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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nailing the Job Interview

Well it's N day here at Wildpokerman so I thought I'd speak a little about a skill that I've been working on and studying. I've changed jobs a lot in my career in spite of being with the same company and I'm about 50/50 when it comes to interviews. I'd like to have a higher batting average so I've been studying interviewing skills. My company has been giving seminars on career skills and I've found them to be very helpful. Here's what I've learned about interviewing-

There are three levels of interviewing:

1. Here is the neat stuff I've done.

2. Here is the neat stuff I've done and here's how it could help you.

3. Here's the neat stuff I've done and how it can help you and let me explain what it looks like when I'm in the position.

Obviously you want to be at level three when you discuss the job in the interview. But how do you get to level three when you don't know what questions you will be asked?

Here are the steps to having a level three interview.

1. Come prepared and know what it is you are applying for. If you spend the beginning part of the interview asking what the job actually is or if one of your follow up questions is "What am I going to be doing again?" you're already done. You may as well have thrown your resume under the door and waited for a callback.

2. Have an agenda. This means you should have a plan to describe what you intend to accomplish in the job. Write down four to five things that you need to say while you are in the interview. If you're lucky they will all come up in answers to the interview questions but most of the time you will have a thing or two that you need to say that doesn't come up naturally. Make sure you have a list of the unique value you are going to bring to the job and make sure that if the questions haven't covered it that you bring up those points before you leave. When the interviewer says "What questions do you have?" that's a perfect time to say "I have a couple of questions but first let me make sure I bring up some points I wanted to discuss today."

3. Bring yourself. If you try to pretend to be the type of person you think they want for the job you are doomed to failure. If you normally smile, smile in the interview. If you tell jokes, tell jokes in the interview. If you are detail oriented, make sure you are detail oriented when you ask and answer questions. Your best shot is to explain who you are, why you want the position and how YOU are going to do the job. If you pretend to be someone else you will come across as insincere and unconvincing. Worse than that, if you actually succeed you could spend years of your life in a job that's completely frustrating because you are never able to do it the way you would like.

I hope that helps a little bit and that next time you are in an interview you nail it and get the job of your dreams. Tell me your worst interview story in the comments!


  1. My contract at work is up in November and I am dreading having to start looking for another job. It's tough in a regional area where there is only a limited number of employment opportunities.

    1. I can understand that. Best of luck in your search! I've heard the economy is good in Australia so hopefully it won't take too long.


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