Ask The Headhunter
Re: Phone Interview

Format for Printing

Format for printing

Request Reprints


By TheHeadhunter
May 25, 2006

Posts selected for this feature rarely stand alone. They are usually a part of an ongoing thread, and are out of context when presented here. The material should be read in that light. How are these posts selected? Click here to find out and nominate a post yourself!

The key to any interview is to forget about yourself. Think about the employer and the challenge he/she faces. That's what you want to talk about.

The stuff you lack is irrelevant if you can show that you recognize what you lack, and how you'll compensate. Best way to do this: Ask the manager point-blank what key things he needs the new hire to accomplish. Then briefly explain how you'll use "what you've got" to meet the challenge, but then, just as important, ADMIT what you're lacking and then outline a brief PLAN for how you will use your abilities to get the work done anyway. There's nothing wrong with saying you will study, read, and talk with others in the dept - whatever you need to do - to get the job done.

If I dropped you out of a helicopter onto a desert island and all I gave you was a penknife and a hardboiled egg, you'd find a way to survive. That's what you need to demonstrate here - how you'd survive and thrive with what you've got -- because NO ONE "has it all". What the manager needs to see is that you know how to use what you've got to get the job done.

So go for it. Don't focus on you. Focus on what the manager needs to have done. Then quickly pick from your skills, apply them appropriately, and then add a plan for how you will handle those challenges you haven't tackled before.

I wasn't qualified to publish a web site until I built in 1997. I figured it out as I went. Now when you Google "headhunter" it's right there in your face.

But someone else once explained what "qualified" means better than I can explain it:

"What is 'qualified'? What have I been qualified for in my life? I haven't been qualified to be a mayor. I'm not qualified to be a songwriter. I'm not qualified to be a TV producer. I'm not qualified to be a successful businessman. And so, I don't know what 'qualified' means. And I think people get too hung up on that anway, you know?"

Sonny Bono said that after he got elected to office.

Nick Corcodilos
Ask The Headhunter

Author of the free Ask The Headhunter Newsletter:

Become a Complete Fool
Join the best community on the web! Becoming a full member of the Fool Community is easy, takes just a minute, and is very inexpensive.