Why Talking About Yourself Can Torpedo a Job Interview

Many job candidates are given bad advice. They’re told to write out their accomplishments and practice them so they’re ready to respond to the oft-answered question: “Tell me about yourself.” Then they proceed to babble on and on and on.

The Real Question

The subtext behind the question really is: “Tell me about yourself and what you can do for my department and company.” It’s all about the benefits you bring to the table. Think of a job interview as a presentation or sales pitch. You don’t want to simply read the entire menu, but choose those “entrees” that will whet the interviewer’s appetite to hear more.

But how do you know what those are? …Read more…

Treat Every Networking Interaction Like a Job Interview

pay it forwardWhen you’ve had years of experience and developed a wide network of business colleagues and friends, you’re inevitably asked if you’d be willing to provide career advice to younger professionals who are building their careers.

We’ve certainly been happy to oblige. It’s called “paying it forward,” or responding to a kindness someone showed you by being kind to someone else.

Showing Your Respect

But the person on the receiving end of your advice has the responsibility of showing appreciation for the kindness. This may sound like an old-fashioned notion, but it’s not. …Read more…

Why “Gotcha” Questions in a Job Interview Don’t Work

An interview with Bill Heyman, President and CEO of Heyman Associates, a retained executive search firm specializing in senior-level communications positions

A job interview is always stressful. What techniques do you use to help candidates relax and be more open?

We start with small talk at first and spend time getting to know someone’s personality.Job search concept in word tag cloud You get the most open and honest information when a person is comfortable, so I try to be as personable as possible at the outset. We encourage people to be their true selves, to listen carefully before they speak, but to make sure they get their points across.

I think that any interviewer who tries to make the conversation more stressful will cause the candidates to become very stiff.  They will not give their best answers and will think through the questions more than you want them to. …Read more…

What You Can Learn From Reality TV About Nailing a Job Interview

The Job InterviewIf you’re interviewing for a job, you’ll learn a lot about how to prepare by watching The Job, the new reality TV show on CBS. Each week a panel of corporate executives interviews five candidates and selects one for a position with their company.

To create some tension and competition, members of a second panel of judges from three other companies are allowed to steal a candidate they might like. A recent episode featured a panel of top editors from Cosmopolitan, the world’s most-read women’s magazine. Contestants were interviewing for a position as Editorial Assistant. …Read more…