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Career-Life Times, Issue #40--Beware the Interview Attack!
September 11, 2007
Ready to GET HIRED, GET NOTICED, and GET AHEAD? Read on...
There’s an interview tactic you need to be aware of and defend yourself against, especially if you’re involved in sales: The Attack.
I’m not talking about a physical attack, of course. Here’s how a typical interview attack works…
Candy Date goes to the interview and is warmly welcomed by the interviewer. The interview goes well, the pace is relaxed, and the interviewer is smiling and nodding as Candy answers his questions. She’s done her homework and is well prepared! Candy has a great feeling about this opportunity as the interview starts to wrap up.
Then it happens.
The interviewer says, “Thanks for coming in, but you haven’t convinced me that you’re the person we need in this position.”
Candy is totally shocked, horribly disappointed and utterly confused. She thought she’d done so well! She mumbles, “I’m sorry you feel that way” as she stands up. “Thank you for your time,” she manages to add as she leaves the room.
The sad truth is that Candy may have won that job if she’d responded differently to that last remark from the interviewer.
It was a test, and she failed. Most candidates would fail such a test!
It’s a common test for sales positions, where the ideal person will not easily take no for an answer and will aggressively defend the benefits of the product being sold. In this case, the “product” is you!
The technique is called “the attack,” and the purpose is to show the interviewer how you react to rejection… especially when it’s unexpected.
If Candy had responded like this, she would’ve been hired: “Well I’m surprised to hear you say that, because I know you need someone who has the skills to acquire Fortune 500 clients and dramatically increase your profits within the first six months. I’m confident I will do that for you, but perhaps I wasn’t clear enough with some of my answers. What particular objections do you have about hiring me?”
This shows she is adept and confident at dealing with—and overcoming—rejection, and allows her to re-emphasize her top qualities.
While this technique is most common for sales positions, everyone should be aware of it and be prepared to respond in a job-winning way, regardless of the type of job.
If you’re “attacked” in your next interview, you now know what to do and thus have a huge advantage over every other candidate!
Does the Objective on your résumé sound something like this?
“Seeking a position in sales that will allow for rapid advancement."
If so, your Objective is similar to those used by most job seekers on their résumés. It’s boring, it’s useless, it’s all about you, you, you. And that’s bad, bad, bad!
Here’s a modified version:
"Seeking a position in sales where I can utilize my extensive knowledge and experience to advance rapidly within the company."
That’s a little better because it adds a bit about the applicant’s qualifications (knowledge and experience). But the qualifications are already in the résumé, and it’s still self-centered, focusing on what the applicant wants.
Guess what. Employers don’t really care about what you want. They care about results… the results you will produce for them when you get the job.
Here is a rewritten version that focuses on the employer's needs instead of the applicant's:
"To help ABC Shoes gain more loyal customers and achieve increased profits by providing exceptional service and becoming your best sales representative."
Imagine an employer who has seen hundreds of résumé Objectives like the first boring example reading an Objective like THIS on YOUR résumé!
It shows that you know the objectives of the company, you’re eager to help them achieve those objectives, you communicate well--and you are therefore much more interesting and desirable than all the other candidates!
Focus your Objective on the employer’s needs instead of your own. You’ll get called for more interviews! (Then continue focusing on their needs throughout the interview process, and you’ll get the job!)
More than a million records belonging to job seekers registered with Monster.com have been stolen by a hacker’s Trojan Horse, according to a report from PC World Magazine (online privacy article). The stolen information includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Apparently the login credentials of recruiters were used to access résumés on Monster. That data was then used in emails sent to those candidates, along with a Trojan Horse which looks for bank and credit card account information on their computers.
Monster has posted a security warning, along with an example of the fraudulent email, at this link: Monster Warning.
Does your résumé have more information than busy employers need, want, or have time to read? Cut the irrelevant details!
