How Not to Get a Job, Part 2

Getting in the hiring mode has got me started on a screed about mistakes that far too many job applicants make.  In my last entry, I detailed faux pas on resumes and application forms.  Now to interviews.

I start with something that many people forget to do before the interview and that is research the company. Once you learn the identity of the potential employer, find out something about the organization. Since most companies have websites, researching a prospective employer has become relatively easy.

Employers always appreciate it when job applicants have taken the time to understand their businesses. Knowing something about the company can help you formulate questions and guide you in answering the employer’s questions. It enables you to present your experience and capabilities in terms of the employer’s needs.

What else? Focus on what you can do for the employer. In interviews (and also in cover letters) too many job candidates want to talk about only what they want out of a job.

One job applicant sent a press release, the lead of which was that he was sitting at home watching TV since he couldn’t find a job; another compared herself to a frog on a pond waiting for the “kiss of inspiration” from an employer to turn her into a princess of creativity.

I’ll leave it to the reader to determine if these were fresh, creative approaches; one thing I know is that they demonstrated a self-centeredness that does not make for a competent professional service provider.

To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, ask not what the employer can do for you, ask what you can do for the employer.

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