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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on June 28, 2000. All rights reserved.

Preparing to Interview: Marc Dorio’s Guide

You have been fired and are afraid of what your former

boss will say if contacted by your current employment prospects. What

do you do?

Marc Dorio provides at least one quick-fix solution to this

problem in his recently-published book for the jobseeker, "The

Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Interview" (Alpha Books,

MacMillan Press, $14.95). Although it might be difficult, Dorio writes,

call your old boss to ask where you stand, and if he or she would

be willing to say that you were laid off rather than fired. Put it

this way: "The problem is that every time I tell a prospective

employer about my termination I blow another shot at a paycheck."

A human resources expert based in Titusville (who earned a master’s

degree in organizational psychology after leaving the priesthood),

Dorio is also author of the "The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting

the Job You Want" (Alpha Books, Macmillan Press, $24.95), in which

he puts to rest the age-old myth that human resources people actually

read resumes.

Once you’ve gotten past the gatekeeper, the next big step is the dreaded

job interview. Dorio’s advice: don’t prepare for the interview, prepare

for interviewing.

In this 320-page book, Dorio dispels some common interview myths (Myth

No. 1: Employers know what they want) and tells people how to translate

their work experience into verbiage that prospective employers can

understand. He also lists a few ice-breakers (using the word "we"

rather than "I" in an interview), and provides industry-specific

advice on answering those nasty open-ended interview questions.

Everyone is nervous during an interview, writes Dorio, but most of

the time an interviewer is inexperienced and just as uncertain. This

is a great opportunity to step in and shape how you’re perceived by

the interviewer. Dorio’s advice:

End the run-around in human resources. If you’re cold-calling,

find out who the person is in charge and arrange an "informational"

phone call with him or her. Remember, a company doesn’t hire a person,

says Dorio; a person hires a person.

Sell skill, not experience. Don’t waste time ticking off

your employment history. Tell the prospective employer what you’ve

accomplished in general (I sell) and specific (I sold X amount) terms.

Provide a solution. Appeal to the hiring manager’s self-interest,

writes Dorio; if you know what’s currently plaguing the company or

industry, offer some solutions. If you don’t know, ask the interviewer

what kinds of problems currently exist and suggest how "we"

could work to solve those problems.

Don’t pinpoint a salary figure, even if the hiring manager

asks you to name your current or desired salary. Always state a range,

with the low-end overlapping the high-end of the employer’s range.

Thinking positive is the key to a good interview, says Dorio.

If you get hit with some tough, problem-solving questions, have fun.

It’s not the answer, but the processes you use to think through problems

that employers are really interested in.

And if you do find yourself in a disaster situation in an interview,

Dorio has at least one solution to every problem. What do you do if

you’re asked a question to which you have no answer?

Don’t fake it, says Dorio, but don’t give up either. Instead, comment

on the quality of the question, then explain how you would go about

getting the answer, i.e. studying customer service staff complaints

and assessing the effectiveness of this response over time. A good

answer: "Only with that data could I give an informed, meaningful

response. Anything else would just be guessing or manufacturing an

opinion."


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