Interview Guidelines

  General Guidelines


General Guidelines

  • Be yourself and speak from the heart about what you like about your work, why you are good at what you do, etc. The right job is waiting for you and if you are more yourself, you are more likely to attract the kind of job and the place that will be the best fit for your talents and personality.

While there are many websites that may emphasize a sense of polish first, our experience is that hiring managers really want to know what kind of person they are hiring. As such, we recommend avoiding slick and overly stylized answers. Remember that human resources managers/coordinators can interview thousands of people in a year. We sometimes hear complaints from HR managers like, "The candidate said all the right things, but I could not get a real sense her/him as a person."

  • Be honest, yet diplomatic. If you had a negative experience in a past job, there is no need to trash a former boss, speak harshly in general about a company, or go off in any detail about a prior employer. Bitterness is not attractive. Like with many things in interviews and in life, less is more. "The job was not a good fit for me" is a perfectly good initial answer. You can elaborate diplomatically if directly asked to say more about your reasons for leaving.
  • Tell the truth about reasons for leaving jobs. Don't invent layoffs that didn’t happen if you were fired. These things have a way of catching up with you.
  • Learn to endorse your strengths in a clear and succinct fashion. Be prepared to use particulars that back up more generic (somewhat meaningless) phrases like "I am a hard worker, team player, very attentive to details type person."

    For example, give specific, well thought out answers to such questions as, "How did you support your boss and teammates under deadline at the 23rd hour?" and "How did your attention to detail save your company money/increase revenues?"
  • Demonstrate a willingness to learn and grow over time, especially in difficult circumstances. If you have been fired, or have obvious potential problems/obstacles on your pending job search like a misdemeanor/felony or bad credit issues that will show up in a thorough background check, don't gloss over them. Be up front about these things from the start. Have your answers focus on what you sincerely learned from the experience, and how it has helped you mature as a worker and person.

    Sometimes people get fired from jobs. It happens. However, if you as an employee can demonstrate that you learned and grew professionally from the experience, it will reveal far more about your character than answers that sound like you are blaming your circumstances for your problems or failures. Again, less may be more, but, should these situations pertain to you, demonstrate that you are a reflective, responsible, and adaptive person.
  • Avoid exaggeration of your skill set and experience.

  • Relax in the interview process as much as possible. This will cut down on undue fidgeting, clicking of pens, tapping of fingernails, etc. that are turn offs to potential employers. The ability to be comfortable in an interview reflects your ability to be comfortable in a job.
  • Maintain eye contact at different points throughout the interview with all interviewing parties. Staring is not necessary. Make just enough eye contact to show interest and a willingness to connect with the people who are interviewing you.

  • Show interest in the people who are interviewing you. A couple short questions about their background with the firm/company and prior experience are a pleasant way to start an interview. This can build rapport if done without becoming overly chatty




Guidelines for Interview Attire

Here are some of the things we advise against wearing to interviews:

  • Wild nail polish. Fingernails should be trimmed and tidy.

  • Jewelry that jangles - less is more.

  • Open-toed or backless shoes, bare legs - stockings recommended, even in hot weather.

  • Out-of-date suits or ties, short skirts - hems should not be more than 3 inches above the knee.

  • Leggings, Capri pants, leather jackets.

  • Turtlenecks or open collars - ties are a must for men, especially on first-round interviews.

  • Trendy or printed handbags - the more inconspicuous the better.

  • Red Briefcases: Conservative attire is generally recommended for most office jobs, except for jobs where your style may reflect your work (advertising, the arts, etc.).

If you have a question about what to wear to an interview, call CVR Search.


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