Do your homework on the company because
you’re going to get questions on; All
right so, so, why are you here? What is it about Decker’s that you like? You know,
and so you’ve got to be prepared to
answer that question. Or you know what is
it about working in a casino that
attracts you? Doing research on the
company or the position that
you’re playing for is super important too.
You don’t have to memorize the website.
You just need to know a few pointers.
If there’s a mission statement or some core values associated with that company I
would definitely focus on those. Those
might come up in the interview. While I
was on a panel you could tell those that
were interviewed,the ones that researched
Santa Barbara City College could tell us
maybe, parts of the mission.
It told us that they were more
interested in working for us than
someone who didn’t.I used to interview
sort of all day long,for all levels of
positions, and even executive level
positions my opening question to any
candidate was: so what do you know about us?
Okay, I can’t tell you how many executives had not done their research on the company.
In the day of internet research,
that’s just, to me,
inexcusable. It would almost be like you
know, we almost, just weed them out.
I’ve had a candidate tell me, Oh I haven’t had a
chance to look at your website, and I’m
sitting here thinking, well, you know what,
I looked at your LinkedIn page, I read your cover letter, I read your resume
resume I called you we talked on the
phone. You haven’t looked at my website yet? Com’on.
Why do you want to work here then? The interview process starts with turning in your
application. And don’t think you can get
away with wearing a t-shirt and
flip-flops to turning in your
I know that it’s just a few seconds, but,
get dressed up for it. I think for the
most part you need to err on the side of
Yes, I would wear my pumps to interview
at Starbucks, you better believe it.
I want to stand out, I would as well, but
in the interview say; you know, what would
be the appropriate dress for my shift?
Yeah very good question, sometimes you’ll
have an opportunity during a phone
interview to actually ask what’s the
etiquette? What’s appropriate? Dress
appropriate for the industry you’re
Let the employer be able to envision you
roll. So you know if you’re going to
apply at a retailer, you probably don’t
want to show up in a suit. Unless, you are applying to Men’s Warehouse, right?
Because they sell suit. So really put
yourself in that position if you’re
going into food and beverage industry,
you know, light blouse slacks something
to make them look like, okay this person
I can see them in our uniform I can see
them as a server or a waitress or
something like that.So just when you’re
on an interview, I always go with a
idea of just keeping it clean a very
professional. I don’t put a lot of
perfume on because that might affect the
person interviewing you. Obviously
if you have tattoos things like that,
hide them. Jewelry very simple very
classy, just very professional.
I always go into my interviews
with a black notebook, and I have a
resume, my cover letter, my business
references I also go onto the website
and print out, you know information about
the company. I have it highlighted with
notes, so that the employer, when I’m
sitting at the desk and it’s here,
and it’s open,
they can see that I’ve done my due diligence.
They can see that I’ve gone the
extra step to actually print out that
You know, when I sit down at the table, I lean a little bit forward to
Show them that I’m interested.
I don’t ever sit like this, you know.
Exactly postures huge, eye contact.
You know just being there and it’s all in your demeanor it’s
not just in your words. I think
it’s the energy that you give off and
how you come across. Behavioral Interview
questions are the most difficult,
Tell me about the time you dealt with a
difficult employee and how did you
Have you ever worked with someone you didn’t like?
Tell me about a time when
you saved the company money? I mean,
there are hundreds of these different
questions and they’re trying to assess
all types of different things. From
behavioral, behavioral types of scenarios
to competency , to conflict resolution.
It’s a very tricky one and if you
don’t prepare can be something that
really stumps you.So that will be
something that I would recommend to
research. We know that there’s plenty of
people that can type. That can do your
homework. That can do HR work. That can do manufacturing. That can cook and are
graduates from this the culinary
school here. And we know that they can
handle the technical pieces. What we’re
looking for again as a Steve alluded to is
that cultural fit. We want to find
somebody for us that’s going to fit
within that to Chumash culture. Are they
front-facing? Are they guest, you know
responsive? Are they going to be honest? Are they going to look us in the eye?
Are they going to smile?Are they going
to be presentable?
And so, behavioral based questions
usually give us the triggers, as to do we,
think this person is being honest with
us? Is this person afraid to speak up
when they know their co-workers are doing
something wrong? Will they take the right
channels or will they join the co-worker?
