Steven Delarge is one of many executives in this country who have been on both sides of the desk when it comes to job interviewing. At the beginning of his career, he found himself in the position of interviewee, answering questions about his skills and career goals. As he progressed in management, Steven Delarge found himself in the position of interviewer, facing off with nervous applicants.
It was actually through this experience that Steven Delarge learned the most about the interview process. Steven Delarge saw many common mistakes and observed behaviors that made certain candidates stand out from the rest. Recently Steven Delarge spoke with Presentation Solutions about his thoughts on what gives certain employees an edge during the employment process.
Presentation Solutions: We all think we know the basics, but the more I learn about the job interview process, the more I realize I don’t know. What are some of the basics we need to know when starting a job search?
Steven Delarge: Tardiness is a no-no. Employers often see tardiness to the interview as a sign of poor punctuality in general. I recommend showing up early just in case.
Presentation Solutions: What about dress? I know that’s a big issue for many job seekers.
Steven Delarge: It can be tough, knowing what to wear to a job interview. It does depend on the position but in the business world, you can rarely go wrong with a suit. Even if you’re interviewing in an office that’s business casual, save the khakis for after you’ve landed the job.
Presentation Solutions: Can someone prepare for answering questions ahead of time?
Steven Delarge: Sure. Sadly, many of the questions asked in job interviews today are the same questions that have been asked for years. There are quite a few websites that list out typical interview questions. Prepare your responses to those, but make sure your answers in the actual interview don’t sound canned.
Presentation Solutions: Today’s interviewers tend to ask more behavioral questions, right?
Steven Delarge: Yes, but even those have become pretty predictable. “Describe a time you thought outside the box,” that sort of thing. The key to answering all of these questions is to make your answers unique. That can be a challenge.
Presentation Solutions: Any suggestions on how to do this?
Steven Delarge: Giving examples of things you’ve done can really help. As in, “I was the top salesperson in the company for three years straight.” Or, “I was promoted seven times in the six years I was with my last company.”
Presentation Solutions: What about those tricky questions, like “Name your biggest weakness?”
Steven Delarge: I’m often asked about that one and the truth is, there’s no easy answer. The best tip is to take a negative trait and explain how you’ve turned it around. For instance, “I tend to be very impatient, but I’ve learned that keeping a to-do list helps me stay focused.”
Presentation Solutions: Thank you for speaking to us today. Steven Delarge is an Albany, New York business executive with decades of experience in the business industry.