GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Business

June 1, 2013

Grads: Time to 'unlearn' some interview techniques

Tis the season of advice, at least for college graduates.

President Barack Obama just advised the Class of 2013 at Ohio State University to enjoy while they can the days of being able to sleep in and have breakfast at 11:30 a.m. — on a Tuesday.

But if they don’t get jobs — and the news on that front has been dire — that lifestyle might last longer than they actually want it to.

To avoid that fate, new graduates might need to unlearn some of the things they’ve been taught about interviewing for positions. Things like emphasizing their leadership skills, boasting about themselves and going after the perfect job.

“The company is more important than the job,” said Chris Forman, CEO of StartWire, a job search organizer based in Lebanon, N.H. But Forman’s involvement in the recruiting industry pre-dates the company’s launch in 2011.

His advice may sound a little retro to college students and new grads accustomed to being asked what kind of job they want. Yet even at a time in history when few people expect to work for the same business their entire careers, Forman believes there’s value in getting into a good company and working your way up. “Good companies recognize talent and create opportunities for talent,” he said.

Businesses that are growing, in particular, are likely to have opportunities for career movement. The managers at those businesses may be inclined to promote people who have already proven they’re smart, hard-working and good contributors.

So the goal, in Forman’s view, is getting a position in one of those companies. It may not be the dream job or the perfect schedule or the most fulfilling work. That’s OK.

The key thing to remember, Forman said, is: “It’s not about you.”

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