Candidate Tips & FAQ
Candidate Tips & FAQ
“Goals of the Interview”
- Your Mission—Secure an Offer: It is your job to effectively present your skills and experience to the interviewer and to show how they relate to the open position. If anything comes up during the interview that may be an issue, just make a note. You can address any concerns you may have with your COMTEK associate after the interview—in most cases, any concerns you have about the opportunity can be resolved.
- Get Your Questions Answered: Make sure you get any questions you may have about the position, responsibilities, or company answered during the interview so that you can determine if this is a good opportunity for you.
“Interview Preparation is the Key to Success”
- Do Your Homework: Little things can set you apart from other candidates. Research the company you will be interviewing with. Visit their website and read up on the company history, structure, products, and services. Talk with your COMTEK associate about the position so that you have a clear understanding of what the organization is looking for.
- Know Your Experience: Make sure you are able to talk about your roles and responsibilities, the projects you’ve worked on, and their benefits or results.
- First Impressions Make the Difference: Whether it’s in-person or over the phone, first impressions can make or break the interview experience. Speak clearly and concisely with confidence. For face-to-face interviews, arrive at least 15 minutes early and wear proper professional business attire, such as a dark suit, including a conservative tie and shined shoes for men. Women should avoid wearing heavy make-up and hanging earrings.
“Phone Interview Tips”
- Take 10 to 15 minutes to focus on the upcoming conversation before the interviewer calls and prepare a few questions in advance. (See sample questions in tab below).
- Always make sure that you are in a quiet place without distractions—one where you can speak freely. If the interviewer calls at a bad time, it’s better to reschedule for five or 10 minutes later, rather than trying to get through it.
- Have a copy of your resume in front of you. Many times the interviewer will ask you questions in reference to work history or projects detailed on your resume. Be certain you know your greatest strengths, weaknesses and career goals and how they fit in with this position and company.
- Know with whom you will be speaking, as well as that person’s title and functional responsibility. Your COMTEK associate is responsible for letting you know exactly who will be calling. Make sure you know the interviewer’s name and title and ask how he or she fits into the organization.
- Speak slowly and clearly and always think about your answers before responding. If sitting, sit upright, just as you would in an actual interview. Many people think that if you stand while talking on the phone you are more alert and are better able to project your enthusiasm for the position. Be careful not to go monotone—keep your voice lively.
- Make sure your answers are clear and concise. Get to the point; don’t ramble. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t fake it—just say so.
- Ask the interviewer if you may ask a couple of questions and always express interest in the position. At the conclusion of the interview, ask the interviewer what the next step will be.
- Ask the Right Questions: Have questions prepared and take notes during the interview. Most interviewers will give you an opportunity to ask questions. Asking informed, open-ended questions shows your interest in the company and in the assignment. See Sample Questions on page 3:
- If the client does not begin by describing the scope of the project or responsibilities of the assignment and what skills and attributes he or she is looking for, ask! Make sure you understand what is important to the interviewer about the position before you begin discussing your background, skills, and experience.
- Sell Your Skills: Match your skills to the client’s problems and concerns. Pay close attention. Present a logical, concise description of your experience that matches the client’s need. Describe your functional duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments. Discuss hardware and software environments.
- It’s All in the Attitude: Managers want to work with people who are interested in working at their companies and on their projects—people who have a positive and upbeat attitude and who ask good questions.
- Keep Responses to the Point: Be a good listener and be interested. Stay on track, and be direct and concise with each answer. Then stop. Most interviewers have a number of pre-set questions they wish to cover in a limited amount of time. Don’t over-explain.
- Gain Agreement: Answer the client’s questions openly and honestly, being positive about yourself and your skills. Translate experiences you have had into benefits the client will gain if he or she selects you for the position. Ensure you have communicated well with the client and that you are able to fulfill the client’s expectations by saying, “Based on the description of the opportunity and what’s required to be a success, I am very excited about this opportunity and feel I am very qualified to assist you. How do you feel?” You might also ask: “How do you view my role on this team?”
- Don’t Ask the Wrong Questions: Don’t ask about relocation, vacation, sick time, or benefits. This information will be provided to you later and is not appropriate during the first interview. Asking these questions gives the impression that those issues are the most important to you.
- Don’t Discuss Compensation During an Interview: Don’t get into specifics about compensation. The appropriate way to answer the question about money is to say, “Mr. /Ms. [Interviewer Name], I am currently making [your present compensation]; however, what is most important to me is the opportunity and the company. Based on what you have shared with me so far, I am really interested in this opportunity. If you are interested in me, I would like to entertain your strongest offer.” If they insist on discussing it, provide a range, not a specific number.
- Avoid Negative Comments: If you have any negative feelings or concerns, discuss them with your COMTEK associate after the interview. Keep an open mind during the interview, and wait until after the visit to make a decision about the opportunity.
“Wrapping Up The Interview”
- What’s the Next Step? Once again, express your interest in the position. Ask the interviewer what will be the next step in the process and when the company expects to make a decision about the position.
- Say Thank You: At the end of the interview, be sure to take time to thank the person who took the time out of his or her day to meet with you.
- Send a Thank-You Note or Email: Check with your COMTEK associate about sending a personal note or email repeating your interest in the opportunity and thanking the client for taking the time to interview you. Your COMTEK associate can help you with the thank you note; however, send the e-mail using your personal e-mail address from your home system
“Sample Questions To Ask”
- Why was this position created?
- Who does this position report to? (title)
- What are your expectations of this position?
- How do you offer feedback to employees/contractors?
- What is your management style?
- Can you tell me more about the projects this department has worked on over the past year?
- What is your vision for your team/department?
- What are some of the new products and services the company is working on or plans to work on?
- Will this position require overtime?
- Is the company planning on adding any new technologies in the near future?
- What is the timeline of the project?
- Will this position have any lead responsibilities?
- When are you expecting to have someone start in this position?