It is not enough to have solid answers only for the interviewer questions. You need to be prepared for theses questions. For a good interview practice, look at some of the following questions:
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. What do you want to do with your life?
3. Do you have any actual work experience?
4. How would you describe your ideal job?
5. Why did you choose this career?
6. When did you decide on this career?
7. What goals do you have in your career?
8. How do you plan to achieve these goals?
9. How do you evaluate success?
10. Describe a situation in which you were successful.
11. What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
12. What accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction in your life?
13. If you had to live your life over again, what would you change?
14. Would your rather work with information or with people?
15. Are you a team player?
16. What motivates you?
17. Why should I hire you?
18. Are you a goal-oriented person?
19. Tell me about some of your recent goals and what you did to achieve them.
20. What are your short-term goals?
21. What is your long-range objective?
22. What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
23. Where do you want to be ten years from now?
24. Do you handle conflict well?
25. Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor? How did you resolve it?
26. What major problem have you had to deal with recently?
27. Do you handle pressure well?
28. What is your greatest strength?
29. What is your greatest weakness?
30. If I were to ask one of your professors to describe you, what would he or she say?
31. Why did you choose to attend your college?
32. What changes would you make at your college?
33. How has your education prepared you for your career?
34. What were your favorite classes? Why?
35. Do you enjoy doing independent research?
36. Who were your favorite professors? Why?
37. Why is your GPA not higher?
38. Do you have any plans for further education?
39. How much training do you think you'll need to become a productive employee?
40. What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?
41. Why do you want to work in the _____ industry?
42. What do you know about our company?
43. Why are you interested in our company?
44. Do you have any location preferences?
45. How familiar are you with the community that we're located in?
46. Will you relocate? In the future?
47. Are you willing to travel? How much?
48. Is money important to you?
49. How much money do you need to make to be happy?
50. What kind of salary are you looking for?
Before we discuss the mechanics of creating a resume we want to briefly describe the most important attributes of a strong retail resume.
Our clients are looking for resumes that describe significant achievements. Don't waste too much space explaining your job responsibilities. Instead, jump to your achievements quickly. Use bullet points to outline accomplishments, outcomes, what you did. Include sales increases, shrink results, successful promotions, people you recruited/promoted. Numbers and percentages are great as long as they make sense.
Be clear and concise: avoid phrases and acronyms that are unique to your company. Don't try to impress people with wordy sentences; use your accomplishments to impress.
Check all dates and make sure they are in order. Include months and year.
Demonstrate that your career is going in a positive direction (e.g. show that you went from Store Manager to General Manager to District Manager, to Regional Manager). Account for all time between jobs.
Sell yourself. Be bold. Be confident. Use active verbs (increased, reduced, created, executed, designed). Don't be afraid to call yourself talented, resourceful, intelligent, and skillful-but be ready to back up these adjectives with accomplishments.
Ask a person that you trust (preferably someone who understands retail) to review your resume and give an honest assessment of it.
And a few practical suggestions...
Save your resume in Microsoft Word (.doc) format. Virtually every recruiter can open a Word document. If you make it difficult for a recruiter to open your resume (e.g. by zipping it), he/she will be more likely to delete it and move on to another resume.
Virtually all recruiters and hiring authorities store resumes electronically and it's much easier to forward a clean copy of your resume via email. Never fax a resume to a company unless requested to do so.
Your resume will not "get" you a job. At best, it will catch an employer's attention and make that person eager to learn more about you. There are many different ways to create an attractive resume, but no matter how you arrange your resume...
Key Resume Tips
Your resume should include the following information:
Include phone, mail and e-mail contact information. Your voicemail message should be professional. A message that is too casual can create a negative impression.
Your summary should be brief. First, include your title and years of experience. Second, list pertinent skills. Third, discuss your character traits or work style.
"Financial Accountant with over 10 years' experience with two Fortune 500 companies. Technical skills include P&L, budgeting, forecasting and variance reporting. Bilingual in Spanish and English. Self-starter who approaches every project in a detailed, analytical manner."
