Job Interview Advice

What an employer really wants to know during a  job interview?

Employers want to be sure they are hiring the right person. They want the answers to two big questions:

  1. Do you have the skills and/or experience that they need?
  2. Will you be able to work with them and fit in with the other employees?

Employers will probably not ask you these two questions directly. Instead, they will ask you many other questions and then decide whether you have what they need. Most interviews are short, maybe only 15 or 20 minutes. You must make sure that when you leave, the employer has answered YES to the two big questions. How can you do that? You must find:

  •         What skills and experience are wanted and what results a worker will need to produce.
  •         What personal qualities or attitudes a new worker will need in order to fit in.

To uncover this valuable information, you must ask the right questions and really listen to the answers.

Three questions you must ask:

  1. What skills or experience are you looking for in the person who takes this job?
  2. What results will this worker be expected to produce?
  3. What attitudes or personal qualities do you think a worker needs to fit in here?

Never leave an interview without the answers to these questions.

Finding the right words

Some people say things easily; for others, words come hard. Whatever your speaking skills, you might use the seven ideas below to get better results from phone calls and interviews.

  1. Use words that move you forward.

Some words are friendly: they make people feel like responding to you with a smile. You already know about “please” and “thank you,” but there are more. For instance, calling people by their names or mentioning the name of the company: “I would very much like to work for BestCo, Mr. Brown.”

  1. Drop words that hold you back.

Some words cause people to turn away, even though they may not understand why they do so. Try to stay away from “I” words. You want to communicate on the employer’s terms, not yours. Also, avoid words like “sort of” or “maybe” that make you sound uncertain.

  1. Use simple words.
  2. Do not wave red-flag words.

Some words make you sound critical or angry. Avoid “shoulds” and “ought to’s” and other words that put people on the defensive. When describing your injury, avoid descriptions such as “I broke my back.” Replace it with “I injured my back.”

  1. Avoid slang.

Is The Job Market Starting To Pick Up?

Every day I read more and more articles that indicate the job market is starting to turn around and that the average U.S. employee is more comfortable leaving their job, as prospects of new ones will pop up.  Yes, there are some industries where jobs are increasing, but not many for white collar workers.  Fortune 1000 companies continue to layoff workers on a weekly basis, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.  DO NOT be fooled in thinking that you can slack off on your search because there are more jobs out there for you. This is very unlikely to be true.  Below is a few things you want to keep in mind when reading articles about job growth.


1)  Unemployment is running out for 220,000 people per week.  These individuals will no longer be counted in the unemployment rate numbers.


2)  If you are unemployed, companies that ARE looking to hire will be going after individuals that already have jobs.  The individual that is working is much more value to any company than someone who isn’t.  Trust me, it is easier to get a job when you have one than when you don’t.


3)  The longer you are unemployed, the more difficult it is to find a job.  If you have not been employed in the last two years, you will have to work twice as hard to find secure employment.


The good news is that there are some industries that are adding employees.  If you work in Green Technology, Healthcare or Infrastructure, you have opportunities many people will not have, so take advantage of them.


My point of this article is not to discourage you, my point is to make sure you stay the course.  Do not slack off now!  Keep working hard toward your goal.  Jobs are out there, you just have to work even harder now to find them and get an offer.  I wish you continued luck in your job search!