[06.23.11]
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A Strategy For Job Interviews: Three Themes

    job interview strategies, for job, phone interviews, job interview, remember, employment, recruitment, interviews, teams, themes, interviewing, strategy, jobs, takeaway Today you’ll get a quicker read than normal.

The topic is job interviews.  Specifically learning how to leave the interview team with a focused set of takeaways about you.

The alternative?

You throw everything you’ve got at them. Rambo style. In the hopes that quantity triumphs over quality.  It lengthens the interview, gets you more face time (time of possession for you sports fans) and lands you the job.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.  Long does not equal successful.  It’s just long.

Sometimes the interview team lets an interview go longer than necessary.  They let you meander (talk too much).  Some believe that anything less than an hour cannot possibly help you decide about a candidate’s potential.  Others know in the first five minutes of a job interview.

So I want to convince you to interview with three themes. To have a strategy for each interview.  One that you use throughout the interview day and every time you talk with HR, the administrative assistant, and the recruiter.  It includes the phone interview, any email communications (cover letter, thank you notes, etc).  And you can also use them as part of your social networking strategy.

Each theme reinforces your positioning statement.

Each theme allows you to tell a great story.

Each theme includes a few of your favorite accomplishment statements.

How do you do create them?

1.  Identify 6-10 strengths. You may already have these on your professional resume or bio. These describe what you do especially well. Give them a title. Examples: “I build brands”, “I create productive processes”, “I motivate sales teams”, “I drive top line revenue”.  Be careful that these are not too generic (e.g. detail oriented).  And make they are true about you.  Supportable.

2.  Write an introductory sentence for each.  Example: “I build brands through new product development, product improvement, new distribution and account specific marketing programs.”

3.  Pull in 2-3 specific accomplishments  (remember: tangible, relevant benefit-based) that support your theme.

4.  Research your target company, target position and interview team.  What are they looking for?  What does the perfect candidate look like?  What skills and experience are they drooling over?

5.  Get comfortable with each theme by sharing them with everyone you know.  Making sure they ring true for others in the same industry.  You can also share them with your own personal board of advisers.

The goal of all this?

At the end of the day.  When the interview team is tired and full of a lot of BS from everyone else. Your themes (delivered as confident and positive, consistent and authentic) are the only light still shining.

Because you made it easy for them to remember you.  You were relevant.  You addressed a need.  And made it easy.

You also gave them talking points.  So they looked good when the department head was looking for some solid feedback. Not just a thumbs up or down.

Need some feedback on your themes?  Comment on the post with your three and let others offer an opinion.  I will too.

Thanks LollyKnit for the great photo via Flickr

Tim Tyrell-Smith is the creator of Tim’s Strategy. As a blogger, Tim has been a regular contributor to U.S. News and World Report, interviewed twice on NPR and is the author of two career books (“30 Ideas” and “HeadStrong”). Become a fan at http://facebook.com/TimsStrategy and follow on Twitter (@TimsStrategy). He lives with his wife and three kids in Mission Viejo, California.

Tim Tyrell-Smith – who has written posts on Tim's Strategy®.



Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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