[Pondering] Found Ideas

Saturday, July 22, 2006

A modest start...

Welcome everyone. Readers of my personal blog, welcome. New readers...welcome!

To start, I made this in order to organize all of my ideas that aren't really personal in nature. They're actually more along the lines of human-relations, finance, and entrepreneurship. Sometimes, I'll throw in a little about my hobbies--such as gaming and technology.

To post proper, I'd like to propose ideas for how to do well in an interview. I'm writing about this because I've recently had several interviews for different jobs. I'm assuming that if you're reading this, you know that you should always dress at least in business-casual for an interview. I guess if you're interviewing for a dairy farmhand position, that really wouldn't be the case, but whatever.

In every interview I've ever been in, I kept getting similar questions. Now, I'm no stranger to the interview process, but I'm writing more as an information source/collaboration source than from a questioning standpoint.

First off, the questions. Obviously the most commonly asked question from McDonald's up to Microsoft is going to be:

"Why do you want to work for [insert company name]?"

Never answer with: "I don't know." or "I guess...[uncertain reason]."

These are destined to fail. Perhaps, if the job isn't too important, your future employer may not mind your indecisiveness. On the chance that it's a very important position, you may find it a hard sell. I'd suggest something more along the lines of:

"I realized I wanted to work for [company] when...[short, detailed story]."

In this scenario, you'll be telling the interviewer about a turning point in your life/attitude/career that made you want to seek out their company for employment. Even if you don't actually want to work for that particular company, but you just really need a job, think of something that will catch their attention. It doesn't have to be mind blowing, but give it some thought. This isn't the only way to impress your interviewer. Try using specific things you've heard about the company--positive things--that would make your argument convincing.

Applying at a roofing company in the sales department? Mention how you've heard that their shingles pass regulations with flying colors whereas their competitor's shingles scrape by with the bare minimum, and that the company you want to work for has to show that sort of integrity and value in all of their products. Spice it up. You can make the most drab job description seem glamorous and high-tech if you want to.

Another good idea during the interview is to ask the interviewer questions. For every one of his/her questions, you should have a question ready for when the ask you "Do you have any questions?" It can be simple such as: what color inks are okay to use in the office, when breaks are scheduled and for how long, dress code questions, even how the interviewer likes their job. Just come up with something. It's not hard.

Lastly for this post: if, by the end of the interview, you realize that you absolutely do not want to work for the company, let the interviewer know. You don't have to be rude about it. If the interviewer says "I'd like you to come back on Monday for a follow-up," politely decline. You're interviewing the company just as much as they're interviewing you. If they just say "We'll keep in touch," you don't really have to say anything to the contrary. Just say "Thank you," and leave. If you're a thinking adult, you can probably figure out when this technique needs to be used.

And don't forget: never stop searching until you find something that's right for you.

P.S.: I'm absolutely not an expert in any of this. To reach me via email: kevin.franklin.atl@gmail.com


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