Interview Preparation

Interview Preparation

Our Current Interview Preparation System

This is a system I have been refining and upgrading for more than twenty years.  This is an area of very very high expertise – and I strongly recommend you go through this prior to any interview of any kind.  It is more useful to review if you have an actual interview scheduled – either face to face or on the phone.  However, if interviewing is an area of concern for you, you will benefit from going through this on a “dry run” basis.

I did this as a webinar and recorded it, but there were challenges with the recording.  So I went and re-recorded it – and again challenges.  So, I did it a third time, this time recording it on audio.  I am giving you both the original PowerPoint presentation and the audio file that goes with it.  My recommendation is to listen to the audio – and keep up with the PowerPoint as I go through it.  You might want to start by just scrolling through the PowerPoint to see the slides – and then go back and start listening.
Here is the link to the PowerPoint:

Here is the link to the two audio files (should be listened to in sequence):

This first is approximately 40 minutes long

The second is just 3 minutes long – tells a story about how to wrap up the interview

Here is an “Interview Check List” – things you can do as part of your preparation for a specific company and a specific position:

Here  notes on how to prepare for a telephone interview:


Our Prior System of Interview Preparation

Here are some audio files from several years ago.  I describe the interview prep system that my clients used for several years.   You will, of course, hear many of the ideas that were expressed in a little more advanced form in the other audio files – and in the PowerPoint.

I include these because this talk was so incredibly useful to our clients for so many years.  I can think of one client who told me that he listened to it on the way to and from work every single day of the week while he was doing his search.  He claimed to have heard it beginning to end at least 30 times.  He used this prep – and the related exercises, to land a $140,000 a year job.

Keep in mind as you go through all of this information – that you want to listen, absorb and ADAPT the ideas to the specifics of your situation.   This is in a sense a smorgasboard of ideas and information to help to  very quickly raise your knowledge and education about this critical topic.  The REAL power is in translating this into – first, preparation, and second, execution.


Links to Articles

These are additional resources to increase your learning about interviewing.  I don’t wholeheartedly agree with every single point or nuance that is in these articles.  However, they contain information which I believe is potentially valuable, and I do agree with the main thrust of what is in them.

Probing for Pain Points in an Interview  – The idea of “uncover the pain point” is a sound fundamental of advanced sales training.  This article explains how to apply it in your interviewing.  My recommendation is that prior to your interviews you should have a good idea of what those pain points, or potential ones, are.  But read this – and it should sharpen up your awareness of this sound idea – and how to apply it to your interview and followup.

62 Interview Questions People Said Were Their Favorites – Results of a survey primarily composed of HR managers and recruiters.  If you really want to go over a “what if” scenario of all potential questions – this has some good ones in it.  My advice – zero in on the questions you fear the most – either from this list, or from your own mind and heart – and figure out a way to give your best answer to it.

Three Tips to Prepare for a Phone Interview – Written on dice.com – an outstanding tech job site.  Very basic, and consistent with our approach.

The Strange, Difficult Questions CEO’s Ask in Interviews – This really gets to the heart of “what question do you fear most?”.  When you are prepared not only to be “proactive” and sell your strong points but also have a good answer to your toughest questions – you are ready to interview.

Ten Questions to Ask When Interviewing Candidates for IT Positions – Obviously a specialty article.  But a good one for IT people to.

Interview Tips – Getting Your Body Language Right – A good and interesting take on “Body Language”, which is a part of our core interview prep system.

How to Increase Your Interviewing Odds – Solid piece of writing about preparation and execution in interviewing.


A Storytelling Lesson from Steve Jobs

Storytelling is one of the great skills of communication.  It is essential to good interviewing.  In this webinar, with the permission of TED.com, Steve Jobs legendary Commencement Speech at Stanford University.  He brilliantly demonstrates the power of storytelling – why it is so important, how to do it.  There are some great lessons in here for today’s jobseekers.  As a bonus there is a wonderful and extremely powerful interview technique described after the Jobs speech and analysis.

