Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Interview Type Guide

Predictable questions: structured interview

Candidates are asked standard questions, several applicants are compared by standard criteria.

For example, vacancies of mass positions - promoter, courier, packer, etc. - do not imply that the applicants have special knowledge, skills, qualifications. The task of the recruiter is to quickly close the vacancy. General information about the candidate to recruiters, as a rule, is enough: where they worked before, why they left the previous place, what working conditions they are ready for, etc. Often questions are asked by phone.

When meeting with applicants for linear vacancies — a sales manager, an office manager, etc. — the recruiter asks consistent and logical questions about education and experience, plans. “Why do you want to work with us?”, “What do you expect from the position?” Or “Your achievements?”. The goal of the hiring manager is to collect basic information about the applicant: to assess the level of qualification and motivation.

In both cases, the questions are predictable, answers to them can be prepared in advance, then they will not be confused.

Among competitors: group interview

Sometimes, in order to save time or with several open positions, several candidates are invited at once. At the same time, they appreciate sociability and friendliness. For example, for sales consultants communication skills and ability to communicate in a group are important.

A group interview may be attended by several selection managers or such a staff: a recruiter and a department head. This is necessary for a more objective assessment of the candidate.

The background check: case, behavioral and stress interviews

At a situational interview (case interview), candidates are asked to analyze a real or hypothetical situation and propose solutions. This is how professional and personal qualities are evaluated. The received answers are compared with the template, each company has its own. Then identify the pros and cons of each applicant and decide who is best suited for the position.

At a behavioral interview they ask about real situations that the candidate has encountered at previous places of work, specify how he solved the problems. The experience of the candidate is important. Also check: initiative, ability to solve complex work issues, competencies.

Who can attend such interviews? Managers who work with clients: logisticians, educators, call center employees, sales managers and other specialists whose work involves multitasking, working with people.

These specialists can also get into a stressful interview where HR will intentionally provoke a conflict by asking provocative questions. It is not the answer itself that is evaluated, but the response of the applicant. The goal is to test stress resistance.

Tricky questions at a projective interview

They ask sudden, unexpected questions that are not related to the vacancy, the experience of the candidates. Sometimes they are asked to comment on “the actions of other people.” As a rule, in answering, candidates reflect their own experience.

Examples of questions:
"Do you always keep your word?",
“Why do you think people are cheating?”
"Why do people quit / be late?" ...
The point is a quick answer to the question. So check inventiveness, erudition, creativity, communication skills, as well as honesty and human values. This type of interview is similar to the previous ones, but special attention is paid to the personality of the candidate.

Applicants for managerial positions and specialists whose work is connected with frequent communication can get to such an interview: PR managers, sellers (of expensive brands), realtors, journalists, brokers.

Feel confident in the interview will help our advice.
About how to prepare for an interview.
What to tell about achievements.

Super words for job search

When compiling a resume, you should use more active words. Examples are in our article.


For a resume to be as effective as possible, you need to give the impression of an active, energetic person. Human action. Therefore, it is necessary not only to talk about achievements, but also to emphasize that they are yours, that you have achieved this with your work, and not “it has happened like that”.
Most often, verbs and adjectives act as active words.


Use perfect verbs in the past tense (what did you do?) - so the action will look already completed, which will strengthen your achievements. Write "I have achieved the result" instead of "I have achieved the result."
For example:
created an effective sales system;
increased sales by 20% per year as a sales manager;
retained the company's largest customers during the crisis;
developed a new method of attracting customers, which made it possible to attract more than 30 large customers in a year.
Other examples: adapted, released, calculated, invented, modified, modernized, improved, systematized, improved, increased, saved and so on.


Adjectives are needed to describe your strengths and personal qualities. A simple listing of them will suffice in the summary, but if you have to answer such a question at an interview, it is better to decipher each definition so that it does not look stereotyped. For example:
Sociable: I underwent training to identify various types of personalities and learned how to use the acquired knowledge in order to find an individual approach to clients.
And one more nuance. Business coach Maria Vladimirova recommends not using the prefix “not” whenever possible. “Our subconscious mind does not perceive this prefix. The phrases in which it is used are perceived as opposite. Therefore, “non-conflict” is better to replace with “friendly”, “peace-loving”, “restrained”. And “considerable” - to “substantial”, “big”, “serious” and the like, ”recommends our expert.
Some active adjectives are universal, while others are more suitable, for example, to managers, or performers, or to people of certain professions. Here are examples of using words from our dictionary for various positions.

