Friday, June 24, 2016

Your Job Interview: The Five Things They Really Want--and Need--from You

By Richard Kent Matthews

What your future employer actually wants from you, besides skill and talent

You hear lots of clamor about how much the job market has changed since 2008. And it has. 

Most employers are much more selective, even though the number of jobs is way, way up since the beginning of the Great Recession in late 2007. And even if you are quite skilled, so are a lot of other folks.

However, no matter the job requirements, your experience, or the 'economy,' employers still want you to have the same basic qualifications. 

According to Richard N. Bolles of What Color Is Your Parachute? 2016 Edition, fame, there are only a few questions the employer is really concerned about. 
  1.  "Why are you here?" (Instead of somewhere else?) Have you done your research on the company or business to know what they actually do and how they serve the community?
  2. "What can you do for me?" What do you bring to the table that can help them with the challenges they face? What are your relevant abilities and experience that can move them along? Can you give valid and valuable examples?
  3. "What kind of person are you?" This is key. Will you fit into the company culture? Are you a team player? Are you a people person? Do you know, understand, and share the company's values?
  4.  "What distinguishes you from...[all the] other people whom we are interviewing for this job?" What kind of value will you bring to them for the money? How are you unique, unusual, and at the same time, an asset? Examples, please.
  5. "Can we afford you?" This is tricky. They may try to bargain you down, let you know that the earlier or next candidate might be willing to work for less than you want. If they get too miserly, you most likely should move on. Thank them, and leave. 
These employers have often been burned by candidates who appear to have all the right qualifications. Then, after the time and expense of getting the new person introduced to the department, trained, and assigned, they up and leave, sometimes without any warning. 

Employers know that in today's job market, people are always looking for 'better.' They know that most people won't stay longer than a few years at best in any one position. They have to be prepared. And wary.

Authenticity and honesty on your part will not only be greatly appreciated, but even if you don't get, or want, the job, you will have established a good bond between you and the employer. 

That relationship might be very helpful later on, down the road.

No need to burn bridges. We're all more connected than ever. 

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