Laszlo Bock knows a little something about how to ace an interview. As Google’s senior vice president of people operations, he’s in charge of all of the company’s hiring — about 100 new people a week.
In a hefty interview with The New York Times, Bock reveals his best advice for job interviews.
Essentially, you want to promote yourself in terms of what specific attributes you will bring to the company and how those attributes will create value. Use stories from past experiences to highlight those attributes.
Maybe at your past job you designed a well-recieved new user interface for your company’s app; you should explain why you made the choices with the redesign that you did, how those decisions reveal something about you as an employee, and then how you can use those personal qualities to make a difference in the position that you’re interviewing for.
“Most people in an interview don’t make explicit their thought process behind how or why they did something,” Bock told The Times’ Thomas Friedman. “And, even if they are able to come up with a compelling story, they are unable to explain their thought process.”
Bock also shared an important tip for writing an attention-getting resume. You should put yourself as an employee in the context of others in your industry to make it apparent why you are a particularly strong candidate.
The key is to frame your strengths as: ‘I accomplished X, relative to Y, by doing Z.’ Most people would write a resume like this: ‘Wrote editorials for The New York Times.’ Better would be to say: ‘Had 50 op-eds published compared to average of 6 by most op-ed [writers] as a result of providing deep insight into the following area for three years.’ Most people don’t put the right content on their resumes.
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