Candidate Toolbox











You always need to “take temperatures” because people have minds and they’re constantly changing them.


You need to listen to what they don’t say.

Basic Tenets

1.           People have to buy you before they buy from you.

2.           People hire and accept emotionally first and justify logically later.

3.           People are more sold by your conviction than by your persuasion.

4.           Know your technology, but think people.



It is a good idea to take notes during an interview.  It’s also a good idea to ask permission “Is it okay with you if I take some notes during our discussion?  There may be some questions I’d like to ask later.”


Here are some good questions you have prepared with spaces for the answers before you go into the interview:

1.           I haven’t interview (in a long time) or (very much).  What’s going to happen               today – can we conclude our business today if everything goes well?

2.           What are the duties and responsibilities of the position I’m applying for?

              (This is a good icebreaker question.)

3.           What is my #1 priority that must be done before I leave each day?  Why?

              (Priorities are personal to each person doing interviews.)

4.           What is the #1 thing I can do when I start here to relieve your workload?

5.           What are the goals expected?  First year, first project, etc.

              What obstacles would prevent me from either reaching or completing                          these goals?

6.           What are the short and long term goals set for the person in this position?

7.           (Questions you need answers to, to determine if you want the job.  It helps               to write them down before the interview.  There could be as many as                          25 depending on the position.)

8.           Salary – Rate per hour:  This can be a “trap” question.  It is best to                     avoid this question on the first interview.  A good answer could be:

                   1.  I’m confident you’ll make me a fair offer.

                   2.  I would like as much as the position will pay.

                   3.  I’m’ currently @ (amount) although I would like an increase.  I                        don’t know enough about the opportunity to answer that fairly.

9.           Ask for the job.

              Summarize what you have done that ties in with the new position and                      then ask:  Do I have the qualifications you’re looking for in this                            position?   (THEN WAIT FOR THEIR ANSWER – DON’T TALK.)

  • If interview says:  I’m looking at other people…

              Answer could be:  How do my qualifications match the people you’re considering?


  • If interviewer says:  You’re light in the ______ area.

              Answer:  What amount of time will I be spending in that area?

  • If interviewer says:  About 20%

              Answer:  I’m willing to take the time necessary to brush up in those areas.

  • If interviewer says:  About 60%

              Answer:  I’m willing to take the time necessary to become an expert in those areas.

  • If interviewer says:  You’re right for us

              Answer:  I’m prepared to accept an offer if you’re prepared to extend one.

  • If interviewer says:  You’ll need to have another interview.

              Answer:  I can appreciate your situation but wanted you to know my commitment.  What’s the next step?







Always send a follow-up thank you letter.


10.          Never answer a question without asking one first (sharp angle close).  This allows you to clarify their question before you give the answer.

  • (This is a must.  It also allows you to draw out the interviewer so you can constructively discuss problems the company is currently having.)



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