How To Slam Dunk Job Interviews

Part 4 of 26 in the Series: Why Can't I Find A Job?
How To Slam Dunk Your Next Job Interview
How To Slam Dunk Your Next Job Interview

This post is an answer to a question asked by Chris who is attending his tenth (10) job interview. You may click here to read the original question or add your own question or comment to the discussion.

The original post is a No Holds Barred Discussion on challenges, problems or issues facing my readers. If you have a Burning Question or Challenge you need help with, be sure to add your question to that page and i will answer it fully just as I am answering Tom’s question below!

The definition of the word “slam dunk” below is from Wikipedia and the rest of the article is my anwer to Chris’s challenge with Job Interviews!

A slam dunk (or simply a dunk) is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air and manually powers the ball downward through the basket with one or both hands over the rim.

The term “slam dunk” was coined by Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hearn and is one of the highest percentage shots one can attempt in basketball.

50 Ways To Slam Dunk Any Job Interview

  1. Dress appropriately for your job interviews

  2. Never be late for your job interviews

  3. Verify the interviewer’s timezone ahead of your job interview

  4. Verify the location of the interview ahead of time

  5. Print a mapquest or step by step driving direction to the interview location

  6. Before going for the interview, find out more about the culture of the company, what they like in employees or consultants or why they are hiring

  7. Greet the receptionist and other people in the lounge or interview room courteously and with a smile

  8. Research your potential employer using the internet before the interview

  9. Research your potential employer by finding out about their products, services, industry and corporate history

  10. Take samples or proof of your expertise to the interview

  11. Demonstrate to the interviewer how portions or sections of the job posting relate to your resume and skills

  12. Do not negotiate compensation before you get an offer

  13. Do not talk down your current or previous positions

  14. Be prepared to answer the “what are your strengths?” question

  15. Be prepared to answer the “what is your weakness?” question

  16. Be prepared to answer the “do you prefer working in teams or alone?” question

  17. Give the appropriate level of technical detail for each interviewer. A senior business analyst or a tech lead will need detailed technical answers while managers or directors may need concise summaries.

  18. Be prepared to answer the “what is your greatest accomplishment?” question

  19. Be prepared to answer the “why are you looking for a position?” question

  20. Be prepared to answer the “how do you handle stress?” question

  21. Answer each interview question with specifics, examples and illustrations from your career

  22. Answer each interview question quickly, completely and to the point

  23. Answer each interview question and ask your interviewer if you provided enough information

  24. Answer each interview question with confidence, command and authority

  25. Answer each interview question by looking the interviewer in the eye

  26. Answer each interview question by looking briefly at each interviewer in the room and returning back to the originator of the question

  27. Answer each interview question with a smile and a relaxed, calm demeanor

  28. Say you don’t know on interview questions, that you don’t have any idea about

  29. If you interviewer corrects you on your answers, be courteous and thank the interviewer for taking the time to correct your response

  30. Take the phone interview as seriously as a face to face interview because may even get hired on the phone without another face to face

  31. Take you phone interviews in a quiet, distraction free room

  32. Give an alternate phone number to the employer as a backup ahead of your phone interviews

  33. Practice taking phone interviews while standing up or sitting down and then choose the style that works for you

  34. Start your interview preparation a month or more before you take the interview

  35. When preparing for a job interview, first prepare a list of frequently asked questions and answers

  36. Prepare the questions to ask the interviewer about the job position before your interview date

  37. When preparing for job interview, rehearse or practice answering the questions 10 or more times beforehand

  38. When preparing for job interview, rehearse or practice before an audience that will give you immediate feedback

  39. After taking a job interview, let the interviewer know that you really want and care about landing the job

  40. After taking a job interview, ask the interviewer what are the issues that must be tackled immediately and effectively by you, if you are hired

  41. After taking a job interview, ask the interviewer what personal attributes or traits are common among the sucessful employees or consultants

  42. After taking a job interview, ask the interviewer who you will be reporting to if you are hired

  43. After taking a job interview, thank the interviewer for their time and interest in hiring you before leaving the room

