The Job Hunt

Korova Multimedia

“All decent people live beyond their incomes; those who aren't respectable live beyond other people's; a few gifted individuals manage to do both.”


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Maybe men are from Mars, maybe women are from Venus, but...
Interviews Are From Hell

Interview types

  • Screening interview
  • Selection interview
  • Hiring interview

11 Killer Tips for Successful Interview

  • Show that you are knowledgeable.
  • Present a positive attitude.
  • Smile.
  • Shake hands firmly.
  • Listen actively.
  • Be mindful of the your physical appearance.
  • Show enthusiasm.
  • Approach salary questions cautiously.
  • Donít talk too much.
  • Never keep the interviewer waiting.
  • Get the interviewer to like you.

  • Take notes, keep a record.
  • Send a thank you note -- mailgram!

Do's and Don'ts

Show up on time (early); look great.

Make eye contact. Listen actively.

Answer questions briefly and sincerely. Don't ask personal questions of the interviewer.

At least twice, come right out & ask for the position you're interviewing for.

Assert why you're the best applicant for the job.

Explain why you want to work for this company. (This is said to be more important than most of what you may put on your resume.)

Ask about the work schedule. If appropriate, make clear that you're a hard worker, willing to work extra hours to get the job done.

Don't rely on the job description. Ask about the position's responsibilities, context in the company, what skills and qualities they're looking for.

Inquire as how you'll be evaluated. Is there on-the-job training? Are there opportunities to move up in the company from this job?

If appropriate, ask about the company's performance against competition. What plans are there to overcome obstacles?

Don't offer advice, or discuss what you would've done to correct a company's past failings.

Ask about the company's vision and direction. Find about the "culture" of the firm, and consider how you'll fit in.

Do some research on the company, and allow your knowledge to show in the interview.

Initially, avoid questions about salary, vacation, benefits. Do not discuss your previous earning history.

Wait for the firm to introduce the salary issues (usually the 2nd or 3rd interview). If asked what you're looking for, explore what your skills and experience are worth in the company; what do people with similar qualifications make in the firm?

Don't argue. Avoid controversial topics.

Sell yourself. Show how your unique combination of skills and experience can benefit the company.

Typical Benefits

  • Insurance (medical coverage)
  • Sick leave
  • Vacation time
  • Pension plans
  • COLA (cost of living allowance)
  • Bonuses
  • Stock options
  • Discounts
  • Tuition allowance
  • Profit sharing
  • Relocation expenses
  • Severance pay
  • Capital accumulation plan
  • misc. perks and benefits (parking, extended vacations, hiring bonuses, expense account, club memberships)

Strategizing Your Way Out Of Hell

  1. Pick a niche, not a barn. Target an area that you're ideally suited for. Do your homework, personalize your efforts to each opportunity.
  2. Stay current on employment and career growth issues. Stay tuned in, and let employers see that you're tuned in.
  3. Don't follow the crowd. If there's glamour and heavy competition in a job field, try to target the areas where there is less appeal ... and a better chance of landing a challenging job.
  4. Network, network and network. According to Harvey Mackay, 67% of all jobs result from personal contacts; less than 11% are found by answering ads.
  5. Take stock of what you've got. Get professional peers to help you identify your strengths, weaknesses and interests. Use this information to your advantage during interviews.
  6. Treat the free time as an investment to keep fit, relaxed, and learning.
  7. Keep your references fresh. Ensure that those who may be called up on to cheerlead for you are truly willing to do so.
  8. Volunteer. There's something to be said for those who are willing to do a thankless job for nothing. It builds your self-esteem, and enhances your skills. Many employers also like to see community involvement on your resume
  9. Learn to communicate better. Join a group like Toastmasters International, local professional organization, Chamber of Commerce. Bone up on your interpersonal (interprofessional?) skills. See also network.
  10. Offer the "baker's dozen." Deliver more than expected.
  11. Remember that you always have something to offer.

David's wholly unprofessional thoughts on the great job hunt

Why it sucks:

It's like being single, and un-accompanied. Never do you look so alone, never do you feel so vulnerable and hungry.

Some HR people really put you in your place. ("You need the job, and I got the job. Let's see you grovel.")

It's easy to be on the defensive. "Whaddya mean you wanna know if I'm qualified for this job. Didn't you see my fantastic resume?" Well, being on the defensive is neither positive or charming, so you can just write that interview off!

It takes a long time and is enormously trying. The stakes can be pretty high. Buying a car is relatively pleasant compared with choosing your next career move.

No one will ever applaud or recognize you for doing a great job search.

It's like meeting dates through the personals. You can go through a lot of horrid matches before finding someone who clicks.

It's like meeting dates through the personals. You may never, ever meet an ideal match.

You bought these nice clothes to look good in, not sweat through a whole day of interviews in and then want to throw out.

You almost didn't show for this interview, but you promised, and the agency, or headhunter, will have you in irons if you don't show. So you go through the motions. Don't forget to wear your plastic, glue-on smile.

How to make it suck less:

Remember that you're talented, and in demand. Duh. Otherwise you wouldn't be interviewing.

If someone condescends to you in an interview, you probably don't want to work with the snobs anyway.

Getting bad vibes? Think these people are a bunch of assholes? Be honest -- "Hey, I don't think we're a good fit. Thanks for the interview, though." ... Cause I don't work with assholes.

Didn't get the job? They didn't think you were up to spec? Too bad. We both know how good you are, so it's just their sorry loss that they're missing out on Wonderful You. Screw 'em.

Every interview is just practice for the main event when you're at home talking in front of your mirror. If you think you interviewed badly, just remember, it was only a rehearsal.

A bad interview isn't necessarily your fault. Hey, you're the amateur here, the HR person does this all the time. Hell, s/he probably has an M.B.A., with a specialty in sweaty, confrontational interviews.

This one is probably enormously obvious. If you're told, "Look, we're looking for [someone else] for this job," or "We like you, but you don't have all the qualifications we need," then -- hey! -- you're not the person who'd want the job anyway. It's not just you want that job, it's that job wants you. No one enjoys being somewhere they're not wanted. Face it: you don't want a job you're not obviously suited for. Get over it, and move on.

As work goes, interviewing is great. You get to leave the office before they do, and all you have to do is write a thank you letter. They have to sift through piles of resumes and stuff and do some thinking. Too bad, but that's the breaks!

No matter how desperate and hungry you think you must look, there's probably someone else in the interview process who is more so. Let them make the award-winning bad impression.



Research material included information from

I hope that I've I paraphrased their wisdom artfully enough to honor these mentors, and discourage over-eager intellectual property lawyers.

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Last revision: 28 March 1998

© Copyright 1997 D.B. Spalding/Korova Multimedia. All rights reserved.







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