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Interview Tips

Strive for Excellence

In a few basic words  Strive for excellence, not perfection in the interview .

Your attitude is central to assessing your ability to do the best that you can do.

And that’s all you can do.

If you set a goal for yourself, number one get the best coaching that is available. Number two  practice the right concepts and give it all you have.  At that point there is nothing more that you can do.  You have done the best that you can humanly do, so there is no more reasons to stress out and become nervous.

5 mistakes to watch out for In the Interview

Interview Success says:

Common Mistake 1. Length

The perfect interview answer should last between 20 seconds and two minutes.

That means, you should basically never answer a question with a simple yes or no. You need to share the critical details and should provide a thorough answer as required.

But you don’t want to tell your life story. When you feel like you’ve shared the highlights, cut yourself off.

If you feel compelled to share more, you can offer the information, “If you’d like I can also describe…” but don’t be surprised if the interviewer turns you down.

Too long an answer, and the interview will just tune you out.

Not to worry.

If you’ve crafted your answers the right way, these time constraints are very manageable.
Mistake 2. Not answering the interview question.

Now, some people think they are politicians and “cleverly” avoid giving a straight answer (sleazy). More often, you may just be a bit confused about what the interviewer is asking.

If you aren’t 100% sure, ask for clarification. Repeat the question back in your own words.

And, if you still don’t know whether you answered the question, at the end of your response, say to the interviewer:
“I’m not sure whether my answer fully answered your question. Was there a piece of it, I left off?”

Note: The best job seekers also know the interviewer’s goal in asking a question.

They answer both the question asked and the interviewer’s unsaid concern. This comes from their preparing the right way for the interview.

Mistake 3. Speaking before thinking

You will likely face an interview question that you’re not ready for. Whether you sink or swim, depends on how you respond.

First, get your feet under you. Otherwise, you may use lots of “Ums” and “Likes.” And, your answer may lack direction or miss the question entirely.

Pause. Take a breath. If you want, say, “That’s a really good question, let me take a few moments to gather my thoughts.” If you’re still not sure how to tackle it, break it down into pieces.

Start by answering what you feel most confident about and go from there.

Mistake 4. Providing generic answers.

A good answer gives vivid examples. An okay answer at least references yourself and the organization.

A generic answer sounds like you had a list of canned responses, played Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, and pulled out wherever your finger landed. Generic answers include, “I’m a team player,” or “I’m really excited about the work you do here.”

To avoid this mistake, you just need to prepare the right way. Gather the key facts about the organization and craft answers that describe yourself effectively.

Mistake 5: Not creating a conversation

An interview is in large part about establishing a relationship between you and your interviewers. That means you need to feel confident enough to be yourself and ask questions.

If it seems like they’re just shooting questions at you on the hot seat, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice.

So, when you have a question pop up during the conversation, ask it.

For example:
If they ask you, “what’s the most challenging project you faced?” at the end of your answer, you can follow up with, “what are the kinds of challenges that people here encounter?”

A good interview splits the air time 50/50 between the interviewer and the interviewee.

Personality will get you the job!

It’s how you present yourself both online and in the interview. It is my belief that there is a 80/20 rule. Reasons they are going to hire you are: 80% like you and your personality the other 20% is based on your experience. Mix those two together and you have a winning combination.
Most people believe it is the experience that will get them the job. The problem with this idea is the candidate with the most experience could be an unbelievable jerk and will not come across well in the interview. It will not matter how much experience, they will not end up with the job.

Refining your job search

97% of independent and corporate recruiters use it to find you if you are looking for a job. 80% of hiring managers use it when deciding who to hire.

It can be your high-powered online resume or be a liability.

Yes you guessed it
I am talking about LinkedIn.

Employers use LinkedIn to: find the proof that you are who you say you are.  They are looking to hire the candidate that best suits where they need help the most. They will be checking your references, and validate your work history on LinkedIn. They use it to decide who to interview and sometimes even who should get the job offer.

HR and Recruiters will do a scan that takes on average less than (8 seconds each).  Reaching out to the best candidates and invite them for job interviews via LinkedIn email first followed up with a phone call.

Call with questions

Steve Huffman




8 Different types of Interviews

Interview Sucess has said….

Whether it’s a phone screen, the final round, or another type of interview, make sure you adapt. Here are 8 types of interviews to look out for.

In this article, We will define these for you, help you understand what to expect in each, and make your presentation sharper with valuable tips.

The Telephone Screening
This is the preliminary interview. Your telephone screen will enable an employer to quickly identify whether you meet basic criteria. Often, these interviews are run by human resources.

This screeing can focus on your motivations and resume, and your understanding of the job and organization. You probably have less than thirty minutes to prove your case.

