be at least a page long. If you can do this on your own, that’s great. If you know you need help creating a job-winning 90 Day Interview Plan, get my proven 30-60-90-Day Plan with template, samples, and coaching. It will be the best move you can make before your next interview.
What's just as important as performing well in the interview so you get the job offer? Evaluating the company and your interviewer to determine if you should accept said offer.
If you're not sure how to tell if the job is a good fit, U.S. News and World Report has a great article you should see: How to Interview Your Interviewer. It has 5 good tips on how to go beyond the job description to find out the truth about the job, get a feel for company culture, what questions to ask in the interview, and more.
I received this great letter from Stephanie about how the 30-60-90-Day Action Plan helped her shine in her phone interview and face-to-face interviews and beat out 3 internal candidates for the job!
I wanted to take a few moments to compliment you on the 30-60-90 Day Action Plan... Last month, I used them to prepare for a series high profile [face-to-face] interviews.
[I first had a phone screen.] After receiving feedback on my phone screen, the interview panel said that I did not distinguish myself from the other candidates in the pool. Once I heard this... I was on a mission!
I...decided to sign up for Career Confidential and download the [30-60-90-Day Action Plan] tools (Word doc and [PowerPoint] template). I thought I knew how to do an action plan - was I wrong! ;) Your course and tools made me even more confident during my [2nd] phone discussion with the hiring manager. I was very capable in discussing my specific plan if I were given the job assignment tomorrow. And he bought!
As a result, I was invited to participate in 8 F2F interviews with 3 VPs, 3 Directors, and 2 Sr. Managers. With your help... I delivered! I could tell that each panel member was very interested in my thought process and was very impressed that I had given great thought to my action plan for the first 30-60-90 days. Apparently, the other candidates did not have an Action Plan. Following my interviews with the Leadership team, I had a 3 1/2 hour lunch with the hiring manager. His first question was, "Tell me, how did you prepare for this interview?"
He was blown away by my in-depth review of the job and what would be needed to on-board the new hire quickly. And get this... I am an external candidate and the competition was three internal candidates!
I am very happy to report that yesterday afternoon, I received a phone call with their intent to move forward with me and they will have a job offer in my hands tomorrow! I can't believe this all took place in less than 4 weeks! Thank you!!!
Now, since I have to negotiate the salary, I will be checking out your course on this topic tomorrow. ;) [Salary Negotiating]
Thanks again for your awesome videos and practical tools needed to shine during interviews. Well done!
Please notice this about Stephanie...in her first phone interview, she was good, but she did not stand out. The only thing she did differently was to add a 30-60-90-Day Plan to her interview preparation and conversation. The plan made an enormous difference for Stephanie and ended up getting her the offer, even over 3 internal candidates.
If you are doing well in interviews, but not getting the offer, I encourage you to create a 30-60-90-Day Action Plan for your next interview so that you can get the offer, too.
The toughest job interview questions are often those that require us to tell about our greatest accomplishments. First, you have to know what those are--which ones will be impressive to the hiring manager? Next, you need to be prepared to explain those achievements. They want to know details.
In the video below, I will give you a very easy way to prepare interview answers that will get you the offer.
I received this amazing letter from Russ...with Career Confidential's help, he landed his dream job and boosted his salary and benefits by a total of 76%...plus bonuses!
Just a very satisfied customer here to thank you (and Carl) very much for your great help and advice at Career Confidential that has helped me land a dream regional sales job in the food industry. My new base salary is 48% higher than my current position's base, and if you count all the perks and benefits that my new job has that the old one doesn't, that's a 76% increase over my old baseline, and that's not including any of the performance based compensation (bonus, sales override, and profit sharing). The reasonable first year potential for this role is nearly three times my current compensation!
I could not have landed this job nor negotiated this compensation package without the great information and advice that I have received from Career Confidential. The 30-60-90 Day Plan, "closing for the job," and other tips that I learned from your bi-weekly calls and other materials, as well as the confidence I gained are directly responsible for this great outcome.
On a good day, thank you notes are very important to your job interview process. On a bad day, they may be your only hope.
If you flubbed an important job interview question, forgot some critical piece of information, or just made a mistake, the job interview thank you note (see a sample of a good interview thank you note) provide critical damage control and maybe even save your job offer. All you have to do is address whatever the problem was in your note, and email it to the interviewer as soon as possible.
Thank you letters show your great attitude, highlight your communication skills, and give you a chance to provide more information about why you're a perfect fit for this job. In this case, a thank you note also highlights your ability to take in information (the interview) and provide corrective feedback. It shows that you can respond to issues in a positive way (a great quality in any employee) and turn a negative situation into a positive one.
** Get my free report on Job Interview Follow Up--it covers writing the thank you note as well as when you should call the company and what to say.
Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.
- Robert H. Schuller
What problems are you facing in your job search? Whatever it is, I want you to realize today that this problem shouldn't hold you back--it should teach you something that helps you be more and better than you are now.
If you can't find the right jobs, it doesn't mean they aren't there. It means you need to find them in the hidden job market, which accounts for at least 70% of all available jobs).
If you have submitted your resume 437 times and can't get an interview, it doesn't mean you don't deserve an interview. It probably means that you haven't presented yourself properly with your resume. I've seen it over and over again...job seekers who redo their resumes in the right way (adding numbers often does the trick) start getting interviews immediately. Or, not getting interviews may mean that your resume isn't getting delivered to the right person. To get an interview, your future boss (the hiring manager) needs to see your resume. Submitting your resume online sends it to HR, and they may not send it to the hiring manager for you. To make sure it gets to the hiring manager, you need to contact them yourself. (Learn how to contact hiring managers.)
If you get interviews but not offers, it doesn't mean you're not qualified. It means that you aren't interviewing well--and that's a skill you can easily learn. Check out my blog series, How to Answer Interview Questions. Learn to create a 30-60-90-day plan. Both of these will guarantee you a better interview than what you are experiencing now.
If you let a problem be a stop sign, it will keep you in your job search for months, or even years. If you use it as a guideline to adjust your actions, you will find the path to success. Best of luck!