10 Minutes to Impress


According to a survey of hiring managers, it takes just minutes to form a positive or negative opinion during the initial interview, despite spending on average 55 minutes and 86 minutes meeting with staff and management-level applicants, respectively.

“The opening minutes of the conversation often set the tone for the rest of the discussion, making it wise to prepare especially well for the first few interview questions,” says Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International.

Here are five questions frequently asked at the start of an interview and tips for responding:

Can you tell me a little about yourself? Summarize your professional interests and goals in a manner that explains why you are the right fit for the specific position and company.

Why do you want to work here? Respond in a way that shows your research and understanding of the firm’s business objectives and priorities.

W hat do you know about our firm? Describe how your skills and experience will contribute to the firm’s success.

Why are you looking to leave your current position? Avoid criticizing other employers and keep your answer focused on the opportunity at hand.

What is your most significant professional accomplishment? Cite a specific achievement that demonstrates your abilities and shows tangible results.

Source: Robert Half Finance & Accounting, www.roberthalffinance.com.

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