Phone Screening Tip:
Before this interview, make sure you can articulate the key experiences and skills on your resume that make you a good fit for this job. Have your resume in front of you for this open-book test.

The Live Screening
Like the phone screen, this is an initial interview to evaluate your professional style and the accuracy of your resume. This interview is again often run by human resources or someone besides the final decision maker.

There is a critical exception. Occasionally, these live screens turn into a final multi-round interview: “Oh, while you’re here, let me introduce you to…”

Live Screening Tip:
Because of this potential surprise, you’ll have to be ready with the full gamut of preparation. Otherwise, you may end up in a meeting with the decision maker and be caught off guard. Even if you end up over prepared, your work will help you in a later selection interview.

Selection Interview
The selection interview is the real deal. You’ll likely be meeting with several different types of people including the hiring manager, prospective team members, and a representative from human resources or management. Expect in-depth questions on your job qualifications and for this interview to last up to several hours.

Selection Tip:
In this interview, you will not only be judged by the quality of your answers. You will also be evaluated based on your ability to work well with other team members. Make sure you have powerful examples to prove your skills and establish rapport with everyone by being friendly, asking questions, and showing some personality.

Work Sample Interview
For these interviews, you will be asked to demonstrate specific job skills. In design fields, journalism and a few others, will share your portfolio of past work. In other, more business focused fields, you may be given a sample case then be given some time to prepare, and give a presentation of your related work.

Work Sample Tip:
Review your portfolio to make sure that it’s up to date. Practice presenting material until it runs smoothly. If you can, ask others in the field for feedback before the real event.

Peer Group Interview
In this more informal meeting, your potential peers want to evaluate how well you fit in. This interview may be held at the conference room, at a cocktail reception for potential candidates or at the lunch table.

Peer Group Tip:
Turn on your best charm without being phony. Smile and show enthusiasm. Talk about things that get you excited. Ask questions. Seek out similar interests between you and your interviewers. Do your best to remember individual names and use those names over the course of the conversation.

The Panel (or Group) Interview:
In a panel interview, three or more people will ask you questions on your qualifications and evaluate how you fit in. This is sometimes called a group interview, though group interviews may also mean multiple candidates in the same room at the same time. If you aren’t sure which one you will face, just ask.

Panel Tip:
These interviews are not that different from the others you experienced.
Direct each answer to the person who asked that question, but try to maintain eye contact with all group members. Also, ask questions of the various group members. Be sure to send each of them a separate thank you note -so ask for individual business cards.

The Stress Interview
No your interview is not always so mean. That person is intentionally asking you questions that make you uncomfortable. The purpose of this interview is test of how you will handle stress on the job. These interviews are more common for high pressure jobs with pushy clients.

Stress Interview Tip:
Don’t take anything personally. Recognize that you are just being tested. Maintain your calm and take your time answering questions.

Video Interview
To reduce the costs of travel, many organizations have started using video interviews. While some will use an automated virtual interviewer, more often these interviews are hosted by a live person seated on the far side of a webcam. They are sometimes used as a replacement for both the screening interview and the final selection interview.

Video Tip:
It may feel a little uncomfortable for you to speak with a webcam. Do a couple practice runs so that you realize how the experience is different from a live interview. For instance nearly any hand gestures can be distracting, and if you look at the person on screen instead of looking at the camera, you won’t make eye contact.

Good of luck out there!

Steve Huffman


Social Media Screening

Nearly 80% of employers do an online search for potential candidates. What will they learn about you?

You always dress the part in live interviews. Let’s make sure your online presence matches up. And, puts your best foot forward.

The place to start is with LinkedIn.

This tool offers you individual sections to highlight past accomplishments. It provides employers with a secondary source to verify your skills and identity after your paper resume.

And it gives you more:

It enables you to list verifiable recommendations from past work colleagues.
It allows your peers to endorse you for certain skills.
It helps you link to outside resources like papers you’ve published and presentations you’ve given,.
It can show that you are connected to leaders and insiders in the space.
It can show you are part of associations and groups that focus on topics these employers care about.

Plus it enables you to create a profile of skills and experiences on that website that 97% of recruiters use to find job candidates.

Nearly 80% of employers look before they make a hire. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, take just a couple of hours to create one. Set up a basic profile it can be done fast. You sign up, enter information about yourself from your resume, and post a professional looking picture it as simpe as that.

From there, start reaching out to family, friends and past coworkers so you have a full and active network of connections.

You have now created a basic profile that at least covers the basics. You’ve set up a starting point to build lasting relationships.

This profile can help you not just land jobs. It can help you learn about coworkers, build relationships with potential clients and partners and capture value in a number of other ways.

In the coming days, you’ll learn more about how to polish this profile up so you stand out from the crowd and how you can use social media to proactively help you land jobs or that connection you have been looking for.

