There aren’t too many things I am sure of, especially since this Covid-19 epidemic, however, one thing I am sure of is there is going to be a lot of musical chairs when it comes to jobs, while things are opening up and after the epidemic is over.
According to Kiplinger 4.9 million workers lost their jobs in May 2020.
The many people that have been laid off or lost their jobs will be seeking either the employment they had, or another position. The vast majority will take this opportunity to interview for the jobs they may have wanted to in the past, but were too afraid of losing their health insurance, or didn’t have enough time to research positions and send out resumes, to make the jump. There will also be an opportunity to start in a completely different field. As with musical chairs the quicker and more prepared you are, the more chance you will get the right position. Using this time, wisely, is wise.
The interview will make or break the job seeker, and to be prepared will be the key. Some people like to go to the job interview thinking they will wing it, using their winning personality to get them through. A seasoned hiring manager will be used to overlooking that winning personality to search for depth and hope that the smile has something behind it.
There is good news. The interview doesn’t have to be frightening and can actually be enjoyable if you know what is coming. This is what the first in this series of articles is about: getting to know how an interview is structured and how to prepare for the behavioral interviewing questions that most hiring managers use. This tactic will get you more quickly into the chair you want to occupy.
You might be tempted to believe that the hiring manager will want to get right into the job and your qualifications for it, but most will want you to feel more at ease. They will use the first 10 to 15 minutes talking about where you live or where you were brought up, what hobbies you engage in, and will want to sell the value of mutual candor by being open and using open ended questions.
Open ended questions have been used by counseling professionals for years to help a client open up. The questions come in what, how, and why formats. For example: “What made you decide to take up your hobby? How exactly did you decide to move to this region of the country? What was your high school experience like?” Closed-ended questions are questions which can be answered by a "yes" or "no. For example: “Do you like this part of the country? Do you derive a lot of enjoyment out of your hobby? Did you like your last job?”
Knowing how the first 15 minutes of an interview will go will help you develop some answers that you can amend and use for anything that the interviewer might throw at you. Write a small biography of yourself which includes where your lived, why you decided to live there, what you enjoy doing, and why you enjoy doing it, and include what you liked most about your educational experiences. Get very familiar with this small biography. This way you are prepared to drive those first 15 minutes without any curves in the road that you haven’t prepared for.
It is important to remember also, that you are not the only one being interviewed. These first 15 minutes can be your chance to find out more about your hiring manager and what the possible environment of the company will be like. You can come back with some of your own open ended questions such as: What is the most highly valued quality for someone in the position I am interviewing for? How did you decide to take the job at xyz company? What do you like most about this company? These types of questions can already lead you into an invested relationship with your hiring manager in the first few minutes of your interview. For more behavioral questions to help you prepare, visit my career and life transition web site debkhiggins.com.
Deb has worked in mental health as a social worker helping her clients transform their lives.
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