The interviewer has read your cover letter and résumé and reviewed any supporting materials. The interviewer needs to know if you're a drone who will competently turn the wheels like any other off-the-shelf applicant or if you can bring more to the company. Companies are always looking for the candidate who brings something extra to the job.
"I often get people who are good at reciting their résumé or giving me a tremendous amount of detail about what they've done in the past," says Management Recruiters of Atlanta Windward's Heres. "But when I ask about future plans, I get vague statements such as 'I'd like to be at a good company' or 'I'd like to work overseas.' These answers tell me nothing. I think some people are reluctant to say too much because they don't want to miss an opportunity. But if you're not specific, I don't have a foundation to begin the search, and I probably won't call because I've got thousands of names in my database."
These basic techniques will work for nonprofits, mom-and-pop operations, startups and major companies such as Intel (nasdaq: INTC - news - people ), Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ), Chevron (nyse: CVX - news - people ) and Wells Fargo (nyse: WFC - news - people ).
If you're smart, creative and persistent, you'll land the next job. Some candidates, especially those with limited experience, think their smarts will carry the day. A successful search takes preparation, persistence and time. They overlook the competition and the sweat needed to advance.
So keep looking until you find what you want.
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Scott Reeves, 01.19.06, 6:00 AM ET