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Does the best team always win the
important game?

No.  The team that is well prepared and executes
flawlessly stands a better than even chance of winning, even against a more
talented opponent.

The same
principle applies to career management and the interviewing process.  In fact, our research shows that the best
qualified candidate is hired only 45 percent of the time.  The qualified candidates who are well prepared and
who do a better job communicating in the interviews will usually land the job.

In this
increasingly difficult job market – healthcare hiring declined in June for the
second month in a row – there is no substitute for preparation and flawless
execution.  With some economists
predicting unemployment rates of between 5 to 7.5 percent for the next seven to
10 years, the  return  to the go-go days of robust employment is not
likely in the foreseeable future.

candidates in the job market, this puts on more pressure to outperform the
competition.  Here are some tips to
enhance a candidate’s performance in the interview process.

  • Enhance your
    .  Produce a resume that effectively
    promotes your brand.  Your resume is
    your first interview.  It must be
    complete and error free as well as provide a compelling reason for the
    recruiter to select you for further consideration.  If you are not getting interviews, then
    change your resume.  
    If you are not advancing beyond the screening interview, rethink how you are answering the questions.

a copy of my resume guide,
click here.

  • Be prepared.  The telephone interview is one of the
    most challenging parts of the recruitment process.  Have your information immediately
    available including prior employments dates, beginning and ending salary,
    the name of your supervisor and your relevant accomplishments.  Some firms insist on having a complete
    chronological history of employment so be prepared to explain it.  Preparation breeds confidence and
    confidence is a key ingredient for success in the job search. Also, during
    the telephone interview are you monitoring your energy level?  Are you standing or sitting?.  Look at a mirror.  Are you smiling?
  • Do your homework. 
    Research the target organization. 
    Talk to colleagues who may know people in the company.  There is a wealth of information on line
    about the company and its leadership team. 
    Learn as much as you can.  Be
    prepared to demonstrate this newly acquired knowledge without being
    critical of operational problems or marketing challenges.  Inappropriate or poorly timed use of
    your research can be as damning for a candidate as not being completely informed or politically insensitive.  Using this knowledge in
    asking questions is one way to be effective. FYI, some recruiters view a
    candidate’s lack of questions as disinterest in the job.
  • Execute flawlessly.  Practice answering questions,
    particularly those that may pose a hurdle that you must overcome – lack of
    relevant experience, short employment tenure, prior termination, etc.  If you cannot answer those issues
    effectively, you greatly reduce your chances of moving to the next
    phase.  On the positive side, be
    sure that your “story” – from providing insights regarding your “growing
    up” years to extolling your record of accomplishment is a winning summary
    of accomplishments, metrics and value for the organization.  If you cannot tell your story in a
    compelling manner, you move down, not up, in the candidate evaluation

There is
one positive thing to remember.  If you
have been selected for a site interview – with the full – court press of
lunches and dinners – the company is looking for a reason to hire you.  Give them one.  Do not muddle the effort with a silly
Be mindful
of your presence and the surrounding environment.  There are no time-outs in the interview
process, including breaks.  Lunches,
dinners, and casual conversations during the commute to and from the hotel or
to dinner are all on the record.  Pay
attention.  Do not appear to ignore
anyone at the table, even with a large group. 
Do not forget your table manners or dinning etiquette.  Never let your guard down.  This is one important reason not to drink at
dinner.  If the evening includes
cocktails before dinner, sip sparingly. 
The same applies if wine is served with the meal.

If you are
not getting interviews,  if you are  eliminated before you reach the finalist chair, do not blame the
overcrowded competitive market.  Look in
the mirror.  

That is the person who has
to step up their performance.

2010 John Gregory. Self

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