The biggest challenge in the pursuit of a new role is often the point at which we meet our prospective new employer – the interview. The 45 minutes (on average) of our lives where some of us go completely to pieces, some of us shine…but most of us walk away muttering ‘I wish I had said that…’ or ‘I could have given a different example’.
How do we overcome this fear, fretting and anxiety when we are trying our very best to carve the next path in our careers?
Well, I would suggest the way in which we approach an interview needs to change in the very first instance. For example, the emotions we usually feel when facing the interview process are ruled by nerves. We need to turn those nerves into a positive energy.
One thing people seem to lose sight of is that an interview is all about the one thing you know most about in the world, the one topic that you can wax lyrical about knowing that you are factually correct. YOU! Your interview is all about you, so why do we find the whole process so excruciating?
I have a number of thoughts on that…
1) A very British approach to boastful activity – we don’t like it as a rule, we prefer to edge on polite discussion
2) We often work so hard in our jobs, we take how fantastic we are for granted…and then we forget to highlight our very best positive attributes
3) 45 minutes isn’t long enough to express all that we need to in order to shine!
So we need to strip it back and re-examine ourselves as a prospective new employee and take our game to market – selling our experience and brilliant attributes to a new employer.
My top tips for a more positive 2017 interview experience…
• Make a list – write down all of your skills, down to the most finite of things, rehearse them and make sure you are confident that you can give great examples.
• Have a bank of questions ready for your interviewer. The whole process is as much about you finding out more about their organisation too – ask ‘what does a typical day entail?’ or ‘tell me about the career paths you offer’.
• Coach yourself, have belief that the next 45 minutes are an opportunity to sell your skills and your interviewer wants to hear about them; they wouldn’t have got you in for an interview if they didn’t want to hear more.
• Practise your technique with a friend, ask them to be honest – how do you sound or appear when you enter the room and sit down.
• If you are a fidget, place your hands together and sit them on your lap…it will help you focus.
• Enjoy it! – This is a chance for you to explain all that you have to offer, to let a prospective employer what you could add to their workforce.
It’s a daunting prospect, but my firm belief is in the way we approach an interview, surround yourself with supportive, encouraging people immediately before the meeting. Lean on them and ask them why would they employ you…and have a bit of faith in yourself – you got this far!