Thursday, May 13, 2010

So, what do you do?

Having a great resume is one key element of landing your next job, but the interview is really your opportunity to present your talents. Recently a candidate was submitted for a position and the hiring manager loved her resume. It was well written, clear, concise, and it expressed all the value she brings to an organization. On paper, she was a rock star.

An Interview was scheduled, and both seemed excited about meeting the other.

Are you fully prepared for your first interview? Are you fully informed about the person and the company you are going to see? Well, in this case, the candidate went into the interview well dressed, well groomed, with a bright attitude, and sat down with the hiring manager. They went through the obligatory rapport and a series of questions. The last questions the manager asked was, “Do you have any questions?” And her reply…

“SO, WHAT DO YOU DO?”

It wasn’t long before that interview came to a polite end.

The point is you have to do your homework. You have spent all this time working up your story, figuring out what you want, writing your resume, and then you go into your interview excited because you feel like you finally made it through to a win, just to be unprepared… That I don’t understand. It is not that hard to find out a little bit of information. If you are working with a recruiter, ask them! Most likely they have worked with this manager before and can give some good advice. If you found this position on your own, then look up the person on LinkedIn or Facebook. Look up the company’s website and find out what product or service they sell.

When this woman asked the question, “So, what do you do?” she was really saying, I am just like everyone else who’s come in here. I didn’t take the time to even see if I was a good fit for the company or the environment. In fact, I am just interested in landing a job, anywhere…

The hiring managers you are trying to reach are looking for a diamond in the rough. They are looking for the most qualified, and the most polished. If you are not taking the time to do a little research, then you won’t be able to differentiate yourself from your competition. Be fully prepared to ask intelligent questions that lead an opportunity to talk about your strengths in those situations.

Remember, an interview is an opportunity for you to interview them too.

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