Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wizard of Work Asks: Are You Ready for an Interview?

I've recently had the pleasure of meeting Dick Gaither, the famous Wizard of Work. He's been in the trenches training people to find jobs for several decades. So when the Wizard speaks, people listen. He offers the following quiz for assessing your readiness for job interviews:

Sometimes it’s not what you don’t know that gets you in trouble. It’s what you think you know that isn’t really true that causes the most problems. This is especially true of the interview process. I’ve rarely met anyone who admits to being a rotten interviewee, even after they’ve been rejected. So, let’s see what you really know about yourself and the interview process.

There’s an old adage “If you’re going to run with the big dogs, you have to get off the porch.” Evaluate your interview success potential by completing this simple quiz and see if you’re ready to run with the big dogs at the interview or if you need to stay on the porch with the puppies for a while.

  1. Can you talk the talk of the industry and use common buzz words, jargon, and acronyms?
  2. Can you give the interviewer at least three reasons why you’re interested in the company at which you’re applying?
  3. Can you list 15 common interview mistakes?
  4. Can you readily give at least three examples of when you’ve done work not included in your job description?
  5. Can you identify three of your prominent employment-related successes or achievements and talk about your role in them?
  6. Can you comfortably give the interviewer at least five good reasons why a company should hire you?
  7. Do you have a 60-second promotional presentation for the interview question, “Can you tell me a little about yourself?”
  8. Do you have job descriptions and can you give three examples of when you’ve used each skill and strength listed in them?
  9. Are you very confident you can answer technical questions from a panel of interviewers or pass an employment test?
  10. Have you researched the pay scale and benefit packages for a person with your skills and experience in your locale?
  11. Have you anticipated 10 questions you’ll be asked at the interview and made notes about how you’ll answer them?
  12. Do you have a rational and acceptable set of reasons for leaving, or wanting to leave, your last job?
  13. Have you spent any time to practice negotiating a higher salary and answering the pay expectations question?
  14. Do you understand the interview methods, styles, and protocols for your particular industry?
  15. Can you list 15 of your most marketable skills, abilities, and personality traits that make you a good hiring risk?
  16. If the interviewer asks you to take a drug test “right now,” would you be willing to do so and would you pass it?
  17. Have you researched the company and can comfortably talk about their products, services, goals, and competitors?
  18. Do you follow up after an interview with a thank-you note, letter, or e-mail…immediately after the interview?
  19. Do you have a list of at least five intelligent questions you want to have answered at the interview?
  20. Do you have a business card that highlights your achievements to leave with interviewers at the end of the interview?

Add your number of "no" responses. If you have 15 to 20, Dick advises you to stay on the porch with the puppies. If you have 8 to 14, you're average--but average doesn't cut it in job interviews. If you have 1 to 7, you're in the top 30% and have a good shot at doing well.

No comments: