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FHA: Questions and answers

National Mortgage Professional
Oct 22, 2007

Landing the jobJoe Cornointerview, cover letter, resume, biography, skills I had readers e-mail me and request ideas for "getting the interview." In a prior article, I listed five main steps to securing the interview. However, I find that the best way to interview is to be yourself. Be open, honest and not afraid of letting the potential employer know who you are. You are only uncomfortable when you do not act like yourself. I told the potential employer who I was, where I was employed presently and that I wanted to find out about his company. I did not need to go undercover; I acted like myself. I will list the five elements here to start the process of securing new employment. They do get you the interview, and that is a great start. 1. Lift key words and phrases from the job posting and place the same or similar-meaning words in your cover letter, resume and biography. Yes, I said "biography." This was not in my previous article, but does give you an edge over the competing candidates. Be sure to repeat the key words and phrases when filling out the narrative portion of the application. 2. List strong skills frequently. It indicates consistency, and employment software, along with hiring personnel, will see your skills in past and present positions. It creates a parallel concept with the position when the skills listed match the job duties and description. 3. When the application process requests how you heard of the opening, list "company employee" or "employee referred." This is the highest grade that the interviewing personnel use in comparison to "want ad," "Web-based search" or "headhunter." Your goal is to obtain the interview so that you have a shot at the position. 4. Use local addresses or phone numbers if you are applying from a distance. Employers do not wish to cover moving expenses or worry about you building up in a new area. Use a relative's local address or phone number. In the worst-case scenario, rent an address from an address rental company. Be sure to modify your resume for the local logistics. 5. This may be the best atypical approach in securing the position. Call them first, or drop by the company and ask if the application is being processed. The lecture of waiting for the employer to get back to you is prehistoric in today's industry. Employers want self-motivators who are organized and follow through. These characteristics make themselves evident when you call or visit the company about the application process. You want to know the status, anyway. Employers want to see the predator in the applicants, rather than the sheep that just follow the herd. However, it is not the "squeaky wheel," but the continued supplying of value assets, that benefits the application. Let us explore this concept much deeper. Purposely leave out some added values from the resume and biography. Let's say that you have written a book. Bring that forth the next time you communicate with them, prior to being selected or interviewed--possibly a certification or notary license that could be absent from the application, which you could submit in between the application and interview stage. After securing the interview, no one can make the close for you. The interview is the time to be the person you really are. Do not fake it. Tell them who you are, what you represent and what value assets you bring to the position. It is up to you to close the deal. Whenever you are given the lead to control the discussion, take control and conclude in a few sentences. One way is to assume closure on the position. Talk in the interview as if you have already been given the job. Discuss strategy and plans as if the position has been offered to you. After all, it has--somewhat. The position is yours if you can succeed in making the position yours in the interview. If the position does not fit, you want to know at this stage, as well. Ask permission to take notes, and take notes if you are permitted to do so. This indicates commitment and saves time by avoiding the readdressing of items. You need the notes for another atypical practice that will blow the competition out of the waiting-room doors. Be sure to take paper and a pen in with you (pen, not pencil, so that you indicate absolute resolve in getting it right the first time around). If you are not permitted to take notes, as soon as you leave, write down what you remember of comments made and discussions had in the interview. Do it as soon as you get to your car. Do not turn on your phone or go to lunch before noting all that you can remember from the interview. You are going to communicate with them yet another time that no one else will. You now can send in a summary of the interview. This is an unexpected opportunity to have the interviewer review the discussion and highpoints of the interview. Watch body language and positive comments from the interview and make sure those points that caused such reactions are in the summary. Make the summary a page to a page and a half in length, using normal business language. Send it the next day via e-mail or U.S. mail. Don't overlook spelling. Use spelling and grammar checks, reread the text at least three times before sending it and refrain from any slang terms or self-congratulatory remarks. Use short paragraphs, listing the skills or experiences that pleased the interviewer. In the final paragraph of the interview summary, create yet another opportunity to be in contact. State that you will call in a few days to make sure that you covered every key point of the interview. If communication skills are an important element in the job description, you have nailed this skill better than any other candidate. Be sure to obtain e-mail data before leaving the interview so that you can send the summary. When you are continually supplying added value, it is your job, if you want it. Joe Corno is president of Utah-based We Be Consulting and Seminars. He may be reached at (801) 836-2077 or e-mail
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