Head: purposeful, loyal, energetic, independent, active, proactive, multi-tasking.

Accountant and analyst: neat, attentive, efficient, responsible, honest, pedantic.

Teacher: sociable, loyal, conscientious, friendly, flexible, attentive, responsive.

Choose the appropriate definitions from the dictionary and add to the resume. Successful job search for you!

Useful books for job seekers

Bill Burnett, Dave Evans “Designing Your Life: Live the Way You Need It,” Alpina Publisher, 2018.

The main philosophy of the book is in the title: design your life like a constructor, and remember that any prototype is born after a dozen failed attempts. The authors urge each failure to be assessed as a step towards the goal, because giving up something wrong brings you closer to finding the right path. But really - how often we grab onto the first solution to a problem or a vacancy, without evaluating other options, just to grasp what is within reach. “Don't be afraid to be stuck. The state of the impasse is a springboard for creativity ”is the motto of this book.

Two of the 11 chapters of the book are devoted specifically to job search (chapters 7–8). Before looking for suggestions, the authors advise you to decide what you have now and the direction of movement. “Every time when it begins to seem to you that everything goes awry in your life, you should check the health of your compass”, “In order to find your way, you need not only a compass, but also a direction”

Figurative thinking will help you choose a direction

Case. Burnett and Evans cite an example of a lady who loved Italian cuisine and dreamed of opening a deli shop and cafe with him. Instead of creating abstract images of her idea (to find out how it feels to work all day in the field of catering, hire staff again and again, take an inventory, study the contents of products) and try to look into the future, she zealously got down to business and went along the way overcoming difficulties - I found a rental room and money for the first investments, hired staff, made a menu and much more to do to realize the idea. The project was successful. But the lady was at an impasse, she simply did not know what to do next. She realized that owning a cafe is not the same as visiting it or planning to open it. As a result, she sold a cafe and took up interior projects: here it is - planning! What she really liked to do at the stage of opening the cafe. To find herself, the heroine had to overcome a lot, but this could have been avoided.

Methods of figurative thinking. A lot of them. One of the most effective, in my opinion, is the “fitting” of a dream job. Attend specialized conferences, talk on the sidelines, ask vital questions to authoritative experts, work as a volunteer in the company or area you are interested in, and so on. Simple observation and information gathering will also help: if you want to become a taxi driver, find out how many hours a day will have to work (and this is not a legal 8 hours), are clients unscrupulous and what do taxi drivers do when they meet, and indeed, can you do it daily ride in traffic jams without experiencing much stress. What if you get sick at all and have to refuse to work already for medical reasons?
Another example: you plan to change the position of a sales manager to an accountant, ask yourself, are you ready to perform routine tasks of the same type every day? You can even download the balance sheet or other report on the Internet and try to fill it in during the working day. And, perhaps, to form 1000 payment orders in 8 hours?


At the end of each chapter of the book there are tasks for independent work - they will help consolidate the knowledge gained. The main thing is not to flip through these pages with a promise to yourself that someday you will return to their implementation.
For example, one of the exercises will be useful to those who are at a crossroads - the current activity is annoying, and what is next unclear. In a notebook (its authors call the diary of good time) for two weeks you need to write down the duties, during the performance of which you feel boredom or anxiety and, on the contrary, emotional uplift and good mood. Such monitoring will help to find out exactly which functionality to focus on. Performing such an exercise, you need to understand that getting rid of routine, unloved things forever will not work, but their number and the time spent on them can be minimized.

A spoon of tar
“Employers do not hire resumes, but people. Those they like, ”the authors specify, and one cannot disagree with them. But some tips on this seemed to me to be broken.
Burnett and Evans offer standard search methods an alternative - conducting so-called prototype conversations with “useful” people, in fact, with potential employers. During conversations, your task is not to ask for a job or even present yourself, but simply to show interest in the interlocutor and maintain a sincere conversation. According to the authors of the book, at the end of the meeting, you, as an active listener, should receive a job offer, and for a position that is being searched for in a closed mode or in general is still closed.

