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Interviewing Tips

In the competitive market of today, the ability to excel in an interview is the only way to make the most effective impression. During the interview focus all of your energy on making the company want you.

Crawley-Austin understands that you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you, but do not be too firm, or rigid: Appearing enthusiastic and interested will help your bargaining power.

An interview provides a limited forum in which you and the company need to sell itself. You should do the best you can to leave the interview having the company wanting more.

Crawley-Austin tips for a successful interview.

Plan Ahead

An interview is a determination by a prospective employer of your ability to contribute to their success, and fit with their culture. The biggest mistake in interviewing is not being fully prepared.

The candidate that prepares the most will ultimately interview the best. Preparation can make the difference between receiving an offer, and being rejected. Put forth the effort and make a list of your accomplishments, goals, and qualifications. Be prepared to answer questions (see Most Likely Asked Questions section).

Dress and Appearance

It’s the first impression that will open or close the door. Select conservative business attire long before the interview day. Make sure your suit is pressed, shoes are shined, and hair is combed.

Fresh breath is important, but do not go into the interview chewing gum. Remember dress for success. This is something that, by itself, will not get you a job, but may cost you one.

When and Where to go

Crawley-Austin strongly recommends traveling to your interview destination ahead of time. This will allow you to plan a route and become familiar with the traffic patterns. Plan to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment, so you have time to fill out an application if they request it and still keep the appointed time.

When traveling please take into consideration the possibility of getting lost, parking difficulties, construction, and bad weather conditions.

If for some reason you will be late for an interview please call your Crawley-Austin recruiter and explain. He or she will contact the client. It is better to be 10 minutes late because you stopped to call than to be 5 minutes late without calling. Never cancel an interview, unless absolutely necessary.

Make every effort to keep your scheduled interview, but if there is no way you can make the interview, notify your Crawley-Austin recruiter with ample time to contact the employer.

Answers to Questions

To have a positive interview you must be a good listener. Let the interviewer control the interview by answering all questions directly. You should be enthusiastic, sincere, tactful and courteous.

Show the company you want to be part of the team by maintaining eye contact with your interviewer. Never interrupt when an interviewer is trying to talk, and do not answer more than the question asks, for this will portray you as an arrogant person and likely cost you the job.

Relate your answers to the interview and his or her company. Focus on Achievements relevant to the position. Answer all serious questions with a serious tone, and do not joke.

Pick up on the interviewer's reaction and body language, and cut your answer short if he or she appears bored or impatient. Do not ramble, because this is a sign of being nervous. Encourage the interviewer to share information about his or her company.

Questions to Ask

All questions you ask on the interview should pertain directly to the job you will be expected to perform. Questions about vacations, salary, and benefits will be answered through Crawley-Austin.

Ask about the timeframes for filling the position, how and when you will be notified, and if they would like additional information or materials from you. (See Questions to ask Employer section)

Discussing Salary

The big advantage of Crawley-Austin representing you is we are very effective acting on your behalf as a third-party negotiator.

During the interview some companies may ask what salary you would be expecting. Your response with money related questions should be, "Money is important, but it's not the only consideration.

I am much more interested in a better career opportunity where I can look forward to long-term, professional growth.”

Reasons for Exploring

It is very important to avoid negative comments about past or present employers. Instead of just pointing out problems you've encountered offer possible solutions you explored and were unable to enact despite your best efforts. If you are currently unemployed for any reason other than economic layoff, do not over-explain.

Give an honest explanation, allowing yourself the benefit of any doubt that your background and personality will carry the interview.

When it is time to leave the Interview

At the conclusion of the interview you should make a good, lasting impression. This could be accomplished by ending the interview with an affirmation of your interest in pursuing the position. After the interviewer signals the interview is over, shake his or her hand and express gratitude for the opportunity.

Remember, the goal is to receive an offer then we can discuss the opportunity. By communicating to the company that you are interested is the most effective way to increase your percentage of receiving an offer, and it obligates you to nothing. You are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you.

After the Interview

After the interview call your Crawley-Austin recruiter. Think of Crawley-Austin as an effective tool that can call the company and offer positive reinforcement while they are still formulating their opinion of the interview.

