Saturday, January 19, 2013

Job Interview Strategies That Work - Show, Don't Tell an Employer What You Have to Offer


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The Number #1 mistake job seekers make is to TELL a prospective employer in their applications, resumes and job interviews they possess skills, experience or knowledge with little or no supporting information.
For example, "I have a driver's license" merely TELLS someone you have passed a driving test.

In my experience, a frightening number of job applications and resumes contain at least one of the following similarly ineffectual statements, often for the sole purpose earning points by mirroring the employer's job advertisement listing of "ideal" candidate attributes:
- "I have excellent communication skills."
- "I can work in a team."
- "I have high-level computer literacy and numeracy skills."
- "I am very organized, can prioritize work and meet deadlines."
- "I have great customer service skills."
- "I know how to handle a customer's complaint."
- "I have project management skills."

Employers, particularly Human Resource Managers are busy people. They want to see or hear a convincing statement of competence, without being forced to work it out by having to read every word in an application letter or resume, or as shown below, having to ask lots of extra questions. Imagine two equally qualified and experienced drivers apply for the same job. One candidate shows his experience using examples from his work history, while the other uses the "I have a driver's license." statement. Guess which candidate will be invited for an interview?

Continuing with our driving example (but equally relevant to any other skill or competency) an employer will also want to know how well the candidate drives. If the candidate has only stated they have a driver's license, then the employer must ask one or more of the following questions:

- How long has the candidate had a driver's license?
- Do they have any other type of licenses e.g. forklift?
- Have they ever been employed as a driver? If so, for how long?
- Have they completed any advanced driver training courses?
- What kinds of vehicles can they drive e.g. motor cycle, car, truck or bus?
- How much experience have they had in vehicle maintenance and repairs?
- Have they had or do they have the ability to handle an emergency or a breakdown?
- The type of road and/or traffic conditions can they had to handle, e.g. snow, off-road, peak-hour city traffic or heavy load haulage?
- What, if any accidents have they had, been involved in, or caused?
- Have there been any claims on their vehicle's insurance over the last 5-years?
- What traffic fines, infringements or penalties have they had made against them?

A preferable, convincing and standalone response to a question about driving experience would be:
"I have an excellent driving record. I have used my truck for work and car for private travel almost every day over the last 10-years without incurring an infringement, been involved in an accident or have had to claim for damage on my car insurance. Past managers have always said that they can rely on me to deliver on time. I am also a recreational rally driver, club champion and spend most weekends competing in events all around the country."

This is a confident and comprehensive response addressing many of key criteria an employer would be using to measure and evaluate an applicant's driving experience and skills against other candidates. More importantly, the employer does not have to expend extra effort to obtain critical information.

It only takes a couple of sentences to SHOW a prospective employer in your job application documents and at interviews that you possess a particular skill, depth of experience or knowledge.

My recommendation for job seekers is make a list of their skills and to develop comprehensive statements of competency for each one. Also review, amend and/or avoid using unsupported statements in your job application documents or during a job interview.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/

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