Preventing Dumb Mistakes in Job Interviews

You go to job interviews because you need a job to keep food on your table and a roof over your head. You don’t want any job, you want one that has the opportunity for you to do well, with the salary increases that deliver a rising quality of life.

Take job interviews in the wrong way and by the time you’ve reached 40, steady professional and financial growth will have passed you by.

Then, you’ll have had a string of jobs that are pretty much the same, and you’ll be wondering what went wrong and the answer will always come back to lost the lost opportunities at jobs you didn’t get.

It doesn’t need to be this way.

A New Approach

While you probably have many professional strengths, and you know about the technical skills and professional accreditations you must get to be successful, there is one skill that no corporate experts ever consider important – because all it does is help you.

What do I mean?

Look at the years’ experience and the number of jobs you’ve had and work out how much real time and successful experience you have turning job interviews into job offers – not so much huh?

In short, this is your weakest professional survival skill and also the important to your long term financial survival and success.

Many people take the first offer they get just to get out of a job they hate or to get back to work. Fortunately, all you need to turn this weakness into a strength is to adjust your approach.

They Really Want To Hire You

As you sit sweaty-palmed in the lobby, that interviewer is kneeling behind a desk and praying, “Let this be the one I can hire. All I want is someone who can do the job and plays well with others, someone who won’t give me headaches – then I can make the hire and get back to my work.”

They want to hire you. In turn all you have to give them are reasons to make that choice.

Now while you go to a job interview to see if it is the right opportunity for you, what comes first is answering that hiring manger’s prayer, so focus on how your skills and personality can help the hiring manager and that department play their role in supporting company profitability.

There’ll be no offer and nothing to consider unless you do.

Everyone Gets Hired For The Same Job

Every job, in every industry and at every level exists for these same reasons:

  1. To win and keep customers
  2. To support profitability by bringing in money, saving money or increasing productivity.
  3. To be a problem solver no matter what your title. The job exists because it can’t be outsourced and existing software can’t handle the job’s problems. This means that your job-relevant problem solving skills are critical.

No matter what your job title, you get hired to be a problem solver. Consequently, it’s obvious that the job offer will go to whoever knows their job well enough to:

  • Understand how that job helps the department contribute to company profitability.
  • Anticipate problems, and prevent them from occurring by the way you do your work.
  • Solve problems when they nevertheless do crop up.

Showing that you have the analytical skills to anticipate, prevent and solve the problems that get in the way of profitability, is the key to winning job offers. But there’s more.

The Biggest Interview Mistake

You naturally go to interviews intent on establishing that your needs will be met, like those considerations about pay, benefits etc. These questions are perfectly reasonable, but ask them too soon and you tell the interviewer that your personal needs are more important than the job’s deliverables.

Timing Your Questions

Asking the right questions at the right time has a massive impact on your ability to win job offers. A job interview tends to be a one-sided examination of skills. However, you can turn any interview into a two-way conversation between a couple of professionals chatting about a common interest (winning over the interviewer in the process), by asking questions that demonstrate your understanding and engagement with the guts of that job.

Answer the interviewer’s questions, ideally with examples that showcase you doing that aspect of the job well. Then finish your answers with questions of your own, asking about the common problems in the area under discussion, their causes and how management likes them handled. Ask what differentiates the people who handle these things well from those who don’t.

The answers you get will give you more insight into what this customer will buy, and give you fresh insights to differentiate yourself from your competition by making additional points about how you handle such problems – customized to the interviewer’s preferences.

No-one Cares What You Want Until An Offer Is Made

The time to ask the questions that will help you evaluate the job’s suitability to your career plans comes only when an offer has been made. This is because once a hiring manager has decided to offer you the job, s/he is eager to close the search and get back to work; at this point your questions and needs will be met with serious answers and greater flexibility. Until then, keep your questions focused on the responsibilities and deliverables of the job, and those problems that get in the way of your responsibilities being executed successfully.

A New Goal For Job Interviews

You should have one simple goal for every job interview: Focus on getting to the offer, do whatever it takes to get the offer, because until an offer is made you have nothing to evaluate. Do this even if you wouldn’t work for that company under any circumstances, you’ll be building a critical professional success skill and your ego will get a boost as a result of your new approach.

Make today the day you opened your eyes to a new beginning. The Knock Em Dead books and the company’s resume and coaching services are exclusively focused on a career management approach that puts what is best for you first and last. It’s all I care about.

We provide comprehensive resume writing services for all types of professionals and industries. Take a moment to learn more about what Knock Em Dead can provide you.

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Knock Em Dead

NY Times Bestselling Author at Knock Em Dead
With 17 books and two optical patents to his name and as someone who last danced with a professional ballet company at age 55, he is clearly one of those who has turned ADHD into a superpower. Martin is also a recovering alcoholic of some years standing, and exchanging one obsessive compulsion for another; he particularly enjoys collecting prohibition-era cocktail shakers.
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