Quantifiable Accomplishments - Ones Employers Want To See
New products/new lines
Successful advertising campaign
List each position held in reverse chronological order, dating back through your complete retail career. If you held multiple positions within the same company, list them all to show advancement and growth. The body of each position description should describe your responsibilities and accomplishments. Never leave gaps in your history or begin with your resume at mid-career. Companies want the full picture of your background and experience.
Include education, professional training, affiliations/appointments, licenses, technical skills and languages.
Ten Reasons for Rejection
Below are the most common reasons that employers reject a candidate. Working closely with your search consultant ensures that these factors will not come into play during the interview process.
1. Lack of research
It's obvious when candidates haven't learned about the job, company or industry prior to the interview. The Internet makes it easy to research the company. In our information age it always shows if you haven't done your homework and you'll be overshadowed by those who have invested the time.
2. Ambivalent about opportunity
Companies want employees who are passionate and enthusiastic about joining their team. Candidates coming across as arrogant or ambivalent will be "blown away" by others who bring higher levels of enthusiasm. Employers can afford to be self-centered, candidates cannot.
First impressions are quickly made in the first three to five minutes. Dress based on the company's culture. Many candidates do not consider their appearance as much as they should.
4. Not having questions to ask
Prepare a list of questions in advance. Asking questions shows your interest in the company and the position.
5. Not readily knowing the answers
Anticipate and rehearse answers to tough questions about your background, such as a recent termination or an employment gap. Practicing with your spouse or friend before the interview will help you to frame intelligent answers.
6. Too much humility
Explaining how you reach difficult or impressive goals helps employers understand what you can do for them. Being conditioned not to brag, candidates are sometimes reluctant to describe their accomplishments.
7. Not relating skills to employers' needs
Reiterate your skills and demonstrate to the employer that you can "do the same for them." A list of sterling accomplishments means little if you can't relate them to a company's requirements.
8. Handling salary issues ineptly
Share your current compensation if asked. Avoid quoting, "What you'll need" during an interview. It's always best to answer, "I'm sure an offer would be based upon my background and experience" to keep discussion of money a lower priority initially. Get to the offer state of the process, then talk about money and benefits. Your recruiter can provide expert advice on making your offer stage a win-win for both you and your company!
9. Lack of career direction
Companies hire for specific titles and skills today. Looking for, "A job in operations" will tell the company you don't really know where you're going. Saying, "I want to be a Store Manager with an opportunity for growth to a District Manger" will communicate a specific career path.
10. Job shopping
Don't waste everyone's valuable time going to an interview unless you're serious about considering another opportunity. You could eliminate future opportunity when you really want or need it.
The Counter Offer
Once you have accepted a new position and you are ready to turn in your notice, you must be prepared for the counter offer. Some companies will try to offer you more money to stay. Be aware, they seldom work in the long run.
1. You have now made your employer aware that you are unhappy. From this day on, your loyalty will always be in question. You will never be part of the Team.
2. When promotion time comes around, your employer will remember who is loyal and who is not. The employee that never thought of moving on will be the one that gets the next promotion
3. When times get tough, your employer will begin the cutbacks with you. They will remember the day you resigned, not all of the hard work you have put in.
4. Accepting a counter offer is an insult to your intelligence and a blow to your personal pride: you were bought.
5. Where is the money for the counter offer coming from? All companies have wage and salary guidelines which must be followed. Is it your next raise early?
6. Your company may immediately start looking for a new person at a cheaper price. They may give you the extra money now, but be aware in the future.
7. The same circumstances that now cause you to consider a change will repeat themselves in the future, even if you accept a counter offer. There was a reason you started looking, what changed?
8. Statistics show that if you accept a counter offer, the probability of voluntarily leaving in six months or being let go in one year is extremely high.
9. Once the word gets out, the relationship that you now enjoy with your co-workers may never be the same. You may lose the personal satisfaction of peer group acceptance. Word may get out that you were bought.
10. What type of company do you work for if you have to threaten to resign before they give you what you are worth?