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A few months ago, I penned a teaching note that:

  • Details the six different “execution question” categories
  • Shares my secrets on how to approach each one
  • Recommends relevant practice problems

A small group of former clients and students have seen this teaching note. I’m now making it available to all of you.

Sign up below, and you’ll receive an email with the teaching note shortly.

Interview Coaching Online: We Can Help

September 6th, 2017 by lewis

interview coaching online

Interview Coaching Online

A prospective client recently asked, “Does Impact Interview offer interview coaching online?”

The answer is YES!

Thanks to the video conferencing technologies like Skype, we’re able to offer our award-winning interview coaching to anyone around the globe. In fact, we’ve had clients from Europe, Asia, and even the Middle East.

Online interview coaching has many advantages that face-to-face interview coaching does not have including:

Many clients ask if online interview coaching is not as effective as face-to-face coaching. Our feeling is that there’s minimal, if any, impact. Why? Our interview coaching is focused on improving your interview answers and content. We can do that effectively via Skype or face-to-face.

Face-to-face coaching can help us observe your body language, eye contact, and posture. While those tips are helpful, we feel that you can easily get body language tips on the Internet or rehearsing with a friend. However, helping you customize your interview answers to your individual situation, that’s only something Impact Interview’s expert coaches can do.

To learn more about our interview coaching packages, refer to our interview coaching detail page or request a free 15 minute interview analysis.

Photo Credit: Kennisland

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Amazon Leadership Principle Interview Questions

Thank you for all the positive support for this blog post! We’ve added more material and updated it with the latest information and research on the Amazon Leadership Principles interview. You can find the article’s new location here:

Amazon Leadership Principles Interview

technical-interview-evaluation-form

Introduction: Technical Interview Evaluation Form

Interviewing software engineers can be very tricky, especially for recruiters or interviewers without a technical background. Without a computer science degree or prior software engineering experience, it’s hard to identify superior candidates.

Have no fear. Use the technical evaluation form below to assess software engineers, accurately, without a technical degree or experience. Your interview assessments will become more thorough and comprehensive, giving you a competitive edge.

Excel and Word Versions: Technical Interview Evaluation Form

In addition to the text version featured below, you can also download and customize Word and Excel versions of our technical interview evaluation form:

How the Form Works: Technical Interview Evaluation Form

  • Experience level. Software engineering requires specialized knowledge and skills. In order to be successful designing, developing and implementing software solutions, an academic background in Computer Science and significant hands on experience are almost always necessary.
  • Technical interview questions. Aside from a technical assignment, technical interview questions are the best way to measure technical ability and expertise. These questions should address a candidate’s experience with software, as well as his or her approach to relevant problems and tasks.
  • Technical assignment review. Technical assignments are important for more than just assigning each candidate a score. They are also useful tools for evaluating a candidate’s way of thinking and allowing creativity and innovation to shine through. The best way to do this is by reviewing a candidate’s process and approach to the assignment during the interview.
  • Resume review. While technical knowledge is important, what matters most is how candidates apply that knowledge on the job. Scrutinizing past projects and examples from a candidate’s resume is the best way to understand how relevant and applicable a candidate’s knowledge and experience is to the position at hand.
  • Behavioral questions. The best candidate will bring something new to your company by inspiring internal growth and learning. Behavioral questions allow hiring managers to get a better idea of a candidate’s innovation and passion. The way that a candidate answers these questions is indicative of what they will bring to your company on a more human level.

INTERVIEW EVALUATION FORM FOR TECHNICAL CANDIDATES

Candidate’s Name: ________   Date: __________________________

Interviewed By: ______________________________

 

Scoring

Candidate evaluation forms are to be completed by the interviewer to rank the candidate’s overall qualifications for the position. Under each heading, the interviewer should give the candidate a numerical rating and write specific job related comments in the space provided. The numerical rating system is based on the following:

 

5 – Exceptional   4 – Above Average   3 – Average   2 – Satisfactory   1 – Unsatisfactory

