The Ultimate Job Hunting/Interview/Licensure Starter Guide

“Um,” “uh,” “hmmm” are never the best way to start an answer to an interview question. When I was an outpatient mental health program manager, I interviewed a number of clinicians whose answers were full of sound fillers. It made me wonder if they prepared or if they knew what they were talking about. Now mind you, I gravitate towards nuances and details. My husband teases me constantly about the details I include when telling a story. The value I bring to clients is in demonstrating how attention to nuances, details, fine points and distinctions lead to higher standards of excellence.

People are hired based on nuances; nuances that set individuals apart. While “um,” “uh,” and “hmmm” may not aggravate an interviewer, it definitely sends a message to the interviewer. That message suggests, as previously stated, a lack of preparation, lack of skill, or lack of knowledge.

Another no, no when answering an interview question is to begin by saying “that’s a good question!” My thought was always “of course, it is a good question.” “I would not have asked it if it were not a good question.” Again, this initial response causes the interviewer to think that the candidate is unprepared and having to think of an answer. Interviewers tend to ask variations of standard questions. It is reasonable to say that if one has been interviewing, they have had to answer the “good” question on numerous occasions.

One of the reasons I wrote KickStart Your Journey Starter Guide: Job Hunting, Interviews and Licensure for social workers and those in social services is to provide a high quality introduction to the patterns and nuances that lead to polish and excellence in the job hunting arena. I totally understand that one size does not fit all. I have tried on enough size 12s to know that my hips do not always fit the label. The starter guide provides information, strategies and exercises that allow the reader to take their situation, analyze it and prepare a customized plan that works for them.

Here is an excerpt from page 12 of KickStart Your Journey Starter Guide: Job Hunting, Interviews and Licensure:

During the interview, the interviewer will ask questions to assess the applicant’s experience, education and previous earnings as they relate to the organization. Additional questions are asked to determine an applicant’s consistency, flexibility, and attitude towards work and work related issues.
All questions have a purpose and all answers are evaluated to determine the best choice for the organization. Applicants should prepare for questions that fall in specific categories. The categories are as follows:
• Questions that assess interests, professional goals, strengths, and limitations.
• Questions that assess experience, education, and job related functions.
• Questions for clarification.

KickStart Your Journey Starter Guide: Job Hunting, Interviews and Licensure is also in print.

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