Past Issues

December 19, 2011

Celebrate the Holidays with a Job-Winning Interview!

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Celebrate with a Winning Interview...

Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new, Job Interview "Secret"

Whether you light a pine tree for Christmas, a Menorah for Hanukkah, or kinara candles for Kwanzaa, the holiday season for each of us can be a bit overwhelming. Shopping, decorating, gift-wrapping, cooking, baking, and entertaining consume our time and thoughts.

This year, however, you may want to consider taking the following three steps to achieve a happy and restful season:

Slow down. You don't have to do it all yourself. Enlist the help of family and friends with cooking, gift-wrapping, and mailing.

Simplify. Let go of some of the time-consuming rituals so you can relax and enjoy the celebrations. Order gifts online. Set up a potluck. Pay a teen to clean up.

Stop! Take a breather-and while you're resting, make a list (and check it twice!) of where you are now and where you want to be a year from now.

If being employed in a new position is on that list, remember that every great job starts with a terrific interview. Start thinking about what you'll bring to this meeting: your appearance, your ability to speak with confidence, and your skills and work experience that will grab a hiring manager's attention. Use some of the spare time you have during the holidays to make a plan so that when you're called for an interview you'll be ready.

Take Charge

Keep in mind that today's hiring manager is more interested in who you are as a person than who you are as a professional. Behavior-based interviewing is now the norm. Employers are looking at a candidate's previous performance as an indicator of future behavior. They're not only interested in your resume, but also in the way you interact with others and how you respond when part of a team. They want to know what they can expect if they hire you and how you'll handle tricky situations that call for calm and confident leadership. It will be up to you to convince them that you're the one for this job.

Tell the Truth

Following are some of the hard-edged questions and directives you could face in a behavior-based interview. Answer each one honestly to the best of your ability.

  • Tell me about a time you took charge of a situation that was out of control.

  • Give an example of a goal you set at work and how you achieved it.

  • Have you performed beyond the requirement of the job you held? If so, how?

  • If you made a mistake in judgment how would you handle it with management?

  • How have you dealt with difficult co-workers or customers?
    Be prepared to provide details, dialogue, and a description of what occurred and how you resolved it.
  • Trust in Yourself-A Three-Point Review

  • 1.Recognize your good qualities and review them often in your mind.

  • Jot down a few experiences that illustrate situations and times when you successfully resolved conflict, stood up for the truth despite criticism, or used your creativity to negotiate a challenging relationship.

  • 3.Take your emotional pulse. If you're smiling and feeling comfortable and well suited to the job in question, go for it. If you feel stressful, confused, or overwhelmed, consider setting this opportunity aside and looking for a job more appropriate to your skills and experience.
  • Once you're clear in your mind that this is the job you want, you'll be able to walk into any interview and establish a good rapport with the hiring manager.

    Following that, all that's left is the question only you can ask and answer for yourself. "Is this the job for me?"

    Happy holidays! May you land the interview that will lead to the job you really desire.


    Jimmy Sweeney is the president of CareerJimmy and author of the brand new "Secret Career Document" job landing system. Jimmy is also the author of several career related books and writes a monthly article titled, "Job Search Secrets."

    Visit our friends at Job Interview "Secret" and discover Jimmy Sweeney's breakthrough strategy that will have you standing out from the competition like a Harvard graduate at a local job fair... DURING your next job interview.
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