The purpose of this book is to prepare you for doing your best in the interviewing process. At one time, performing well during the traditional interviewing process could land you the job. Not any more! The job search climate is more erratic than it has ever been.
The good news is that for the foreseeable future, there are going to be more job opportunities available than there will be people. Estimates range that there will be everywhere from 5 to 12 million more jobs between now and 2015. The 78 million baby boomers will pass the business baton to 48 million GenXers. The United States has been adding more than a hundred thousand jobs a month for the last few years. The Department of Labor says that 4.6 million people start new jobs every month. The GDP has been growing at 3% every year for the last few years, corporate profits are up, and U.S. business has been expanding at 15% per year during the last two years.
The challenging news is that the business climate is more treacherous than it has ever been. Technology has spawned a world economy. Competition has forced companies to expand and contract more rapidly than ever before. The rarity of employee layoffs in the early 1980s is now usual practice in U.S. business.
The idea of career employment is a thing of the past. A "career path" within any company is merely recruitment propaganda. Employers and employees have generational differences in values. A Gallup Organization poll in March 2007 found that 70% of U.S. employees say they feel either "not engaged" or "actively disengaged" at work. The average U.S. CEO only keeps his or her job for five years, according to Business Briefings (July, 2007). In 2006, the average 40-year-old worker in the United States had had ten jobs.
The average U.S. company in my opinion, is going to change its complexion every two and a half to three years. The average employee in the United States needs to be prepared to change jobs every two and a half to three years. Although the job opportunities may be more plentiful, the emotional strain of looking for a job is still a fact.
You are going to have to look at each job change as a "step" in your career. Rather than looking at a job with any company as a long-term commitment, you're going to need to ask yourself, "How can I leverage this experience two to three years from now?" Business and companies in the United States are simply going to be more flexible and fluid. The size of every company's workforce will ebb and flow erratically.
For the foreseeable future individuals looking for a job will have a number of opportunities available to them. In order to be able to select the best opportunity for one's career, the job seeker is going to have to perform, not just well, but excellently in the interviewing process.
Remember, interviewing is a staged, contrived event. A perspective employer is going to ask four simple questions: Can you do the job? Do we like you? Are you a risk? and Can we work the money out? Now the answers to these questions are much more difficult. You have to really understand the questions and practice the answers.
A successful candidate is not only going to have to know how to answer the qualifying questions of the interviewing process, but also how to ask the right questions to evaluate the career move. He or she not only has to nail the interview questions 100%, but also to ask the right questions to determine his or her own future in the job.
In contrast to traditional hiring, where a career path might have been possible, a candidate has to be conscious of how a new job would "build" on his or her career. The company you are interviewing with is going to change, even if you go to work there. If your next job is only going to last two and a half to three years (. . . and I hope it lasts longer for you), you need to think of the job as a strategic career stepping stone. How can you "sell" this experience to your next employer?
Acing the interview is a must for your career. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Acing the interview is a way of thinking! Practice, Practice, Practice!