I’m not suggesting that a game of musical chairs in which there’s only a single chair for every six job applicants eager to fill it is anyone’s idea of fun. However, job candidates who stay connected to their strengths, who do a stellar job gathering market intelligence, and who anticipate and prepare answers to the toughest questions have a much better shot at that chair than those who don’t.

I gave a webinar titled Interview and Get the Job for the Columbia University Center for Career Education in November 2009. Here’s an outline of the points I covered:

1. Market intelligence
2. Your strengths
3. Elements of a successful interview
4. How to prepare
5. How to communicate without words
6. How to answer tough questions
7. What to wear and bring
8. How to follow up
9. How to negotiate compensation
10. Q&A

Shortly after the webinar, I chatted with a senior human resources executive who had just landed a job that was well suited to his personality. The executive, who is an introvert, offered his insights about his job search and the interview process, which I shared in a blog post.

My purpose in conducting the webinar, which is just over an hour, and writing the blog post was to provide concrete ideas as well as to encourage job candidates to soldier on, despite the discouraging statistics and the frequent rejection they’re facing. Remember: even in a ridiculously tight job market, you still have plenty within your control. The six chairs business just means that it may take longer to find a job. However, it’s crucial to stay in the game and remain dogged about your goal.

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