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  • Mike Farragher

SOAR On Your Next Job Interview!

In this competitive environment, applying your lessons from charm school is no longer enough to land that job. The better you are at painting a clear picture on your problem-solving skills and how they can contribute to an organization, the better chance you have to advance to the next level in the interview process. As you paint that picture, you also have the opportunity to demonstrate your clear thinking and concise communication skills in the process.

Recruiters I’ve recently interviewed counsel their candidates to have a “SOAR Story” at the ready during your interview to demonstrate your ability to solve problems in your field of expertise. Here’s what SOAR stands for:

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To soar in your SOAR examples, keep the story to under 2 minutes. Rehearsing beforehand never hurts, because luck favors the prepared. Here is a real time SOAR example from my life:


· S: I was a Director of Operations for a small diagnostics company, and we had to address a cash flow shortage. Our receivables slipped from 60 days to 77 days, which impacted our ability to pay for product, salaries, and future production investment.

· O: The 2 people in our Accounts Receivables (AR) team were disgruntled by their low pay and were losing momentum to do their job. Receivables continued to slip.

· A: I approached my CEO about a carrot/stick approach. For the stick: I did put keeping AR under 60 days a goal they were measured on, with job action (promotion or performance improvement plan) a possibility pending the achievement of that goal. I also introduced an incentive plan that offered the receivables team a cash bonus for bring Daily Sales Outstanding (DSO) below 55 days.

· R: The CEO agreed, and we moved one productive employee out of the organization through a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). We replaced that person with a high performer, and the person that remained worked with them to bring the DSO to 55 days. This provided ongoing cash bonuses that were self-funding, and it provided a massive cash flow increase to foster investment in the organization.


I just timed that…it took me 1:30 to go through this story. Having a few SOAR examples of how you effectively solve problems will increase your chances at solving the problem of getting to the next level of the interview process!


Mike Farragher is the CEO and Co-Founder of Career Letters, a professional branding service specializing in resume and career profile remodeling. He is the author of six novels, playwright of 2 Off Broadway plays, and producer of an award-winning TV comedy pilot. Prior to that, he was a VP level hiring manager at Fortune 50 companies and startups in the biotech space for two decades. Check out Career Letters at www.careerletters.com

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