Mastering the Job Interview
How I created Mastering the Job Interview Imagine you are an entrepreneur who wants to build a new hospital in a provincial village in Botswana, Africa. You care very much about your project and you know that the local community will greatly benefit from your work. However, the local rules require you to meet with and get approval from the local tribal chief, who happens to have no formal education and does not speak English. At that point you get the following advice: -Have a positive attitude, firm handshake, eye-contact and present your positive experience in the best possible light, list all the benefits they will get from your work ... As a person who spent 8 months in a provincial village in Botswana, helping build the local telephone system, I can tell that no amount of preparation can be useful when meeting with the local tribal chief (and yes - they do have the last word according to the law). The chief was smart, self-educated, old man, who while listening to my translated arguments looked at me carefully and evaluated me as a person. I was about to 'invade' his community and he wanted to know if I would be a good fit as a person, to the culture of his village. This is pretty much what happens with every good hiring manager - you can be the best at what you do, and yet the manager may find a better fit. So what do you do as a candidate to become the best fit? Obviously you will try to learn everything about the company's culture and will try to present yourself as the best fit for this culture. But how do you know if the next candidate is not just a little better fit? May be you can learn about these other candidates before the interview. One way to do this is to carefully evaluate the candidates, presented in Mastering the Job Interview. What kind of a fit are they? Do you think the chief will select the smart, sharp, experienced guy with the German accent, the stuttering Boston fellow who proudly admits that he has passion for accounting and is the first in his family to go to college, or the Indian from MIT, who just added a Harvard MBA to his belt. Or may be they are all too aggressive for your 'village' and if you were the chief you would get the Taiwanese woman from San Francisco, who has the least experience and is relatively shy. Well - a picture is worth a thousand words and a person consists of a thousand pictures, which stay in the mind of the afore-mentioned hiring chief. And if you have in your mind the pictures of the German guy, the Boston fellow, the Indian, and the Taiwanese woman from San Francisco, you can find a way to be better than all of them on your interview. As an international student at Babson and associate at the MBA career office in 1998, I encountered these cultural issues and decided that it must be because I am from Bulgaria - a different culture. Then I discovered that a fellow Babsonite from Iowa had the same issues. Then another born-in-the-USA job-hunter shared she had the same issues. After careful analysis we believe it is all due to the fact that there is no homogeneous culture among the US companies. Each one of them is a tribe of it's own. So this is how I decided to put Mastering the Job Interview together. And I am greatly encouraged by the positive feedback I am getting from many college professors and career specialists. Let me know what you think. Vlad Zachary.