This article is meant to assist and motivate all of the unemployed loss prevention professionals having difficulty finding a new job. First of all, let me express my sincere concerns for this issue since I have experienced unemployment and all of its effects. I was displaced from a job after fourteen years of service. Yes, being let go can be devastating, but please do not allow the past to destroy your future. Every dark cloud really does have a silver lining. You may think that your unemployment is a devastating event for you and your family, however, I believe everything happens for a reason. Take this opportunity to empower yourself to strive for better things to come in your life.
A loss prevention job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience, but you have to keep your wits about you. The best way to turn a job interview to your advantage is to prepare, ask good questions that will make the interviewer think, showcase your critical thinking, and make you stand out. This all starts by taking a good look at yourself, and thinking through some tough questions that can help you better prepare for the interview. Answering the following five questions prior to a loss prevention job interview will increase your confidence during the conversation with a prospective employer. It never hurts to get constructive advice when preparing for a job interview, and that should start with some positive self-reflection.
1. What can this company potentially gain by having an employee with my qualifications?
This is assuming that you have requisite qualifications. If you are LPQ (Loss Prevention Qualified), LPC (Loss Prevention Certified) or CFI, (Certified Forensic Interviewer) you may be the only applicant with those credentials. These are the types of situations where your ability to discuss your loss prevention certifications and what they mean will matter even more. They may see the credentials behind your name but they may not realize how it can impact the credibility of their hire. Be prepared to tell them how they can benefit from hiring you. Feel free to make your own answer but here is one that I have used:
“The loss prevention field has several industry-specific certifications. These certifications validate professional skill sets and exhibit just how dedicated and passionate certain people are in the loss prevention field.”
2. Are there any applicants that have qualifications similar to mine?
We should always assume that the job interview will have other applicants with similar qualifications, but don’t expect the interviewer to discuss other applicants. What you want to think through are your skills that help set you apart, and make the interviewer really consider your qualifications and size up the competition. Being the most qualified applicant will reach far beyond what they see on paper. If it was your company, how would you determine who to hire? What makes you the most qualified applicant?
3. What is the current turnover rate for the position I am applying for?
This is a question that you may want to explore during the conversation, but likely not one that will be directly answered or known by the person that you interview with. This question is designed to let them know you are looking a long-term employment opportunity. So, in no uncertain terms, let them know that you are looking for a long-term home. Let them know that if they hire you, they will not have to fill the position again for a while – unless it’s because you were promoted to another position.
4. How long have you been with the company?
Be willing and able to talk about current and previous jobs. By the same respect, it doesn’t hurt to ask the interviewer how long they have been with the company. People love to share their job experiences. Just ask a friend about their last job and see how long that conversation will last. This will help you gain rapport with the interviewer, learn more about the company, and help determine if it is a good fit for you.
5. How prepared are you for the interview today?
Preparation is the key to interview success. Additionally, your ability to let the interviewer know that you have taken the steps to prepare demonstrates your sincerity and gives you a chance to display your investigative techniques and skills which are much needed talents in the loss prevention field. I would suggest doing these simple things to prepare:
• Research the company website.
• Visit the store.
• Talk to some employees.
For example: “I checked your website and found a store near my home. I visited the store and talked with manager John Doe. John seems to really enjoy working for your company.”
While I was personally very reluctant to share this information with all of you, my main goal is to share what I have learned from my loss prevention job search experience. I was terminated unexpectedly after 14 years. I used these questions and one month later, a bigger company hired me and I am now making a higher salary with double the bonus. Job interviews must be treated like an opportunity, and we must make the most of them. Don’t give up or get discouraged. Have a plan—and nail that interview.
Thank you for reading and good luck!