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The Professional Resume and The Interview Trio

Professional resumes and job interviews are connected. One leads to the other, if everyone is following best practices. Professional resume help is an x/y proposition. It is good or it is bad.

The prose is well written or clumsy. The style of the resume writer is clear, or opaque. If you've chosen an experienced professional resume writing service you should expect high quality work. Anything less may prevent the resume writer from accomplishing the goal you should expect - interviews. Once you have a solid resume, you will begin to get interviews.

If you're working with an interview coach or any kind of job interview expert, you'll learn that there are several kinds of job interviews. It's not a question of good or bad in this case. But you need to understand the details in order to succeed.

Interviews can come in three varieties-behavior-based, conversational, and stress-and it can help you to spot the one you're in as soon as possible. Of course, they can overlap, or an interview may have segments of one and then another. Behavior-based interview: Also called competency-based interviews, these feature questions in a pre-ordained order with little opportunity for you to ask questions in return. Usually, the interviewer will let you know in advance that she is using this format. Be sure to provide examples as often as possible when responding here.

These interviews focus mainly on eliciting information, and they may test your skill at negotiating clever questions. Conversational interview: These more resemble the experience of actually working in a firm, and give the employer a greater sense of how you might fit in. They seem relatively free-form and suggest ordinary conversations-but they're not. They give you and interviewer an opportunity to interact better and establish rapport, but they also let the interviewer circle back and ask the same questions from a different angle, to see if you are consistent or dig up more information on an important topic.

Here, as with the first, the interviewer definitely has key questions he or she wants answered. Be careful of the wide-open "bio" question, where the interviewer asks you to describe your life or career. Don't discourse at length about your early life. Instead, sum it up briefly and move on to the more important recent achievements. Studies suggest that 50 percent of interviews may be of this type. Stress interview: In this version, the interviewer is curt and asks rapid-fire questions, an approach meant to raise your anxiety and test your ability to handle stress.

It isn't personal, so don't swallow the bait and respond with annoyance. Instead, relax. You're seeing through the game. If you handle your answers well, you'll be ready to ask your own questions.

I've always felt that if you remember the interviewer doing a lot of the talking during an interview that the meeting was probably a good one. No one ever listened himself out of a job, as one former president said. So if you have a chance, ask good questions of your interviewer. Then sit back and listen. It's your turn and you've earned it. In my next article, I'll focus on the kinds of questions you should ask during a job interview.

This is important stuff. Said Thurber: "It's better to know some of the questions than all of the answers." See you next time.

Paul Freiberger is President of Shimmering Resumes, a resume writing and career counseling service based in San Mateo, California. His website can be found at

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