Now let's think about how this will work in practice. I can vaguely imagine a situation where an ordinary applicant (or employee) will be able to invite the first person of the company to a meeting so that the latter tells him about his life or work. No, an invitation may work out, but not the fact that the employer will respond to the invitation and come.
Then, active listening, and in fact, interrogation, may look like industrial espionage: who will tell a stranger about their projects? Paranoia? Not at all - any information is for sale today.
In general, this method has flaws, in my opinion. But this does not mean that you need to brush it off. No, it can and should be adapted. American authors, like many other foreign business trainers, once again showed an important thing - the most interesting offers and on the best conditions can be obtained when you personally know the decision maker, when you are on an equal footing, you have informal relationship and each of you understands how it can be useful to the other. Networking is a great help in finding a job. You can establish useful contacts or just chat with interesting people at mentor evenings, thematic conferences, trainings, etc.
Richard Templer Career Rules. Everything you need for career growth ”, Alpina Publisher Publishing House, 2017.

The feature of this book is that in one place all the theses important for a career are collected, in fact, it can be called a collection of useful life hacks. The book will be useful not only at the stage of job search, but also for building a career. Therefore, she has every chance to become a careerist handbook, along with other, equally interesting publications.

The book contains 100 rules, which are grouped into 10 groups: “Know how to do business”, “Remember that you are always evaluated”, “Make a plan”, “If you can’t say anything nice, keep silent”, “Be careful and prudent” , “Become Your Own”, “Be Ahead of Events”, “Be a Diplomat”, “Use the System for Your Own Benefit” and “Learn to Cope with Opponents”.

Many tips are widely heard: for example, “Maintain an impeccable appearance”, “Learn to speak (write) correctly,” “Define long-term (short-term) goals,” “Dress like your superiors,” “Don't talk about your plans,” “ Explore your strengths and weaknesses ”and much more.

Consider a few tips in more detail:

“Understand the ethical component of your work (profession).” In each profession, you can find the opposite: it can be a lawyer who helps the boss protect the company from raider seizure, or a lawyer who implements schemes for transferring money to offshore; an accountant who knows the law in such a way that does not allow a single tax inspection penalty, or an accountant who conducts double reporting ... Remember, if something does not suit you, you always have the choice and the opportunity to find a new job.

“Learn what others don't know.” You must be the best in your industry. For some reason, many workers believe that once having received an education, it will be enough for a successful career. No, no and NO. Being an eternal student - these are the realities of this century. Technologies are developing and becoming obsolete so quickly that by the time they graduate, it is often necessary to retrain again. Check your professional compass with the "competitors": study their resumes, evaluate the vacancies of the companies you are interested in, read the biographies of successful professionals in your industry and so on.
"Never Stay Inactive." Richard Templar advises finding time and opportunities for self-improvement, study, analysis and planning: “While others are thinking about the upcoming smoke break or how to hold out until the end of the day without doing anything, try to consider the strategy and tactics of your next maneuver. Ideally, you should cope with your immediate responsibilities before the lunch break in order to free up the afternoon. At this time, you can write suggestions and reports that will attract attention to your work, explore ways to optimize the workflow for you and your colleagues. ”
"Do not miss the chance." A chance is when you find yourself together with the CEO in the elevator and to his question “How is the project progressing?” You know (!) What to answer, and not mumble something inarticulate or “tasteless”. Or when you encounter a boss on the stairs and you can tell him 10 shortcomings of the competitors' new service and how to beat them with benefit for your own company.
"Think like superiors" and "Think about the problems of the company." These two tips are a must have for everyone! As soon as you begin to think not only about your own benefit and personal interests, a career will immediately go uphill. It seems to me that career consultants have already filled up a callus in the language, saying that at the interview you need to talk not about your desires (“I want to work in a large developing company that provides employees with a free work schedule, a cool social package and high salary”), but about how you can help this company in its development - then you will have a high salary, and a social package, and other goodies. Also during operation. For example, salespeople are sewn up at the end of the month - they try to implement the plan. And they ask you to linger and help - as part of your functionality. But it doesn’t bother you - you have a working day up to 18 hours, and then an electric train to the suburbs ... You get up and leave. Lingering at work is not part of your plans, even if it is paid. A proposal to go out to work on the weekend (also for a fee) causes trembling and antipathy. By the way, employers consider such employees to be unstable, which means that they will not see a rise in the career ladder.

