Gent Hints – The Office – Preparing Your Job Narrative

jobsRest assured, the cognizant gentleman fully comprehends that preparing for a job interview entails more than rudimentary touch-up of one’s resume. A gentleman needs a narrative that coincides with what your potential employer is looking for in a potential worker. Therefore, diligent preparation is paramount. Your job interview should convey a story  – your personal story. It should be a story that will compel a company to look to you as its newest, welcome addition that furthers their mission. In that interview, your presence must have a purpose. Otherwise – why are you even there? Here are a few suggestions that will help you craft a narrative that will leave an employer thoroughly impressed, and hopefully, ending with you being hired.

  • Let’s start with your resume because it is something that should not be dismissed. To be sure, correct spelling and grammar is important, however, a gentleman should have his employment history and job duties memorized. Reading off your resume verbatim will not only negate your much-needed eye contact, but it will also bore your audience and make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. If needed, quick glances should be okay, but one’s work history should be etched into your memory by now.
  • Familiarize oneself with not only the history of your potential employer, but also commit its mission and vision statement to memory. You have visited their About Page correct? If at all possible, educate yourself regarding company culture, as much as possible. Example: If the environment focuses on the team concept, but your strength is independent work, that may be a hard sale.
  • Peruse your targeted job description, focus your attention on the abilities and characteristics that the employer desires in an employee. Do you possess any of these qualities? You may not want to use the exact same words to describe yourself in your interview, so consult a thesaurus and craft your pitch as close as possible without blatant plagiarism.
  • Bear in mind, it is not enough to tout your abilities with artful adjectives. One requires concrete examples that fully and clearly illustrate your capabilities that extend beyond the well-thought words on your resume. A gentleman should enter an interview with at least 3-5 real life situations that challenged him in a fashion that showcased his problem-solving skills. I suggest you practice and commit them to memory.
  • It would be helpful if these real life situations were written down and studied. Currently employed? Even better; the challenges you face and resolve should be dutifully documented for upward job movement in your future. A mock interview with a friend can ensure that your dialogue comes across effortlessly. Preparation, preparation, and more preparation.
  • However, you don’t want to rattle off information like a robot. You want to be thoughtful in your responses. Take your time and answer questions in a measured, natural manner.
  • A gentleman should also enter an interview with examples that illustrate his initiative and how he goes beyond what is expected of him. You have to convey that you have the necessary drive to exceed expectations and not just settle for the status quo. You want to present yourself as a much-needed asset that the employer would be foolish to bypass.
  • A gentleman should enter an interview with both short and long-term goals. How do your goals align with the job description and company goals? Be prepared to answer these questions.
  • Be prepared to ask meaningful questions; questions that go beyond the requisite query regarding hours, pay, and yes – office aesthetics. Once I seriously had someone ask for a comfortable seat with good lighting preferably with a window – this was for an entry-level position. Bold, but not a good look. Company growth, opportunity for personal growth, company direction, job expectations not spelled out in the job description – these are questions that expand your conversation and demonstrate thought and character. Sure, pay and work hours count, but it shouldn’t be the first – and only – thing you address.
  • So, you may be asking: But I just applied for this job, and I don’t have sufficient enough time to prepare, what do I do? Well, try to employ as many of these points as you can, but don’t let that fact deter you from building a foundation for that next job interview.
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