Being in an interview situation comes naturally to some, but to others, it’s their idea of hell. I have recently entered into the recruitment arena and the shoe is now on the other foot! I now understand what is important to divulge and what is best kept to myself or for a small group of friends.
Before an interview you’ll typically research the company, prepare some questions for the interviewer, plan the route to make sure you are on time and maybe even lay out your interview outfit the night before. But what about you? You’ve invested time in the company that you are going to see, you hopefully have a list of killer questions, but actually when it comes to you, how have you prepared?
We all know ourselves, however when the question, “tell me about yourself” comes up, what are you going to talk about? Married, single, children, dog, swimming, walking, running, trustworthy, loyal, looking for a challenge and - before you know it - your one scuba dive in Tenerife four years ago is a hobby and you have all the traits of a well-trained Labrador.
Prepare a short speech about yourself, detailing what your situation is, what commitments and influences you have in your life, what you get up to at the weekend, and then what makes you stand out from the rest. (Also, everyone is loyal, trustworthy and ready for a new challenge…)
Additionally how much time do you take to look through your CV? Have you looked back over your career and thought about some real stand out achievements? Or put together some great examples of when you have faced a challenge at work and how you overcame it; what your targets are and how you’ve performed, and when you have had to change a colleague’s mind to meet a deadline?
Having these prepared, written down or in the forefront of your mind and delivering with confidence will make you stand out from other candidates. It makes you believable - and you will impress!
So, before your next interview, or if you have some time over the Christmas period, after you have done your research on the company, who you are meeting, when and where, do some research on the person who will get you the job – You.
Some of the most irrelevant stories I’ve brought up during interviews were a symptom of the fact that I just was not prepared. And while I didn’t get the job in those instances, I learned a lot about how quickly things can go haywire if you try to wing it.