 ________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Experience                                                                                                    

Educational Background – Does the candidate meet the education requirements to hold a software engineering role at this company? Does the candidate hold a degree in Computer Science or a related field?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Certifications – Does the candidate hold the desired software engineering certifications and training?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Relevant Experience – Does the candidate have sufficient and relevant software engineering experience?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Technical Questions                                                                                      

Programming Languages – Is the candidate familiar with the necessary programming languages for this role? What are the candidate’s favorite programming languages?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Troubleshooting Process – How does the candidate describe troubleshooting bugs?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Improvement Experience – Has the candidate had experience implementing significant improvements? How did the candidate go about implementing them?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Technical Communication – How well can the candidate present and explain technical details to a non-technical audience?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Approach to Quality – How does the candidate ensure that his or her programs run smoothly and quickly?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Code Quality – Which tools is the candidate familiar with for testing code quality?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Design Patterns – How familiar is the candidate with design patterns?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Technical Assignment Review                                                                       

Approach – What was the candidate’s approach to the technical assignment and how would he or she have changed that approach if given more time?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Time Management – Which features of the assignment did the candidate prioritize? What does the candidate prioritize when under a strict project deadline?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Resource Utilization – What resources did the candidate use to complete the assignment? Did the candidate write an efficient algorithm?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Resume Review                                                                                             

Software Experience – Has the candidate built relevant software in the past?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Teamwork – How has the candidate worked with others during past projects and what were his or her specific contributions to the team each time?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Growth – What did the candidate take away from each relevant experience and how did he or she use this to grow as a software engineer?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Behavioral Questions                                                                                    

Owner vs. Participant – Did the candidate play a primary or marginal role?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Good vs. Great Achievement – Was the achievement impressive? Were the results largely due to the candidate’s impact? Or would the results have occurred, even without the candidate’s achievement?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Communication Skills – Is the candidate’s story easy-to-follow and memorable? Was it a struggle to extract information from the candidate? Did the candidate provide a response that is well-organized?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Problem Solving – Did the candidate take an unfamiliar, unambiguous question, problem or situation and provide a plan as well as compelling leadership?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Industry Knowledge – What has the candidate recently learned about programming from a book, magazine or website? How does the candidate keep up with an ever-changing and evolving industry?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Photo Credit: Pexels

interview-evaluation-form-managers

Introduction: Interview Evaluation Form for Managerial Positions

Hiring the best possible managers is very important to the success of any company. Managers not only affect performance, but also culture, work ethic, internal development and company standards.

To get the strongest and most effective leadership for your company, use the interview evaluation from as checklist for the most important qualities in managers including:

  • Leadership skills
  • Problem-solving approach
  • Motivational aptitude
  • Goal setting and tracking
  • Communication

Excel and Word Versions: Interview Evaluation Form for Managerial Positions

In addition to the text version featured below, we have both Word and Excel versions that you can download to your computer and customize on your own:

How the Form Works: Interview Evaluation Form for Managerial Positions

This form allows hiring teams to score managerial candidates in four different ways:

  • Experience level. Management level positions require experienced candidates with deep knowledge and understanding of your industry and objectives, as well as managerial best practices.
  • Behavioral interview questions. Communication skills and motivational ability are integral to effective management. Behavioral interview questions allow hiring managers to identify these qualities in relevant, work-related scenarios.
  • Leadership. Effective leadership involves more than simply taking charge. There are complex and multifaceted traits that make the best leaders stand out from the rest. This holistic leadership checklist evaluates leadership ability from a variety of angles.
  • Intelligence. The best managers generate growth and development within their company. When looking for new leadership, it is important to consider not only performance and numbers, but also internal growth and learning. The ideal manager inspires creativity and innovative thinking in fellow employees.

