Proactive Interviewing

Interview:  “A somewhat formal discussion between two parties in which information is exchanged. For a business looking to fill an open job or position…” (Source:

Proactive: “to prepare for, intervene in, or control an expected occurrence or situation” (Source:

An interview, therefore, should be a discussion between two or more people, and not a grilling where you, the interviewee only asks questions at the end.

Do you believe that you can, especially in today’s challenging job market, intervene in, control, or guide your interviews?  Yes, you can, if you prepare, develop confidence, and learn how to be proactive during the interview.

The keys to interviewing success include:

– Preparing well in advance

  • Knowing yourself – your relevant experience, education/training, skills and career goals/interests
  • Knowing the company – the business, the culture, the pertinent news, the department and manager(s),  the position responsibilities and challenges, the position requirements, the expectations, and the career opportunities
  • Knowing how to answer tough questions
  • Knowing what questions to ask, and what questions not to ask

– Knowing your goals and the goals of the interviewer(s)

– Knowing how to handle different types of interviews

  • Telephone
  • Group/Panel
  • Consecutive

– Utilizing a Marketing approach

– Being “Proactive” in asking good open-ended questions early in the interview

– Being flexible in your questions and responses

– Knowing how to Summarize and Close the interview

– Following up after the interview

  • Sending a thank-you note/email
  • Calling/emailing the recruiter/hiring manager

Some caveats:

  • Be flexible – do not give canned responses
  • Be positive – do not speak negatively about a former employer or boss
  • Be honest and sincere – do not exaggerate or mis-represent yourself
  • Back up your strengths with examples – give facts about yourself, not opinions
  • Be flexible with salary expectations – do not bring up the subject of compensation nor state a precise salary expectation

I wish you success!  Please let me know if I can be of any help.


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