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Job Search Myth #6 . . . Got An Interview? Just Answer The Questions!

Aug 17, 2007
Ok. It's the moment of truth. But it could also be job search myth 6! It's an interview.

Of course, interviewing can be tense. But we've been taught to just answer the questions and we'll be alright. But that's job search myth 6. Here's why.

If you've been lucky enough to pass muster and get invited in for an interview, you'll face one of two interviewers:

1. A lower level HR staffer or assistant manager who is screening you for the boss.

2. An employer who could be your next boss.

If you're invited in for a screening interview, the rules are a little different. You're not dealing directly with the decision-maker who will ultimately make a hiring decision about you. So your goal is to reinforce the capabilities and assets that attracted an employer's interest when you submitted your resume or application.

In other words, do no harm. You must understand that a screening interview has some very specific goals to accomplish. These will differ from organization to organization. But basically it puts the interviewer in control because you don't know what the agenda is. It means you must carefully and respectfully answer the questions.

But it doesn't end there. You also need to distinguish yourself in the mind of the interviewer so that you stand out from the dozens of other candidates the interviewer is meeting with. You do this by smiling a lot, putting out a hearty handshake, looking the person directly in the eyes when you speak, and being extra friendly.

However, after you've done your best to respond to the information the interviewer needs to acquire, then it's time for you to ask some intelligent questions that promote your candidacy. For example, you should inquire about the goals of the organization. What role could you play in contributing to its growth? What are the opportunities for advancement?

On the other hand, if you are meeting directly with a decision-maker you have to be in control of the procedure. You do that by advancing the conversation beyond an interview into a dialogue in which you're taking the lead by asking intelligent questions about his/her goals for the company. And then jumping in with stories that demonstrate you have the ability to contribute to the goals.

The biggest mistake you can make is to sit like a lump and content yourself just to answer questions as best you can. If you don't take this opportunity to set yourself apart by showing very specifically that you've done your homework you'll never rise to the top of the pack.

Look, job search myth 6 can confound your chances of interview success if you don't think through carefully how to make it turn out right for you.
About the Author
Paul Bowley manages EEI, the world-class pioneer in alternative job search techniques and innovative e-business strategies . . . since 1985. Check out THE WORLD'S FASTEST JOB SEARCH PLAN! And grab our stunning FREE REPORT! http://www.fastest-job-search.com
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