Saturday, December 20, 2008

How to Land a Dream Job in a Down Economy

How to Land the Job of Your Dreams: The ultimate and fail safe job interview helps that are guaranteed to land you the job of your choice.

Rule number one: Always start by stating that you went to Harvard. That is impressive and will be your “in.”

Once you have your “in,” tell the interviewer something interesting about yourself, but avoid any funny stories of things you have done that may be considered “criminal activity.” If you cannot think of something interesting about yourself, think about something interesting that someone you know has done. (After all, we influence the people we know, so it is really more of a team effort.) For example, you may say “I was the first man to walk on the moon.” We all know who Neil Armstrong is, so no harm done. Plus, this is also impressive. Now you have two “ins.”

With two “ins”, it is pretty hard not to get the job. At this point, you are just trying not to blow it. Stay away from explosive topics like war, politics, religion, and especially political religious wars. Instead, try asking a few questions about the interviewer’s love life. You want to make things personal. The interviewer may act hesitant at first, but keep prodding. This is all part of the test. Keep the payoff in sight. If you develop a connection with the person, you will have sealed the deal. If you do not feel that immediate connection, try throwing in a few statements like “My favorite color is the same as yours.” Or “If you had your own business, I would definitely want to work there . . . forever . . . and ever . . . and ever . . . and ever. Continue the “and evers” until the interviewer breaks away from your piercing eye contact, even if this takes several minutes. He needs to know that you are sincere—to the grave and beyond sincere.

At this stage, the interviewer will probably go through a series of questions as a formality. Be prepared to answer questions about why all the phone numbers for your references are disconnected or no longer in use.

When asked about your prior work experience, be descriptive and use bold action verbs. Do not say “I babysat during the summer.” Instead, say “I engineered and developed state-of-the-art technology as regional director of the research and development department.” Such language will pique the interviewer’s interest. Employers want people with transferable skills. They are not looking for someone to babysit (unless it is a child care center—that is the only exception), they want someone to engineer and develop. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard employers say that.

Also, don’t wait too long to ask if the employer believes in some of the illnesses you think you may have. This would also be the time to ask detailed questions about the number of security cameras and guards they keep around the office. It is important to show interest in their business.

And most important, be prepared for anything. Bring a can of mace, a magic deck of cards, a jump rope, monopoly money, anything that might get you out of a tough question.

And finally, for a nice finishing touch to the interview, hand the interviewer a thank you card and ask him to write his name and his company’s name in the blanks. (You do not want to risk misspelling the names. It may give the impression that you are not thoughtful.) When he is done, ask to borrow a stamp, and then leave the thank you card on his desk. (This way, even if you do not get the job—hey, free stamp!)

Remember proper etiquette is to wait at least five minutes before calling to see if you got the job and to ask if you can get that first pay check advanced.

Enjoy many happy years in the job of your dreams.

1 comment:

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