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Sex and Your Job Search: A Guide to Scoring Your Dream Job by Dominic Bokich. (Smith Publicity Inc.)
Sex and Your Job Search: A Guide to Scoring Your Dream Job by Dominic Bokich. (Smith Publicity Inc.)

Book Excerpt

The seven skills you need to land your dream job Add to ...

This is an excerpt from Sex and Your Job Search: A Guide to Scoring Your Dream Job by talent acquisition specialist Dominic Bokich. Reprinted by arrangement with Smith Publicity Inc. Copyright © Dominic Bokich, 2013.

Before an interview it is a good idea to take a personal inventory of your professional achievements and who you are as an employee, and apply them to the job duties of the position you are interested in. But instead of telling stories about travel and family like you would on a date, you should address the Seven Universal Skills and Three Universal Values that every employer wants to see in someone they hire.

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By speaking to these Skills and Values, you build trust quickly (this is essential) and demonstrate that you deal with challenges well, think critically, like what you do, have professional goals, exhibit a sense of humor, and would make a good “work partner.” Doing these things significantly improves your chances of receiving a job offer. …

The Seven Universal Skills

• Accuracy and Attention to Detail: Think about the most detailed or difficult task you were ever responsible for. Or think about a time when you had to ask questions to solve a particular problem or challenge. What did you do? What did you learn?

What happened when you missed an important deadline? How did you make sure it didn’t happen again? …

You will most likely be asked about something that’s gone wrong at some point in your previous position. Explain how you analyzed and solved the problem, were better prepared when it came up again, and how you stopped it from escalating due to what you learned. But try to only give one or two example of things going wrong in the interview. The interviewer is looking for patterns. Don’t validate a weakness by giving several examples of things not working out well.

• Adaptability and Flexibility: Try to come up with a time when things became very busy at work and you had to take on additional tasks. What steps did you take to make sure nothing fell through the cracks? How did everything turn out? What critical-thinking, analytical, decision-making, and/or problem-solving skills or processes did you use? Did you come up with a business strategy by yourself, and how did that include teamwork? …

• Communication: Think about a time when you have adjusted your communication style so someone else could better understand what you were trying to say. Or think about a time when you had to deal with a situation where there had been a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding, maybe with a diverse group of people. What was the situation? What did you do? How did it turn out? Include “listening” as a part of your solution. …

If you would like to talk about a challenge you had with a coworker, please make sure you come out looking like a saint and that you found a way to work in harmony. You can express your concern with co-workers who weren’t motivated or didn’t follow directions and as a result didn’t produce quality work. Show that you remained positive when dealing with that person. Otherwise, try to stay away from these types of stories. …

• Creativity: This skill could also be called Strategic Thinking. Please keep that in mind. Try to come up with an example of when you solved a problem in a new way or through an unconventional approach. What was the creative solution to the challenge and what was the outcome? Have you ever bent the company rules to work through a challenge? What did you do? How did it turn out? What did you learn? …

• Customer Focus: Describe a time when you went above and beyond for a customer. What was the situation, what did you do, how did it turn out?

Have you ever stayed late or come in on a weekend to finish a project to prove your commitment to the organization? What was the situation? What did you do?

Or talk about an example when an employee or customer asked you a question to which you did not know the answer. What did you do? How did they react? How did it turn out?

Have you ever been rejected on a sales call? How did you respond? What did you learn? What did you change the next time you approached a potential customer?

• Organization and Time Management: Think about a time when you were faced with conflicting priorities. How did you figure out which task was most important? Did you incorporate leadership skills, delegate responsibility, or ask for help? What critical thinking, analytical, decision-making, and/or problem-solving skills or processes did you use? Explain how you solved the problem, were better prepared when it came up again, and what you learned.

Have you ever forgotten to do something important? What was it and what happened? Don’t be afraid to share a learning experience where you missed something or made an error. There is a strong likelihood that you will be asked for one. Talk about what you’ve learned from that experience and what you would do differently if you were in that situation again. …

• Technical Ability: This is a job-specific question. When applying for your dream job, you were most likely presented with a list of the requirements. Print, save, or take a screen capture of those job duties immediately so that you can highlight your skills in those areas during the interview. The reason being is that most jobs will disappear from a website before the interviews begin. …

Next, think of stories of where you’ve learned something quickly and where you’ve incorporated this skill at work. Take a moment to come up with an example of how you’ve become more efficient and involved in your profession. Do you belong to a professional organization? Have you taken a class or received a certification? Do you read a professional publication or have an interesting topic you are an expert on? How have you applied that knowledge at work? What was the result?

Think of a good example of how you have progressed at work. Have you received a promotion due to your efforts and your ability to solve challenges quickly? Have you received more responsibility? What were your rewards for doing so? …

Once you are done creating a list of seven or more stories, ask yourself what the three most important skills are for the job you will be interviewing for. Focus on truly perfecting those three stories as they relate to the duties of your dream job.

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