Would they say, oh, I don’t need to do anything about that.
Will they just sweep it under
the carpet? I mean it tells us a lot
about what what type of person you might
be. And it might set some triggers.
The whole Theory behind behavioral interviewing is
past behavior is your best predictor of
future behavior. When you are asked a
question don’t just answer it with the
short answer and think that you’re
finished because the committee will wait
to see if you’re finished and then move
on and then you’ve just lost that
I mean, it was just a quick answer.
There again you are selling yourself. You
need to answer that question thoroughly
because there are some questions that
are you could answer yes or no but you
don’t want to you want to say well yes
because… The less we talk
the more you talk the better it is. We’re going to ask you an
open-ended question it’s not answered
with a yes / and then you then show us
your personality. Don’t go off into a ten minute spiel on an answer.
show your personality. You show your knowledge, you show your interest.
So when you’re asking
those interview questions, elaborate.
give as much information as possible and
don’t just say yes or no or keep it really
short because this is your opportunity.
You made it to the interview which is
hard enough to do. I want to make sure
that when I’m coaching someone to send
them out on a job interview, that they
allow the employer to lead the interview. Even though you’ll be talking mostly as
the candidate, you want to make sure that
you allow that person, whether it’s HR,
or the hiring manager to kind of hold the
reins and guide you through it.
Most of our interviews are about one
hour, if it’s like your first interview,
but if you answer one question and your
15 minutes and you talk way too much
you’re not going to get the job.
One of our regional directors, her favorite
thing to do she says is to watch the squirm.
I’m like what is that, like I don’t understand.
And she says well I like to ask
a question and I like to just wait for
their answer and I said okay and then what?
She’s like and then I wait some more
because of the more quiet you are the
more talking they’ll do and then you get
to find out more about them. So it’s an
interesting technique but you know
just be prepared.
Prepare yourself for the talking points, so,
you’re not rambling on and sharing
information and stuff you probably,go oh
my gosh, I probably shouldn’t have shared that.
I would say just make sure that you
I know that’s hard because of I mean
that’s a very tense situation.Sometimes
it’s your life fluid but if you go in
relaxed they’re going to be relaxed too.
I know that we’ve always tried
to make sure that we’re relaxed,
on our end to pass it on.
Now, at Career College we write down
everything you say, so we’re not even
giving you eye contact.
So you need to make sure that you are,
you know, that you’re selling
yourself. That’s the main thing that is out there is that you’re selling
yourself. You sell yourself to me because,
you know, I want I want to know that
information. So many people are
trying timid about doing that. Well you
all have special gifts that
you’ve obviously written down on your
resume. You know, talk about some of those things and and make sure that you listen
to the questions and then answer
the questions that they’ve asked.
There’s no harm in saying could you
please repeat the question? Or have I
answered the question sufficiently for
you or did I answer the full question?
Because sometimes in one
question there’s three questions and
it’s hard to remember what
you’ve answered and there’s no harm in
just saying you know could you repeat
I mean they’re there to find the
best candidate and you’re there to
sell yourself. So they’re willing to
do all that.
How do we balance, you know the desire to
show our personality during an interview
with remaining, sort of cool, calm, and
my suggestion is to be yourself. The
reason that I say that is it’s better
to find out during the interview that
it’s not going to be a good fit because
if maybe personality or culture. Than to
find out after you get hired. Right, so if
I go into an interview in a company and I know this company is is super formal,
super serious, and you know doesn’t
really seem to like to have fun or do
anything extracurricular and I go in
there and just you know pretend to be
that person you know maybe it maybe i’ll
get the job, but, I’m going to end up in
an environment where I do not fit in, and
it’s not gonna work long-term. Right and
like I can tell just by your question,
that you have a good personality make
eye contact you smile, right, I mean
so right there just like,
just by sitting here, being yourself,
asking a question you know, straight up
question from the heart,
you know you’re being yourself and
you come across well right now. If you’re
sitting on the other side of the table
okay this girl’s is cool. Good eye contact,
you know, personable, you know doesn’t
seem afraid. Seems relaxed you know
good candidate right off the bat. You can
say can we come back to that in a few
moments I just need to gather my
thoughts. I can’t think of anything off
the top of my head but i’ll think about
Oh that’s acceptable no doubt to know
yeah there’s also that uncomfortable
silence, if you’re a good interviewer you
just you ask the question and the person
stopped you just kind of sit there
wait and you wait and the person who’s
being interviewed is thinking well if I
just sit here quietly long enough
they’re gonna ask another question and
they won’t so eventually you’re gonna
have to speak up.
