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Gerry Weinberg & Associates, Inc. | Southfield, Michigan

Over the years, we’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates for Business level positions. The percentage of candidates that stand out is depressingly a low percentage, and getting lower by the day.

In my opinion, job seekers of all ages are ill prepared to seek employment and to my dismay a lot of interviewers (Companies) don’t have a systematic process to find, qualify and hire the best employees. The unpreparedness of both sides causes a huge amount of wasted time for both parties.

For the purpose of this article I’m going to focus on the applicant side and here are my observations of the mistakes that are consistently made.

1. Candidates don’t know what they really want to do
2. Candidates don’t know what they really want to learn
3. Candidates often want jobs instead of careers.
4. Candidates often want compensation to cover their lifestyle instead of focusing on finding a path to the lifestyle they want.

Some of my post read/ shared content on social media is about hiring and interviewing. About the time I feel its time to share high level insights on the subject I’m shocked by another unprepared candidate. Therefore, here are some tips for how to be well prepared for your next interview.

1. Set goals – What do you want to be doing 1,3,5 years from now? Prepare and ask questions of the interviewer to determine if your goals can be achieved at their organization, and with their people.
2. Research the company – Beyond their webpage. Linked In and Google have lots of search capabilities to give you a real insight on what they do and then you can determine how you’ll fit inside their organization. Plus you might find a present/past employee that you know and can contact to get real information.
3. Be prepared – to talk about what you are really good at and how those skills can benefit their organization. We all have blind spots, so ask others for their opinion on what you could improve upon. Have examples and stories of your prior success and data to back it up.
4. Ask for the job – Companies and teach skills, and you can learn product knowledge and systems but its near impossible to motivate people and take action if its not their nature.

Interviewers can do themselves and other favors by being well prepared for the discussion. Show and give examples of how motivated you are, and that you are willing and eager to learn. Hiring managers know that nobody’s perfect, so relax and ask good questions.

Remember both parties should be trying to qualify the other, and avoid wasting time in the process.

Happy Interviewing!

-Matt Stephens


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