INTERVIEW EVALUATION FORM FOR MANAGERIAL POSITIONS

Candidate’s Name: ____________     Date: ________________

 Interviewed By: ______________________________ 

Scoring

Candidate evaluation forms are to be completed by the interviewer to rank the candidate’s overall qualifications for the position. Under each heading, the interviewer should give the candidate a numerical rating and write specific job related comments in the space provided. The numerical rating system is based on the following:

 

5 – Exceptional   4 – Above Average   3 – Average   2 – Satisfactory   1 – Unsatisfactory

                                                                                                                                                                             

 

Experience

Educational Background – Does the candidate meet the education requirements to hold a management level role at this company?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Certifications – Does the candidate hold the desired management certifications and training?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Management Experience – Does the candidate have sufficient and relevant management experience?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Behavioral Questions

Owner vs. Participant – Did the candidate play a primary or marginal role?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Good vs. Great Achievement – Was the achievement impressive? Were the results largely due to the candidate’s impact? Or would the results have occurred, even without the candidate’s achievement?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Communication Skills – Is the candidate’s story easy-to-follow and memorable? Was it a struggle to extract information from the candidate? Did the candidate provide a response that is well-organized?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Problem Solving – Did the candidate take an unfamiliar, unambiguous question, problem or situation and provide a plan as well as compelling leadership? 

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Leadership

Leadership Skills – Did the candidate demonstrate abilities and accomplishments as a leader? Did he or she demonstrate an ability to build trust, provide feedback and develop the skills of direct reports?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Decision Making Skills – Did the candidate demonstrate an ability to make timely and informed decisions?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Motivational Ability – How does the candidate use feedback and acknowledgement to inspire productivity?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Supervising Others – Can the candidate effectively direct the actions of others, assess workload needs, maintain a productive working environment, and resolve conflicts or problems?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Flexibility – Can the candidate shift gears and change behavior according to the situation? Can the candidate reassess priorities and come up with new ideas when needed?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Performance Management – Does the candidate provide an effective process for performance management? How does the candidate provide employees with measurable goals? How does the candidate control and verify the accomplishment of work and department goals?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Delegation – How does the candidate go about identifying employees’ strengths and weaknesses to assign duties?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Communication Style – Does the candidate value and encourage open communication among team members? How does he or she encourage others to express concerns and ideas?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Integrity – Does the candidate have experience handling confidential information? How does the candidate manage work relationships and follow company policies to set a good example for his or her team?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Intelligence

Thoughtful Insights – Did the candidate provide thought-provoking insights? Did you feel smarter after talking to the candidate?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Creativity – Did the candidate show vision and imagination?

Rating:   1   2   3   4   5

Comments:

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

second-follow-up-email-after-interview

By Lewis C. Lin & Denali Bollens

You’ve written the thank you email immediately after the interview. You’ve also written the follow-up email about a week after.

But you still haven’t heard back. And it’s your dream job. Or you’re being pressured to accept another job. Or you just need to know.

What’s the best way to write a follow-up email that will actually get them to respond? Here are our five tips on how to write a killer 2nd follow-up email, along with three example templates that you can use.

How to Structure the 2nd Follow-up Email

  1. Wait about one week. Sending the 2nd follow-up email too quickly can come across as being desperate. Valuable employees are highly sought after, not begging recruiters to respond.
  2. Demonstrate passion. Companies want to hire candidates that will give 110% and remain committed to the company. They’re trying to avoid candidates that want the job just because they need to pay the bills. Use the 2nd follow-up email as another opportunity to demonstrate your passion.
  3. Don’t overcomplicate the email. Sometimes straightforward is the best way to go. A simple clarifying question such as “Has the position been filled?” or “How is the hiring process advancing?” could be effective, primarily because it’s quick to read and easy for the company contact to reply.
  4. Be professional. A million emotions can be coursing through your body as you wait. Despite your anxiety, maintain your poise. You’re writing to your potential future boss or colleagues, so don’t burn any bridges with catty remarks such as “A more professional company would never make a candidate wait so long.”

Second Follow up Email: 3 Templates

Example 1

Dear Mr. / Ms. Sánchez,

I recently applied for the ________ position. I enjoyed meeting you and your colleagues. Since I have not yet heard back from your company, I wanted to ask as to whether I’m still being considered for the position or if it has been filled. If the________ position, I would like to express my strong interest in working for your company.