Fake Company Interview

Fraudsters, under the pretext of employment, collect personal data of applicants, which they can then use for fraud. A reader of the newspaper “Work for You” shared his story.
Our reader, Vyacheslav, is a driver by profession. A week ago, he found an ad from a major well-known company, whose office is located in the center of Moscow.

This company just invited drivers to work to transport goods from warehouses to stores. The conditions were simply wonderful: employment under the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, daily salary payments, flexible hours (hours of work can be chosen). But when Vyacheslav arrived for an interview, he was unpleasantly surprised - instead of a presentable office, he saw an uncleaned room with old furniture.

The girl was met by the applicant, introduced herself as Marina, and immediately began to ask Vyacheslav in detail: who he was, where he came from, whether there were problems with the law, whether he took loans and paid all debts? The man was surprised at the question of loans - this clearly had nothing to do with future work, but nevertheless answered him. Then Vyacheslav had to fill out a detailed questionnaire on three pages and indicate his income level over the past five years. At the end of the interview, Marina took copies of his passport, pension insurance certificate, driver’s license and employment record. The girl promised to call the next day to already invite Vyacheslav to go to work. But neither the next day, nor two days later there was a call.

From the very beginning, the man did not like this situation, but then he was already seriously worried - he found the company’s website and called the telephone number indicated there. The employee’s response did not surprise him anymore: the company did not have and did not have an office address Vyacheslav named. Later, the man called our editorial office and asked: “Tell me, do I understand correctly that I went to an interview with scammers?” If you want to apply for a good company, you shold have a good resume, you can you information in my profile https://www.viki.com/users/jadakiss_0_348/about.

Council "Work for you"

Vyacheslav’s assumption is most likely true: the company where he went for an interview has nothing to do with the well-known brand, under the sign of which he published a job announcement. He got to the swindlers. Unfortunately, there are more and more such fake companies in the labor market. Fraudsters, under the guise of a well-known name, under the pretext of employment, collect personal data of applicants, which they can then use for all kinds of illegal fraud.

In the name of unsuspecting people, they can take loans from banks or, using the same false documents, transfer a person's pension savings to some non-state pension fund, and such funds pay agent fees for each attracted depositor. But you never know ... Scammers are constantly improving deception schemes.

Therefore, before you go for an interview, carefully collect information about the employer on the Web. Now almost all companies have websites on the Internet - it is not difficult to verify addresses and phone numbers. Better yet, call the office and ask if the company really recruits such and such employees.

The second point is if at the interview you don’t like something at once (the office looks suspicious, the employees behave strangely and ask a lot of unnecessary questions), do not dutifully do what they say to you, but turn off the conversation and leave.

And even more so, do not just take copies of your documents. In decent companies, they do this immediately before signing an employment contract.

Invited for interviews, but not for work

It seems to you that you have successfully passed the interview and from day to day it is worth waiting for an offer. But instead comes failure. If the situation is repeated from time to time - this is an occasion to think: what’s the matter.

As a rule, representatives of mass and linear professions (sales managers, drivers, accountants, etc.), after responding to a vacancy, are expected to communicate with the HR manager of the company. This is the most common option.
For specialists (programmers, designers, lawyers, etc.) and top managers, an interview can take place in two stages: with an HR manager and a potential leader. Depending on the rules adopted by the company, its size, a preliminary interview with HR is possible by telephone, and an interview is possible only with the manager.

In any case, at each of these stages, annoying mistakes can be made that will smear the entire impression of the interview. Consider the errors.
In a meeting with an HR manager

Don't be gloomy
Frowning focused eyes, tense posture, alertness - you are like being interrogated. This almost always repels the interlocutor - few love those who are gloomy and aggressive.

You should understand that a recruiter or HR manager is not your enemy. The company is interested in a specialist; you are interested in work. Look at the interview as an opportunity to find out if there is a chance to build constructive relationships. Therefore, be friendly, friendly and charming. This will greatly increase the chances of success.

Avoid slander
Sometimes applicants try to put themselves in a favorable light (perhaps due to excitement) and begin to speak poorly about their former colleagues, boss, and criticize them. This behavior is repulsive: no one needs gossips and sneakers.

