Job Hunting Skills
The Employment System
preaches that there are special job hunting skills you must
develop before you can seek a job. Skills like writing a great
resume, answering the Top Ten Interview Questions, and how to
shake hands in the right color suit.
competitor, the headhunter, is busy learning exactly what work the
client needs to have done, and what work skills the perfect job
candidate needs to demonstrate in the interview.
skills have no statistical utility.
headhunter will tell you that employers don't pay for job hunting
skills. On the other hand, every personnel jockey will emphasize
the importance of "learning to play the game."
be surprised to learn that there is little correlation between how
well a candidate interviews and how well he or she performs on
the job. What we know about the traditional interview is even more
stupefying than that. Annette Flippen, a Columbia University
organizational psychologist, says, "The traditional interview
has been shown to have little or no statistical utility as a
selection technique." That is, traditional interviews stink
as a method for hiring the right worker.
skills win the job.
So, how do you hunt for a job? With the only skills that matter --
your work skills. Identify employers that need your work
skills. Find out who exactly: the specific industry, then
the exact companies, and finally the specific manager. If you're
good at your work, talking to the relevant people will be easy.
You have everything in common with them. Find out what exactly
are the problems, challenges and opportunities these employers are
facing. Follow these steps, and you'll be talking with the right
people about the right job.
If you're good at your
work, you can be good at interviewing. The kinds of interviews
where people get hired are ones that are about the thing you are
already very good at: your work. What you need to bone up on is
the problems and challenges the employer is facing. Then you can
appropriately apply your work skills to demonstrate how you're
going to handle them. That's what I call The New Interview™.
Review your work skills,
and answer the only question that really matters: What can you do
to help this employer succeed?
Think that takes more
research? Absolutely right. Do what the headhunter does: Talk with
other employees at the company, talk with the company's vendors
and even its customers. Figure out what the work is all about
before you interview.
headhunters for candidates who can do the work profitably, not for clever
interview repartee. So,
headhunters make sure their candidates are prepared to "go
live" in the interview and do the job. That's the skill that
wins job offers.
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