Quality Progress - July 2015 - 48

CAREER CORNER BY JOSEPH D. CONKLIN Behind the Interview Curtain Effective interviewing techniques from an experienced manager WHEN MY FRIEND Al-an interview- Rehearsing the interview If the job requires writing, bring ing manager-heard I was applying for His first suggestion wasn't surprising to samples: a report from your current job, a promotion, he sent me some helpful hear from an actor: Dress appropriately a presentation given to a professional suggestions. He and I met more than 15 for the interview. Dress one level above society or a published article from outside years ago while working for the federal the position you're seeking. Don't be your organization. Bring more than one to government, starting out as coworkers over the top-stand out, don't be ruled show you communicate well in a variety and continuing as friends after I moved out. of settings and styles. They don't need to to another agency. We're both statisti- A successful interviewer has stories be more than a few pages. cians, but Al is more of an extroverted, ready that substantiate what's on his or Even if there's not enough time to people person, and his way with people her résumé. They should be rehearsed discuss all the samples, they're good to helped him ascend the management well enough to sound smooth but not leave behind to remind the interviewer of ranks. memorized. You don't want to prepare too your abilities. If the job requires computer much or too little. When I asked him what programming skills, include samples of local amateur theater. Being an actor has kind of stories help on an interview, Al code you've written. benefited him on both sides of inter- offered these questions: views. Knowing Al as I do, I trusted he'd 1. How did you handle missing a critical In his spare time, he performs in a researched the advice he was offering. deadline when you knew you were going to be late? 2. How did you keep a proj- I asked Al whether he had any thoughts about providing references. He shared a story from his own experience as an ect on track while avoiding interviewing manager, explaining how an scope creep? applicant's references ruled him out from 3. How do you handle people who are difficult to work with or lead? 4. When a project seemed being hired and illustrated some important lessons. The applicant's first reference contradicted a claim on his résumé. That's impossible and you didn't always a no-no. He claimed credit for a know where to start, what master's thesis that was defended by a full did you do next? committee of professors. The first refer- 5. When actual costs far ence explained the work was a project exceeded expectations, completed for one professor-not a full how did you handle the thesis-and he had not taught the appli- situation? cant in any of his classes. 6. How did you handle some- The applicant was interviewing for one trying to undercut or a statistician position, and his second threaten your reputation at reference was an office manager. The the office? applicant created electronic spreadsheets Even if you don't end to help him run the business, but he up needing it, bring a copy couldn't speak to the applicant's skills as of your résumé to demon- a statistician. strate you're organized and 48 QP * www.qualityprogress.com The right referrals The third reference was difficult to prepared-qualities that are track down. The contact information always in demand. provided by the applicant was outdated, http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - July 2015

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Open to Change
Passion Project
Turning on the Light Bulb
What‘s Your Theory?
Measure for Measure
Quality in the First Person
Career Corner
Statistics Roundtable
Standards Outlook
ASQ's Continuing Education and Professional Development Directory
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
One Good Idea
Back to Basics

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