To your success,
Steve Huffman
Interview Consultants

Tips for Phone Screen Interviews

workPhone Screening Tip:

Before this interview, make sure you can articulate the key experiences and skills on your resume that make you a good fit for this job. Have your notes and your resume in front of you for this.

This should be the the easiest interview you have you have your answers on the table to look at.

Speaking before Thinking.


You may face an interview question that you’re not ready for. Whether you sink or swim, depends on you and how you respond.

First, get your feet under you. Otherwise, you may use lots of “Ums” and “Likes.” Your answers will lack direction and miss the question entirely.


Job Search Burn Out..

Take stock in what you do. If you are going to do it do it all in and Reconnect with people LinkedIn.

The skills related to job searching are not typical..

Think about those strengths that you bring to a job each day. Then think of those work experiences you’ve had in the past that you are most proud of.

Those are the experiences you’re offering your employer, not simply the words on your resume.


“Mr. Huffman helped me during an interview process with a great company. He was able to provide me with all the tools that got me in the door with the company and helped me along the way to keep the door open! I would highly recommend Steve Huffman services to anyone looking for the perfect opportunity for your future.”

Gregory K. Baden, PA.

“I hired Steve as a Interview Consultant to prepare me for specific job interviews I had lined up. He was very professional, on time and extremely helpful in his approach to find out areas I was looking to improve in. He truly seemed interested in me as a person, not just another client paying for his services. After using his consultative services, I felt so well prepared and confident. Steve impressed me with his enthusiasm and expertise and really went the extra mile, by following up with me to see how my interviews went afterwards. I would highly recommend Steve for any position he was applying for. Sincerely, Teresa Quintero”

Teresa Q. Kansas, MO,

“If you are looking for a job (especially in the U.S), I strongly recommend you hire Steve to coach you for your interviews. Steve was able to put an end to my long time search for an academic position in the U.S. Steve provides an excellent work at a low cost to his clients. I got results with my first interview after talking with Steve.

Top qualities: Great Results, Good Value, Very Creative

Amir N. Ph.D. , Malaysia

Steve and his staff were awesome to work with. They were so knowledgeable and helpful during the interview process. I would highly recommend using Steve and Interview Consultants /SMS Recruiters for any future job searches. Thank you Steve for all your help landing a job with Medline Industries!”

Worked directly with Steve at INTERVIEW CONSULTANTS a Division of SMS RECRUITERS, Inc.

Jonathan A. , Lexington, SC.

“Interviewing is an art of which there are significant elements necessary to be understood in order to achieve the desired results. Steve has insight and a depth of understanding that have taught me these elements. He has provided me with a supplemental specialized knowledge that is both impressive and results producing. I highly recommend Steve as a consultant to anyone that wants their abilities, knowledge and expertise to be properly delivered and considered.”

Ed W. , Sherman Oaks, CA.

“Steve is an excellent interview coach. Anyone who does not have confidence in their interview skills needs to spend a few hours with Steve. He was able to give me a few key messages that I could incorporate into almost every answer. He also helped me with a few tough questions I encountered in previous interviews. The next two interviews I had after Steve’s coaching were a huge success. I felt more comfortable and confident throughout the interview especially with the closing. At the end of one of the interviews the manager told me that I did an excellent job and was moving me forward to the final interview.”

Kristine S. , Gainesville, FL.

“Steve provides excellent advice and counsel that helps you be your very best when it really matters. I highly recommend his services as a Consultant and Interview Coach.”

Daniel S. Dallas, TX.

“I would recommend Steve and his services to anyone looking for a position. His coaching teaches you how to view yourself in the eyes of the interviewer and thus how to best present yourself in your job search. He is a wealth of knowledge, incredibly charismatic and very easy to work with. I would recommend him in a heartbeat as an Interview Coach.”

Hilary B. , AZ.

“Steve is one of the few human beings out there who looks to help you achieve your dreams. He initially found me looking for a new career and matched me to an amazing company with an even better boss that fits me perfectly. He made the process go from nervous desires to confident dominance. He is more of a friend looking out for my best interests to get me where I dreamed to be. He told it to me straight and made me love his process and his drive to help me succeed. I rarely endorse anyone. I would put everything I have on his ability to find you a fit for your next career. He matches careers from great companies to those who can thrive in their environment. I wish I could say more of how much I respect Steve and what he does!”

Worked directly with Steve at INTERVIEW CONSULTANTS a Division of SMS RECRUITERS, Inc.

Danny S. Portland, OR. Pacific NW.

“I appreciate everything that has been done for me and my family. The coaching, the suggestions and even the criticism. All was appreciated. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the words of encouragement in this difficult time in my career. You provide a unique service that too many times is taken for granted.”

Charles M. , Los Angeles California