Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Job Interviews are Information-Gathering Opportunities

I am such a believer in getting interviews no matter whether you're 100% sure you want the job. Interviews go two ways, for you are learning as much about the prospective employer as they are learning about you.

A job posting only gives you a hint about a job, and can tell you that there are some aspects that interest you - just as a resume only gives a two-dimensional, very brief picture of you, the applicant. So if you see jobs that might be sort of interesting, I encourage you to apply and see if you get an interview. My blog ( has a few posts that list search sites.

I also encourage you to keep an open mind and think about an interview simply as an information-gathering opportunity. Getting an interview doesn't mean you will be offered or will accept the job. It's just one more step along your path to the "right fit."

One person I know just went on an interview and was quite pleasantly surprised to find that, contrary to the horror stories she'd heard about the place, there was a new spirit and new people who want to create a healthy culture and bring in great people (hopefully like her...). Luckily, she had an open mind and went to the interview. Now the job is a serious contender in her search.

Remember, too, that a great cover letter is the way to get an interview. The best cover letters match your "value proposition" to the stated "market need" in the posting and job description. Of course, your resume has to be in top shape. But for people trying to transition into new sectors, or jump up a level, a carefully written cover letter is key. While it may take several hours and drafts to craft a tailored and targeted cover letter, think about it as an investment in your finding the "right fit" job.

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