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The Interview: It’s the Same But Different.

The most published work on LinkedIn may be the topic of the dreaded job interview, followed quickly by how to write a résumé. Thousands of professionals comment on this topic, and LI has some very smart and credentialed masters who know what advice to give to real-life questions.

However, there is another type of job interview also requiring a résumé that speaks to keeping the position one already has after the interview ends. If you are successful in getting past the interviewer and the questions, you keep your job. If you don’t, you don’t. It’s a sink-or-swim scenario. In this plot, you already have a job and are trying to keep it.

The rules of the road are simple: You must answer every question honestly. If you don’t, you lose your job. You must also pass muster, so to speak, regarding your proficiency and acumen in your current job description and performance. If you cannot do this, you lose your job. If you are successful, you keep your job but don’t get a raise in salary.

Sound like a career you might be interested in? There are advantages to holding this position. You are your own boss: Congratulations! You are an entrepreneur. You can set your own working hours and take vacations whenever you please. You answer to only yourself and your schedule. You do not necessarily need office space, which means no morning or afternoon commutes. Overhead is extremely low. Income can be extremely rewarding. But fail the interview, and you lose your job.

During the interview process, you will quickly discover that you are responsible for knowing what you do not know. You may not know the answer; however, you should have known the answer. And if you don’t know the answer, you are penalized. Most of your answers might not be based upon your opinions or experiences in your area of expertise. Rather, they must be based upon a normative reference that has been proven to be true or effective. You must back up what you say with facts that have been published and proven to be true in the marketplace of your area of expertise.

As an example, while explaining that the copier broke down and kept you from completing your deadline in a timely manner, you must also have with you the repair records of the copier to prove the copier, in fact, did break down, what time it broke down, and for how long it was broken.

If you want to quote statistics to bolster your opinion of declining sales, then you must have the expertise to explain each line item of the statistical report prepared by somebody else in another department.

Oh, and your interviewer may be videotaping the interview process to show to your boss after the interview.

You are allowed short breaks – say, 10 minutes – during the interview if there are no pending questions by the interviewer. There may not be a break for lunch. You may be there three hours or on consecutive days, with no warning. If you don’t comply, you can be sent to jail or have a significant sum of money taken out of your next paycheck. But you lose your job in any or either event.

Every word uttered is subject to parsing. You must explain in detail your choice of word(s) used in response to the interviewer’s question. You may not ask questions yourself. The interviewer has carefully checked into your background to find any hidden skeletons in all the previous employment history you carry into the room but are trying to keep secret. The interviewer can ask for your Social Security number or if you have ever been convicted of a crime.

The person interviewing you not only wants you to fail and lose your job but constructs questions in the hope that you do lose your job. The interviewer has taken hours to prepare questions just for you and this interview. You must be truthful, but the interviewer does not have to be truthful.

I think of this scenario every time I read a post regarding the do’s and don’ts of the interview process. I reflect upon the advice given on this platform regarding how to write a great résumé or how to successfully survive and succeed in the job interview. I smile and wonder if anyone knows about the alternative interview process I explained in this post.

It would be of great interest to see one of them sit through a legal deposition in the area of their own expertise, as I have done so often in a courtroom. That’s all I’m saying.

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