What Color Is Your Parachute? Guide to Rethinking Interviews

Ace the Interview and Land Your Dream Job

Look inside
Interviews instill fear in many a job-hunter, but this empowering guide from legendary career expert Richard N. Bolles reveals that interviews are really just conversations to determine if the work—and workplace—is a great fit for both parties. 

For the first time, Bolles combines his decades of experience with the latest studies and job-market research to create an all-in-one guide for the whole interview process, from pre-interview research to elevator pitches, “tell me about yourself” questions, and salary negotiation. This slender handbook provides just the essentials: the three most important things the reader needs to know about interviews, the five questions the reader must have answers for, and an ingenious summary of how to succeed.
© Glenn Jones
Richard N. Bolles has led the career development field for more than 40 years. A member of Mensa and the Society for Human Resource Management, he has been the keynote speaker at hundreds of conferences. Bolles was trained in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and holds a bachelor’s degree cum laude in physics from Harvard University, a master’s in sacred theology from General Theological (Episcopal) Seminary in New York City, and three honorary doctorates. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Marci. Visit jobhuntersbible.com. View titles by Richard N. Bolles
The Three Most Important Things About Job Interviews
Boiling Things Down to Their Essence 
The First Most Important Thing to Know About Interviews 
The Second Most Important Thing to Know About Interviews
The Third Most Important Thing to Know About Interviews 
Summary 

Before the Interview
The Crucial Part of the Interview 
Researching the Organization Before the Interview 
Researching the Job Before the Interview 
Researching the Interviewer(s) Before the Interview 
Researching Salary Ranges Before the Interview 
Practicing “The Elevator Speech” 
How to Dress? 

During the Interview

Types of Interviews 
A Telephone Interview (Audio Only) 
Face to Face with a Group (All At Once) 
Face to Face with a Group (One At a Time) 
Face to Face with One Person 
A Skype Interview (Audio and Video) 
The Beginning of the Interview 
How Should You Greet the Interviewer? 
The Interview Is a Two-Way Conversation 
Your First Key Concern in the Conversation   
Your Second Key Concern in the Conversation
How to Deal with “Tell Me About Yourself” 

The Middle of the Interview 
What Is Your Greatest Weakness? 
What Is a Bad Employee? 
How Am I Doing, So Far? 
Time to Describe the Job • Indulge Your Curiosities 
Your Impressions 
The Closing of the Interview 
If They Say No 
If They Say Maybe 
If They Say Yes: Possible Job Offers from the Employer
Full-Time Work Offer • Part-Time Work Offer  • Project Work Offer 
Zero-Hour Work Offer • Get It in Writing • At-Will Employment 

After the Interview
The Thank-you Note or Notes 
If You Got the Job: Keep On Job-Hunting 
If You Didn’t Get the Job: Why You Didn’t 

Appendix A: Handicaps

You Are Handicapped, Eh? Everyone Is Handicapped 
Real Handicaps: What You Can’t Do and What You Can Do 
Phantom Handicaps: Only in the Eyes of Some Employers 
Handicap vs. Prejudice
The Key Employer Prejudices 

Appendix B: Salary Negotiation
The First Secret of Salary Negotiation 
The Second Secret of Salary Negotiation
The Third Secret of Salary Negotiation 
The Fourth Secret of Salary Negotiation 
About the Author 
Index
The Three Most Important Things About Job Interviews  
Boiling Things Down to Their Essence
“How to interview” is a very popular subject: in magazines, on the Internet, on YouTube, blogs, and websites. Indeed, whole books have been written about the subject. If all this advice were put together, you’d have an encyclopedia to study. But you don’t have the time, or the patience, to read all that stuff.
So, what I want to do in this small guide is to begin by boiling it all down, into a few essential ideas. 
Out of all the advice that is out there, here are the three most important things to know about job interviews.

