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The Life/Career Success System - How to Build Bridges


Communicating and listening

No matter how strong your self-image or how keen your self-motivation if you cannot convey your ideas to others you will never experience productive relationships with other people. Communication is an exchange of ideas with the purpose of eliciting an action. Successful communication is a two way process. You will need to understand the ideas of others before you can work with them effectively. It is best to first understand then to be understood through doing this you will build receptivity in your target audience. Good communication is also an exchange of ideas. It is essential to develop empathy in your communication.

The building of human relations’ skills

Empathy is closely associated with most of the things usually labelled as human relations’ skills. This is the ability to build rapport with people make them receptive to doing what you want them to do with you. This involves the understanding of others behaviour that leads to sensitivity to their needs, flexibility in dealing with those needs and fairness and objectivity in helping others fulfil their needs. Accepting each other’s rights to have inherent views and being tolerant of them.

Very few of the goals you choose can be reached without recognising the influence of interpersonal relationships on the outcome of their attainment. Goals may be achieved despite people or through people or with the help of people.


The three basic principles of effective communication
  ·  Empathy is the key to penetrating the iron curtain of ideas selection. When you know what other peoples’ interests are and you paraphrase your ideas in terms of their interests you communicate.
  ·  Until you know something about people you cannot express your ideas in the kind of words or language that will relate to their experiences and they will not understand you. Empathy helps your recognise the needs others have so you can express your ideas in words that will paint a picture promising to supply those needs. When people get that picture from you with what you say, you’re communicating.
  ·  It is best to be sure your ideas and thinking are crystal clear to you. Write these ideas down. Organise your thoughts in light of what you know about others. When you have organised your thoughts and ideas you will be confident that they will be understood and accepted by others.


I recognise the importance of empathy in establishing good communication. I accept responsibility for taking positive action to improve my empathy for the people I work with / interact with. I will begin to improve my empathy by concentrating on my relationship with this person in my organisation or my family.

I will take these three actions in the next seven days, to increase my understanding of this persons’ needs and goals so that I can communicate more effectively with them.

Improved communication with this person will give me these benefits.

Please read the pared statements below and circle the number on the continuum that most
nearly fits your position between the two extremes.

I listen with an open mind.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I automatically reject all suggestion suggestions.
I put down my work and give full attention to whomever is talking.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I can easily do minor paper work and listen at the same time.
I ask questions to check on my understanding of what someone is saying.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I assume that I understand what is said, after all I am intelligent.
I listen for feelings and attitudes as well as for Information.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Feelings should be kept out of communication, I ignore them.
I give others plenty of time to say what they want to say.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
I try to hurry people through so I won’t waste my time.

I see some opportunities for improving my skill as a listener. Over the next seven days each time I have an opportunity to listen to someone else, I will consciously take this action to improve my listening skills.

Here is an affirmation I will use to support this new behaviour:


Even as you value your StrategicTargeted Resume© as a major resource in your continued career management process, be aware of its place in your overall marketing campaign. Remember that the selection process is a matching process that examines what you cite in your resume, and much more.

Give the same effort to your interview preparation that you give to your resume preparation and the creation of your netprofile©. You will want to communicate at the same level of excellence in the dynamic exchange of face-to-face meetings. Skill in written and oral communication is crucial to career management success. Your netprofiling activity will open up many opportunities for face to face discussions and interviews with prospective employers.

In this section we will examine the dynamics involved in the interview process with particular emphasis on the needs of the person who is hiring always address the needs of your target audience and you will gain their receptivity. Only when you truly understand their perspective will you be able to successfully perform in an interview. You have already shown through your netprofiling activity that you are an outstanding contender for the roles that these employers have in their companies you will need to match it with the face to face presentations you will be involved in. The following areas will be covered to assist you in standing out:

  ·  Properly plan and prepare for your employment interview.
  ·  Creating a climate for communication it is an exchange between the two parties.
  ·  Communicating in the interview to maximise the pertinent information about your knowledge, skills and experience - this must be given across to the interviewer.
  ·  Gaining the right information from the interview - this is a two-way communication process.
  ·  Understanding the interviewers’ criteria for evaluation against the job requirements.
  ·  Promoting good will whether or not you are the applicant that is hired.

Interviewing is an important task and should be done well; it is also expensive in terms of money and time. Always bear in mind that some people are very successful interviewers and others are less successful. The best interviewers may display some of the following characteristics:

  ·  They will do a thorough analysis of job requirements in advance.
  ·  They will compare qualifications on the application with the job requirements prior to the interview.
  ·  They will have developed a logical plan in advance based on information required to make a selection decision.
  ·  The best interviewers will get applicants to talk freely, and listen while they do so.
  ·  Interviewers who adhere to equal employment opportunities guidelines.
  ·  Those who evaluate the facts and avoid premature conclusions and stereotyping.
  ·  Those who make selection decisions based on the applicants’ qualifications and ability to handle the job requirements.


