The Career Spectrum Blog

Archive for January 25th, 2010

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In high school, I hated biology. So when we had a test in the subject, I’d show up, try to apply common sense from all those programs I watched on television, and hope for the best.

Well, as you can imagine, my plan backfired on more than one occasion, and my grades weren’t where I wanted them to be. Moreover, after I completed the first quarter of the school year and I learned that biology was the one subject keeping me off honor roll, I was upset.

Then I had a heart-to-heart with one of my teachers, a woman who taught creative writing (one of my favorite subjects). She told me that if I prepared for the biology exams, I could overcome my disdain for the subject and conquer it.

Yeah, yeah, I knew that. I mean, it’s elementary, yet when it came to studying for biology, I would have rather sat in the dentist’s chair for a root canal.

What does my experience have to do with today’s topic of researching a company before interviewing? As an interview coach, I see so many people who when they are contacted for a job interview not prepare for it that they unknowingly sabotage their chances of being hired – even if they’re the best candidate for the job!

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When I was in graduate school, I majored in Corporate Communications. One of my course electives was a course in effective advertising copy. In that class, I was introduced to one of the all-time GREATEST ads ever produced, an ad done for McGraw-Hill Magazines, entitled “Now…What was it you wanted to sell me?”

The ad, which you can see here, featured a stern-looking businessman circa 1950 purported to be addressing a sales person who was attempting to close a deal. 

Ah, but only one problem. The salesperson didn’t come in with a strong enough pitch, hence drawing the ire of the fictitious businessman in the ad.

That ad, which has been modernized at least once that I know of, still packs a wallop and underscores the importance of why a person needs to come into a business meeting, such as a job interview, ready.

When you show up for a job interview, you are, in fact, trying to “sell” your product (which of course is you). You want that employer to see you as the best candidate.

The reality of the situation is you’re one of several candidates competing for the job. And unless you have a stellar industry reputation, you’re really going to need to develop a strong sales pitch to convey to that employer that they simply MUST hire you.

That’s where interview coaching comes in. A trained interview coach can help you with developing a strong sales pitch in which your key selling points are woven into a tapestry of different scenarios which are right for nearly any question you’ll be asked.

An investment in career coaching often pays for itself, often times in your first paycheck. So if you’re really serious about getting that new job and you’re just not having success in making it past the interview stage, isn’t it time to consider interview coaching?

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