The job market is increasingly competitive, and keeping the attention of a recruiter for longer than a few seconds is often a challenge even for those with the fanciest résumé-formatting skills.
Well-intentioned tips on how to nail your dream job are endless, covering everything from the perfect time to send in your application to the pitch of your voice when speaking to the interview panel. But with so much to think about, it’s easy to lose sight of the real essentials.
In the book, 60 Seconds and You’re Hired!, author Robin Ryan breaks down the interview process and remind us of the handful of critical elements that will ensure a successful application.
Have you ever been nervous before a job interview? Well, you’re not the only one. Employers get worried before interviews too.
They are, after all, under tremendous pressure to make good hiring decisions because bad decisions cost money for their company. Only note that the company has to pay three times its monthly wage and all the costs of recruiting and training a replacement as well as correcting its mistakes for any employee who is sacked.
Tony Hsieh is the CEO of the top online shoe and clothing store, Zappos. Hsieh says that bad hiring decisions have cost his company upwards of $100 million!
These costs accrue because the people recruiting new employees are required to make rapid decisions. They receive hundreds of applications and, after reviewing several candidates, find these potential staff members all start to blur together.
That’s why the 60-second strategy is necessary to secure the job you want. It’s all about grabbing the attention of your interviewer with concise answers of 60 seconds or less.
Such brevity is important in a world that’s moving faster than ever. People are used to communicating through text messages, Twitter updates of 140 characters or less and news clips of just one to three minutes.
Since everyone is affected by these rapid forms of communication, holding a person’s attention can be a gargantuan task. That’s especially true for job interviews, as employers want to make a fast hire and will get distracted by long-winded or rambling answers.
By sticking to answers of 60 seconds or less, you can communicate your point quickly and in the right language, easily explaining why you’re the right person for the job.
You just learned that the lines between the candidates often blur together when a recruiter has to interview lots of people for a job. Fortunately, there’s a strategy to help you stick out of the crowd. The 5 Point Agenda.
To succeed, it should be based on your five most marketable qualities and skills. By paring things down, you can focus your interviewer on your biggest strengths, especially those that match the company’s needs.
Once you’ve outlined these five points, mention them throughout your interview. By stressing the qualities you want the interviewer to focus on, you’ll help her remember your skills and make her believe that you’re the right fit.
Imagine you’re applying for a job as an online graphic designer. Your 5 Point Agenda might be: first, you have ten years’ experience with a popular online retailer. Second, you have a massive portfolio of original design work. Third, you’re experienced in building websites. Fourth, you’ve got stellar editing skills. And fifth, you’re fluent in three languages.
Don’t forget, your 5 Point Agenda also needs to stick to the 60-second rule.
But, the traits you put on your 5 Point Agenda shouldn’t be the same every time you prepare for an interview.
Actually, before every interview, you should make a new, customized 5 Point Agenda that corresponds closely to the job for which you’re applying. To be successful at this, your primary abilities need to fit the objectives and goals of the company.
Once you’ve made sure that’s true, you can customize your agenda in three simple steps. Begin by writing out your main experiences and the responsibilities you’ve so far held. Focus in particular on the work strengths and skills at which you excel.
Research the company by looking them up on websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor or asking friends or colleagues with connections at the firm. From there, you can determine which of your skills are most relevant to the employer and tailor your 5 Point Agenda accordingly.
It’s no secret that job interview anxiety can lead to nervous rambling. It also shouldn’t come as a surprise that long-winded speeches aren’t the best way to land a job.
So, it’s critical to handle tough interview questions with composure, and there are three factors that are essential for doing so.
First, you should do some solid basic preparation, so you have answers for the most common interview questions. You should also research the products and services in which the company specializes.
Second, be prepared with specific examples of how you’ve performed in the past, which show you’re qualified for the job. Employers want to be certain that you can do the job you’re applying for, and specifics will help you convince them that you can.
You may define a situation in which you solved a difficult problem or helped save money and time. That being said, you don’t need to restrict your examples to work. Feel free to bring in volunteer roles, student groups, and the like through successful achievements. And don’t forget to mention, of course, that you are excited to take on new tasks and develop into a real asset for the company.
The third and final essential is to be prepared to sell yourself as the ideal worker persona. This is important since employers like to categorize people neatly. Not pigeonhole but classified. To be continued.
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