Yeah . Back to your question is it
okay honestly say I don’t know,
yeah, if you really don’t know what.
yeah, I don’t know I’ll think about it.
For a lot of people personality is
overcoming fear. Right for a lot of us
it’s the fear of the interviews. It’s the fear
of the unknown. Right everyone says “just
go in there to be confident,” it’s hard to
be confident if you’re like freaking out
the day of the interview and scared
about what’s to come.
Yeah so, role play, practice all that
kind of stuff is going to help you be
less nervous on the day of. Of probably
of equal importance in closing your
interview is to ask some questions to
the employer, not too many, but you
definitely want to come prepared with
I’d say maybe three to five good
questions about the expectations of the
position, perhaps something intelligent
about the company, and the company’s
direction and and even a a semi personal
or career question about the interviewer.
What do you like about working at
deckers? How long have you been working
for the Chumash? What is your you know
What are some of the things that
you enjoy the most? It’s definitely okay
to ask the interviewer that i wouldn’t
spend too much time on it.
3-5 is probably a good limit but it can
be a nice opportunity to get to know
them a little bit better and to close
the interview. I couldn’t agree, more I’ve
been in interviews where I really like
the person, at the end of the interview I
go okay well we got about 5 10 minutes
I hope you have some questions for me
and they’re like no I’m good.
It’s like, oh that’s a little to disappointing.
I’m actually very surprised
by how few people actually asked
questions at the end. The candidates ask
questions to the employer is very
they’re very few and they stand out.
Yeah so when they do that I’ll make a
comment at the end and say they asked
questions, you know they did the research,
they look at the company. You pick
up some questions also from what you’re
being asked what we’re going to do our
part because we want to hire the right
person. So we will ask specific questions
that have to do that makeup see if
you’re the right fit that you will
succeed in this position so we will do
our homework and come up with good
questions that you can pick up some
clues but come prepared.
Do your research and
come with some questions for us as well. At
that point you can show you what
research you have done on their company
and you can also tell by the questions
of the answer sometimes they’ll ask you
the questions that are in the application,
that are in the job announcement.
That is a red flag for me thinking you
didn’t read anything. You didn’t even, you
don’t even know what you applied for.
Because you’re asking me questions that
have already been answered in the
application. So that makes a red
flag. You’re also interviewing the
company the company’s interviewing you
and their role. They ultimately get to choose
whether they’re going to hire you or not.
You also get to choose and we have people who made an offer to and they
say no I’m gonna stay where I am or I’m
gonna take this other offer instead. So
you do have a choice. And so when you’re
interviewing you need to ask them
questions. When I interview candidates I
say you have any questions for me and
they say no that means they’re really
just hoping I’ll hire them.
That’s not what I want to hear I want to
know that you’re interested in our
culture. I want to know that you want to know,
that you think, that you know what are my
chances for advancement here. Sometimes
you can get a little miffed about it but
mostly I want to know that,hat the
candidate is thinking what am I going to
do to benefit this company? How am I
going to learn at this company? Don’t chew gum
definitely if you have any lip or
nose piercings or anything like that i
would say take those out.
Do not wear those. For the girls, you know,
no no loud colored bright colored nail
Yes cover tattoos,
always if possible I would also say that
use the bathroom before you get to
interview. The worst thing to do is to
show up for an interview and asked to
use the bathroom. You’re on their time.
Make sure you’re there you’re ready.
Don’t show up late you know, you know group interviews, it always happens they’re like we’re sorry
I couldn’t find parking.
Okay you know you can call back and
reschedule if you’re going to be late to an interview
you’re gonna be late to your job. So just
keep that in mind when we know stuff
happens but you know communicate with
the employer definitely as quickly as
possible. Get all your
information so when you’re setting up
the interview make sure you know that
you’ve got the location, parking
information. Who you are going to be meeting
with as well so they get to know their
names and titles. I provide that usually
when people are getting interviewed.
