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The Interview Isn’t Always What You Expect

April 27, 2011 by  
Filed under General

A client of mine went for an interview the other day. She was greeted by the woman who she knew was going to interview her. The woman asked her to join her and when they entered the room there were four other people at a conference table waiting to interview her. She didn’t know this was going to be a panel interview! Not only was this a panel interview, it was a well orchestrated one. There was a manager from each department and a peer level staff member as well. They had a list of questions, mostly behavioral questions, and passed the list to each other throughout the interview. The interview went well because my client was prepared. Here are some tips: If you have the opportunity, shake hands and make eye contact with each person as you are introduced. Next open your portfolio and on the pad inside write the names of each person in the order that they are seated and write their position as well. When you answer a question, as you begin speaking make eye contact with the person who asked the question but then make sure you look at each person as you continue your answer and then return to the person who asked the question. Remember there is a purpose behind every question so keep that in mind as you answer. Use the S.T.A.R. format which works best in behavioral questions. S-situation, T-task, A-action you took, R-result. Of course you have prepared questions in advance so make sure you match your question to the appropriate panel member: hence noting there position on your diagram. When leaving, shake hands with each person and ask for their business card. Write a thank you to each before your head hits the pillow that night. Most people, whether a recent college graduate or an experienced executive are nervous when such a surprise like this happens, but try to think of it this way: This position must be important or the company wouldn’t take the time to orchestrate such an interview event. In addition, it’s a good sign of the companies commitment to their hiring process because they took the time to prepare. Finally, this helps shorten the interview process as everyone is in the same place at the same time. So next time this happens to you, don’t be surprised… prepared to ace the interview.

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Success Stories

Hans-Hans, Gettysburg College
Ellyn provided insightful and comprehensive career counseling, and I would recommend her to any and all young professionals looking for assistance with their professional endeavors. Read more
Rebecca-Rebecca, Adelphi University
After college, I found the interview process very intimidating and difficult. Then I found Ellyn who fully prepared me for interviewing and provided me with a job search strategy. Her tools were unlike others I found in researching the internet. Read more
Francesca-Francesca, Georgetown University
I want to thank you for everything you have done for me this past year. Before I met you I was overwhelmed with graduating and wanting to find the “perfect” job. Read more
-Director of Career Services, St. Thomas Aquinas College
On behalf of the Career Services Office and the St. Thomas Aquinas College Community, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for sharing your valuable time with us and contributing to the continued success of our students. Read more
Joanna-Joanna, University of Pennsylvania
Ellyn not only coached me through the interview process, but also got me thinking about a career path, not just getting a job. I owe to her my first, second, and third jobs out of college. Read more
Allison-Allison, George Washington University
I don’t know if I would have gotten my job if it weren’t for Ellyn Enisman! The self assessment and discovery process she created helped me understand the value of my education, project work, internships, work experiences, and life experiences.Read more
AlishaAlisha, Northeastern University
Before my interview process began I contacted Ellyn to help revise my resume and take a professional look at the job offers that were available to me. She coached me about different careers that I might be interested in and the types of things that companies are looking for in candidates. Read more


6 Comments on "The Interview Isn’t Always What You Expect"

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    Aaron D. Hall
    Twin Cities Law Firm, LLC

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