Talk about your strengths, but forget about other people's weaknesses. If you are directly asked about the relationship in the team - report the facts briefly and dryly. For example, it is not necessary to clarify that “colleagues have problems all the time, they did not send the contract to the partner on time, and I had to understand the situation.” The phrase "let down partners" will be quite enough.

Don't lose your temper
Sometimes the applicant is so nervous that he is literally speechless and cannot clearly answer the simplest questions. For example, once a candidate for the position of manager in our company to the question of whether she ever contacted our main customer, managed to forget that she worked for a whole year in his subsidiary!

How to deal with this? Firstly, you can honestly warn someone you are worried about. Of course, such recognition may take you a few points. But this is better than giving the impression of a tongue-tied and inattentive person.
Secondly, you can prepare answers to standard questions in advance and memorize them. Or even make a cheat sheet. It’s okay to look at your notebook from time to time!
Thirdly, do not refuse interview invitations - the more there are, the higher your chances of finding a job and self-confidence. At the first interview, it’s scary, at the fifth it’s easier, to the tenth - get used to it, and the answers to the questions will already pop up on the machine. But I do not advise swallowing sedatives: many of them have an inhibitory effect, and you risk looking lethargic and sleepy.

Do not neglect dress code
Appearance is very important. The first impression of the applicant depends on him (no one canceled the dress code at the interview).
Another nuance: if your “plumage” is very different from what is accepted in this “flock”, an alarm will ring in your interlocutor’s head: “Alien! We won’t work together !!! ”And this applies not only to ripped jeans and blue hair where business style is adopted, but also to a strict suit in the company of creative people whose business style is associated exclusively with credit managers and funeral agents!

Therefore, in preparation for the interview, pay attention to the costume. In order not to make a mistake with the choice, you can drive up to the office on the eve of the interview and watch how it is customary to dress.

Don't be indifferent
I fully admit that the only thing that matters to you is salary. But why tell the employer about this ?! If before the interview you didn’t bother to learn at least a little about what the company is doing, your chances are slim. Therefore, having received an invitation to an interview, do not be too lazy to look at available sources - the company's website, articles on the Internet, pages on social networks. Knowing the basic questions is a big plus for you as a job seeker.

Another marker that betrays your disinterest is stingy answers. No need to quote a resume. The recruiter has already read it! Tell yourself in a living language, turn on charisma and show your interlocutor your sincere interest!

Do not push for pity
You did not come to a charity fund for help. So five children, sick relatives and old dogs who need to walk five times a day are your problems. If you really need some special conditions - for example, you need to pick up a child from the garden no later than a certain time, you should not talk about it from the very beginning. Postpone this conversation until you have already received a job offer and are discussing the terms of your contract with your employer.

In a meeting with the future leader

Do not overpower yourself
If the HR manager conducts the initial selection, then the task of the future boss is to dig a little deeper, to determine your professional competencies. The main mistake is to talk a lot about your experience and professionalism, and at the same time not to correlate them with the tasks that will need to be solved in a new position.

The leader is not a recruiter; he may not have much experience in conducting interviews and communicating with candidates. Help him discern in you an interested and suitable professional company: ask questions about functionality, mention skills that may be useful in a new job, and so on. If you manage to build a constructive dialogue, the chances of success will increase.

Don't pretend to be superman
A man without weaknesses and mistakes is simply an ideal. A passionless robot in sparkling armor. And what to do to the poor chief? How to manage? What kind of "strings" to pull to influence you?

Even being a recognized professional - do not get arrogant, do not rush to demonstrate your superiority to a potential boss. When you are hired, there will be many opportunities to prove yourself. In the meantime, be restrained.

On trust
Do you know what least any chef wants? Be a nanny and overseer. Try to show him that you are independent enough and responsible so that he can not stand above your soul, controlling every step. But at the same time loyal enough not to step over at some point through his head. What is needed for this? Suitable examples from your past experience (two or three will be enough).

Of course, there are other reasons for refusing - from personal antipathy to the lack of some necessary competencies. However, it is impossible to find a job seeker who absolutely meets the requirements of the vacancy. And the job offer is often received by the job seeker who is able to avoid the above errors. Successful job search!