The First Most Important Thing to Know About Interviews
An interview for a job is essentially just a conversation. Let’s use the metaphor of dating. This conversation is two people—employer and job-hunter—attempting to decide whether or not you both want to try “going steady.” A conversation requires two people, not one. This is not a silent auction. You’re thinking that in the interview it’s all up to the employer. Well, that’s not true. What the employer decides is critical, of course; but so is what you, the job-hunter, decide. If you doubt this last point, meditate on the word “quit.” It’s obvious you have something to say about taking this job, either now or later. (Choose Now.)

Even if you’re at the end of your rope, flat broke, starving, and you’ve got to takeanything that comes along, at this point, you still have the right to ask intelligent questions during the interview about what you’re getting yourself into. You don’t just sit there, quietly. The job interview should always be a genuine conversation.

It is important to notice that this conversation involves two stages. Most job-hunters assume it has just one: sell the employer on the idea that you’re the best person for the job. From the minute the interview begins, sell, sell, sell.

No, no, no. A true conversation has two stages, for both participants: first, information gathering, and only then, selling yourself. 

What kind of information do you as job-hunter want to gather? That’s pretty simple. You use the interview to satisfy your every curiosity about the place, the job, and the people there. You try to find out “Do I like you all? Do I want to work here?” You want to find that out now, not have to quit in two months, or somewhere down the road.

Only when you have finished your information gathering, only if you have concluded “Yes, I think I do want to work here,” do you then turn your energy toward the second phase of the conversation: marketing—selling them on the idea that You’re The One. 

It goes without saying that the interview is an information-gathering process for the employer as well. You already knew that. Whether one person or a team is interviewing you, they are using the interview(s) to find out “Do we like you? Do we want you? Do you have the skills, knowledge, or experience that we really need? Do you have the right attitude that we are looking for? And, how will you fit in with our other employees?”
Only if they decide that they want you, do they then enter into their second phase: selling you on the idea that this would be a good place for you to work. 

So there you have it, the first most important thing about the interview: It is a two-way conversation, between you and the employer, that has two steps for each of you: collecting information, then—and only then—selling.

About

Interviews instill fear in many a job-hunter, but this empowering guide from legendary career expert Richard N. Bolles reveals that interviews are really just conversations to determine if the work—and workplace—is a great fit for both parties. 

For the first time, Bolles combines his decades of experience with the latest studies and job-market research to create an all-in-one guide for the whole interview process, from pre-interview research to elevator pitches, “tell me about yourself” questions, and salary negotiation. This slender handbook provides just the essentials: the three most important things the reader needs to know about interviews, the five questions the reader must have answers for, and an ingenious summary of how to succeed.

Author

© Glenn Jones
Richard N. Bolles has led the career development field for more than 40 years. A member of Mensa and the Society for Human Resource Management, he has been the keynote speaker at hundreds of conferences. Bolles was trained in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and holds a bachelor’s degree cum laude in physics from Harvard University, a master’s in sacred theology from General Theological (Episcopal) Seminary in New York City, and three honorary doctorates. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Marci. Visit jobhuntersbible.com. View titles by Richard N. Bolles

Table of Contents

The Three Most Important Things About Job Interviews
Boiling Things Down to Their Essence 
The First Most Important Thing to Know About Interviews 
The Second Most Important Thing to Know About Interviews
The Third Most Important Thing to Know About Interviews 
Summary 

Before the Interview
The Crucial Part of the Interview 
Researching the Organization Before the Interview 
Researching the Job Before the Interview 
Researching the Interviewer(s) Before the Interview 
Researching Salary Ranges Before the Interview 
Practicing “The Elevator Speech” 
How to Dress? 

