Ladders 2020 Interviews Guide: How to handle speciality interviews

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Hi Readers,

The 2020 update for my best-selling Ladders Interviews Guide is out now and available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.  I’ve included a brief excerpt below.

This updated version is designed to make your 2020 interviews go smoothly.  Whether you’re interviewing for better pay, a better job, or simply to maintain lifestyle insurance for you and your family, the third edition of Ladders Interviews Guide gives you the essence of what you need to know in about 90 minutes.

Ladders Interviews Guide provides 49 common interview questions and answers, best practices and expert advice on questions to ask in an interview, how to answer behavioral interview questions, and interview tips for fast-rising and mid-career professionals.  Along with its companion guide, Ladders Resume Guide, they make a great pair of helpful guidebooks for you on your 2020 adventures.

Here’s the excerpt I promised you…

Specialty interviews

Along the way, you may be called upon to do the remote interview or phone screen.  Keeping a good attitude and upbeat presence on these calls is as important as having great answers.  Toward that end, buy a mirror or have your phone camera available to do an interview selfie.  Under pressure, and perhaps trying to maintain good confidentiality, professionals tend to hunch during interview phone calls, which gives them bad posture, poor breathing, and an ineffective vocal presence.

Use the mirror or your phone camera to watch your expression.  When you look at your own face, you tend to smile more and frown less.  And smiling, according to a growing body of research, in and of itself tends to bring on a better mood and a higher energy level.  And that will come across in a better, more positive tone of voice on the phone.

Also on phone and video interviews, make sure to clear the background of visual or sound clutter.  Odd potted plants, a too colorful Jimi Hendrix print, or a direct view into your walk-in closet, can prove distracting.  Mindful of the example of the BBC expert whose 4-year-old pranced in the back of his video frame on TV, please clear the children in addition to the clutter.  It also makes sense to call in five minutes ahead of time, to avoid mishaps.

You may also be called upon to do a specialized interview such as the consultant case interview, the coding interview, the screen test, or the live demo sales test, which are frequent enough that you should master the particular ones in your field.  These specialist, or role-specific, interviews seek to understand your mastery of the body of knowledge relevant to that area and how you use your judgment in applying that understanding to real world problems.

These specialist interviews are outside the scope of this 90-minute book, so I’ve not included role-specific questions or interview practices, and have instead focused on addressing interview themes common to all professionals.  There are a wide variety of offline and online specialty materials that address the more detailed needs of role-specific interviews, and I encourage you to seek them out to complement the more general advice in this guide.