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Interviewing Tips

  1. Review the Job Description, including position, title, and all related tasks.  Be prepared to relate your job experiences to what is required for the position. 


  1. Research the bank’s history and future growth plans.


  1. Rehearse - yes, rehearse in front of a mirror or friend or family member and then again in the car on the way to the interview.  Be prepared with your answers to potential interview questions.


    • Tell me about yourself.
    • What are your goals for the next year or 2 or 5?
    • Why should we hire you?
    • Tell me about your past employer.
    • What do you consider to be your strengths?
    • Weaknesses?
    • Why did you leave your last job or why are you leaving your current position?
    • What do you consider your major life accomplishments?
    • What are your hobbies?  What do you do in your spare time?
    • How do you handle stress?
    • What type of supervision do you work most effectively under?
    • What do you know about our bank?
    • What was the last course or seminar you attended?
    • Outline your computer experience for me.
    • If chosen for this position, how will you go about familiarizing yourself with our policies, procedures and other employees?
    • Do you consider yourself a quick learner?


  1. Never answer with a simple “no” or “yes”; this says nothing about you, is boring to listen to, and makes the interview go by too quickly. 


  1. Say nothing bad about anybody, including you.   


  1. It is not proper for an interviewer to ask questions regarding your age, health, religious affiliation, marital status, family status, ethnicity, financial standing, or sexual orientation.


  1. Ask friends and family what your nervous habits are.  Make a point of watching for them during the interview.


  1. Make a list of questions that you want to ask them.  Your questions will send a message, so keep them professional.


    • The bank:  Is it expanding?  What are their plans and goal for the future?  How many people are employed with the bank?  What sets them apart from the competition?
    • The position:  What is a typical day like?  What would your duties and responsibilities be?  Who would you report to?  Who would report to you?  How will your skills be used?


  1. Make sure you have clear driving instructions so that you do not get lost or show up late.  Plan to arrive 10 minutes early.


  1. Dress professionally and conservatively.  Polish, press, brush, floss and straighten.  Use cologne/perfume sparingly. 


  1. Avoid smoking before going into the interview, especially in the car.  Do not chew gum.


  1. Greeting the receptionist:  It is essential you treat this person with respect and courtesy.  Even though they may not be directly involved with your interview, their casual remarks to the person responsible for hiring could be critical.


  1. Maintain good eye contact, be confident, friendly, and smile.


  1. Handshake:  Whether you are a man or woman, be sure to offer your hand when you greet the interviewers.  Your handshake should be firm, but not hurtful.


  1. It is a good idea to engage in small talk before the formal part of the interview begins.  By beginning your interview on a casual note, you put yourself and the employer at ease.  You may comment on the weather or the look of the office, but refrain from discussing problems you may have had on the way to the interview. 


  1. DO NOT ASK ABOUT SALARY OR BENEFITS…NO EXCEPTION!!  You are represented by a trained and experienced Consultant at CMG Recruiting who will handle salary negotiations for you.  If they ask what you are making currently, answer honestly.  Often times they will check. Tell the truth nicely, positively.


  1. Focus on the position for which you are interviewing.  Yes, you are interested in advancement, but right now you want to be the best at the position for which you are currently interviewing.


  1. Get business cards from everyone so that you can follow up with thank you cards.  Thank the interviewers for their time and restate your interest in the position.


  1. Call your Consultant at CMG Recruiting soon after the interview – within one hour, if possible.  At this time you will be asked about the positives and negatives, the tough questions that you hesitated to ask, the possible misunderstandings, and any concerns that you may have.  Because your Consultant is working with the bank, he/she can get information without sending negative signals. 


If this is truly an opportunity that you want, you should tell the interviewer that you are interested and reinforce the reasons why.