The importance of the selection interview

Several aspects of the selection interview are listed below. Check those you agree are vital.

  ·  At the interview I will be expected to provide adequate information about my education, formal training, skills, work experience, performance in previous positions, plus personal characteristics (such as my attitude, ability to communicate, etc.). This information will help determine my ability to do the job.
  ·  Good performance in one organisation does not automatically assure the same performance in another. Therefore I will be expected to determine not only if I can do the job, but also whether I am anxious to perform it well in their organisation.
  ·  I will need to learn basic job requirements plus other facts about the organisation in order to make an intelligent decision. I should ask for a job description, hours of work, compensation, benefits coverage, and opportunities for my professional and personal growth.
  ·  The interview should promote goodwill between the hiring organisation and me regardless of whether it ends with employment or not.


Interview Styles

It is best to be aware of the interviewing styles that may be used. You will then have an in-depth understanding of how to deal with them. Four generally produce poor results and should be avoided by interviewers. Which ones do you believe would be most productive?

  1. The “Eyeball” Interview - In this style, interviewers assume they can predict job performance on the basis of appearance, handshake, gut feeling and other cursory observations. It is superficial and totally unreliable. It also has not measured the job- related criteria against the persons’ real ability to do the job.
  2. The Friendly Chat - It can be a pleasant experience talking about sports, the weather, mutual experiences, etc. Unless controlled, however, the business purpose of the interview will never be achieved.
  3. The Inquisition - Some interviewers enjoy placing an applicant under stress to see how they react. A result can be withdrawal by the candidate. Accordingly, little is learned about the ability to perform on the job.
  4. The Straight Down The Middle Interview - The interviewer will ask a predetermined series of questions in a standard order. This interview is so stiff and inflexible that it does not permit the interviewer to explore areas of potential mutual interest. It also limits the candidates’ expression of qualifications and personality.
  5. The Businesslike Interview - This interview is a social situation with a business purpose in which worthwhile information is exchanged between the parties. It does not begin until the interviewer has clear understanding of the responsibilities of the job to be filled and an idea of the kind of person required in fulfilling the role.

The selection interview process

An interviewer who is professional will conduct the interview using the following process. It is essential you understand this process so that you may anticipate what it is that will be expected of you - there will be no nasty surprises to throw you off balance and affect your performance in the interview. You will be able to determine with a high degree of certainty what will happen next.

Rate yourself on how you would score as an interviewer - 1 to 5 #1 highest score

  ·  Analyse job requirements thoroughly before beginning the selection process.
  ·  Study qualifications of applicants in light of the job requirements before each interview.
  ·  Develop a unique interview plan based on the activity in item 2.
  ·  Begin each interview by establishing a relaxed climate conducive to good communication.
  ·  Make an effort to get the applicant to talk freely.
  ·  Use questions to draw out essential information.
  ·  Listen more than talk.
  ·  Avoid preconception and personal bias.
  ·  Adhere to equal employment opportunity guidelines.
  ·  Record key points.
  ·  Provide information about the job, and the organisation, and answer the applicants’ questions.
  ·  Make selection decisions on the basis of job requirements.
  ·  Document selection decisions.
  ·  Let all candidates know the outcome of their interview at the appropriate time.


The interview - an ideal opportunity to show yourself at your best.

You have done your preparation and you know what to expect. You are now ready to give the best possible impression!

An interview is essentially a social process and should be conducted accordingly. The tone should be pleasant, but business-like. A good interview is designed to gain the cooperation and confidence of the interviewee. Bear in mind the following:

  1. Be on time - This is a crucial business appointment being late will not give a good first impression. Expect the interviewer to do the same.
  2. Be courteous - Greet and talk to the interviewer with the utmost courtesy. Also expect that they will do the same for you.
  3. Establish rapport - Strive for a relaxed yet business-like atmosphere conducive to open communication.
  4. Be sincere - Show genuine interest in the interview and the position being interviewed for. Insincerity is quickly spotted - also expect the same of the interviewer.
  5. Show respect - for the individual. The interviewer may express views that are dissimilar to your own, pay attention and listen, their value system may be different from your own. You are not expected to agree or disagree.
  6. Provide information - The interviewer needs information on which to determine his or her understanding that you will more than satisfy the job criteria that are listed. This is also a two-way communication process, you must ask for the information that you will need in order to make a qualified decision about the role.
  7. Understand the placement process - The interviewer needs to explain the placement process to you - don’t leave guessing what is to happen next. Find out when the final decision will be made.
  8. The follow-up letter - This is excellent public relations - thank the interviewer for their time and interest in you. Remember you are responsible for being pro-active and for taking the initiative in building bridges - your courtesy will not go unnoticed especially in the current climate where courtesy is standing out due to the fact that some times there is a lack of it.


