Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Second, the interviewee liked the idea that the “performer is more powerful than the audience.”

Which sounds all wrong. The interviewer has the power to give or withhold that all important job.

Not exactly. The interviewer’s job is to fill a vacancy. He wants to hire someone, has to hire someone, hopes that you’re that someone. The interviewer’s interests, like those of any voluntary audience, are best served if you do well

Where an interview differs from other performances is that your resume takes the place of your lecture, and we jump right to the Q & A. The questions are just prompts; your answers become the performance.

As in any Q & A session, some of the questions may seem obvious, odd, or plain squirrely. As the performer, you have the right to rephrase the question, ask for clarification, take a moment to think about your answer. In other words, turn the question to your advantage.

In a recent interview, an applicant was asked the usual, “What do you bring to this company?” The usual response, if she had assumed that all the power lay with the interviewer, would have been to regurgitate the job description and how her qualifications fit it.

That’s not what she did. A pie chart was lying on the desk, with a large piece of the pie labeled “Intangible.” The applicant put her finger on that piece and said, “That’s what I bring.”

“Wow! That’s the best answer I’ve ever heard.”

She, of course, went on to list some of the intangibles that no job description can cover.

(to be continued)

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