You’d love to change your job. You see a role you fancy and apply. Not believing your luck you get called for interview. But your skills are rusty, and you spend ages agonizing over what to say and no time on how to say it…
Here’s a fuss free guide to giving yourself the best shot at interview:
Interviews are matching exercises: what they want to what you offer. CV skills and qualities can be evidenced through the Star formula:
Here was the Situation
This was the Task required
I took this Action
This was the Result.
You’ll probably write your Star examples down – but it’s best to practise aloud, either getting feedback from someone or recording yourself. Succinct description, crisp sentences and taking a beat to pause, think and breathe before you answer will help.
Results you achieved may not dazzle but need to show something changed – 2% improvement in performance for example, being better than none at all.
You are judging fit for yourself, too. On a recent workshop we had one participant who slunk off midway in the workshop to go for a job, somewhere she’d failed to get one several months previously. She came back jubilant – they’d remembered her and she’d been the only candidate for the role.
You may be aiming at the wrong context: big companies, conservative sectors, team orientation when you’d be better off in a small outfit or self-employed where a maverick has value.
What you like culturally matters much – it’s often the day-to-day small stuff at work that gets to or motivates us.
These days getting a new role needs to be tackled like a battle campaign. The hidden job market may be accessed online, through people you know and by hanging around in places where the people you would like to work with hang out. Ask them informally for advice and information. Gossip is a most powerful form of knowledge transfer.
Steep yourself in job hunting: there is vast resource on the web and if you can, do a warm up interview or two for less interesting jobs. Here one source of useful information and here’s another
Above all, this is about match – and the more you are able to put yourself into the employer’s mindset the better – and after research and analysis this is an exercise in imagination.
On our Employability programmes, we’ve observed that successful job seekers have been notably curious and enthusiastic, prized qualities by employers. Some of you read this blog I know, so congratulations to you. We finish the entire programme very soon, so just to say we enjoyed you and good luck.