Past IssuesSeptember 09, 2013
Hot Job Interview Tip: 'Cut To The Chase'
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Hot Job Interview Tip: 'Cut To The Chase'
By Jimmy Sweeney, President of CareerJimmy and Author of the new, Job Interview "Secret"
Wouldn't it be simpler and easier if you could count on a hiring manager to get right down to business and ask the one question that is probably uppermost on his or her mind? "What can you do for our company that no one else can do as well?"
What a powerful query that is. However, most interviewers start with questions that fall into three areas: employment experience, workplace communication, and your personality style. In other words, he or she wants to get a feel for who you are as you relate to these categories. Your answers will help determine if you are someone to interview again and/or hire. These questions appear to be a less confrontational way of asking the one thing they really want to know.
So what should you do? Be prepared for any and all potential questions. Then when they come up you'll have your responses ready. Also, depending on the interviewer you may be asked questions that require a direct answer such as, "How long were you at your previous employment?" or "What were your daily tasks in your former job?"
OR an individual with a more casual style may put her query this way. "Tell me about a day on the job at your previous employment," or "What did like best about your job and the duties you had?" See the difference? You may provide the same basic answers to both but you'll phrase them according to the way the employer presents the questions.
However, regardless of the approach the interviewer takes, keep in mind that what he or she is really asking is the question in the first paragraph above. "What can you do for our company that no one else can do as well?" By checking you out in various ways, he or she is looking for the answer to that question because it is the one that 'cuts to the chase'. It gets to the bottom line. It brings the interview into focus. It may determine whether or not you get the job.
Whatever the question, approach it in a relaxed and easy manner. Think ahead about the categories involved--your experience, your communication, and your personality because they will be the ones that will grab the hiring manager's attention and convince him or her that you're the one who can offer the company exactly what it needs--and you can do so better than anyone else.
BE ON TASK
In a way it's up to you to 'cut to the chase' too. Don't wander around, spouting words that take up time and confuse the interviewer. Avoid getting side-tracked. Stick to the point of why you want this job and why you believe that you can be an asset to the company and its mission.
Interviewers are busy people, seeing one person after another for hours at a time. In order to stand out in this line of individuals, you'll need to stay focused and clear-minded. Keep thinking 'cut to the chase', to help you offer only those details that will advance the interview to a place where you can tell the employer is favorably impressed with you.
Most company managers are looking for several key traits: passion, attention to detail, problem solving, leadership, commitment, communication skills, and intellectual curiosity.
Before you walk into the interview room pull together some specific examples from your work life that illustrates a few of these characteristics. At just the right time bring them up and share them as a story, including details, dialogue, conflict, and resolution. In other words, what happened, who was involved, and how did you resolve the problem so the outcome was successful? Whether or not you are asked for examples directly doesn't matter. Just have them ready to insert into your answers as they seem suitable.
If you enter an interview with a 'cut to the chase' attitude for yourself then you'll likely find the interviewer will do the same--and offer you the job.
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, "Tough Times Job Tips."
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