Complete Job Interview Handbook

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This completely updated handbook tells how to get an interview, land the job, and even negotiate a higher salary.

Shows readers how to land the right job in the shortest possible time.

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This completely updated handbook tells how to get an interview, land the job, and even negotiate a higher salary.

Shows readers how to land the right job in the shortest possible time.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062732668
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/13/1994
  • Edition description: 3rd ed
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Read an Excerpt

"How do I get the right kinds of interviews?"

30 Ways to Obtain Interviews


Like most job-seekers, you probably believe that the hardest part of job-hunting is getting the right interviews. The truth of the matter is that obtaining interviews is easier than you think. In fact, even as you read this paragraph, two fundamentals about the job market are at work in your behalf.

First, companies are always hiring new people. This is to fill the steady flow of vacancies that arise from continuous promotions, transfers, terminations, resignations, retirement, and, most notably, the creation of new positions to achieve organizational growth.

Because companies have this ongoing need for personnel, interviews will automatically result if you contact the right individuals and present your qualifications in a convincing way. The job-search strategies described in this section will assure that you perform these key tasks successfully.

Second, the market is much larger than it appears. Most people consider "the market" to consist of the openings they can identify quickly. These are the positions that are advertised in newspapers and listed with employment agencies. Companies have limited recruiting budgets, however, and such jobs account for only about 20% of the vacancies that actually exist. The other 80% aren't made public. They are "hidden" but are just as real. The same strategies will produce interviews for these unknown openings as well as for the positions that are easy to detect.

Thirty strategies are discussed in the pages that follow. They are grouped into five categories: networking, direct mail, telephone presentation, mediaadvertisements, and registration.

As you become familiar with these different approaches, you'll decide which ones will work best for you. Your selections will depend on the following factors: your level of seniority, whether you're pursuing a career change or advancement in the same field, whether you're employed or unemployed, your need for confidentiality in looking for a job, whether you want to remain in the same locale or move to another part of the country, how quickly you must find a position, how much time you have available to work on your search and go on interviews, and how effectively you can communicate on the telephone.

By using the strategies that fit your situation and needs, you'll set up a maximum number of interviews, both for the position you want and with the kind of organization you want.

As a guide for selecting the best strategies to work with (never rely on one method alone), here are the approaches that will produce the most interviews, depending on your particular goals and circumstances. Although these strategies don't represent the complete list, they are the most reliable and should be considered first. (The numbers in the list refer to the numbered strategies of Section One.)

If You're Unemployed and Need Interviews Immediately
  • Telephoning a Potential Employer
  • Personal Contacts
  • Employment Agencies (only when an agency specializes in yourfield)
  • Telephoning Managers in Response to Advertisements
  • Broadcast Letter (especially for contacting a large number ofcompanies)
If You're Employed and Require Confidentiality
  • Personal Contacts and Third-Party Correspondence (particularly for contacting companies in your own industry)
  • Media Advertisements, nos. 17, 18, 19, 20
  • Executive Search Firms
  • Employment Agencies (only when an agency specializes inyour field)
  • Broadcast Letter (so long as your name isn't well known)
If You Want to Make a Career Change
  • Personal Contacts
  • Information Interviewing
  • Third-Party Correspondence (through direct mail as well asanswering ads)
  • Professional Organizations and Trade Shows
If You're Seeking Advancement in the Same Field
  • Personal Contacts
  • Telephoning a Potential Employer
  • Employment Agencies (only when an agency specializesin the field)
  • Broadcast Letter
  • Media Advertisements, nos. 17, 18
  • Executive Search Firms
If You're a Junior-Level Job-Seeker
  • College and Alumni Placement Offices
  • Personal Contacts
  • Information Interviewing
  • Media Advertisements, no. 17
  • Telephoning a Potential Employer
  • Employment Agencies
  • Broadcast Letter
If You're a Senior-Level Job-Seeker
  • Personal Contacts
  • Media Advertisements, nos. 17, 18
  • Broadcast Letter
  • Executive Search Firms
If You Wish to Relocate
  • Broadcast Letter
  • Personal Contacts
  • Employment Agencies and Media Advertisements, no.

17 (only when you have exceptional qualifications)

Before exploring these different strategies, a few words should be said in case you're unemployed:

You might think that you're at a disadvantage by being out of work. Not at all--especially during recessionary times. In fact, the Labor Department stated that during the slow economy of l99l, one in every five families had an unemployed member. Potential employers will certainly require a good explanation for why you're not working, but being unemployed is not a handicap.

And even if you were fired, being terminated by a company doesn't carry the stigma it used to. Business Week estimated that 500,000 managers are let go each year. The number of people dismissed from less senior positions exceeds this figure.

More important, there are actually two benefits to being unemployed:

First, you can devote 100% of your time to your job-search campaign, enabling you to take every conceivable step that might bring you closer to getting the offer you want. The employed job-seeker doesn't enjoy this luxury.

Second, you don't require confidentiality in looking for a job. This allows you to use any one of the 30 job-search strategies, plus exploit each method to the fullest extent possible. As a result, you'll gain greater exposure and obtain that many more interviews.

Instead of regretting the fact that you're unemployed and wishing it weren't the case, realize the opportunities it provides.


Networking has the same purpose in job-hunting as it does in any other activity: to meet new people through referrals made by mutual acquaintances. When looking for a job, you can use these referrals to gain an interview, to be introduced to someone who can arrange an interview for you, to get advice about your job search, or to obtain information about a new career you're considering.

In order to appreciate the value of networking as a job-search strategy, you must understand the power of a referral. It provides two key benefits: It dramatically increases the likelihood of getting both interviews and offers, and it has the potential to produce interviews under the most desirable of circumstances--you will have no competition from other job-seekers. These benefits will be explained in detail in the discussion that follows.

Here are the networking strategies:

Personal Contacts

Arranging interviews through personal contacts is the only strategy that's effective for all job-seekers, regardless of their level of seniority, objectives, or the circumstances under which they're conducting a search. It should therefore be the first strategy you consider using.

As stated above, approaching potential employers through personal contacts increases your chances of generating interviews as well as offers. There's a reason for this: You have immediate credibility.

When you're introduced to someone by a mutually respected third party, you've been prescreened and aren't regarded as "one of the masses." Employers see you as a choice prospect and look for reasons why they should hire you instead of reasons why they should not. There isn't any of the skepticism that usually accompanies the interview situation.

In fact, no matter how impressive your resume and accomplishments might be, they won't mean as much to a prospective employer as the recommendation from an individual whose judgment he trusts. This recommendation will guarantee an interview when an opening exists. It will sometimes produce an interview even when there is no opening. And it will increase the likelihood of being selected for hire when you're one of several equally qualified candidates under consideration for a position. All this is borne out by the statistic that approximately 75% of company hirings are the result of employee referrals.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2001

    A Great Guy Wrote A Great Book

    If anyone would be able to write a book on this subject it would be John Marcus. Knowing him since 1972 he knows of what he speaks(or writes)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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