Tuesday, January 8, 2008

6 Interview Do's from Presidential Race

It is impossible to watch the current Democratic and Republican presidential debates and not think about some interview Do's and Don'ts. Of course most of us could not withstand these "interviews from hell" but we can at least learn something as we watch from the sidelines.

Here are some of the interview do's we have seen in the 9 way race between Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Rudi Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson.

Interview Do’s
1. Do talk about prior job accomplishments where you worked with a team to reach a successful outcome. Just be clear that you were a part of a team and didn't do everything by yourself. It's not believable.

2. Do speak to outstanding outcomes in clear and concise terms. Avoid the urge to over sell prior job "accomplishments". This is especially true if these prior outcomes are easily verified. Especially, if when closely scrutinized, they might yield less than flattering results.

3. Do bring your personality into the job interview. Hiring managers are not looking for robots. They are looking for real people to do real work. They are turned off by energy, animation or a sense of humor, if done in excess. Interviewers appreciate real people who let their positive persona shine through.

4. Do answer the specific questions asked. Sometimes a long preamble and set up for the answer will have your audience, the hiring manager, fading away, zoning out or thinking you aren't truly listening.

5. Do own your failures. There is nothing as unimpressive as someone in a job interview who cannot or will not speak to any lessons learned from prior career missteps. Especially if asked directly. You do not need to dwell on job failures, but you need to acknowledge them at least. It comes across as disingenuous if you don't.

6. Do speak to transferable job skills. No two careers are identical. People go in different directions and therefore have different stories to tell. The key is to focus on your transferability of job skills from one situation to the next.

I will keep adding others as I see them. Feel free to add your thoughts as well?

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