Turn, Turn, Turn…

Posted  | 2 Comment(s)  |  by Jim Davidson

Why do interviews intimidate people so much? The worst that can happen is that the company you are interviewing with will not hire you! If that is the worst that can happen, then how do you make an impression, say the right things and win the job?

Well, a good way to start is to turn the interview process in your favor.

First Turn. Do your homework. Research the company and its people. And most importantly, look at the news releases recently published. A great source for this information is OneSource.com,  and all candidates with CPI receive access to it through our web portal.

Second Turn. Prepare a dynamic positioning statement or two-minute presentation so that you can “tell them about yourself” when you get the inevitable first question.

Third Turn. Ask a final question at the end of the above statement. “Is that the kind of person you are looking for?’

Now you have turned the interview around so that  you are asking the questions, and the company interviewer is responding. You learn what the key requirements of the job are. If you have really good accomplishment statements and stories, you can convince the interviewer that you are the person for the job.

This process does not happen without practice, and the best way to get that help is to work with a “professional” career counselor. A good place to start is with your local CPI firm. Let me know what other tips you have to help turn the interview in your favor…

Jim Davidson
Career Partners International

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  1. Carla L. Brown-John's avatar
    Carla L. Brown-John
    | Permalink
    I once worked with a woman who would apply for jobs and then go to interviews, just for the practice. She claimed that she wasn’t in any way interested in leaving her employer or the career that she thoroughly enjoyed, it had more to do with keeping in touch with the process should something happen and she suddenly found herself without a job. Above all, it had to do with control.

    Why do interviews intimidate people so much? It’s usually because the interviewee feels that they are at the mercy of the interviewer(s). What’s the worst that can happen? You can be hired by a firm for which you are the wrong “fit” because you are so intent on getting the job, that you will take any job and say all the right things to get it.

    Having interviewed many candidates over the last fifteen years, I can also say that there’s no substitution for being prepared. Even an unskilled interviewer will know if a candidate has not done their homework. In this age of information overload, nothing will kill a candidate’s chances quicker than not knowing what the potential employer does, how they do it and with whom.

    The interview is not a boxing match, it’s a dance. Preparation and research will put the interviewee on a more even footing with the interviewer. The best interviews then become not a stoic question and answer session, but a wonderful give and take between interviewer and interviewee, each giving and responding in return. The best interviews are a conversation in which the interviewee can tell his/her stories and answer interviewer’s questions without being asked. What kind of person is the interviewer is looking for? A good, if not great, dance partner.
  2. Jim Davidson's avatar
    Jim Davidson
    | Permalink
    You are so correct when you say that practice is the core of a great interview, and your analogy with dancing really helps to explain it. We put candidates through a video interview, which the majority detest. But in the end they come off more polished, eloquent, and confident. I would challenge all those going through interviews to ask themselves if more practice would help them achieve better results – whether it be money, benefits or work-life balance.

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