AUTHOR:
Dan A.

DATE:
January 20, 2015

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
3 minutes

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Interview Tips From the Top

AUTHOR:
Dan A.

DATE:
January 20, 2015

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
3 minutes

As part of the Reynolds and Reynolds interview process, our vice presidents may talk directly with candidates, so who better to ask for tips about interviewing? We've summed up some of their advice.

What makes a candidate stand out to you during the interview process?

Jon Strawsburg, vice president of Product Planning: Preparation. I'm impressed when candidates appear to have done their homework on Reynolds. They know what we do and how we do it and have thought about how they fit into our business. To me, that level of preparation demonstrates the candidate is motivated and has a willingness to take on responsibility at work.

Kelly Hall, senior vice president of Software Development: I look for programmers who like to build things – hardware, software, or even furniture. In my experience, the best programmers typically are those who are eager to create something tangible. If candidates show a lot of energy while telling me about something they've already built, that indicates to me their potential for delivering results as a software developer.

Dave Bates, vice president of Software Technical Support: I look for appearance and presence. If they are a little nervous that is okay, but I want to see their genuine personality and attitude stand out.

Chris Walsh, vice president of Sales, Naked Lime: Successful sales candidates can separate themselves from others through note taking and by demonstrating a sense they're prepared for the discussion. I also evaluate: Do they make eye contact? How quickly can they establish rapport and engage in small talk? Those answers can be important when filling sales positions.

What is one thing to avoid during an interview?

Kelly Hall: Candidates should avoid complaining during an interview. For example, I ask people “What was your least favorite… class, teacher, job, boss?” I want to get a sense of how they react to a negative situation. Can they take that negative situation and transform it into a positive learning experience? The best response to this was a candidate in Houston who worked the evening shift for a collection agency and spent all night calling people about past due bills. She didn't grumble about the job. Instead, she talked about how it helped her understand how to communicate with people and help them resolve their problems. I hired her.

Chuck Hoyt, Midwest area vice president of Sales: I advise candidates to avoid preparing questions that seem like they come from an “Interviewing 101” handbook. Instead, they should focus on asking questions that can help them genuinely understand if we are a proper fit for their interests and skills.

What is your favorite interview question and why?

Willie Daughters, senior vice president of Software Support: I like to ask candidates to describe their ideal supervisor.  This question helps me determine whether candidates can clearly articulate their opinions.  It also can help uncover potential work style conflicts between the candidate and the supervisor.

Dave Bates: If you won the lottery and money was no longer an issue, what is your dream job? It shows what they really have a passion for!

What’s the best advice you've received – or wish you had – when interviewing?

Chuck Hoyt: I wish I would have been coached better on appearance. For example, what sort of suit, tie, or shoes best helps the candidate appear professional and polished.

Jon Strawsburg: I would give candidates a number of pointers. First, figure out what kinds of things you like to do specifically, and then find the very best company that does those things. Second, to the degree possible, research that company and be prepared to explain in the interview why you would be a good fit. Finally, ask questions that are important for you to get answers to in order to make the most informed decision.


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Dan A.

Dan is a Corporate Recruiter in Dayton, Ohio. He studied Organizational Leadership at Wright State University, and is our expert on life at Reynolds and how to make yourself stand out in applications. Dan enjoys participating in a recreational basketball league, following the Bengals and Buckeyes, and playing in the company cornhole league.