Absolutely unacceptable to bring that cellphone
cell phone even in your office leave it in
Leave it in your portfolio or put it on
silent in your pocket. You need to take a
notepad and try to ignore the cell phone.
It looks very good when someone comes in
with the notepad it looks like you’re
like you said sitting forward and you
You’re engaged. Usually from younger
candidates but it’s you know they get a
little nervous and the first thing we
would hear is you know why are you
playing with us, I need a job.
Okay well clearly you need a job, like
we all need a job to survive and to move
forward in life but I think that’s just
one of the things that you should really
kind of ixnay,write I need a job
and just scratch it out. Like don’t ever
say that. You know talk about why you’re interested in that particular employer.
Specifically and then another question
to steer away from right off the bat
when you’re picking up an application
typically is: What’s the pay?
How much do you pay? You know I
understand that a lot of us as you know
I was a college student too so there’s
bills to pay there’s things to do you’re
on a strict budget. But do your research
about that ahead of time you,know talk
That may be already in retail may be
able to similar positions. I would also
say to stay as positive as possible. Like if you have other issues going on in
your life or personal life that are
negative not to bring those up and in
the interviewing Also to never talk
badly about a previous employer that
you’ve worked for. I interview
people unfortunately who I will be
interviewing and asking them you know we
see the only worked here for a short
amount of time. Can you tell me why that
ended and what I mean is you know did
you choose to leave on your own or were you
I mean they’re really not asking for the
whole story and if it’s a negative event
you really don’t want to elaborate
because they are thinking of hiring you
for them so when you leave them will you
want to talk negatively about them. So,
they’re just little red flags that come
can turn it around into something
So think about it you always have a situation that might have been turned bad.
But you can look at the positive of what
you gain from it and you can explain it.
Explain what you learn from it as
well but in a positive way, you know
that it was a a mutual decision.
If that’s what took place I mean if they
come to you on there telling you you
know this isn’t working you know,
we’re going to have to end your
assignment or your job then you know, you
can say it was a mutual decision, it
wasn’t the best industry for me. Or
the job that was not for me and we
both knew it so I chose to move on or
they asked me to move on.
You can put it that way terminated it’s
like a bad word but it just happened.
Taking that ownership of, it
happened,there’s nothing you can do about it.
It’s part of your past so if you just
take the ownership for it and say yeah
unfortunately, it didn’t work out. I
didn’t I didn’t get along with
my boss and I saw it coming you know
that happens all the time and you know.
So just to have that conversation
and you know they might ask well you
know, What are some things
that employer did that you didn’t like?
You know,they might ask you that type of
stuff too so just be prepared to answer.
Some of those questions but keep a
positive mindset for it and keep those
answers brief. because it can get tricky.
Focus on, again,
the positive you might have been that
you want that with that employer for
years. Then there was a change in
reorganization or something
that happened that that’s why you had .
hard time. But. you had al’ that history. Focus on the history.
Typically someone asks, why did you
leave your last job and if you have a
compelling reason and as far as I’m
concerned compelling reason is it wasn’t
a good culture fit,or you know I mean
there’s a thousand one really legitimate
reasons why you know you can leave a
company or a company can you know decide
to fire you and you can still have you
know a sanitized version of why why that
I think it’s probably happen for all of
our careers yeah I mean
it’s not,you know to be fired is not the
end of the world, you know you will live.
again. It feels like it for a bit. Yeah,
feels like it. The
key is when you go talk about it
try to be positive. I know that can
be tough but try to be positive.
Yeah I would say that I prefer my
response would be I prefer that you not contact my previous employer.
You know you hope that it but,
you can give them other references.
Say I preferred maybe these contacts
you don’t have to, yet they still might.
Depending on why you were fired if
you’re fired fired for stealing well one,
even if I called and got a reference
they’re not going to tell me that, legally,
they can’t tell me that. They can just
tell me that you worked here from this date to this
date. If I say, did she earned
this amount they can confirm that
and I can ask are they eligible for rehire
now that’s the flag for they
were fired.But I’ll tell you what I said
people aren’t eligible for rehire and
they weren’t fired they’re just people i
would not hire. So you may not have a
problem from it.
