In the first article in this series I talked about the first 10 to 15 minutes of most interviews. The next part of the interview might take anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes depending on the length of job experiences that you have had.
In the second part of the interview the hiring manager will go through the progression of employment you have built up. The manager may want you to start with your first job and move to the present with how you first got your job, what you enjoyed about the position, your duties and responsibilities, and your accomplishments.
To prepare for this part of the interview you should memorize your jobs, responsibilities, and the time frame of each job by using the resume you sent the company. It is important that what you say matches with the resume the interviewer will have in front of him or her.
You should also choose two or three major accomplishments from each job that you are proud of, and can speak about, without being too grandiose.
In this part of the interview the hiring manager will be looking for several things; your leadership experience, the reasons that you changed jobs, your examples of initiative and assertiveness, your passion for learning, honesty, and adaptability.
It may go without saying (but just in case it doesn’t) all the examples you give should be couched in positives. For example: “I left job A to go to job B because of the opportunity for growth in my career.” never “Job A was not giving me enough opportunity to grow.” You can also talk about your level of earnings. “Job B offered me more compensation and benefits.”
At the close of this part of the interview, the hiring manager may give you a few minutes for you to self-evaluate with a question along the lines of “when you think of all your work experiences, what do you think you learned about your strengths? For example: “did you find you related better with others? Did you find you were more organized? If you could put your learning in a few words, just what comes to mind. To set up a practice interview go to https://www.debkhiggins.com/services.html and call for your free 30 minute introduction.
This is the time where you can put some of your reflective homework for the interview to good use. While you are preparing for the interview think back over the span of years and jobs you have had and look at the strengths and lessons you have learned. Then, put that in a positive paragraph that you can draw on when you finally get to this time in your interview. Preparation, preparation, preparation is key in any interview situation. The time you put in before the interview will pay off big, during and after the interview.
Deb has worked in mental health as a social worker helping her clients transform their lives.
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