Thank you again for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Brittany Smith

Example 2

Dear Mr. / Ms. Sánchez,

I am emailing to let you know that I am still greatly interested in the ________ position that I interview for on ________. After we spoke, (insert one or more of the sentences below)

  • I did some research and found out that (positive facts or statistics about the company that you didn’t know during the interview)
  • I made a point to teach myself (some qualification that you didn’t bring up during the interview that would be a great addition to the job)
  • I met with (expert or someone working in the same field as the company you interviewed at ex. If it was a tech company, maybe meet with a tech expert in the specific field you would work in)

(continue on with) After doing this I am now even more excited about the thought of working with (specific company).

I hope the hiring process is going well. Please let me know if there is any additional information that I could send as you consider my candidacy.

Best,

Brittany Smith

Example 3 (Adapted from Hubspot)

Dear Mr. / Ms. Sánchez,

It has been ________ weeks since we last spoke about________ position. At the time, you mentioned that you were looking for a ________ position and the ________ qualities required in role. I’m still very interested in working with your team at [Company Name], and I would love to prove to you that I not only meet those qualifications, but also exceed them.

I understand if the position has already been filled, but I wanted to reiterate my enthusiasm about working with such an incredible group of people at [Company Name].  If the role is no longer available, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re ever looking for help with the ________ position.

Thank you,

Brittany Smith

Source: Stokpic

The time in between sending your post-interview thank you note and receiving a response can be stressful and scary. Following up the right way is extremely important, but most candidates aren’t sure what the best practices are. Our interview coaches have been on the receiving end of thousands of post-interview follow up emails, and have compiled a list of the most impactful do’s and don’ts.

Don’ts: Second Follow Up Email After Interview

  1. Take it personally if you haven’t heard back in a while. Companies have different hiring policies that they are required to follow. Not all hiring managers are at liberty to share hiring process-related information. Give your hiring contact the benefit of the doubt and remain positive. Follow up emails should always be polite in tone.
  2. Make assumptions. Not hearing back from an interviewer could mean a variety of things. Take this into account before sending a second follow up email. While a long wait for a hiring decision could mean that the company has moved on to other candidates, it could also mean that you remain in the running for the role and they are still in the process of making their decision. Both scenarios are equally plausible.
  3. Also leave a voicemail. If you want to follow up a second time after an interview, sending an email, and only sending an email, is the best way to do so. An email, as opposed to a voicemail, gives the hiring manager more control, as well as the opportunity to respond thoughtfully and carefully to your questions. A voicemail would most likely lead to a phone call, which can put hiring managers on the spot when discussing sensitive hiring information. Additionally, both leaving a voicemail and sending an email might be perceived as over the top.

Do’s: Second Follow Up Email After Interview

  1. Highlight your interest in the role. If a hiring manager has narrowed his or her list down to two final candidates who are equally qualified for the job, passion and excitement about the company and opportunity can always set one candidate apart. At the end of the day, hiring managers don’t want to waste time and resources on somebody who probably won’t accept an offer, especially if there is another equally qualified candidate who has indicated strong interest. If you want to send a second follow up email after an interview, be sure to mention that you are reaching out because of how excited you are about the role. This can only help you.
  2. Ask about a timeline. Asking about an estimated timeline is a polite and unassuming way to get some more information from a hiring manager. Directly asking for a decision, or asking about where a company is in the hiring process is a bit too presumptuous and can be off-putting. Companies are not obligated to share information about their hiring processes with candidates, and while specifics and feedback are always nice, they are never guaranteed. Keep this in mind if you decide to send a second follow up email after an interview. A vague and polite question about a timeline that is included after a reiteration of interest in the role is your safest bet.
  3. Wait. If you start feeling the urge to send a second follow up email after your interview, wait three business days before doing so. The hiring process can take a long time, and there are a lot of moving parts involved. It almost always ends up taking companies longer than expected to make a hiring decision. Employees are only human, and life happens. Give your interviewer some breathing room if you start feeling impatient. Remember that those involved in the hiring process are also busy with their general work load. Factor in time for sick days, travel delays, meetings, and family emergencies. When your instincts tell you to send a second follow up email, it is okay to follow your gut, but hold-off for a few days before doing so.

