Interview Intervention: Communication That Gets You Hired

Interview Intervention: Communication That Gets You Hired

by Andrew LaCivita


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452547046
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 03/13/2012
Pages: 136
Sales rank: 905,674
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.44(d)

Read an Excerpt


Communication That Gets You Hired
By Andrew LaCivita


Copyright © 2012 Andrew LaCivita
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4525-4702-2

Chapter One

The World Actually Does Revolve Around You

Research yourself first and the company second.

It seems obvious and easy enough. You're preparing for a job interview with a company, so you'll surf its website, perhaps call a few colleagues, gather some information, and jot down a few questions. You'll be ready. How many times have you thought this?

I'll go out on a limb. You're doing it backward. How do I know? For the last twenty-four years, I've served as a consultant to over 150 companies, helping them improve various business-, technology-, and employment-related issues. For the last seven years, I've focused primarily on executive search activities, helping prominent organizations recruit the best employee talent. In recent years, I've spoken with over one hundred people each week—every week—all year long. Unanimously, they approached changing jobs the same way. I wasn't sure why, because it always seemed illogical to me. They evaluated their available options and chose what they thought was best for them at the time. Their first option (if they were employed) was automatically their current job. Good or bad, that current job served as the perennial yardstick until something better surfaced. Their second or third options could have been opportunities they discovered through a job listing, recruiter, employed friend, or some similar means. Regardless of the source, the newly minted candidate likely goes into penciling the advantages and disadvantages of each option, often weighing them against each other. I've even seen some of the more energetic types draw matrices and tables. What I've never witnessed is a candidate who proactively documented or was fully aware of her needs and criteria before she took her first step. These criteria should become the centerpiece against which everything is measured.

As a job candidate, you might think your greatest qualities are your skills, work experience, and bubbly personality. While all are important, I think your greatest asset when evaluating and pursuing a career change is your self-awareness. That self-awareness will help you navigate through the murkiest of recruitment processes and serve as your beacon, especially when you feel that uneasiness in your stomach that indicates something escapable doesn't "feel right." It will also, most importantly, serve as the focal point upon which you can evaluate the company and whether it is right for you.

Throughout this book, I don't define interviewing success as "getting the job." Many candidates who get the job become miserable employees. They might have been better off not getting the job or turning down the employment offer. Success, as I see it, is securing the right job with the right company that keeps you happy for a sustained period. I assume everyone would rather be employed and happy than simply employed. Much of this book focuses on techniques that help you evaluate the company and job as you interview to ensure you make effective decisions regarding your career.

Buy what you need, not what they're selling.

Most candidates I interact with look at their job options in a vacuum that contains only their choice of employers and roles. I have yet to encounter one who, without prompting, has a compelling grasp of "herworkself" and what makes her happy. In my life, for that matter, I seldom come across someone who is self-aware. Some people are satisfied going through life aimlessly, grabbing what comes their way. Others are intent on making things happen. You can go through life in whatever manner you choose, but if you are reading this book, you are likely taking a step toward improving your ability to find or create the right job for you. That makes me happy.

When I open a discussion with a candidate, we talk for a few hours, uncovering a wealth of information before ever discussing her work background. That is because while her qualifications have much to do with her ability to effectively perform her job, her desires and needs have a much greater impact on her overall happiness. Most people look for job opportunities based on what they can do instead of what they want! Why? This seems backward to me, so I never conduct an initial recruiting call based on what someone can do or what her work history looks like. I want to know what she wants to do.

Know what matters to you, before the fact.

I love stories, so you will get a few throughout the book. I would like to open this chapter with one of the more encapsulating events I have encountered while helping match individuals with companies. A colleague of mine who is also a recruiting professional asked me to speak with her husband, who works in the technology sector. Let's call him John to protect the innocent. She shared with me that he is in his early forties and held several jobs throughout his career. She was hoping I could provide some advice regarding how he could more effectively approach his job search. I was happy to do it.

John called, and we got together. I reviewed his résumé, which contained nine different jobs, so he was averaging a couple of years at each company. Early in the conversation, I asked him to summarize in one or two sentences why he held so many jobs.