During the Interview

Types of Interviews 
A Telephone Interview (Audio Only) 
Face to Face with a Group (All At Once) 
Face to Face with a Group (One At a Time) 
Face to Face with One Person 
A Skype Interview (Audio and Video) 
The Beginning of the Interview 
How Should You Greet the Interviewer? 
The Interview Is a Two-Way Conversation 
Your First Key Concern in the Conversation   
Your Second Key Concern in the Conversation
How to Deal with “Tell Me About Yourself” 

The Middle of the Interview 
What Is Your Greatest Weakness? 
What Is a Bad Employee? 
How Am I Doing, So Far? 
Time to Describe the Job • Indulge Your Curiosities 
Your Impressions 
The Closing of the Interview 
If They Say No 
If They Say Maybe 
If They Say Yes: Possible Job Offers from the Employer
Full-Time Work Offer • Part-Time Work Offer  • Project Work Offer 
Zero-Hour Work Offer • Get It in Writing • At-Will Employment 

After the Interview
The Thank-you Note or Notes 
If You Got the Job: Keep On Job-Hunting 
If You Didn’t Get the Job: Why You Didn’t 

Appendix A: Handicaps

You Are Handicapped, Eh? Everyone Is Handicapped 
Real Handicaps: What You Can’t Do and What You Can Do 
Phantom Handicaps: Only in the Eyes of Some Employers 
Handicap vs. Prejudice
The Key Employer Prejudices 

Appendix B: Salary Negotiation
The First Secret of Salary Negotiation 
The Second Secret of Salary Negotiation
The Third Secret of Salary Negotiation 
The Fourth Secret of Salary Negotiation 
About the Author 
Index

Excerpt

The Three Most Important Things About Job Interviews  
Boiling Things Down to Their Essence
“How to interview” is a very popular subject: in magazines, on the Internet, on YouTube, blogs, and websites. Indeed, whole books have been written about the subject. If all this advice were put together, you’d have an encyclopedia to study. But you don’t have the time, or the patience, to read all that stuff.
So, what I want to do in this small guide is to begin by boiling it all down, into a few essential ideas. 
Out of all the advice that is out there, here are the three most important things to know about job interviews.

The First Most Important Thing to Know About Interviews
An interview for a job is essentially just a conversation. Let’s use the metaphor of dating. This conversation is two people—employer and job-hunter—attempting to decide whether or not you both want to try “going steady.” A conversation requires two people, not one. This is not a silent auction. You’re thinking that in the interview it’s all up to the employer. Well, that’s not true. What the employer decides is critical, of course; but so is what you, the job-hunter, decide. If you doubt this last point, meditate on the word “quit.” It’s obvious you have something to say about taking this job, either now or later. (Choose Now.)

Even if you’re at the end of your rope, flat broke, starving, and you’ve got to takeanything that comes along, at this point, you still have the right to ask intelligent questions during the interview about what you’re getting yourself into. You don’t just sit there, quietly. The job interview should always be a genuine conversation.

It is important to notice that this conversation involves two stages. Most job-hunters assume it has just one: sell the employer on the idea that you’re the best person for the job. From the minute the interview begins, sell, sell, sell.

No, no, no. A true conversation has two stages, for both participants: first, information gathering, and only then, selling yourself. 

What kind of information do you as job-hunter want to gather? That’s pretty simple. You use the interview to satisfy your every curiosity about the place, the job, and the people there. You try to find out “Do I like you all? Do I want to work here?” You want to find that out now, not have to quit in two months, or somewhere down the road.

Only when you have finished your information gathering, only if you have concluded “Yes, I think I do want to work here,” do you then turn your energy toward the second phase of the conversation: marketing—selling them on the idea that You’re The One. 

It goes without saying that the interview is an information-gathering process for the employer as well. You already knew that. Whether one person or a team is interviewing you, they are using the interview(s) to find out “Do we like you? Do we want you? Do you have the skills, knowledge, or experience that we really need? Do you have the right attitude that we are looking for? And, how will you fit in with our other employees?”
Only if they decide that they want you, do they then enter into their second phase: selling you on the idea that this would be a good place for you to work. 

So there you have it, the first most important thing about the interview: It is a two-way conversation, between you and the employer, that has two steps for each of you: collecting information, then—and only then—selling.

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