Click Here To Purchase Power Up Your Job Search: A Modern Approach to Interview Preparation

Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guests, Executive recruiters Gary W. Capone and Mark Henderson of Palladian International who have recently authored Power Up Your Job Search: A Modern Approach to Interview Preparation. 

Norm:

Good day Gary and Mark and thanks for participating in our interview. What is an executive recruiter? As a follow up, why and how did you become executive recruiters? 

Gary:

Norm, thank you for inviting us to participate. Executive recruiters are hired by companies to find top talent managers and executives, and help the companies attract this talent. Early in my career, I had the opportunity to do some recruiting and wanted to return to the field. I eventually had the opportunity to start an executive recruiting firm and jumped at the chance. 

Mark:

When I transitioned from the military, I knew I wanted to get into corporate America. I was hired into a great company but as I reflected on how naive I had been in the interview process, I realized others must be making many of the mistakes that I did. As an example, I showed up for my first job interview and didn’t even have a resume ready yet. I was lucky and I landed a great job but more a reflection on their robust hiring mode than my skill at telling my potential value to them. Once in the company, although I had an operational role in the company, almost half of my time was screening, interviewing or hiring. In this process I learned what can make a good candidate great and also what can make some great candidates average or even mediocre. I really felt I had something to offer people in the job search market and when I hooked up with Gary, I knew that together we brought much more to the plate than either one of us could do alone. So, we made the leap to form our own company and the rest is history. 

Norm:

What motivated you to write Power Up Your Job Search: A Modern Approach to Interview Preparation and how did you decide you were ready to write the book? 

Gary:

Our book started out as a basic guide, less than a dozen pages long, for our candidates. We help the job seekers we represent to polish their interview skills and the guide helped. Over time, we continued to add tips and advice, until we realized we were well on our way to having a book written. At that point, we decided to make our interview prep system available to job seekers we weren’t representing, and the book is the result. 

Mark:

Gary really was the driving force on this project. He opened my eyes to just how much accumulated knowledge we were passing on to our candidates. Once we saw what we had been building, in the way of aids and hand-outs, we decided it was a “no-brainer” to package all that information into a book. 

Norm:

What challenges or obstacles did you encounter while writing your book? How did you overcome these challenges? 

Gary:

The biggest challenge was meeting the needs of a very diverse audience. We wanted a book that would benefit senior executives, but write it in such a way that new college graduates would find valuable. Our solution was to structure the book with a series of exercises. These show a job seeker, in a clear step-by-step process how to improve their interview skills. 

Mark:

The content was actually the easy part. I also think researching how to go about publishing was easier than I expected. One tough part was organizing our advice into a cohesive, progressive, and logical sequence. However, the toughest part was proofing it. Every time we thought we had it, we found something else. We ultimately hired a professional proof-reader AND we stopped tweaking it. 

Norm:

Why do you think this is an important book at this time? 

Gary:

We all know how tough the economy is. What many people don’t understand is how companies are assessing job seekers. Hiring managers may want to fill a position, but are only going to make an offer to a candidate that blows them away. Quality candidates are being rejected because they don’t give a compelling reason why they should be hired. This hurts the job seeker and the company. Our book teaches techniques for presenting the value and potential a job seeker offers. 

Mark:

The economic times speak for themselves. There are some really great candidates out there who had no idea they would be in the job market. Not only are they psychologically unprepared on how to go about the process, many have not conducted a job search in years. Our book and it’s simple step process, builds confidence and organizes the candidate to make a more focused job search. 

Norm:

Whom do you believe will benefit from your book and why? What are your hopes for this book?

Gary:

I think a wide range of people can benefit from the book. In particular, I hope the book helps jobs seekers that are in the middle of their career and feel lost in the job market. There are a lot of people looking for a job that haven’t interviewed in the last ten years. They have tremendous potential and capabilities, but no idea how to communicate them effectively. I really hope people like this read the book and follow the preparation process we have outlined. It will make a huge difference in their search. 

Mark:

Although the book’s focus is on interviewing skills, the book has benefit for anyone who has little or no experience in job hunting or who may have not conducted a job search in some time. Additionally, although the book does not specifically target military veterans transitioning to corporate America, or college students just venturing out after graduation, there is no doubt in my mind that they are both segments of the population that can benefit from this book. 

Norm:

What differentiates your book from others pertaining to the same topic? 

