The Interview: Everything is observed…

If you were wondering about my friend whom I recently helped redesign his resume (see The 1 Minute Resume), he has been asked for a phone interview! This means that the resume (or tool) did what it was designed to do… i.e., did it’s job. Now comes the discussion about how to present yourself in an interview… My friend has a phone interview coming up and I did have some thoughts that I passed onto him.

Tip # 1
Be prepared to discuss all points of your resume, have rehearsed things to say about the common interview questions, e.g., strengths, weaknesses, challenges, current projects, recent projects, why should we hire you, tell us a little about yourself, etc. As you think of things to say prior to these common questions, shape your responses to the position you are applying for. It is a good idea to refer to your resume a few times because I guarantee that the interviewers will have it in front of them.

Tip # 2
Never say anything negative about where you work or previous experiences. Always turn everything to a positive.

Fifty percent of any decision about hiring someone is always if they will be a good “fit” for the position. This is just a professional way of saying … “will you get along with and not annoy people in the office?” It is important to note that the “best fit” is determined in the first few minutes from when you park your car to sitting down for the interview. Just imagine you are onstage! Everything is observed. How you talk to the receptionist, wither you have car seats in your car, did you call for directions, etc.

For further reading on this issue, see a post on one of my favorite blogs, The 99%. Their post, Present Yourself discusses that a big part of [any interview] is controlling how you come across to others:

Of course, the Creative’s tendency is to say, “who gives a crap what other people think.” While there is merit in never compromising oneself for the sake of another’s opinion, creative professionals need to make an effort to be understood. You need to present yourself effectively to engage others and get the support (and the business) you need to push ideas forward.

In order to truly “present yourself effectively” you have to be able to “engage others” as discussed in the above quote. This potentially be blocked within the first few minutes. Remember… everything is observed…

Wish my friend luck!

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About DaveHallmon

With experience in web, graphic, and instructional design, Dave maintains a balance between what is efficient and effective in every message. He always focuses on the why and how rather than "just doing it" to get the job done. By day he works at a leading university designing online courses that support 9,000 students in 64 countries. He works directly with faculty to brainstorm, design, and develop their online instruction utilizing the Adobe suite. He also teaches for the university as an adjunct faculty member in the area of web design. By night he is a devoted husband, father, freelancer, and adventurer of the outdoors. His other interests include LifeHacker, Science Fiction and Hayao Miyazaki movies, Settlers of Catan, and coffee with friends. He currently lives in St. Louis and has an M.S. in Instructional Design and aspires to pursue a professional degree in content marketing and strategy. Visit the links below for more information about his interests and design work.
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