Part 3 of
"Take this Job and Shove it"
I'm Already Home... Again
The Road Home
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We're closing out our job series called "Take this job and shove it" with a look at how you can excel in a job interview, and the top things an employer wants and doesn't want in an employee. You worked hard to get the job, now keep it!
How do I have a good Interview?
The ultimate objective of the interview is to prove to the employer that you have the skills and qualifications to do the job, that you have the drive and determination to be successful in the position and that you are a good fit for the job and the organization. The bottom line for the interviewer is "Will this candidate make me look good and make my life easier once I hire them?"
Types of interviews
- Phone interview -Intended to narrow down the field of candidates. Strategy: provide facts about your skills and qualifications. Answer their questions but don't offer additional information.
- One-on-One Interview - The interviewer has predetermined that you have the skills required for the job and now they are looking to find the most qualified candidate. Strategy: convince them that you can do the job that you want to do a great job for them and to get them to like you.
- Behavioral Interview - Focuses on what your past behaviors have been in certain situations. The interviewer will ask you to give specific examples or ask you to "tell me about a time when you....."
- Committee Interview - You meet with several members of the company who have a say in whether or not you are hired. Stay calm and answer each question directly to the person who asked it.
Preparation before the interview
- Understand the 5-10 key skills that the employer is seeking. Often these include both technical skills and soft skills.
- Determine which past tasks, challenges, projects or problems you encountered allowed you to successfully demonstrate these skills. Be able to detail the Issue, your Action, and the Result.
- Identify your key strengths and weaknesses.
- Develop a list of at least 3 questions to ask the interviewer. Ask about their own history at the company and what they like most about their position.
- Tips for success:
- Turn off cell phones
- Dress appropriately - a "step above" standard company dress
- No gum chewing
- Try to be scheduled for the last time slot or the first. These are the most memorable in a full schedule of interviews
- Start with a firm handshake and make eye contact.
During the interview
- Be prepared to respond to "Tell me about yourself." Your response should sell "you" and quickly summarize your skills, your accomplishments and a brief career history.
- Answer with more than just a "yes" or "no". Elaborate and take the opportunity to describe your skills.
- Speak clearly and concisely. When you've answered the question, stop talking; don't ramble.
- If you can't think of an answer after considering the question for a moment, don't get rattled. Politely ask if you can come back to that question later.
At the end of the interview
- Now is the time to ask the interviewer the questions you prepared.
- Restate your interest in the position and what benefits you bring to the company
- Ask about the next steps in the hiring process.
- Thank the interviewer and end with another firm handshake.
- Write a personal thank you note to the interviewer(s)
- Snail mail is preferred (and remembered) over an e-mail thank you.
Above all, be yourself, relax, keep your sense of humor, maintain good eye contact, don't get too personal, and try not to talk salary.
The job market is becoming ever more challenging. Getting a job is tough enough. Knowing how to keep it is every bit as important. This also applies to everyone who already has a job to return to. But what is it that employers are really looking for in an employee? We want you to keep that job! Here's a brief summary of what employers really want and what really turns them off.
What employers want
- Proficiency at job specific skills such as computer skills.
- Good soft skills that include listening, speaking and writing.
- Teamwork where you cooperate, respect the chain of command and are willing to learn.
- Good work Ethic. Be honest, responsible, accountable for your own actions and mistakes and have a positive attitude.
What employers don't want
- Bad attitude: Don't be a troublemaker or "stir the pot" with co-workers. Don't be a "know-it-all" or show a lack of enthusiasm and drive.
- Bad work habits like absences, tardiness, inefficiency, drugs, alcohol or criminal activity, using inappropriate language, internet junkies and lack of professionalism in grooming and dress.
Your time on the job is such a big part of your life. Make the job work for you by taking the time to foster your work relationships and find the best fit for who you are and who you want to be. Welcome Home!
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- For military family books and information on briefings, visit www.ImAlreadyHome.com or email Elaine@ImAlreadyHome.com