Responding to Advertisements

Responding to Advertisements

The knowledge you will gain and the skills you will develop by learning how to respond to advertisements will apply to every aspect of your job search.  The days of “every company gets the same resume and cover letter” are over – and they will never return.  Many of the new concepts, techniques and technologies of “information age job search” which are detailed here have been developed within the past year.  They have made a huge difference to our clients.  If you will use them, and persistently apply them, they can and will help you “Crack the Code” and get to the front of the hiring line.

If you are pressed for time and just want to know the “How To” – you can skip right to the Customization (Resume and Cover Letter) webinars and pdfs.   If you can, I do recommend you watch the earlier information, as it will give you the thinking behind the techniques, which will really help accelerate your learning curve.  For many of the webinars, we have also created downloadable pdf files.

“Cracking the Code Introduction”  (20 minutes)

This webinar lays the foundation for what will follow.  It explains how dramatically the job search world has shifted (going from the “good old days” of snail mail resumes, when there would be 30-40 resumes for each job, and 6-8 interviews.  Now so much of it is electronic, and there are often 200+ applicants).  It shows the twin effects of a prolonged economic stagnation – and the increasingly electronic nature of all businesses.  It ends by demonstrating the five greatest mistakes of job seekers.


“Our Interview Generating System”  (60 minutes)

This webinar previews and overviews our entire interview generating system – from beginning to end.  The essence of it is: conducting research of the target company; finding out who is managing the search within the target company; performing keyword analysis of the ad; customizing your resume and cover letter based on that analysis; mailing a hard copy of the resume and the letter through the mail (yes, “snail mail”); leaving a “voicemail elevator speech” – and persisting to success.  We strongly recommend you watch and understand this system – because when properly and persistently utilized, it really gets results.


“How to Find a Contact”  (90 Minutes)

This three-part series may seem intimidating, and even tedious, but it is really worth digging into.  If you can find the name of the person who is handling the search that you are applying to, you will be in the top 2% of all applicants – instantly.  These three webinars are me doing an actual project for a client – and you will see some trial and error.  You will see the need to be innovative, bold and to take action to get results.

Part 1

Takes about 12-15 minutes to give you the context – what is behind the importance of this skill.  Then I start off by showing how to use the Advanced Search on LinkedIn to start locating contacts.


Part 2

In this recording I explain how I achieved success while I was doing the customization samples shown on my own resume.  I believe there is a recording on here – where you can here me making a call and getting the info.  This demonstrates that it is as a rule a little easier to get this info from a small to mid-sized company than a major corporation.  It also shows that for all the prep we do recommend, sometimes it is a simple matter of calling the main phone number and asking the receptionist.


Part 3

More details, more technique.  In this recording I show how to penetrate a larger organization.  In this I show how I would go about penetrating a major employer who throws up obstacles and makes it hard to contact them.   The exact technique used in this was successfully used by another client – who just called me and said that he had successfully “breached the wall” at one of the area’s major insurance corporations for a 100K type of job – despite the fact that all of his professional experience came in an industry outside insurance/financial services.

“Getting the Job Search Contact Name”


Customizing a Resume & Cover Letter

In two different sets of webinars, I walk you through the customization of a resume and cover letter to meet the specific needs of an opening.  This includes doing keyword research, learning about the company through their website, using LinkedIn, and specifically how to make the changes to the resume and letter which will TOTALLY upgrade your chances for success.

I recommend you view the “Customizing a Resume – 2” and “Customizing a Cover Letter – 2” webinars first, because they are shorter – and the amount of change I do is a little less.   After you watch that, then you can watch “Customizing a Resume – 1” and “Customizing a Cover Letter – 1”, in which I took my original resume writing resume – and turn it into a resume, and cover letter – to become a healthcare writer.  If you watch both of these – and follow along – you will really understand the system.

“Customizing Your Cover Letter”

“Customizing Your Resume”

Recruiters / Headhunters

Recruiters / Headhunters

This is a short (less than eleven minute) webinar in which I demonstrate exactly how to implement one of our campaigns.  There is also a downloadable pdf file which gives you the step by step directions.  This is NOT a webinar on the use and value of recruiters, and whether you should consider using them.  If that is your interest, that type of information is covered in the “Recruiters/Headhunters” webinar in the Free Resources section of the main website.

