Interview Tips 102…for the advanced beginner
You sent me a great resume, so now I’m going to ask you to explain some of the bullet points on your resume. This is not the time to tell me how awesome you are and that you are a quick learner or about your extracurricular activities, but please just answer the question.
You see, recently, I have had interviews with candidates of all ages, all disciplines and throughout the US who feel they need to oversell at every moment. This puts you at a distinct disadvantage. I’ve read that you were the social director at tappa kegga bru, but I’ll overlook that because in some odd way, I like that you’ve shared, but no need to make it a big selling point and over share. Also, don’t feel the need to download every positive thing that ever happened in your career. It’s info overload way too soon.
I want to like you. I’ve called you knowing you have relevant experience, that degree from a great university or the gap in your resume to take care of a sick family member. I don’t know all the circumstances surrounding your life, but I want to get to know you….it just shouldn’t happen all in this phone call.
Recently, I had a great conversation with an engineer who changed careers in the high tech splat (some call it the .com burst, but it was all high tech that suffered) of 2001. This guy sent me his resume for a job that he hadn’t done in more than a decade, but he addressed how his life challenges, choices to re-direct his career, and then circle back to technology all made sense to him now. I couldn’t wait to speak to this guy, so we set up a time to speak and what a great time we had. It went something like this: :Small talk, small talk…yes, you have done some great things, small talk, small talk, and I’m excited to do more great things Wayne because of the last 10 years, I’ve realized technology is in my blood…or something to that. The point is…he didn’t try to take big bites and let me know everything I needed to all at once. He let the conversation flow and answered the questions. He wasn’t defensive, but engaging. He wasn’t offended, but willing. He was just a normal guy who tried something different and now wants back in. His resume is now in the hands of 3 hiring managers I support and I hope they give this guy a chance.
You don’t need to control the conversation to be in control of the results. Some of the most senior level managers I’ve spoken to don’t come across as a high level manager, but put them in front of their subordinates and they know their place.
When you have a phone interview, or an initial face to face interview, for that matter….keep your feet flat on the floor (literally, it’s an old broadcasting trick I was taught to keep you thinking more formal), keep a level head (not literally:)) and answer the questions. Not sure if you have shared enough? Ask the interviewer if s/he would like further details or if you have answered the question to their satisfaction. Most importantly, think conversation and not interview. The word “interview” is intimidating to some, so think of it as a conversation.
Hope this helps and welcome your feedback and thoughts!
Best, Wayne – Co-Founder
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