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Confident Interviewing

You are ready to begin interviewing.  While preparing for the interview, you decide that you want to be as honest as possible, that honesty is a well-respected quality.

You're an honest person.  You'll tell them what they want to know.  So here's what you do wrong:


    In order to be a good, honest person, you are fully prepared to tell the interviewer that you do not possess many job skills.  Even if the interviewer does not ask, you want to talk about your limitations.  You simply supply too much information.


    You feel compelled, for some absurd reason, to talk about what you do not know, as though this lack of knowledge will help you get a job because you believe people respect honesty more than job skills.


Here's how a confident person interviews.

            "Mr. / Ms. Jones, are you proficient with Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint?"


            "I have worked on many in-house programs where I have had to perform accurate data entry, update files, research and analyze account histories, and assist other staff with access to account information.  Since I have always been able to master these in-house programs quickly in order to perform my job as a valuable employee, and since I am easily self-motivated, I am confident I can learn the Microsoft programs necessary to do a good job for your company."


What the confident person has done is to tell the interviewer about skills he / she already possesses: accuracy, research and analytical skills, staff assistance.

The unconfident but "honest" approach is to answer like this.

"Do I know Microsoft products?  No, I don't. Sorry. I've been busy with my kids. I've never been able to master computers. Maybe I'll learn. Maybe I'm old.  Maybe … yaddah, yaddah, yaddah …"


Head for the door! They'll hire someone who possesses confidence, who believes in himself / herself.  They'll never hire you or train you because you've given them no reason to want to hire you.  However, you can always say to yourself, `well, at least I was honest.'  Oh yeah!  Honest … but unemployed.


We are taught to be `honest' people.  There's nothing wrong with that.  However, you are not being `honest' by saying too much.  There's no reason to talk about what you do not know or cannot do.


People who are honest get respect for honesty, but not for confidence in what they know.

You assume that if you do not tell an interviewer everything you have ever done, from grade school to present date, that he / she will "find you out." Wrong.  The interviewer only knows what you tell them.

Everybody knows Superman's best quality -- he's always honest ?!  When he's exposed to red kryptonite, one of the side effects is that he has to tell the truth, no matter what.

In some of the old comics, when Superman was exposed to red kryptonite, he'd have an allergic reaction and would have to be honest and tell the truth.  Lois Lane would follow Superman around and ask him, point blank, if he and Clark Kent were the same person.

Your worst fear is that the interviewer has a piece of red kryptonite in his desk and you're allergic to it.  It's not there.  You don't have to tell the truth.  Tell your interviewers only what they need to know.  You're not in the interview to prove to anybody what an honest person you are.  You're there to get a job.


Tips:             Submit a concise, well-written, well-organized resume.

                    Conduct a strong interview.

                    Do the job after you're hired.


You get your resume prepared.  You get the interview.  After you get the interview, the resume part of the game is over.  The resume is just a marketing tool to get you the interview.  Once you're in the interview, you're in the second stage of getting a job, and that's the only stage that's important.


Your job in the interview is to represent yourself as better than the people before you and after you who have also interviewed for the same job you're going for.  You're in the second stage of marketing yourself.  The first stage was on paper, the second stage is in person, face-to-face with the interviewer.


Be careful to remember this:  The game of the interview is to convince the interviewer you can do the job.  Doing the job is a separate function.  Maybe you can't do everything the job demands on the first day you're hired.


Don't worry.  Everybody gets a chance to go through an orientation, a period of time when you can adjust to the new job situation. In the interview, your goal is to convince the interviewer that you are the right person for the job.


Don't picture yourself doing the job in the interview.  Interview to get the job, do the job later. Once you're hired, you'll have plenty of time to prove yourself.

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