He said, "Well, the reason for leaving each one is different, so it would be difficult to summarize in one sentence."

I said, "Okay, tell you what. You've already shared with me why you want to leave your current employer. Take me back to your second company and tell me why you transitioned to the third and fourth companies." After he did, I asked, "Do you see the common denominator?" He had a perplexed look.

I said, "John, in each instance, you completely ignored your criteria in favor of your friends' opinions and enjoyment in working at those companies." (In each instance, he was an "employee referral" into the company.) "Let me connect the dots for you. In your current situation, you want to leave for three reasons. First, the company is headquartered in California, and you live here [Chicago]. That doesn't allow for much contact with the senior executives and doesn't help your advancement. Second, you don't support the corporate strategy and the direction the company is headed. Third, you think the software product is subpar. Were you aware of all this before you accepted the position and has anything related to any of these areas changed since you started at the company two years ago?"

He said, "I was aware of those things. The company has always been headquartered in California. The strategy is the same, and I was able to review the software product before I started. So, no, nothing has changed."

I replied, "That's right. All is the same as before you started the job. Do you know the only thing that's actually different between now and before you made your decision to start that job?"

He asked, "What?"

I said, "Now you know those things matter to you."

You need to identify up front what makes you happy (and miserable)—in detail! While this might seem obvious, very few people approach this diligently, feeling comfortable that they know what makes them content as well as what questions to ask a prospective employer to determine whether it would be a good organization for them to work. In fact, most people only become keenly aware of what makes them happy once they don't have it. Most people also don't recognize there is a laundry list of "hard" criteria that affects this; there are also a significant number of emotional influencers as well. These emotional influencers affect your decision-making process when changing jobs and have a greater impact on whether you will leave your current employer in favor of a better overall situation. The next book in this series is a more holistic view of assessing your criteria and the emotional factors that influence not only your job-changing decisions, but also an employer's hiring decisions. For now, I'm including an abridged view for the candidate, so you can be aware of some of the influencers and why they affect you. There are many ways to aggregate your criteria and information against these influencers. While your information can be very lengthy and detailed, I'd suggest grouping it into five key, manageable areas:

Current Situation: Identify all forms of what you currently have

Requirements: Develop a list of your needs and wants

Timing Considerations: Determine whether now is an appropriate time to leave

Counteroffer Potential: Prepare in advance whether you would entertain this

Compensation and Benefits: Review a complete list of your current actual value

Asking yourself the following five questions will help stimulate your thoughts and create a strong roadmap for making sound career decisions. Once you've created this roadmap, you can refer to it throughout the interviewing process to ensure you are staying true to what makes you happy. Remember, it's often better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie. In this case, make sure you're not the one lying to yourself.

Current Situation—What Do I Have?

In assessing your current situation, understand that your current employer will serve as one of the greatest emotional influencers when you change jobs. The company and its people will force you out or keep you in. Understand and review areas such as your relationship with your boss and coworkers. Based on our organization's assessment of over 6,400 candidates, 78 percent cited their boss as one of their top three reasons why they are open to leaving (or have left) their job. There are a few interesting notes related to this statistic. First, it seems to transcend the health of the employment market. During two three-year periods (between 2005 and 2007, a favorable employment market, and 2008 and 2010, an unfavorable market), the percentages were virtually the same. Second, it also seems to be universal across job positions. That is, our company evaluates employees across the entire business spectrum—senior-level executives as well as sales, marketing, human resources, recruiting, finance, accounting, product development, information technology, and various other managerial and junior-level positions. This trend would seem to support the conclusion that people generally quit people before they quit companies.

Even so, the exact opposite also is true as it relates to overstaying. Many individuals are unable to leave their job because of the relationships they've developed with their boss and coworkers. As an executive search firm supporting our clients in securing employee talent, we notice these relationships as one of the single greatest obstacles in extricating employees from their current organization. As such, we evaluate it upfront to determine whether we will face an issue when it is time for the candidate to decide whether to accept our client's offer of employment. You should evaluate this for yourself at the beginning as well. Take a deep look at these relationships and determine in advance whether you will have issues saying good-bye. That alone can save you significant time researching and interviewing with a new company.

