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14 February, 2020 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Coaching, Career Management, Interviewing Skills, Job Search
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Don’t Shrug Your Shoulders!

Posted February 14th, 2020 | Author: John G. Self

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I open with this salutation just in case you forgot to get flowers, candy or a card.

Focusing on where you worked and what you did in a job interview versus demonstrating how your past success will be beneficial for the prospective employer are not the same thing.  One is about history, the other is about value.  

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Companies are not that interested in hearing a historical summation of where you have worked.  Yes, they want to know about your past but that is NOT why they are considering hiring you. They want to know what you can do for them today.  What  experiences, what measurable improvements you can bring to the table.

Many candidates do an excellent job talking about their career history but then fall short in communicating their past successes in a way that connects with the needs of the prospective employer.  This should be an easy fix but, surprisingly, today it remains one of the most common shortcomings in job interviews.     

One part of this fix is to begin keeping a career journal.  I know this is not the first time I have written about this.  I have been accused of being a bit of a broken record on the subject, but with good reason.   Keeping a record of past successes — and failures — promotions, raises and performance evaluations will help you maintain top of mind awareness of key performance accomplishments from your past.  This awareness will demonstratively improve your performance in job interviews.   

To me this seems like a no-brainer. Executives who are able to provide this level of detail in a job interview are a joy. Recruiters call them helpful candidates.  They improve their chances for success immensely.   Unfortunately when I ask executives to commit to this valuable practice, a surprising number give me a literal or figurative shrug of the shoulders.  I don’t know about you but shrugging my shoulders when my mother or father were giving me directions or stern advice for the future, was not a smart move.  

In a competitive market where thousands of people are struggling to find executive jobs, not following this easy-fix advice defies logic and it will certainty prolong your search.

To have clients disregard advice is a common experience for consultants and career transition coaches.  It happens all the time. That said, shrugging your shoulders in a job interview because you cannot remember important details that would allow you to demonstrate your ability to improve a prospective employer’s performance, is sad.  It is self-defeating. 

In a competitive market where thousands of people are struggling to find executive jobs, not following this easy-fix advice defies logic and it will certainty prolong your search.  


Master Class on Interviewing Skills Set for ACHE Congress in Chicago

Join Chrishonda Smith, CCDP, SHRM of OhioHealth and John G Self, an author, blogger and executive career transition coach, for a dynamic MASTER COURSE on interviewing skills at the American College Healthcare Congress in Chicago, March 23- 26.  This is one of the more popular and highly rated sessions of the Congress The session is at 2:15 PM on Wednesday, March 25.  

© 2020 John Gregory Self

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