The title of this article applies both to those who already have jobs and to others who vie for jobs. So, let’s think first about what it takes to hold on to a job versus getting a new one. At least three conditions must be met for holding on to a job: (1) You must have the skills. (2) You must get along with the boss. (3) You must get positive peer and customer reviews. For getting a new job: (1) Your résumé must intrigue the reader for further exploration. (2) Your résumé must make a strong first impression. (3) Your résumé must exude confidence. (4) You must possess excellent interviewing skills. Which is harder nowadays: holding on to a job or getting a new job? The answer is, both are equally hard.
Why is it so important to interview well? The answer is that interviewing is a competitive art. Indeed, it has an acting component that requires your beating the competition by convincing the interviewer you’re the ideal candidate. It’s a fact that interviewers are biased, subjective, and influenced by preconceived ideas. It’s also known that nice guys finish last. One person is getting the job, and all the rest are losers.
Many job candidates feel nervous during interviews. Nervousness is caused by focusing on self. Once the candidate focuses on the other party, nervousness disappears! Practice mock interviewing till you’re confident about both content and delivery. It would be very helpful to know in advance what’s important to the interviewer. Surveys show that for hiring managers, the most important thing is to ensure that a candidate would fit well into the corporate culture. Next, the interviewer wants to see a candidate’s passion and excitement for the opportunity. It’s important to have superior oral communication skills and other communication skills such as body language, steady eye contact, and assertiveness. A candidate should be well groomed and in proper attire. During the interview, a candidate should be able to convey being a good match for the job description, to express having the required technical skills, and to show thorough knowledge of employer.
To be successful at an interview, try thinking like the interviewer. The interviewer knows you’re there to sell yourself, but he’s not ready to buy everything you want to sell. He’s open to buying only when you relay facts or when someone else provides information about you.
There’s one question you can count on being asked: Do you have any questions for me? When prompted by this critical question, you must ask some good ones. Good questions propel you to the next stage; bad ones fail you. For instance, don’t ask questions that involve your own personal agenda. Being prompted for questions is a sign that the interviewer now has all the information wanted and needed about you. At that point, he is eager to move on. Good questions cover the favorability of your candidacy, the traits that are important for the job, and what the interviewer perceives might be difficult for a new employee in the initial period. Don’t ask questions you were supposed to previously find the answers to on your own. After the interview—based on the information you gained through answers to your own questions—you’ll be very able to present a compelling case via the composition of your thank-you letter.
by Alex Freund