Also take a very close look at why you are open to leaving. I call them "wounds," but this can include anything from a minor annoyance to areas you despise about your current job and employer. Are you appreciated? Provided opportunities for career growth? Working with great, smart people? Paid well? Keep in mind, there is absolutely no reason to change companies if you cannot improve the areas you feel are lacking.

Lastly, make sure you have a good handle on all the wonderful things your company and job provide you. While many of these areas will be tangible, such as your compensation or commute, many (if not more) will be indefinable, such as your potential opportunity for growth.

Requirements—What Do I Want?

Make sure you know what you want and what makes you happy. This is your list of requirements. Early in our discussions with candidates, we gather this information, and I refer to it as their Value Package Criteria. This is a holistic view of a person's requirements and how she will evaluate whether the new employer can meet her needs. It is not a matter of whether you are interviewing with a great company. It is a matter of whether you are interviewing with a company that is great for you. In essence, evaluating these criteria will help you determine the overall value the employer can provide to your career and life. After all, a job is far more than simply trading your time for money. These days, work is often integrated into our social lives, and many individuals are working in jobs that blur the lines between work and play. You must evaluate the mixture of what you do, who you do it with, where it is located, how much travel is required, and so forth. It is extremely prudent to highlight all the requirements you have as well as weigh them by order of importance. That will help you objectively determine whether the job opportunity is good for you.

I've mentioned that we have observed over 6,400 employee candidates in the past few years. Based on performing this exercise with each of them, I've determined that—when probed—they favor twelve areas as the greatest influencers of their happiness and longevity with a company. I stress it requires probing, which means you need to allocate an appropriate amount of time to evaluate what truly makes you happy. Otherwise, you risk identifying it only when it is lacking. I have discovered through my line of questioning that most people fatigue after identifying four or five criteria. Therefore, don't be surprised if it takes a few iterations to develop a more complete list. I also suggest speaking with others about what they enjoy (or don't) about their jobs and companies, but keep in mind your list of criteria and its order of importance will be as unique as your fingerprint. These twelve areas cited below, while not intended to be an exhaustive list, could serve as a good starting point.

Company Track Record and Position for Growth. Has the company been growing and does it have a product or service that positions it for future growth?

Corporate Culture. What is the company's "personality"? Is it high-energy, fast-paced, employee-focused, and so forth?

Contribution. Are you in a position to make a significant impact for the company?

Appreciation. Does the company recognize and appreciate its employees' efforts?

Role. Will you be performing interesting, appropriate responsibilities based on your background and capabilities? Can you be successful in the role?

Career Development. Does the organization provide opportunities for you to grow, whether through your daily responsibilities or training classes? Is there an outlined career progression or at least significant growth opportunities for the company, which usually results in opportunities for its employees?

Boss. Will I be working with someone who is smart, supportive, and easy to get along with?

People. Are the employees open, welcoming, and fun? Do they create a team-oriented atmosphere?

Office Environment. Does the office environment induce happiness and energy? Is it architected in a manner that is conducive for successfully performing my job?

Office Location. What is my daily commute? Can I telecommute a few days each week?

Travel Requirements. How much travel is required? Is it domestic and international?

Compensation and Benefits. What is the overall compensation package as well as the health care, 401(k), profit sharing, and additional benefits?

Timing Considerations—Can I Actually Leave Now?

Timing is everything, as the saying goes. I think that much of your success in work or life has more to do with when and how you enter a situation than what you do along the way. Of course, you can make alterations along the way to influence the outcome. I also think that when you quit or leave a situation has an equally paramount influence. Seth Godin's book, The Dip, might be a nice reference for those evaluating career choices. It helps you think through whether you are at a dead end or whether you should stay focused and stick with it. This obviously can be helpful in evaluating a job change.