If you’re interested in learning more about our interview coaching services, email lewis@impactinterview.com.

Photo Credit: Pexels

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Acqui-hire Interview: Our Success Stories

March 29th, 2017 by lewis

Now that the ink has dried, I’m happy to announce that two of our corporate clients were successfully acquired by the two biggest titans in the tech industry. See what our acqui-hire interview clients have to say about our services:

You may have heard from others, but we all made it through our interviews successfully! We’re now all official Google employees. 🙂 I wanted to reach out and thank you again for your help! It was invaluable to spend time on mock interviews with you, get constructive feedback on my responses, and ultimately feel more confident going into the process. I also really appreciated that you were able to make availability for me on such short notice. Thank you thank you!

For both startups, we provided full stack coaching including:

  • Software engineering interview coaching
  • Product manager interview coaching
  • Designer interview coaching including UI, UX, graphic, and visual
  • Marketing interview coaching, including content and product marketing roles
  • Sales and operations interview coaching

If you’re a start-up who’s going through an acqui-hire process or interview, email lewis@impactinterview.com. We can discuss how we can:

  • Help close the transaction
  • Help secure offers for your employees

 

Amazon logo

Photo credit: Google, Amazon

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interview questions asked by headhunters

If you’re working with headhunters for your job search, the interview questions might start sounding the same. You’re not alone. All headhunters do ask very similar questions! Read our list below, and prepare your interview responses in advance. Do that, and you’ll impress the headhunter. First impressions count, and you’ll be on your way toward a job offer.

Most Popular Interview Questions Asked by Headhunters

  1. Tell me a bit about yourself.
  2. Why are you leaving?
  3. What is your current salary?
  4. What is your expected salary?
  5. What kind of companies would you like to work at? Large, medium, or small? If it’s a startup, are you looking for series A, B, C (aka early, mid, or late-stage startup)?
  6. Tell me about your roles and responsibilities at your current and previous jobs.
  7. The company is looking for skills A, B, and C. Can you tell me more about your experience with each?

Photo credit: Unsplash

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How to Ask Interview Status: 2 Sample Emails

February 1st, 2017 by lewis

worried

You finished the interview a couple days ago. Now comes the most nerve-racking part: the wait. After waiting a couple of days, you can’t stand it anymore. You deserve to know what’s going on. Did you get the job or not? You can only wait so long. If they’re not going to choose you, you’ll want to move on with your life.

Here are our tips, along with two of our favorite sample emails on how to ask.

How to Ask Interview Status: Structuring the Email

You can try over phone or email. Phone might get you an immediate response. Whereas email might work well, especially if your recruiting contact is traveling is difficult to get a hold of over the phone.

The structure of your interview responses should include:

  1. Formal greeting and salutation (e.g. Dear Mr. / Ms.).
  2. Thank the recruiter or hiring manager for their time to interview you.
  3. Ask for interview status.
  4. Offer to answer any open questions or concerns they might have.

How to Ask Interview Status: 2 Sample Emails

Sample 1

Dear Mr./Ms. [Recruiter or Hiring Manager],

I enjoyed meeting you last week and wanted to share how excited I am about this opportunity. Is there anything else I can forward along to make your hiring decision easier?

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Inspired By: Richard Moy, The Daily Muse

Sample 2

Dear Mr./Ms. [Recruiter or Hiring Manager],

Following up for the position of [position name], I’d like to inquire about the progress of your hiring decision and the status of my job application. I am very eager to work with your company.

Thanks for your time and consideration, and I look forward to hear back from you soon.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

How to Ask Interview Status: More Tips and Advice

  • Keep it short, specific, and to the point.
  • Be professional. Avoid unnecessary details.
  • Don’t come across as desperate. A common way to come across as desperate is a natural desire to sell yourself, again, in the email.
  • Don’t accuse or attack the contact for making you wait.
  • Give HR at least 3 days to reply.
  • Waiting to hear an interview result is tough. Stay strong!

Photo credit: Chris Favero