Saturday, January 26, 2008

More Election Coverage

Seattle turned out to be a nice city. Cold but nice. I stayed up in Bothell which is 20 min north of Seattle. I stayed just down the street from the company where I interviewed. The interview went all day again but seemed to go well. Joe, Negin and I went out for sushi on Thursday (it was the first time I had seen sushi on a conveyor belt). I didn't go see much of the city but I think I got a good idea of it.


SarahPyrah said...

Strange But True Job-Hunting Tactics
By Robert Half International

Some people will go to great lengths to attract an employer’s attention or prove they’re a cut above the competition. These attempts to stand out, however, can leave potential employers perplexed and reluctant to extend a job offer.

Robert Half International recently asked executives to describe the strangest pitches they’ve heard from potential hires. The responses ranged from a person who noted that he’d be a great addition to the company softball team to the candidate who had to be hired because he was “allergic to unemployment.”

While these applicants may have won a chuckle or two during the interview, their tactics likely left hiring managers less than impressed.

Following are some additional examples that stood out to survey respondents — for better or worse:

• “One candidate sang all of her responses to interview questions.”

• “A gentleman delivered his entire cover letter verbally as a rap song.”

• “One individual said we had nice benefits, which was good because he was going to need to take a lot of leave in the next year.”

• “One job seeker said he should get the job because he had already applied three times and felt that it was now his turn.”

• “A person said he had no relevant experience for the position he was interviewing for, but his friend did.”

• “One person brought his mother to the job interview and let her do all the talking.”

Unique job-hunting techniques can sometimes help you get a foot in the door, but they also carry an element of risk. While you want to deliver an impactful pitch, you don’t want to come across as unprofessional or unqualified.

Following are four tips to help you answer the one question all employers want to know — “Why should we hire you?” — with style and grace:

• Know your value. Before the interview, visit the company’s Web site to educate yourself about the firm and learn about its business goals. This information will help you highlight your abilities that directly relate to the position. For example, if you’re applying for an accounting manager position and asked why you’re qualified for the role, a good answer might be, “I was responsible for overseeing a high volume of accounts payable and receivable records in my last position, so I’m well equipped to handle the scope of work involved.”

• Share something personal. More than two-thirds of executives surveyed by Robert Half said employees who are passionate about interests outside of the office typically perform better at work. If you can tie an outside interest to the requirements of the job, it can be an interesting conversation point. For example, if the position you are applying for requires strong communication skills, you might describe your role as a youth volleyball coach and the issues you face communicating with players, parents and other coaches.

• Show enthusiasm. Along with describing how your experience can benefit the organization, point out what makes you interested in that particular firm. If you are a graphic designer interviewing with a company known for its use of cutting-edge technology, for instance, explain how excited you are to be working with the latest software applications. Also, smile and be positive — showing genuine enthusiasm for the job can boost your chances of being further considered for the position.

• Be yourself. Adjusting your personality or inflating your achievements in an attempt to make a better impression is bound to backfire. If you are an introvert but claim to be outgoing and assertive, it may be difficult surviving — and thriving — in a highly competitive work environment. Being yourself during the interview is crucial if you want to ensure a good fit with the organization and role for which you are applying.

Job-hunting strategies don’t have to be mind-blowing to be memorable. In fact, focusing on more traditional tactics -- researching the company and position, and preparing thoroughly for the interview -- often will yield better results than fixating on developing a clever pitch.

Robert Half International Inc. is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 350 offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. For more information about our professional services, please visit

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 12:47 PM

SarahPyrah said...

so my below comment is lengthy, but I figure it is ok since no one else comments...