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Some of My Early Thinking About Interviewing | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

EP 735 Originally recorded in 2011, here is some of my early thoughts about interviewing.


Let's talk a little bit about interviewing today. For those of you who know my philosophy of interviewing, I'm sorry if this particular be repetitious to you.

My philosophy of interviewing is when you and the employer meet for the 1st time, or if you're having a phone interview in their calling you, let's say you're introduced by me for the interview, you start of the interview with a simple scenario: that starts off with thanking them for making the call to you and then you say, "You know, I spoke to Jeff Altman about the job and he gave me a brief description but I want to get your take on the role. Would you tell me about the position as you see and what I can do to help you?"

Why do I do that there? Here's how the standard interview goes. You sit down after you shake hands and they ask you, "Tell me about yourself." You talk about your experience. They go into a little bit more depth. They probe; they prod; they go into detail. Eventually they ask you, "Do you have any questions for us?" You respond by saying, "Tell me about the job." They tell you. You say, "Sounds great." "Terrific, will get back to you."

By following my advice, but thanking them for making the time to interview you and say that your debris thumbnail description but want to get their take on the role, asking him to tell you about the job as they see it and what you can be doing to help, what you're doing is getting the current thinking about the job.

Even if you have the end in front of you, even if you have the original job description, it doesn't matter because it may have morphed from the original time that they put together. After all, that is the "institutional specification," the one that got them the approval for the position to be opened. They add that they had may have written 4 to 6 weeks ago before they interviewed 20 people.

Better to start off by asking them because the job may have evolved since that initial approval into something a little bit different or a lot different... But they're not necessarily communicating with anyone. By asking them that question at the beginning what I want to then do is to tailor your answer to what they care about.

You see, most people talk about what they've done. However, they don't talk about what they've done in the context of what the firm is trying to hire. By tying the bow on that for the employer, it makes it a lot easier to win the interview And to get their attention. However, there is one little problem that comes up.

If you think back to the typical interview, you get to a point in the conversation where they'll say, "So do you have any questions for us?" Now you can't ask about the job, you have to talk about something different. It is my suggestion for that part of the conversation.

Instead of asking them to tell you about the job, you can probe a little bit more about the role if they haven't already gone into a lot of depth with you. Better than that, just wanted like you do. Asked them, "Okay, I have an idea of the job. Let's say 6 months after I've started, what would cause you right exceptional review for me and what can I do to allow you to look good in front of your manager." After all, what you do affects how they present themselves to their boss.

So the idea becomes they asked him what you might have accomplished during the 1st 6 months to allow them to see you as an extraordinary hire because you accomplish certain things for them that would allow them to look good for their management.

What that does is give you a benchmark for what you will want to accomplish. That's because obviously you don't want to be an ordinary person when they will hire you. You want to be 1 of the top performers. Focusing on what the accomplishments are that you're going to need to make in order to be seen as a high performer is really what the goal is to there.

There is some subtlety there. 1 of the things that you can discover is if they give you a neutral answer or something that is kind of innocuous there is a message in that. The message is either (a) I haven't really thought about that which makes it hard to succeed because you don't really know what the target is, and (b) I don't really care enough to sell to you and to present those ideas to you.

I think it's a really useful question to ask. From there, once you have the answer, you can explore some of the details of what the objectives are during those 1st 6 months that would allow you to be seen as a top performer.

That's the philosophy that I have her interviewing. You want to talk about what you've done that fits what they are looking for. You then wanted to find out what the goals are that you're going to need to accomplish and then conclude by thanking them for their time.

Finally, asked him about next steps if they were to be interested in going forward with you as the very last thing.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.


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