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The Interview Power 4

Candidates often ask us, what’s the key to a successful interview? What should I say? How should I act? 

It’s a great question with no tidy answer. Based on feedback we receive from hiring managers, facility directors, and C-level leaders, some combination of the following 4 words and attributes are often shared by successful candidates: 

Positive. Inspirational. Energetic. Thoughtful.

There is an interesting commonality to these words. Each relates to soft skills, or traits related to communication, emotional intelligence, and personal interaction. Today, technical skills and soft skills are mandatory: One without the other can lead to failure.

So how do you quantify positivity, inspiration, and energy? It’s certainly not analogous to quantifying the number of system-delivered BTUs: You can’t tell a prospective employer you have 250 BTUs of energy and positivity to deliver the organization. 

Fortunately, you have specific examples of positivity, inspiration, and energy in your career, whether it was exhibited during a midnight call-in for a broken boiler or your leadership during a difficult layoff. Think of and re-visit these situations before you interview and be ready to quantify specific achievement. The ability to cite quantifiable achievement relevant to the position you seek can make or break your candidacy. 

But what if you feel you are not positive, inspirational, or energetic? Are you relegated to a lifetime of second place finishes? Of course not. 

Become your own toughest critic and teacher. Become introspective. Professionally and personally you interact with others daily. How do you react and respond to them? How do you respond to negative situations? What words do you use? What is your body language as you speak and listen? Do you bring life to and vary the inflection and modulation of your voice? Do you establish eye contact? Do you use proper english? Do you ask appropriate questions? Do you have a verbal filter?

Only you can answer these questions honestly. Paying attention to and understanding how you  interact in daily life allows you to key in on your personality patterns and adjust them, if needed. We often search for a magic bullet to success when the answer is often obscured, but in front of us.

Lastly, use manners. Say please and thank you during the interview. Stand up and extend your hand when a new interviewer enters the room. At interview end, thank people for their time and send a hand written thank you via US Mail. It’s the right thing to do.

Please let us know your Power 4, below. Thanks,

Peter Martin


 michael scott



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Gosselin Associates provides facilities management search consulting to the health care industry...


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