IN TODAY'S TECH-SAVVY WORLD
Most of us can clearly remember the first job interview we ever had. Maybe it was for a position flipping hamburgers or perhaps as a clerk in a small bookstore. More than likely, you weren't too nervous because you were too young (and naive) to consider the consequences of doing poorly in an interview.
Today, the story has changed. People who are in the middle of their lives - and careers - are going through job interviews again as they face the painful reality that no job lasts forever. And learning that a lousy interview can land you back on the street.
"The biggest mistake people make in interviewing is deciding to wing it," says Paul D. Green, an expert on interviewing. "People think they can just do their best rather than just do their best with preparation. The three keys to good interviews are to prepare, to prepare, to prepare."
Green, who has educated managers for 25 years on how to interview and hire the right person and has interviewed more than 5,000 people, says that the biggest challenge is for the job candidate to "build a rapport faster, deeper and better than the other person being interviewed." "And you do that by being prepared to tell the interviewer what you do well," he adds.
For example, even if you think you can relate all your skills well to an interviewer, you have to consider that the job market is changing so fast you may need to reposition what you know about yourself in terms of the performance skills and technical skills today's employers are looking for.
"The technological stakes are very high, and so interviewers will often question you about computer skills," Green says. "They are also going to be more structured in how they get information on performance issues such as coping, teamwork and creativity. They're going to focus on your work habits." Green advises candidates to make a "skill-benefit statement," for the interview that is :
SOURCE: Adapted from Anita Bruzzese, Take This Job and Thrive (Manassas Park, VA, 2000), pp. 102-103. All rights reserved.