Making sure you have prepped for your interview is going to be the difference between you getting hired or the next person. Get some amazing tips reading below. So, your starting point is to feel
Making sure you have prepped for your interview is going to be the difference between you getting hired or the next person. Get some amazing tips reading below.
So, your starting point is to feel in your heart that you’ve nothing to hide. If you feel you’re the only person in the world who can’t stand their current job, you’ll be on the back foot and you will find it hard to sound natural and convincing. You will start to sweat. Your interviewer might pounce on your discomfort and start asking you much harder questions.
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To prevent all that, you need to focus outward. Remember that interviews are ultimately not about you. They’re not about your terrible boss or your measly salary, or what you want from your next job. All those things come into play but, at heart, interviews are about solving somebody else’s problems, not yours.
Therefore your answer should be linked to what’s on offer and what’s expected of you. Show you’re running toward something, not running away.
It is at this point that good research will really pay off, for it will allow you to speak with sincerity when drawing distinctions between your current job and the vacancy. If you feel your industry is “Coke and Pepsi,” where one company is supposedly much like another, you’re not researching hard enough.
The above advice boils down to one of two skeleton answers:
- In my current job I do X. You do X here too, but this is a better place to do X. Here’s how I would do X for you.
- My employer does X, but you do Y, and Y is what I want. Y is also what I’m good at and enjoy. Here’s how my résumé relates to Y.
In both scenarios, it’s possible to give a sincere and useful answer without once mentioning your terrible boss. He was never going to solve your interviewer’s problems, so why bring him into the room?
You’re doing a lot of biotechnology investments here. I think biotechnology is the future, and I find it huge fun too. I do like what I’m doing now; but it’s not quite biotechnology, although it’s closely related. On a personal note, I’ve always thought it best to change roles before reaching a plateau. Switch while I’m still on the way up, you know? I’ve decided now feels the right time for a move.
Talk me through (the gaps in) your résumé /career history
The Real Question: Did you stay at home watching TV for six months? Were you in jail? Is there something wrong with your mindset?
Top-line Tactic: The best defense is offense—use your time productively when you’re out of work. If you have a gap, be prepared to explain it.
The studies on how employers view the long-term unemployed make for grisly reading. One recent bit of research, out of Northeastern University using fictitious résumés, found managers would rather hire someone with no relevant experience than someone who has been out of work for longer than six months. This is only one study among many that reached the same conclusion.
Given the recent economic troubles, it is hugely unjust that some firms see people who have been long-term unemployed as potentially lazy, embittered or out of date, but some do. It’s not fair, but there it is. So when an interviewer is probing long gaps in your work history, they’re really trying to find out whether you’ve a flaw in your work ethic or your mindset.
The only way to counter these worries is to prepare for the question. If you have a gap, it will come up. Many people have perfectly acceptable reasons for gaps in their employment record such as:
- Taking time out to raise children.
- Caring for an ill family member.
- A medical issue or accident.
- Education or further training.
If any of these apply to you, good. Simply tell the interviewer what you were up to in a non-defensive manner and stress how ready you are to get back to work. Emotional matters should be dealt with matter-of-factly but not dwelled on. Turn the conversation back to your enthusiasm for returning to work as quickly as possible work kept you sharp during your years as a stay-at-home parent, do it with a confident voice and your chin held high. Mumbling or getting defensive is a dead giveaway that you’re unsure of the value of that experience. Of course, then the interviewer is going to question it, too.
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