Here are five things your résumé should NOT have:
1. Personal details. Do not include personal information like height, weight , age, or marital status. Do not provide a photograph (unless specifically asked to do so, which will rarely, if ever, happen).
2. Interests and hobbies. When reviewing your résumé, the employer doesn’t care about what you do in your spare time. Don’t waste valuable space with this information unless it can be tied directly to the position for which you’re applying (i.e., you’re applying for a job as a park ranger and your hobby is camping).
3. Details about irrelevant jobs. If you’re applying for a job as a park ranger, the employer doesn’t care if you sold shoes ten years ago. Focus on jobs and accomplishments that pertain to the position for which you’re applying. If they specifically ask you to list all positions within a certain period of time, do that—but just list the job titles of those that are irrelevant, and save the details for the ones that matter.
4. Details about irrelevant skills or achievements. Again, if the information is not relevant, do not include it. Employers won’t care about your championship spelling, photography award, or any other accomplishments if they are not tied directly to the position for which you’re applying.
5. False information. Never lie about your qualifications (or anything else) on your résumé. It’s not only dishonest, it’s dumb. Most companies will verify information. If they don’t do it before you’re hired, they’ll do it after you start. When they find out you lied, you’ll be fired. Getting fired from a job is worse than not getting the job.
Nearly everyone has suffered this at least once in his career—the boss who makes each workday a living terror. You can find the Boss from Hell in any industry or occupation. Even the best companies slip up from time to time, allowing bullies to rise through the employment food chain to management.
If a national survey were taken to find out the reasons people change jobs, by far the number one reason for job dissatisfaction would be bad management. As a career coach, surprisingly, I've found that increased earning potential usually ranks far below the desire to leave a mean, unreasonable boss. If you wake up each day dreading the next eight to ten hours, your problem might be your supervisor.
You're working for the Boss From Hell if:
* He (or she) bullies you and your coworkers with threats and temper tantrums.
* His unpredictable moods keeps the office environment constantly tense and second-guessing his next move.
* He sets unrealistic and unattainable goals.
* You live in constant fear of being fired.
Fear and intimidation never motivate employees to excel. Tyrannical supervisors create an atmosphere of distrust and isolation. If you work for someone like this, your confidence is probably not what it used to be. In fact, you are probably second-guessing your decisions on the job constantly. As long as you work for management that rules by fear, you'll never reach your career and earning potential.
There are three steps to escape the Boss From Hell and move on to a happier, healthier work place.
1. Gain perspective to think rationally about your career options.
Fear in the workplace tends to leave people thinking they have no better options than to stick it out. Such thinking is a result of loss of confidence and the inability to see beyond the present distress. One way to gain perspective and see new options is to spend some time browsing job postings. The right direction might be within another department or division of your current employer, but away from your current boss. Or it might be somewhere else altogether. If you keep an open mind, you'll see that there are many options for you outside of your current job.
One way to get the most out of this career reconnaissance is to search for job postings based on skills rather than job titles. Do a job-skills self-analysis to identify the tasks and activities you enjoy performing on your job. Use those skills as your search terms at online job boards. You may be surprised to see that you qualify for positions you had not thought of before.
2. Take inventory of your career accomplishments and contributions.
In order to get moving toward a new position you'll need to regain your confidence. Think about, and then write down, situations of where you:
* Came up with an idea for saving time
* Helped your team reach a production goal
* Identified cost savings opportunities
* Solved a customer problem leading to increased customer satisfaction
As you think back on your accomplishments, you'll begin to realize the value you have added to your company. Remember, other employers have similar problems to solve. They are looking for candidates who have experience in handling difficult situations. The more specific the examples of your accomplishments are, the more marketable you will be in the job market.
3. Update your résumé.
Once you have your accomplishments listed, use them to update your résumé. Think of your résumé as your initial marketing tool; it should announce to potential employers your ability to help them reach their bottom-line corporate goals. For example, your résumé should appeal to potential employers' desire to increase efficiency, cut costs and improve productivity. When employers see what you can do for them, they're sure to be impressed.
Your résumé should also have a clear career focus. Updating your résumé doesn't mean simply adding your current work history to your old résumé format. Without a careful résumé strategy, your résumé will begin to resemble an old house with too many tacked on additions. Make sure your résumé presents a cohesive, well-thought out, professional front.
Additionally, if your career has taken several interesting turns, you'll want to adjust your résumé toward your current focus. Take the time to refocus your résumé on your current job search. Highlight the items from your career that are relevant, and minimize the things that are no longer relevant.
Once you have invested the time to gain perspective on your career options, take inventory of your accomplishments, and update your résumé, you'll be mentally and emotionally ready to seek other employment opportunities, either within or outside your current company. You don't have to remain in an unhappy job. You do have choices. Take the steps to help yourself-you'll be glad you did!
Deborah Walker, Certified Career Management Coach, is uniquely qualified to help job seekers find better employment. Her background as former executive recruiter and veteran career coach provides an insider’s perspective on résumé writing, job-search strategy and interview coaching. Learn more résumé and job-search tips at: http://www.AlphaAdvantage.com
More Articles. So much great information, so little space in this newsletter! You can find more articles on my website by clicking on Article Index.
Here are two articles you might be interested in:
Job Search Engines. Here are a few sites popular with job seekers:
Indeed.com. "Access to millions of employment opportunities from thousands of websites."
SimplyHired.com. “Building the largest online database of jobs on the planet. Our goal is to make finding your next job a simple yet effective, enjoyable journey.”
Dice.com. “The leading career website for technology and engineering professionals, and the companies that seek to employ them, in the United States.”
OnlineMarketingJobs.com. “By only advertising jobs based around Online Marketing and the Internet we are able to offer a targeted service to both job seekers and employers.”
Job Interview Success System. This is my guaranteed step-by-step system for helping you ace your next job interview. See the details here: Job Interview Success System.
The world owes you nothing.
It was here first.”
Thoughts on Marriage
You have two choices in life: You can stay single and be miserable, or get married and wish you were dead.
A lady inserted an ad in the classifieds: "Husband Wanted". Next day she received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing: "You can have mine."
When a woman steals your husband, there is no better revenge than to let her keep him.
A woman is incomplete until she is married. Then she is finished
A little boy asked his father, "Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?" Father replied, "I don't know son, I'm still paying."
A young son asked, "Is it true Dad, that in some parts of Africa a man doesn't know his wife until he marries her?" Dad replied, "That happens in every country, son."
Then there was a woman who said, "I never knew what real happiness was until I got married, and by then, it was too late."
If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say -- talk in your sleep.
Just think, if it weren't for marriage, men would go through life thinking they had no faults at all.
First guy says, "My wife's an angel!" Second guy says, "You're lucky. Mine's still alive."
A woman's prayer: “Dear Lord, I pray for: wisdom, to understand a man; love, to forgive him; and patience, for his moods. Because Lord, if I pray for strength, I'll just beat him to death."
Tag, you’re it! Let’s try something different with this section. Instead of ranting and rambling randomly and expecting you to read it, I’d like to know about YOUR rants and ramblings! Especially your rants.
What bothers you most about looking for a job, going on interviews, or working where you work? Rant to me about it. It’ll make you feel better to vent. And maybe it’ll spark some ideas for articles that will help others.
Rant to Bonnie: Bonnie@Best-Interview-Strategies.com
So, what did you think of this issue? Any suggestions? Topic ideas? Questions? I really appreciate your feedback. Please send me a note at Bonnie@Best-Interview-Strategies.com
Please forward this to your friends!
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P.S.S. I apologize for the glitches (especially in links) you may see if you receive this as straight text. If you can receive your email in HTML format, choose that and it'll look better. (There may still be some odd formatting quirks, though.)
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