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Career-Finding a Job

Career-Finding a Job

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Published by huytrankiem
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Categories:Types, Resumes & CVs
Published by: huytrankiem on Sep 04, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Steven Broadman

Senior Recruiter
Convergenz, Tysons Corner, VA

As our final interview for this chapter, we turned to Steve Broadman
of Alliance Consulting, a firm specializing in the placement of con-
tract/temporary technical personnel for specific project assignments.
We asked Steve to outline the top criteria for successful interview-
ing, and he provided us with an excellent summary of the top 14
strategies to “nail your interviews.”

1.Sell yourself.Understand that, as a candidate, you are a sales-
person with a great product—you! It is your responsibility in
the interview to market and merchandise that product with
interesting and telling information about the value and exper-
tise you bring to that company. Highlight your success stories
in a non-arrogant manner and present yourself as a winner.

2.Be overdressed for the interview. You can always apologize later
if you are overdressed. However, you can never overcome a sit-
uation where you are in a t-shirt and everyone else is in a tie.

3.Know the company and the position.You can never do
enough research. The more prepared you are—the more
information you have about the company and its mission,
vision, products, services, cultures, employees, and more—the
better the interview will progress and the more impressed the
interviewer will be.

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4.Know what the company wants from you. Have a clear under-
standing of the specific skills and knowledge the company is
seeking in a qualified candidate and devote a great deal of
your interview to highlighting your qualifications as they per-
tain directly to that company’s needs. Extraneous information
is largely a waste of time.

5.Sometimes it is okay to tell your interviewer that you are ner-
vous.If you are at the right professional level and are nervous at
an interview, it is okay to let your interviewer know. It can help
break the ice and turn your interviewer into a friend or parental
figure. It can help set the tempo in your favor.However, if you
are an executive-level candidate, Steve recommends that you do
notlet your interviewer know because nervousness is not bene-
fiting of the level of position you are seeking.

6.Find common ground.If you can find areas of commonality
between you and the interviewer—projects, people, places,
and companies that you both know—it will be great.
Companies like to know that candidates are knowledgeable
and well connected. If an interviewer knows some of the peo-
ple you know, it can work in your favor because references
can be checked with people the interviewer knows and trusts.

7.Ask good questions.How do I fit into the needed vision of the
group? How will my success in this role be measured? How do
I compare with the other candidates you’ve interviewed? How
well do I meet your expectations? Ask intelligent, thought-
provoking, and on-target questions.

8.Ask challenging questions.It is okay to ask a challenging ques-
tion of your interviewer. For example, “Of the top three
competitors, you rank third. Why?” This question will
communicate your interest in understanding more about the
company and demonstrate your knowledge of the marketplace.

9.Overcome problems and challenges.If you have had a problem
on the job, do not be afraid to share it. Tell your interviewer
what the situation was, what you did, and what you learned.
Communicate that you will never get into that situation again
and that you know the signs to look for to avoid having the
same problem. Show you are a winner by highlighting how you
overcame a problem in the past and succeeded.

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10.Never talk negatively about anything—no matter how bad the
situation. Always have something good to say about your past
employers, bosses, and co-workers. If you talk negatively,
your next employer might think that you will talk about them
in the same negative way at some point in the future.

11.Pay attention to your body language. Body language can vary
between cultures, and candidates must be aware of the differ-
ences that might exist. Regardless of your cultural or ethnic
background, it is important to smile, make direct eye contact,
and have a great handshake. What’s more, if your interviewer
is an animated person, it would be helpful to imitate his body
language and look alive. Be a mirror to that person; it shows
a keen interest in his or her style.

12.Positively frame your job search.Because Steve works with can-
didates on a project-by-project basis, it is not unusual that can-
didates will have periods of unemployment. Rather than tell
your interviewer that you have spent the last three months, six
months, or whatever looking for a job, it is much more favor-
able to say you completed a very difficult project and took a
couple of months off to catch up around the house. Or perhaps
you did some traveling, took some classes, or volunteered, and
now it is time to get serious about getting back to work.

13.Ask for the job at the end of the interview.You can say, “This
position sounds perfect for me. If given the opportunity, I can
guarantee you that I will shine.” Even if you are not sure that
you want the job, ask for it…you never know. By showing
interest in the position and enthusiasm for the company, you
might very well position yourself for other opportunities in
the pipeline.

14.Send a thank-you note.If you are in a technology field, using
e-mail for your notes is fine. In other industries and profes-
sions, you might want to consider a handwritten thank-you
note on nice stationery. It does leave a lasting impression! Use
your thank-you note to reiterate your interest in the position,
highlight a few key qualifications, respond to any objections,
and ask additional questions. Most importantly, use your
thank-you note to prompt the interviewer to contact you
again—for another interview or an offer.


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