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Ep 651 It’s Friday and that means another stupid interview mistake

NOTE: Production values are not ideal while Jeff waits for the return of his damaged laptop

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I'm back with another one of those stupid interview mistakes that job hunters make almost every time. Now, I've spent a lot of years talking about the single best question to ask on any interview and when to ask it, and a lot of you haven't learned it. You haven't spent the time practicing it. You've never deliver it even if you know it.
Now, this is a technique that works very well on phone interviews, and on in-person interviews. So, yet again, I want to walk you through it so you have an idea. Alet's say it's an in-person interview; you've been escorted into the person's office; as the two of you lower your butts in the chair, rather than wait for them to start the conversation, I want you to start it. And the way you start it is by saying, "I want to thank you so much for making the time to speak with me. You know, I spoke with (You can use the referral to the recruiter who sent you or you spoke with HR in the otelephone screen, or you saw their ad online, and you can say, you know, I spoke with Jeff Altman, I spoke with Sheila Montero, I saw your ad online and he gave me a thumbnail of what you were looking for but I want to get your take on it. Would you tell me about the position as you see it and what I can do to help."
Now you ask this question at the beginning of the interview, before anything has happen so that, this way, you get their current thinking about the job. Now, I want you to understand when employers approve a job description and post it on the web, or they give it out to recruiters, by the time you see it, mentally, they may have tweaked the job description, but done nothing to change it online, with recruiters or anywhere else. So, you want to make sure that you're operating with the correct knowledge of what they're looking for. So, you asked that question as soon as you lower your seat in the chair.
Now, if it's a phone call, again, just making sure you get this, they call you up . . . ring ring ring ring. "Hi is this Paul Provenza (Or whoever whatever your name is)?
"Hi. My name is Sheila Montero, I'm with Such and Such Big Entity Corporation or Steve Whatever from Small Company You've Never Heard of I saw your profile on LinkedIn and wanted to have a chance to chat with you. Is this a good time?"
"Yes it is, Sheila (Yes it is, Steve). Before we start, let me ask a question. Could you tell me about the role that you have in mind and what you want me to do to help?" Again, the idea is you find out at at the beginning of the interview, what they're thinking is, so, in this way, you can talk about what you've done that relates to what they're looking for, and not just talk about what you've done, which may just overwhelm them.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1400 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.

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