Sunday, November 30, 2008

Job Interviews Show Lack of Preparation

I was on a team of interviewers recruiting a new director to execute a rather extensive job description.

The process to select the job interview candidates was pretty straight forward. The search team scored resumes of job applicants and selected the candidates with the highest scores for job interviews.

One observation from this round of job interviews is that too many job seekers, regardless of the level of the position, are just not well prepared to sell transferable skills.

After watching more than a few candidates squirm under the pressure, I thought I could offer these five tips to help job seekers prepare to sell transferable skills in the job interview.

1. Read the job descriptions carefully. Read it several times to become familiar with the skills that the company wants.
2. Know what knowledge, skills and abilities you have to offer to the employer for the specific job in question.
3. Acknowledge the gaps between what the employer wants and what you have to offer. Job seekers, who acknowledge the gaps ahead of time, have an opportunity to correct them. These gaps should not surprise you in the interview.
4. Identify career and experience stories from your background that will allow you to demonstrate how your transferable skills will compensate for direct knowledge.
5. Learn how to tell interesting stories in the interview that will make the interviewers want to engage in conversation with you.

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