  44. After taking a job interview, ask the interviewer for their contact information

  45. After taking a job interview, send a thank you email to your job interviewers when you get home

  46. After taking a job interview, decline to discuss your pay until you get a job offer

  47. After taking a job interview, let the interviewer know that you are flexible when it comes to pay

  48. After taking a job interview, ask the interviewer how long you it will take for them to get back to you

  49. After taking a job interview, prepare a list of the challenging questions you had to answer

  50. After taking a job interview, research, document and rehearse the answers to all the challenging questions you answered




8 Responses to "How To Slam Dunk Job Interviews"

  1. Michael Bierly   November 7, 2009 at 7:39 am

    as for the salary discussion, I find in tech jobs it comes up almost immediately and cant be avoided. I have typically replied with, what is the range for this position and most have given me a range and if it works for me, I can reply that we would be able to make something work (or not).

    Another dodge I use is to say that while salary is important, its about the whole package (job role, culture, people you work with, responsibilities, vacation time, bonus, etc) and that I am open to working with them if we decide that I am the right person for the position and the position is right for me.

    And at least in the IT field, i really dont think it is that they dont care about your performance… most people have budgets and ranges they have to be in, except for possibly higher level exec positions, so i dont suggest taking it that way. I suggest that you you need to consider if the full package, including what you will be doing and who you will be doing it with as part of whether you want the job (given what you need to make).

    All that said, I typically try to find out what range they have to see if it is worth my time, if they broach the topic first, and then do my best to push negotiation till they offer.

    Just my two cents

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  3. Kingsley Tagbo   March 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Roland:

    You are exactly right. It is a be prepared to ace your interview attitude.

    If you are asking about: “how to run, interview or hire”, I don’t have one in the works now …

    but I will if more people demand for it … ’cause I’m a public servant 🙂

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  4. Roland Hesz   March 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Ok, I understand your one month preparation now.

    It’s not about that exact interview, it’s a general “be prepared” attitude.

    A question: Do you plan to run a similar post on the other side?

    How to run an interview” or such?

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  5. Kingsley Tagbo   March 2, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Roland:

    Thank you for your feedback. Here are my comments … and your feedback is always welcome 🙂

    #34: The principle is that you should always be ready for the job interviews at least … 1 month before you have to take an interview. Even if you are given 1 week or 3 days notice, all you need to do is to refresh your mind about what you have already taken the time to know or understand.

    #12: In my experience, negotiating your salary before the job interview is for “price shopping” positions. If a position is going to price shop, then folks hiring probably do not care that much about your individual performance … they are just looking to fill the position with anybody.

    However, if there is a clearly defined salary range for the position, then it is okay to let the hiring manager know that your salary expectation is withing that range and if you do apply for that position.

    #46: If you are having to discuss so much about the pay and salary, before you get hired, then you may need to widen your job search and look for another position more intensively.

    I believe that the employers that are worth working for … will put more emphasis on your resume, skills and what you bring to the table. If the discussion is driven by how much you get paid, then you need to look harder 🙂

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  6. Roland Hesz   March 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Great advices!

    Just a few things though:

    34. Start your interview preparation a month or more before you take the interview

    I usually have a week notice at most before an interview. And they don’t tell the company most of the time.

    12 Do not negotiate compensation before you get an offer

    46. After taking a job interview, decline to discuss your pay until you get a job offer

    This is one of the first questions you have to answer: what is your salary expectation.

    You can’t even get an interview before you answer this question. And no “I’m flexible” and “it depends”. No, they want exact amounts.

    I wish it was not. But I liked your advices, they are practical and good 🙂

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  7. Kingsley Tagbo   February 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Chris:

    Thank you … you made by day. I wrote this post from scratch entirely for you 🙂 and believe me your job situation will change for the better … you just have to apply some strategy to use by using as much of the guildelines above as you can.

    P.S. I am going to post one more strategy for you in a few minutes.

    Have a great life.

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  8. chris   February 6, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    hey! you are a great guy, i only hope i can actually practicalise all that you have itemized. i must confess they sound brilliant. thanks

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