Monday, November 14, 2011

Interviews: Q and A

Today’s suggested reading is really about two things:

First, this blog entry  discusses the one question you will be asked in any job interview—whether you hear it expressed clearly like this or not. Every interviewer wants to know what you will do on the job. Now, you can’t puff a lot of hot air — you can’t talk about how you are going to leap tall buildings in a single bound — without describing what you have done in the past. But the point of mentioning your accomplishments in the past is to show what value-added you can bring to an employer in the future. After all, what interviewer wants to hear that you gave his or her competition a great advantage in the field in your last job, without also hearing that you’ll be able to bring an even greater advantage to your new and upcoming employer? The only real question, no matter how it’s dressed up and ventriloquised to sound like something else is, then, “what will  you do in the future?”

The second important concept that’s in this blog post is about calibrating your answer. It gives you some solid phrasing on which to build, ways to avoid sounding too wishy-washy, namby-pamby... in a word, how to avoid sounding like a “yes-man” (or woman). Any employer worth your interest and time does not want you simply to show up, do what you’re told, and tell the boss how great he or she is. That’s a suicidal path in the business world. Employers want people who can think for themselves. After all, that’s why they specified that applicants must have a college degree, and why you went out and go that degree. Remember, your degree entitles you to seek, find and hold onto a job that does not require you to ask “do you want fries with that?”

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