The goal of each interview is to gather pertinent information in order to make the best possible decision about your ability to do a specific job. The interviewer needs to determine how you will function in everyday job activities. Methods to gather this information must be job-centred and pursued without discrimination. Ways in which this can be done include the following. Tick those you have either used when recruiting yourself or experienced in previous interviews you have been involved with:

  ·  The use of open-ended questions that do not suggest a particular answer - Could you tell me a little about how you got the promotion?” will tell you more about what the person considers important - it gives you the opportunity to open up.
  ·  The use of short prompt questions - The more words used in a question, the more likely they will influence the answer. You are more apt to react in a normal way since there is nothing in these questions that require evaluation or suggest a particular response. Spontaneity will often yield what the interviewer is looking for and what you really feel.
  ·  Listening carefully to each response then deciding on the next question - A good interviewer will spend nearly 80 percent of the time listening. Often an answer will determine the next question. The interviewer if not receiving enough information will say “tell me more”. If the information is adequate for the question asked the interviewer is satisfied.
  ·  Probing your range of expertise - The interviewer will ask basic, fundamental questions about your field of expertise. Interviewers should not try to demonstrate equal or superior knowledge to an applicant (even if they do posses it). The best responses are given freely and normally. An interviewer will look for guarded or tentative responses because these are difficult to evaluate.
  ·  Stimulate value judgments - An interviewer may ask you how you feel about punctuality, conduct on the job, personal commitment to a task or relationships with previous coworkers. This is to provide insights into your value system. This information is more valuable when evaluating you than interviewers’ “assumptions”.
  ·  Probe "choice points" - “Choice points” are situations which require you to explain why you selected one course of action over another. For example, why you majored in business instead of engineering. An interviewer will listen to reasons why a choice was made; this can provide insights into the your reasoning and value system.
  ·  Use silence effectively - Some interviewers become uncomfortable when silence occurs during an interview and feel compelled to talk. Silence provides time to think. The more astute interviewer will wait out the silence while looking expectantly at you - this is done to get you to open up and tell a great deal more about yourself and gather more pertinent information than was anticipated.
  ·  Use of reflective statements - Reflecting comments back to you is a technique used because it shows that you were attending and it is also used to stimulate elaboration of an answer. It will be done in a natural and unobtrusive way.

Questions that yield pertinent information in the interview

A professional interviewer will make great use of thoughtful questions in order to gain excellent information.

  ·  Non-Directive Questions - Open-ended questions are used to get you to express goals, values, qualifications and feelings freely. These are especially useful in obtaining subjective or personal information from you. They are also helpful when you may appear to be holding back, or providing guarded replies.
  ·  Directive questions - A directive question is used to gather data that is factual and objective. Directive questions do not probe your values or ideas.


In the interview it is vital to remember the interviewer is evaluating you and you are evaluating the organisation as a potential employer. You the applicant will want to get information on important job details and the organisations best points. The professional interviewer will often have a basic information packet to give to you at the conclusion of the interview. It is your responsibility to ask the questions that you need answered. The applicant who has asked the most intelligent questions often impresses the interviewer. The interviewer knows that this applicant cares most about the job and has done the most research, therefore indicating that they take their career progression very seriously.

This is the executive that the company will want to hire - the individual who has invested in themselves is the best investment for them! Your netprofile© demonstrates the investment you have made in making your expertise standout.

To re-cap get the best understanding of the job and the business - ask questions about the following:

  ·  Describe the job - Get the interviewer to describe the key duties and responsibilities to the extent that you have a clear picture of what the job entails. Ask what tasks the new hire will be expected to perform immediately on appointment. Ask questions about the kind of training and support that will be provided.
  ·  Discuss the position that you are reporting to - To whom would the new hire have to report? What is the person’s management style? How long have they been in that position? What are their outstanding strengths?
  ·  Describe the work setting - Where will the work be done? Will the new employee have a private office? What type of technology is in use? Will other employees be supervised?
  ·  Salary range - The interviewer will only have to indicate the salary range being considered. Benefits should be summarised during the early stages of screening and described in full if and when an offer is being considered or made.
  ·  Overview the department in which the opening exists - What is the purpose and function? How many employees work there? How does it relate to the balance of the organisation?
  ·  Discuss the company’s products and operations - find out about the products and services provided. What differentiates the products or services from those of the competition? Is the company privately or publicly held? How is the organisation structured? What are its current primary goals? What future plans does it have?
  ·  Close the interview with specific details of what will happen next - you as the applicant have invested considerable time and effort in presenting yourself for consideration for this position. You deserve to know how and when the hiring decision will be made. Even if you are not successful in gaining the position it is wise to leave them with a positive attitude about you. It can lead to a position further down the track or referral from the interviewer. Also use this opportunity to further build on your networks.


