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Use a whiteboard when being interviewed July 23, 2007

Posted by Darth Sidious in Interviewing.
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An interview with the Sith is quite rigorous, and usually entails using the dark side of the force to survive life or death situations.

However in the lower ranks we employ more conventional means – but if you’re interviewing you need keep in mind the mindset of the interviewer.

Each organization will have their own interview style; some are very narrow minded and only care to see if you can answer very cut and dry questions, and don’t care to actually hear about your experience.

Usually organizations do care about your experience, as anyone can look up reference manuals to find out the answer to something, but its how you sell your experience that will give them insight into how they can leverage your skills and the advantages you bring to the table.

You are up against others that are going to be asked the same questions, so think about ways that sets you apart. If everyone answers the same technical questions the same, it’ll be the non-technical that gives one an advantage.

One way to achieve that is to use hologram board (aka a white board). The goal of interviewing is to try asking enough questions to get insight into who you are and if what you have to offer is the right match – and the easier you make that for them, the more they’ll like you.

For example use a whiteboard to diagram anything about your work/projects such as how you simplified a workflow, or architected a system. The reality is that people are easily impressed by circles and squares, and the lines that join them together. It makes them think you REALLY know what you’re talking about.

Or use the whiteboard to jot down key bullet points regarding a complex question and its answer (such as strategy or process highlights). People are very visually oriented, and there’s only so much raw text that they can absorb both verbally or visually, so breaking it down into a summarized easy to read format makes your content all the more memorable.

This will give you a huge edge of the competition as they’re unlikely to do this. It’ll give the organization a feeling of confidence that you’re the right candidate as you’ve demonstrated high levels of written and oral communications, as well as being planned, methodical, and process oriented.
Darth Sidious

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