This post works best together with this other Job-Seeking Resources post from yesterday.

For both employed and unemployed job-seekers (you’ll see the answers will be different):

1a) How many hours are you spending each day on your job search?
1b) How many hours are you spending each week on your job search?
1c) How many resumes did you send out last week (by email or mail)?
1d) How many people did you speak to last week about a potential job for you?

2a) What are your one-two most important goals when speaking with someone about finding a job?
2b) When deciding what information to include on your resume, what are your criteria for including and emphasizing something you have done?
2c) What is the single best thing you can do to prepare for the interview?

3) What has been your favorite project you worked on in the past five years?


WHY DO WE ASK QUESTION 3?
Because this is the kind of job you will be leaning to. Learn this about yourself. What do you like. How can you do more of this. You can take the VIA strengths assessment (takes 20-40 minutes and tells you which strengths you use the most). You can write down a few stories of when you’ve felt most alive. Really have a general answer for what you want to be doing work-wise.

WHY DO WE ASK QUESTIONS 1a-d?
So that we can tell how much work we are putting in, and see how much more we can still put in to get the results we want. The Five O Clock Club (an excellent coaching and training service for people who are unemployed) suggests that the best results come to people who spend:
1a) 3 hours on the job search while employed; 7 per day when unemployed
1b) 15 hours per week while employed; 35 hours per week while unemployed
1c) Sending out at least 10-20 resumes per week (for an expected total of 200 for the full job search)
1d) And speaking with at least ten people each week about potential jobs. These can be friends to start. Most importantly: if the person has no lead, ASK WHOM ELSE THEY CAN RECOMMEND THAT YOU SPEAK WITH. This way, you are constantly moving and networking, and through reliable, strong bonds!

WHY DO WE ASK QUESTIONS 2a-c?
Because we don’t always think about what the answers could really be!

Let me suggest these as answers:
2a) What are your one-two most important goals when speaking with someone about finding a job?
a) Get the job or b) get a lead to another person to speak to about a job.
2b) When deciding what information to include on your resume, what are your criteria for including and emphasizing something you have done?
Every item must lead to the interview. If not, don’t do it. If you don’t want to do something again, you probably don’t want to list that front and center on your resume.
2c) What is the single best thing you can do to prepare for the interview?
Practice your results stories (especially using the SARI method).

We went through this when I was on Lisa Wexler‘s radio program on Tuesday, Jan 28, 09.


2 Comments

  1. Nick S.
    Posted Friday February 20, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I agree that one of the best things to do to prepare for the interview is to have my result stories. I have been practicing how to work them into the interview process that seems natural and flawless.
    The second thing that I have been doing recently is creating and polishing an online professional portfolio. I created one at PersonaVita. When I am at the interview I can give a URL to the interviewer and then after the interview they can go back and see my verified work experience. It adds an “extra” that most other people are not doing.

  2. Liz
    Posted Monday June 15, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    These are all great questions to practice with. It’s becoming more common now for companies to use a PEO to administer job assessments that can range from personality questions to skill tests. When it comes time for the interview you want to make sure that you are able to answer important questions like these, and be prepared for the ones that can throw you off.

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