Following the interview, the applicants’qualifications must be objectively evaluated in terms of the position to be filled. The major consideration on the part of the interviewer is

Whether the applicant can do the job will they make a positive contribution to the hiring organisation?

The aim is to evaluate objectively

Objectivity is an essential quality when evaluating applicants’ suitability for roles they have applied for. There are several ways to maintain objectivity when evaluating prospective employees. Go ahead and evaluate yourself for a position you are applying to or intend applying to. Check those you agree are important and tick the box.

My self evaluation for a position I am applying to

  ·  Evaluation of my experience and the effectiveness of my past performance against the current job requirements. Are both acceptable? Focusing on what was accomplished in my past jobs.
  ·  Determining the level of responsibility previously held by me. Is it about the same? More? Less? Can I make the transition to the position I am applying to?
  ·  Examination of my skills and knowledge level. Are they adequate to meet the needs of this organisation? Are they adaptable to this job?
  ·  Identification of my strengths. Are they adaptable? Will they enhance the position in question?
  ·  Determining my weaknesses. Would they have a negative effect on my performance, or be inconsequential?
  ·  Evaluating my career stability and progress. Can the future be reasonably projected, based on my past record? Are stability and progress important to this job?
  ·  Will I be compatible with others in the work group?
  ·  Probing of my history determines my past dependability, productivity, and attitude toward work, coworkers, supervisors and customers.
  ·  The checking of all references, verifying all dates of employment, jobs held academic institutions attended degrees conferred and special honours awarded.


Judging the merits of your job offers

When strategically self-managing your career every career move is the most important one. No one ever wants to place him or herself in a role with an organisation and find 6 months down the track that it is not working out. Strategic career management means that you recognise that you will promote, market and sell your talent into a jobs market place that is constantly searching for the best. The corporations that you market your expertise to have invested a great deal in searching for, locating, hiring and retaining the best talent. You have invested a great deal in your career development and will only entrust your career to a company that will work hard on developing and nurturing your expertise. In order to have true success there must be a win for both parties.

The following issues need to be addressed by you in order to make the right career moves, remember it is vital for you to be in the right career, right company, and right industry at the right time. It is also vitally important for you to know when to move out of all of the above. Think strategically and always be ahead of the pack. Truly successful career strategists do this and reap the rewards.

1.   Can the company I plan on joining clearly demonstrate to me through their vision and mission statements where they plan to be in 5 years time?
2.   Can they share this strong vision with me? Do they use a number of communication strategies to put this across to all their employees?
3.   What is the quality of the leadership in the organisation? Am I impressed by the backgrounds of the strategic management team? Has it been easy for me to locate this information? Was it listed on their corporate website?
4.   Does this company have a global perspective?
5.   Does this company clearly show that it has the flexibility to move and change when it is demanded?
6.   Is there a positive market perception of the company’s abilities?
7.   Do the employees I have met appear to be genuinely committed to the organisation and its goals?
8.   Does the organisations culture / values match my own?
9.   Does the organisation have a customer-focused culture and do they satisfy the internal / external customer?
10.   Does this organisation have a pleasant, motivating work environment and does it understand and action the things that are important to its employees?
11.   Does the organisation have high staff retention?
12.   Does the organisation have open and strong communication, encouraging feedback, in the workplace?
13.   Does the organisation identify its’ talent, and does it use this expertise to its fullest extent providing employees with career development opportunities, mentoring, coaching and ongoing skill specific training?
14.   Is the success of the organisation directly linked to business success and personal success of its employees and are both rewarded?
15.   Does this company have an Equal Employment Opportunity strategy in place?
16.   Does this company compensate with above-average pay? Do they reward with share plans and / or performance-based bonuses?
17.   Does this organisation recognise that to nurture and gain the best from its employees there needs to be a balance between work, life and family? Do they have policies in place and do they implement them to everyone’s advantage?
18.   Has the company committed to child-care provisions?
19.   Ultimately is my next career move going to be enhanced by the fact that I have worked for this company? In my portfolio of career advancement is it of advantage for me to have spent time with this company?
20.   Is the management team switched on and inspiring, are they ones that I respect and trust with my career?
21.   On a day-to-day basis will I be enthused and satisfied in turning up to this organisation to work?

By the time you have answered all these questions with great honesty you will know whether you will take this job offer or not.


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