April 24, 2003
Foolproof interview strategy
Special to NWjobs
"Nothing is worse than having someone show up for an interview and not know a single thing about our company or how they'd perform the job-that's a fatal mistake too many people make," noted Executive VP Sue Carroll of Westar Insurance Managers. You can't impress an employer without some solid preparation beforehand.
I've taught a strategy for nearly 15 years that employers and job hunters alike think works very well to improve an applicant's chances in a job interview. It's called the 5 Point Agenda™. This easily implemented strategy allows you to prepare for a job interview in a fast, highly effective manner.
Focus the interview on your strengths and abilities, and help the employer learn specifics on how you will perform the job and meet their needs. Predetermine your five most marketable skills and experiences, then illustrate these points throughout the interview process. Clients who have tested this interview approach report it made interview preparation easier and they were highly rated by everyone who interviewed them.
Determine the 5 points
- Consider what skills are needed to perform the job: your experience, your strengths, your past accomplishments, new training, etc.
- Research and try to uncover information about the employer's major concerns from your contacts or from investigating the company's Web site and reading its annual report.
- Look for clues about new direction, product lines, services, missions, etc., and then write out specific duties.
- Make a list of your five most important points to perform the needed duties.
- Practice incorporating these in your answers to interview questions.
- Repetition is all right because it will help the employer remember key information.
- Customize your 5 points for every interview based on that employer's specific needs.
How This Works
Kathy, a laid-off client was seeking a position as a Telecommunications Project Manager. She networked and researched the company she was to interview with and learned that project tracking skills, working well with others, plus getting projects done on time and within budget were big concerns to this employer. The 5 Point Agenda™ Kathy used was:
- Eight years project management experience.
- Extensive experience effectively coordinating needs between various departments.
- Developed productive, self-directed teams.
- Originated sophisticated computerized tracking for follow-up and meeting goals.
- Savvy budget management skills; able to bring complex projects in on or under budget.
Kathy developed examples of each point she mentioned in her interview. The strategy worked, she landed the job of her dreams and a nice salary increase along with it.
Be sure to create a 5 Point Agenda™ for yourself. The preparation really does effect the outcome.
Robin Ryan has appeared on Oprah, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, CNN, CNBC and is considered America's top career coach. She is the best-selling author of: 60 Seconds & You're Hired!; Winning Resumes; Winning Cover Letters, and What to Do with the Rest of Your Life. She's the creator of the highly acclaimed audio training program Interview Advantage and The DreamMaker. Robin's passion is helping people find better jobs which she successfully does through her career counseling practice where she offers individual career coaching and resume writing services. A popular national speaker, Robin has spoken to over a thousand audiences on improving their lives and obtaining greater success. To purchase products or contact Robin visit her Web site at www.robinryan.com.
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