Gary:

There are a lot books on interviewing and ours is different. It is very concise, focused on the activities a job seeker needs to complete to prepare for an interview. The techniques taught in the book are very powerful. Despite this, a person can pick up the book on a Friday afternoon, read it and work through the exercises on the weekend, and go to an interview on Monday in much better shape. 

Mark:

To me the answer is obvious--our book not only offers great advice (although, frankly, many do), it further asks you to complete self-paced exercises that actually improve your organization and preparedness to land a great job. We think our book puts a job-seeker into a more confident frame of mind and a more organized approach to the whole job search process. Organization and confidence are essential in conducting a successful job search. Finally, we offer key tips throughout the book that are a result of real experiences –real lessons – our candidates have experienced. 

Norm:

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing Power Up Your Job Search: A Modern Approach to Interview Preparation?

Gary:

As we wrote the book, we continued to uncover different interview styles and new types of questions. There is no limit to the variety of questions that can be asked in an interview. This guided our approach. We provide specific techniques for adapting to questions that are a complete surprise. 

Mark:

I began to realize the power of our message in the book had applications for other, non-job-seeking professionals. Specifically, anyone in the hiring process could benefit from our book. I think our book would help them gain an insight into the head of the job-seeker, truly understand what good answers are and thus make better hiring decisions. 

Norm:

Is the Star (L) technique that you describe in Chapter 8 something you came up with or was it borrowed from somewhere else? 

Gary:

The basic problem-action-result interview answer structure has been around for a number of years, going back to ‘70’s, when behavioral interviewing was first developed. The STAR(L), our modification of the PAR technique, is by far the best interview technique we have found. I don’t think a job seeker can be adequately prepared without the STAR(L). 

Mark:

STAR(L) is actually a modification of PAR developed by myself and another colleague, before I left corporate America. As I was heavily involved in hiring decisions, I needed to evaluate how candidates were responding to my questions in both phone screens and in more formal interviews. At the time, we were using the basic PAR format, but kept tweaking it. For example the “(L)” was added over time. The bottom line is STAR(L), as Gary and I present it in our book, is a result of our personal experience as both interviewers and as coaches to interviewees. I also would note that there are actually other techniques out there—using different acronyms but accomplishing—essentially—what our STAR (L) process is. We obviously think ours is best. 

Norm:

Do you feel that interviewees don’t use their imaginations enough when it comes to looking for employment? 

Gary:

Without question. Too many job seekers focus on responsibilities. Very few can imagine the perspective of the hiring manager. The result is a lackluster interview. The most successful job seekers can picture their careers from another person’s perspective and craft a sales pitch to match. 

Mark:

Interesting question. I’m not quite sure what you are asking. I guess my answer is that technology is both a great asset to today’s job-seeker and a great detractor. Too often people put a resume before a company and assume that is enough. The internet makes it so easy. Our book helps them understand how to better market their value added skills and ultimately land the job from amongst many other equally qualified candidates. 

Norm:

Will there be any unique ways you will be marketing your book that is different from how others authors market their books? 

Gary:

The book relates directly to our core business and is on a topic that concerns many people. We are scheduled to speak at a number of seminars and conferences over the next six months, where we will be teaching our interview prep system. I’ll actually be in Toronto in October for the APICS Annual Conference, with 3,000 manufacturing and operations professionals to teach a seminar with content from the book. 

Mark:

Gary’s been the main lead on this one. 

Norm:

How can our readers find out more about you and Power Up Your Job Search: A Modern Approach to Interview Preparation? 

Gary:

The best way to get to know me is to visit my blog (http://blog.palladiancr.com). I write every day about job search topics. We also have a website setup for the book (www.power-up-your-job-search.com) 

Mark:

Go to Amazon and check us out. 

Norm:

Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered? 

Gary:

Interviewing is a skill, not a talent. Job seekers can improve, but need to work at it. I’ve know people that will spend years in night school pursuing an MBA, but won’t invest a little in their interview skills. With the degree, they are still a candidate that can’t sell their potential. A commitment to become a better interviewee is one of the most significant and effective career development tactics. Norm, thanks for the interview. 

Mark:

Nope. Great interview. Thanks for the opportunity to tell you more about our book. 

Thanks once again and good luck with Power Up Your Job Search: A Modern Approach to Interview Preparation. 

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Click Here To Purchase Power Up Your Job Search: A Modern Approach to Interview Preparation