The fear of it and fear of the problem
may be the hard part to overcome.Gaps
are something that you need to be
addressed and so it really it all
depends.My view is what have you been
doing in that time?
There are a bunch of really valid
reasons why you may not have had. A
specific job you know during a
particular period you can be pursuing other interests.
She’s right, times have changes because
in 2007 and we can able to look at gaps
and yeah thrown away.But in 2012 after
what we’ve evolved is going through they
are a lot easier to split it explain.
I would just say be prepared to
address the gaps. Positively,as hard that can be. You know
want to address a positively. I would say it’s more
important for our organization probably
to follow your interview with a
thank-you rather than having the cover
letter the big piece for us is to have a
thank you. You can send
it through email we all know that that’s
acceptable these days.But again it would
be you know, Dear Jennifer McKinney thank you
you for taking your time this afternoon.
That type of thing that tells us that
you’re really interested.That you
accepted us as we accepted you and that
you are serious about it rather than hey
thanks or not you know communicating
back at all.We really put it up to be a
candidate to call us or to check in with
us and say I really was interested
thanks for your time.Don’t wait for them
to try to get a hold of you you’re not
bugging them somebody who is ambitious
and hungry to work and is interested in
that that again that’s going to come
across just like the other question
about the interview. Iwould say always
follow. Always and I work for the UC
system so we have a long process, and so,
that’s a good follow-up question to ask
at the end of your interview :somebody
was asking is how long to process how
long will it about take for you to go
through all the interviews?When it’s a
good time for me to call back and
status of application, I get those calls
and I’m always happy to provide
Those people that actually call get
more information than anybody else.
So even if they didn’t get the position
i will have a little talk with them and
tell them you know what you this
position you didn’t get it but it
doesn’t mean that you have to give up.We
have different interview panels for each
position and I suggest that you have you to reapply for others and
see if if you make more progress on the
next one.So I would give them a little
more information that’s always a good
thing.You know one of the things you
want to do is when you go into an
interview is I always encourage people to get a business
card.When you leave the interview say hey can I
get your contact information and
I’ve got three adult children so
every time they’ve gone for job just
make sure you write thank you note.
Follow-up thank you letter the Jackie
mentioned is critically important and
can be the difference between you being
selected or another candidate being
selected. Not only is it a
professional courtesy but it is an
indicator that you have follow-up skills.
A lot of times when you come in for an
interview you’re going to meet two, three, four
Okay and it’s real easy to just send one
thank you for all of them.That’s exactly
the same and that’s better than nothing.
But,if you can make it specific to each
individual interview that you had like, I
really enjoyed talking to you about your
benefit programs today thank you very
That shows detail and follow up at the
level that organizations like ours want
to hire at.I think back of an associate
most recently that I ended up hiring
just because she would not stopped
calling and she turned out to be the
best that I’ve had in awhile because she
was so eager but it also translated to
her work ethic.
So I think just that continued follow-up
I didn’t have any positions at the time.
I mean I’m always accepting
applications but there was a moment
where you know reality was there was no
extra payroll.I didn’t have extra payroll to
on board and get somebody on. But I found
it because she was adamant and she’s
like I want to work for you I want to
work for this company and I’m going to
call you until you have a position
available and I said ok you know so I
think judge your judge audience when it
comes down to it.I think we’ve
established that type of conversation
interview but that was okay some
employers may not want that.So I think
you just have to kind of ask that is an
interview question you know would it be
okay if I follow up with you in a couple
days to see you know what other
applicants you have , and in a retail
industry when you go into that and some
of you might be going into retail over
the holidays or stuff like that for seasonal
work .Then you know there going to be
looking at hiring you know anywhere from
10 to – depending on the retailer
some only hire a couple and some, in our
cases you know hire 50 to be able to get
through the holiday season and the RP
time of year. So when we look
for the type of people that we would
want to create that demographic and that
fun energetic vibe on our sales floor we’re
going to interview everybody before we
go through and offer those positions so
it’s good to follow up because you might
have gotten lost in the shuffle
somewhere along the line.You know I
think that’s always important and the
employer is not going to admit that they
forgot about you but the reality is that
times they’ll forget about you because
the sheer volume of people that you know
come through there to apply.