Thursday, November 1, 2012

Are You Prepared for the Interview?

When I ask this question most people think in terms of resume preparation. Granted, the resume is an important component during your job search and interview process, but making it the primary focus of your preparation efforts is to considerably shortchange yourself. That piece of paper doesn’t speak, nor can it react and it doesn’t convey attitude, intent or interest – it’s a piece of paper. The current job market is more competitive than ever and it isn’t going to improve much any time soon, so if you want to maximize your chances of success, you must have more tricks up your sleeve and be better prepared than others who are applying for the same job(s). You need to make an effort to stand out and effectively demonstrate why you’re the best choice. You see, sometimes when the best candidate is not chosen, it isn’t because they’re any less qualified than others, but often because they were unable, incapable or unwilling to expound or elaborate on their own abilities and wrongly assume their resume would do all the talking for them. Are you getting this; it's a mistake that can cost you precious time and money.
Too much emphasis is put on having a pretty resume when in fact it is just one aspect of what you need to do. Hey, I’ve been doing this recruiting gig for 20 years, take it from me, if you want to raise your game to a higher level you’ve got to invest more, much more, attention on an aspect with which you can influence your own interview and communication skills. Even the best resume won’t get the job done if a person neglects developing their communication skills. On the other hand, with good, well-developed and practiced communication skills you’ll greatly increase your horsepower by validating your resume claims. I know people who always exceed expectations because they know how to present themselves well and the resume becomes a mere calling card necessary for administrative purposes.
I will, in future blog entries, dissect and analyze the interview process so that readers can better prepare themselves to stand apart from the rest of the herd mentality. But for now, I primarily want you to shift your thinking away from relying solely on a document as your best hope for helping you to get a new job. The current tech-heavy means of job hunting during the last 15 years has handicapped most people with their own abilities, which seems to suggest that after you submit your resume you should sit like a good doggy and wait, conditioned for a Pavlovian stimulus-response reflex awaiting permission for the next step. Most people barely make an effort to develop the much more important personal attributes and strategies with which they can provide themselves a higher level of confidence, making the resume during an interview more of an afterthought to be used more as a chronological reference sheet. Imagine that while others pin their hopes on a piece of paper, you’ll, instead, be able to be a fully-engaged participant in the hiring process.
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