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Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Interviewing Techniques: Be A Problem Solver

One very uncomfortable aspect of looking for work is the need to "sell yourself" in an interview. Most of us are raised to be modest, or at least to present ourselves that way. "Blowing our own horn" makes us self-conscious, awkward, and a little tongue-tied.

It may reduce your stress level to take a slightly different approach: rather than feeling that you have to sell your personal effectiveness, focus on your problem-solving ability which is really the heart of the interviewer's interest.

If company problems are discussed, take the opportunity to outline similar problems you have encountered in previous positions and the steps you took to resolve them. If the employer does not mention current problems or challenges, don't assume that they don't exist. Any employment situation has obstacles: not enough business, too much business in too short a time, procedural difficulties, processing hold-ups.

Ask the employer what is his biggest headache and use his answer to demonstrate your skills. By concentrating on the interventions you might make, you forget about yourself and become more comfortable with the entire situation.

An additional benefit is that the interviewer has the opportunity to "see you at work" rather than having to probe for specifics behind a front of self-hype.

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