As much as I believe in the power of a well-crafted, targeted executive resume to provide a strong competitive advantage in the job search, I also believe it is important to recognize that poor or mediocre interviewing skills will waste the opportunity that resume has put on your plate.
A 2010 SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) survey provides the following statistics:
* Resumes lead to interviews 31% of the time.
* Applications lead to interviews 25% of the time.
* Networking contacts lead to interviews 44% of the time.
But what happens after that? It is only logical to conclude that 100% of job offers won are the result of the interview!
Recruiters bemoan the fact that so much hype surrounds having a powerful resume. While not discounting the resume’s importance, there seems to be scant attention paid to the fact that most candidates interview poorly. As one recruiter in Atlanta who has been in the industry for 23 years observed, in sports you can make a fortune by finishing second, but “when it comes to the sport of job interviewing, if you don’t finish first, you get nothing.”
So, once you have a dynamite resume put together, focus on your interviewing skills. Be able to provide high-impact, succinct answers to questions and able to convey in a powerful manner your qualifications, accomplishments, and the value proposition you bring to the table. It is critical to be prepared for the unexpected, especially in the highly competitive job market of today in which the person on the other side of the table is likely to throw unique, off-the-wall questions at you such as:
“If you were a superhero, what would be your power?”
“If you were a Star Wars character, which one would you be?”
“What flavor of ice cream do you like best and why?”
Since as the author of the book, Naked at the Interview states, “Interviewing is perhaps the most universally feared undertaking, second only to an IRS audit,” it is essential that you eliminate that fear with a high level of preparation that makes the interview just another conversation.