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It astounds me when people are looking for a job and when they get an interview they completely blow it!  After listening to hundreds of people who DID NOT GET the job … I came up with some reasons why they failed.

First and foremost, to get hired you need a clear picture (or focus) on the job you want to do – and more importantly, the job you are equipped to do.  Never leave it up to a prospective employer to speculate on where you would fit in.  

In order to know the job you want and how to fit in, you need to be completely familiar with the operation (before your interview).  Only then can you give a clear and concise picture of where you fit, together with the benefits you bring.  For example, if you are looking for an entry level position, you need to know which entry level positions are available – BEFORE THE INTERVIEW.  

Another key factor to getting the job is to relate the value you bring.  Nowadays, employers want a defined ROI (return on investment) when it comes to employees.  They need to see what an employee will “add” to their organization.  For example, if the role of is being an  “assistant” to the boss, it means one thing:  More time for he or she to pursue more important things.  Bosses hire assistants to create more time for themselves – not to train someone to enhance their resume.  Bosses want to believe (even though we all know it is not the case) that the job their offering is top-priority in the applicant’s mind and the applicant can not think of anything better.  They never want to feel that the applicant is job shopping nor do they want to feel they are competing for an employee’s “interest” (except in very high-level positions).

Interviews should be rehearsed in your head.  You should also be on time or preferably a bit early (no more than 15-minutes early).  Familiarize  yourself with the location so you’re not late … even if that means doing a “test drive” the day before.

Make sure you physical appearance “fits in” with the job you are seeking.  For example, if you are interviewing for an executive job – look like an executive at that organization.  In order to do that you may want to visit the place (incognito) before you apply for a job.  On the other hand, if you are interviewing for a job as an auto mechanic, you should dress as if you are ready for work, with clean “work clothes” and appropriate shoes.  It helps your prospective employer to visualize you in the position.

Always exude confidence but also ask clarifying questions, which shows a genuine interest in the job.

“Lack of experience” is never an excuse for “lack of confidence”.  Confidence comes from within.  It’s that little voice that tells you the TRUTH about yourself.  Ironically, it picks you up but often settles you down.  It is the confidence of knowing your strengths in order to exploit them and the honesty to know your weaknesses in order to overcome them … thereby turning them into strengths.

I am also a firm believer in internal “pep talks”.  Tell yourself why you would be great at the job.  Compliment yourself and outline your positive attributes – and say a prayer.

All of this adds up to an inner and outer appearance that attracts good things!


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