What’s the best way to get hired?
The first step might be to listen to Phil Blair, San Diego’s leading employment expert and featured speaker at the San Diego Career Summit, co-presented June 18 on campus by UC San Diego Alumni and UC San Diego Extension.
Informative, animated and provocative, Blair offered an insightful guide to what employers look for when job-seekers sit down for an interview.
As the CEO of Manpower, San Diego’s largest job-placement firm, which he founded in 1977, he surely knows the territory. He’s also the author of “Job Won,” his recent how-to book on applying for, interviewing, landing, and keeping the right job.
Some highlights of his 60-minute presentation, which was moderated by Extension’s Henry DeVries:
On pursuing a job search: “Don’t think of it as drudgery. You’re going to meet a lot of new and interesting people. You’re gonna learn about career paths. You’re gonna learn about a lot of companies. Have fun with it. You’ll see all the pieces start to come together. And then you’ll find the job that you really are excited about taking.”
On the mind-set of the employer: “This is about the skill-sets I need to hire for my company. I really don’t care what you’re looking for. It sounds harsh, but that’s the reality. I need to hire someone who’s going to make my company better. So tell me why you’re going to help me against all my competitors.”
On being too distinctive: “Don’t make me wonder if you’re weird. ...We’re all human beings, we’re psychologists. ... If we don’t recommend the right people, we can be fired. And I don’t want to be fired.”
On the need to be confident, yet relaxed: “I want to know that you're a nice person that I might want to walk down the hall and have lunch with. … I want your personality to come out. … I want to know that you’re a fun person who would be pleasant to have in our company.”