You should prepare, and mail, a note to the appropriate parties thanking them for the opportunity within 24 hours after the interview.

Email is acceptable, but follow protocols for formal business correspondence. The letter should consist of three short paragraphs thanking the company for the opportunity, reiterating your interest, and emphasizing your specific qualification for the position. Always have your Crawley-Austin recruiter review the letter prior to sending (See the Thank You Letter Section).


If you have any questions please call, or email your Crawley-Austin recruiter.

Most Likely Asked Questions

So, tell me a little about yourself.

I’d be very surprised if you haven’t been asked this one at every interview. It’s probably the most asked question because it sets the stage for the interview and it gets you talking.

Be careful not to give the interviewer your life story here. You don’t need to explain everything from birth to present day. Relevant facts about education, your career and your current life situation are fine. (Try to hold your response to 2 minutes.

Why are you looking (or why did you leave you last job)?

This should be a straightforward question to answer, but it can trip you up. Presumably you are looking for a new job (or any job) because you want to advance your career and get a position that allows you to grow as a person and an employee. It’s not a good idea to mention money here; it can make you sound mercenary.

And if you are in the unfortunate situation of having been downsized, stay positive and be as brief as possible about it. If you were fired, you’ll need a good explanation. But once again, stay positive.

Tell me what you know about this company.

Do your homework before you go to any interview. Whether it’s being the VP of marketing or the mailroom clerk, you should know about the company or business you’re going to work for.

Has this company been in the news lately? Who are the people in the company you should know about? Do the background work, it will make you stand out as someone who comes prepared, and is genuinely interested in the company and the job.

Why do you want to work at X Company?

This should be directly related to the last question. Any research you’ve done on the company should have led you to the conclusion that you’d want to work there.

After all, you’re at the interview, right? Put some thought into this answer before you have your interview, mention your career goals and highlight forward-thinking goals and career plans.

What relevant experience do you have?

You have related experience; otherwise Crawley-Austin would not have submitted your resume. You should mention it all. Have specific examples ready to discuss.

If your previous co-workers were here, what would they say about you?

If some people from your past are going to say you’re a boring person, you don’t need to bring that up. Stay positive, always, and maybe have a few specific quotes in mind.

“They’d say I was a hard worker” or even better “John Doe has always said I was the most reliable, creative problem-solver he’d ever met.”

Have you done anything to further your experience?

This could include anything from night classes to hobbies and sports. If it’s related, it’s worth mentioning. Obviously anything to do with further education is great, but maybe you’re spending time on a home improvement project to work on skills such as self-sufficiency, time management and motivation.

Where else have you applied?

This is a good way to hint that you’re in demand, without sounding like you’re all over town. So, be honest and mention a few other companies but don’t go into detail.

The fact that you’re seriously looking and keeping your options open is what the interviewer is driving at.

How are you when you’re working under pressure?

There are a few ways to answer this but they should all be positive. You may work well under pressure, you may thrive under pressure, and you may actually PREFER working under pressure.

Do not say you prefer not to work under pressure; this is not going to help you get your foot in the door.

What motivates you to do a good job?

The answer to this one is not money, even if it is. You should be motivated by life’s noble pursuits. You want recognition for a job well done. You want to become better at your job. You want to help others or be a leader in your field.

Questions to Ask

1. Why is this position open?

2. How often has it been filled in the past five years? What were the main reasons?

3. What would you like done differently by the next person who fills this position?

4. What are some of the objectives you would like to see accomplished in this job?

5. What is most pressing? What would you like to have done in the next 3 months?

6. What are some of the long term objectives you would like to see completed?

7. What are some of the more difficult problems one would face in this position?

8. How do you think these could best be handled?

9. What type of support does this position receive in terms of people, finances, etc?

10. What freedom would I have in determining my own work objectives, deadlines and methods of measurement?

11. What advancement opportunities are available for the person who is successful in this position and within what time frame?

12. In what ways has this organization been most successful in terms of products and services over the years?

13. What significant changes do you foresee in the near future?

14. How is one evaluated in this position?

15. What accounts for success within the company?