Assessing Your Job Interview Skills
Gina had recently been laid off after working as a marketing manager in a high tech company for the past five years.
She was distracted as she walked through the aisles of the supermarket. She was thinking about ways to market herself into a new job.
She stood in front of the cereal selection, overwhelmed by the number of brands to choose from - more than 100 varieties.
Suddenly, it dawned on her: This must be what it's like for hiring managers to look at all those resumes received in answer to ads and postings.
How do they choose? What do they look for? How does one get selected? How can I make my product stand out?
The packaging on the cereal box is certainly the start.
Eye-catching colors and descriptive words will draw attention - low fat, energy boosting, added vitamins - all the things consumers are looking for.
But what are employers looking for? The words you choose will be key. Using words that will interest the companies will grab their attention.
The list of ingredients - the skills you have to offer - is also important.
Gina couldn't wait to get home and write down her skills and what made her unique to the position. She had a new slant to explore.
She remembered reading in a book that skills can be grouped into three categories:
The Assessment Tool
Gina divided a piece of paper into three columns and labeled them with "previous experience," "portable skills" and "personality," the three P's of marketing.
In the "previous experience" column she wrote:
Under "portable skills" she wrote:
In the "personality column" she wrote:
When she was finished, she sat back and checked the list over.
She was surprised at how easily the list had come together. By dividing the skills, the task became manageable.
Trying to look at everything at once is like looking at those cereal boxes.
Getting words on paper is one of the most difficult steps of putting your "ingredients" list together.
This is a good exercise for anyone beginning the search process, or as a periodic check or inventory.
Gina can now use the list to put together her resume, write a summary statement or compose a personal statement.
The skills will be the foundation of the strategy she will use to sell herself.
She still has some work to do before she can take her product to market, but she certainly has made a good start.
Carole Martin is a thoroughbred interview coach. Celebrated author, trainer, and mentor, Carole can give you interviewing tips like no one else can.
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Her workbook, "Interview Fitness Training - A Workout With the Interview Coach" has sold thousands of copies world-wide and she has just released her latest book, "Boost Your Interview IQ," both available on Amazon.com.