Author Archive | Jon Hanshus

Interviewing begins with IN

Some of you tell me that interviewing is easy and say, “I’m good at it.”  Others haven’t done it recently or express their concerns and say “I’m feeling extremely anxious” or ‘I don’t like hearing that I’m overqualified.’ I believe that all of us benefit from learning and committing to improvements.

What will help you improve your interviewing results – making terrific connections and getting a great job offer?  The word interviewing, itself, begins with in which offers us advice:

Be in the moment!  This is about focusing on the present.  While an interview will quite naturally focus on the past – experiences and accomplishments, and on some future potentials and possibilities, it should emphasize the present – their requirements and your contemporary and current qualifications.  Being `in’ also suggests paying attention and listening, and not being distracted, distant or disrespectful.  Do you silence your phone?  Look at and listen to the interviewer?  Smile?  Do you go to interviews with sound research completed as well as with curiosity and some questions prepared for them?

Be interesting!  Provide relevant examples and remarkable stories in answer to questions and bring out some of your valuable traits and talents [use your Success Profile, the helpful tool].  Extensive, repetitive explanations and lengthy stories should be avoided.  Often the interviewer is intent on covering many topics with questions and won’t benefit from too much detail.  Many believe that how you respond is more important than what you say.  Consider bringing an appropriate `prop’ to the interview, such as a book on a topic of potential interest to the interviewer.  Let the interviewer observe it and ask about it.  Also, use your non-verbal strengths from eye contact to smiling and posture to affirm your qualifications.

Be interested!  Your prepared and follow-up questions help turn an interview into dialogue – a successful conversation.  When you ask a question, listen.  Exchange business cards to get the interviewer’s contact information and attention, and don’t forget to bring pen and paper to take notes.  Then review for follow-up actions including a `Thank you – I’m interested’ message.

Are you still learning?


Respecting Effectively

“Effective and successful contributors are those who `walk the talk’ of respecting others”, a sage says.

Respect is about genuinely caring about others; understanding their strengths, weaknesses, and needs; looking others in the eye and listening; expecting, seeking and telling the truth; recognizing and rewarding; and, remembering that human frailties can be overcome with effort and by focusing on improving, growing, and doing right things and things right.

Think about the absence of respect for just a minute … some of us have felt the sting of someone who may have neglected to include or acknowledge us or sharply criticized us. If continued and repetitious, we become discouraged, disengaged and derailed from the path of productivity.

We need to recover from the negative `omissions and commissions’ by learning from them and working on `doing and being’ better. Yes, `to err is human’ … and making mistakes and forgetting to include, acknowledge, or positively motivate – all of these are `forgivable’. If there’s a lack of awareness of the err, or worse yet – if pride gets in the way of correcting and moving forward … it’s one of those signs of trouble. While good results may be achieved, if relationships are broken and unrepaired – success will be short-lived and less than exemplary.

As job seekers we should appreciate the important and difficult challenge that all of us face. We should `walk the talk of respect’ – it’s our shared responsibility! Clearly it’s an important be-attitude to … do/be for others, what we want them to do/be for us.

Post Script … The past four posts have been on the subject of `effectiveness’ and generic skills and traits. I trust that you’ve gained some insights. The skills and traits of effective and improved leadership, communication, problem-solving, and respect are sine qua non – (that without which there is nothing) in life and the workplace. I welcome your inputs and dialogue on these subjects!