Excerpted from INTERVIEW INTERVENTION by Andrew LaCivita Copyright © 2012 by Andrew LaCivita. Excerpted by permission of BALBOA PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The World Actually Does Revolve Around You....................1
Chapter 2 Behind the Scenes—An Insider's View....................17
Chapter 3 The Two Types of Questions....................22
Chapter 4 "Friending" the Interviewer....................27
Chapter 5 Storytelling....................31
Chapter 6 My "Silver Bullet" Interview....................43
Chapter 7 Profit from Questioning—Sell Twice, Buy Once....................64
Chapter 8 Closing Time....................78
Chapter 9 Decision Time....................84
Chapter 10 The Breakup....................90
Chapter 11 Wait! Don't Leave!....................93
Chapter 12 If You Interview Today....................98

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Interview Intervention: Communication That Gets You Hired 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
JobHunting2012 More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read for anyone looking to optimize the interviewing experience for both the interviewer and interviewee. The entire book was a quick read (one night). I also like the fact that Mr. LaCivita has provided a quick "cheat sheet" summary that I can re-read just before before every interview. His insights come from talking to thousands of hiring managers preparing thousands of candidates for interviews.
AlphaMegaRadio More than 1 year ago
Brilliant! You’ll not find a single resource with more: practical, relevant, and comprehensive interview tips and strategies, anywhere! Andrew LaCivita is by far, the absolute top Career Coach expert in the industry today. The contents of this book actually work because they’re based on feedback studies from more than 500,000: employers, recruiters, and job candidates; real-life events—not things that simply look good on paper. The information is revolutionary and cuts through the myths and confusion around current job markets and interviewing; giving you real, hardcore data and resources that will skyrocket you above the competition in your next career move, where you’ll actually land the job! Wave bye-bye to interview “bombing” for good. “Interview Intervention’s” strategies apply universally across nearly all industries and backgrounds. Imagine having the skills to take your career anywhere you want it to go? Andrew lays it all out, step-by-step: how to prepare, every type of interview question, the most common questions, and perfect ways to frame your answers to make the employer absolutely love you (and so much more)! Further, you’ll learn how to “interview the interviewer” with your own “power” questions, and how to go for the clincher to successfully seal the deal—on your own terms! For this book’s price-point, there’s nothing to lose! Grab a copy and prepare to take your career to the next level!
Wendi Steinberg More than 1 year ago
A wonderful and quick read that packs a ton of valuable information. If it is time for you to stop and rethink your job hunting strategies, this is the book you need to get your hands on immediately. It contains everything from advice in breaking down interview questions into two basic types to constructing responses to these questions to closing the deal to thank you's as well as other various communications.
Robert Godsey More than 1 year ago
If you ever thought about changing careers or wanted to advance in your current career but cringed about Interviewing this book takes care of that! This book puts Interviewing to simplistic terms and gives you the keys to get the job you are interviewing for. I love this book because I was changing careers and it made everything easy and put the nervousness at ease. Awesome book
TechRecruiter More than 1 year ago
I was hustling to prepare for an interview and saw this book. I didn't recognize the author and it looked like this was his first book. (He won't be an unknown for long.) I looked at the preview and table of contents on Amazon (it was cheaper here). TOC was robust and provided a lot of detail which grabbed my attention so I purchased it. The book is fantastic. I followed the early suggestions to make sure I new what to look for in the employer. The actual interview techniques are phenomenal. I even used some of the author's phrasing on some of my remarks during my job interview, and the interviewer kept saying, "great response!" The book is a winner.
JobSearcher More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. I've read of number of interviewing books over the years to help with the few transitions I've had, but this book was extremely unique. Most of the books I've read simply focused on "what" to answer when posed with a particular interviewing question. This book is nothing like that. The author actually exposed the true reasons why you get the job and a significant portion of the book focuses on helping you understand and overcome those reasons and challenges. Once you understand those reasons, you will be is much better position not only to sell yourself during the interview, but also make sure you properly evaluate the employer to determine if it's truly right for you. There was a bunch of additional extremely eye opening concepts regarding channeling emotion and intuition into your decision-making process. Unbelievably cool stuff.