“How to Execute Your Recruiter – Headhunter Campaign”

Direct Marketing

Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is the “most successful/least used” job search techniques.  These webinars describe how to do company research and build a database for a direct marketing campaign through the mail.  Currently we are helping clients launch a multi-media direct marketing campaign, of which direct mail is a part.  This two part webinar will show you how to build a direct marketing database.  This database can be used for all campaigns through all media (email, linked-in, phone).  To get started on this, we recommend that you first watch the short webinar in the “Free Resources” section of this site.  Then watch these two webinars and use the information in them to begin putting your own database together.   Download the MS Excel file to your hard drive or the cloud. And begin customizing it with your own contact information.

LinkedIn / Social Media

LinkedIn / Social Media

How to Give Your Job Search a “Social Media Makeover”  (60 minutes)

This is one of the most popular of the “Black Belt Job Search” webinar series.  This is an outstanding overview and introduction to the power and concepts of social media marketing methodologies as applied to job search.  This webinar is especially good if you aren’t especially “technological.”  It will show you how an investment in learning and a couple of hours of implementation can be the single greatest “game-changing” activity you can do early in your search. Topics in this include: Why “Social Mediaze Your Search”; How to Add a New Line to Your Resume Address (LinkedIn/Twitter/Skype); How to Set Your LinkedIn Settings; an Introduction to Skype (it is free); The Power of Cloud Computing; How to Create Pdfs; Posting and Linking Content on the Cloud; Introduction to Dropbox; Using Bit.ly; Introduction to Twitter; An Easy Way for Anyone to Begin Blogging/Tweeting; Building an Identity on LinkedIn as a Thought Leader.  The webinar is approximately 60 minutes long:


LinkedIn Profile Building  (18 minutes)

This webinar is a good solid introduction to the LinkedIn Profile – its elements and why it is so important.  It covers five basic aspects of LinkedIn profile development: “Getting to 100%” (on LinkedIn profile building system); Strategically Joining Groups; your “Branding Statement” Getting Recommendations; and Constantly Upgrading.  If you have the time and want to learn everything you can about LinkedIn, definitely watch this.  It goes by quickly – and it may well contain a couple of ideas you don’t know.


LinkedIn Network Building & Company Research  (38 minutes)

There are two fundamentals to LinkedIn success – an optimized profile and a robust network.  A good profile without a strong network will not get you noticed by the corporate recruiters and headhunters.  With a small network you are, in effect, “invisible” on LinkedIn.  This webinar clearly explains the power of a LinkedIn network and gives some great ideas on how to build one.  You will learn the critical importance of building the “third level” of your network.  It shows the greatest, fastest way to do that – by approaching Open Networkers (or “LIONs”).  You will watch me send an invite to a LION – how to do it and the wording.  The webinar then goes into Company Research – how to locate companies to approach, how to approach people within those companies, how to begin building relationships with them.  These technique are fantastic for direct marketing campaigns, but also can be applied to your advertised response campaigns.  Then it shows how to build your LinkedIn network in a specific geographic area and industry.  I actually do a search for a client – a Retail Manager who was relocating to the Tampa area.  I then show you how to use the “Companies” aspect of LinkedIn’s Advanced Search capability – and how you can start building a target company/organization list.  A truly power packed approximately 40 minutes of info.  Learn these techniques and your LinkedIn/Social Media confidence will soar.


How to Write & Post a LinkedIn Recommendation  (11 minutes)

One of the best ways to build your profile strength is to get actual recommendations.  This is a webinar which shows how to write and post a LinkedIn recommendations.  I suggest you use it by writing some recommendations for people you know.  This is also an excellent video for one of your recommenders to see.  In it I actually think through, plan out, draft, edit and post a recommendation for a friend of mine.  If you believe this would be helpful to provide to your recommenders, here is a link you can give them to it.

Information Theory

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