Knowing the Market
A strong first impression sets the tone for an interview.
David Gonzalez has been the employment manager for Hoerbiger Corporation, a mechanical valve manufacturer in Pompano Beach, for six years. He has worked in HR/recruiting for more than 20 years and conducted hundreds of interviews with candidates applying for everything from entry level production jobs, to office personnel and executives. No matter what position, there are some key factors that come into play when he evaluates candidates.
“It’s important to sit upright and be attentive to the interviewer’s questions, looking them directly in the eye,” says Gonzalez. “Don’t slouch in your chair or use the interviewer’s desk as if it were your own.”
Hiring managers are busy and want to get to know you, but they also don’t have time for unnecessary chit-chat or rambling. Be prepared for the interview by thinking about the position you are applying for ahead of time. Be ready to give work or life examples to answer the interviewer’s questions.
“Having the demonstrated skills that are required for the position is most important for the interviewer to determine,” says Gonzalez. “When they ask you (the candidate) about a past experience using the skill, give specific examples from past work experience. If you are applying for an entry level position or one where you don’t have an employment history using those skills, express your willingness to learn. You may be able to connect hobbies or interests you have that apply to the skill. Answer directly and get to the point.”
There are a few taboos to watch out for in an interview. Gonzalez says the initial interview is not the time to ask about salary, vacation time, sick time, or flexibility for being available for your family. If/when you are called back, those items will be discussed with you as part of the offer.