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WHY Job Interviews are HARDER – How NOT to FAIL

Do you realize that the Job Interview is set up to make you FAIL? A company may invite five people to interview for a job but they expect 80% of them to fail so they can determine the right person to hire. The odds are against you especially in this new era of screening harder to find the best talent to employ. Candidates are called and screened via phone – many three times -- before they are extended an in-person interview. The HR or recruiter who is calling is focused on your ability to NOT fit in, NOT have the skills to perform the job, and NOT work out so they can cross you off the list and go to the next person.

If you pass the initial phone screenings, then you walk in to face the decision maker and perhaps a full panel of people set on eliminating you. They need to hire one person – you may be a great worker and will excel at the job, but can you sell yourself effectively?

Michelle is a project manager who was looking to advance her salary by moving to a new company so she went to an interview at a prominent tech company. She failed. She then arranged for an interview coaching session and was exasperated by how difficult her interview was. She said, “I thought I was ready and didn’t need any help until the employer cover my resume in three questions and then asked, ‘How many cows are in Canada?’ Can you believe they asked that Robin? I was stumped. I messed up again when they hit me with, “We are interviewing five people counting you. Why should we select you when two other candidates seem more qualified?”

Oh, interviews are harder these days. She learned the hard way that job interviews can be very challenging and are designed to make some of the candidates fail. It was Google that asked the question about the Cows. Tech companies have long been known for their off-the-wall questions when hiring professionals or managers. But other companies follow suit and come up with some very tricky ones:

• “How many quarters would you need to reach the height of the Empire State building?” asked by Jet Blue

• “What songs best describes your work ethic?” asked by Dell

• “How much of your day do you smile?” asked by Amazon

• What is your currently salary?” – asked by MANY employers

The decision maker is trying to screen candidates OUT because he or she can only hire one. How can you ensure that person is you? Here is one of my top recommendations on how to make it be you.

Prep by writing out answers in advance

You need to sit down long before you are interviewed and think about the 15 - 20 questions you’ll likely be asked. What should you stress to best respond to each question? Outline your answer and try to use a work example to show how you have acted in the past and can be counted on to perform similarly in the future. That really makes the employer more comfortable with you and understand why you are the better applicant. Role play those answers beforehand by saying them out loud, preferably rehearsing with a friend or spouse or if you professional help – with me in an Interview Coaching session. This practice allows you to fine tune your answers and make them concise, effective and smooth so you sound confident. Sell marketing is key so tone, enthusiasm and expressions of assurance that you can do the work are essential.

To prepare, I recommend you get a copy of the new 2016 edition of 60 Seconds & You’re Hired. A book devoted to preparing you for the Job Interview and on how to handle Salary Negotiations.

© 2016 Robin Ryan all rights reserved.

Robin Ryan is America's leading career and job search expert. She's appeared on 1500 TV & radio shows including Oprah, Dr Phil, CNN, ABC News and NPR. Robin has a career counseling practice working with individual clients across the US helping them land better jobs. For more career help visit: