Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Art of the Interview

Many young people are looking for a promising career opportunity, and it is a tough market. The first interview - on the phone or in person - for an interesting position can be scary. Certainly, the young woman I met yesterday was nervous about the interview scheduled for today. She had done her homework and knew the background of the individual who would be on the other end of the line. She hadn't thought much about how to tell her story, though.

In one of the best interviews I have given, I asked almost all the questions. I knew the company was having financial difficulties. Drawing on my experience, I came up with a list of possible symptoms and root causes and asked the top executives whether these factors were contributing to their challenges. The answers were "yes, yes, and yes again." This approach showed that I had a head start on solving their problems. I got the position.

As you prepare for an interview, do your best to understand the organization's goals and challenges. Check out information on the web; talk to people who can give you insights. Then think about how you capabilities and experience can help get the job done. After all, your prospective boss really wants to know what you can do for her. Be confident and straightforward in telling her exactly that. Good luck!

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