Guest Blog: The Balance Collective – Interview Tips

Written by A Guest Blogger

The world of work is changing – remote working, digital skills, international client bases, video interviews and online testing. The list goes on. The one thing that remains stable is the interview. It doesn’t matter what type of role you are applying for in your career journey, you’ll inevitably have an interview to review your skills and see if you the right person for the team.

Over the years I have lost count of how many people I have interviewed – I suspect it’s pushing the thousand-plus mark. The roles have varied, from student Graphic Designers to Accountants, but the people who were offered the job were always the confident candidates.

Being confident in an interview is not an elusive trait; it takes two simple things:

Self-awareness
Practise

Both of these take a little time, but these are tools that you use and will last you a lifetime. As an aside, when it’s times for our sons and daughters to go through their job interviews, you are free to give them these tips as your own; my gift to you!

Self-awareness

Ask yourself these questions in preparation for your interview; a great way to capture your answers is to either brain storm the words, phrases and imagery that you are coming up with, or to record yourself “free flow” to play back and write down your answers.

Why do you want this job?

Not just what they are asking for in the job description or person specification, but what are your true motivations behind your application?

What makes you right for this job/industry?

Think back to your career story; what experiences have you had that show your interest, passion and suitability for this type of role. This could be your work experience, your education, your volunteering or your hobbies. All of these count!

Now, and only now, look at the job you are applying for.

Where do your “want” and your “fit” answers support the skills, experience and attitude the employer wants?

Where are the gaps?

The first two questions demonstrate you what you KNOW about yourself. Now you need to dig a bit deeper; where can you show your transferable skills? For example, if you haven’t got specific experience, how can you show you are able to learn something new and apply this quickly?

 

Practise

By this stage you should be able to see, through pages and pages of information, all the amazing skills, experience and behaviour that makes you right for the job you are going for.

Now comes the practise part!

Employers want to hear about how you use your skills and experience and what impact you may have on their business.

This is where the magical S.T.A.R. technique comes in!

You will have noted all your skills and strengths and mapped these against the key areas that the employer may ask about in the interview, by using the job and personal description.

Next, you need to practise your career story, using the following model to show a specific example for each of your skills.

Situation: The context and setting
Task: What was your responsibility? What was required of you?
Action: What is it that YOU did (notice the capital YOU! Make sure this putting your ability at centre stage)
Result: How was it successful or what was the outcome?

Far too often I meet talented and skilled individuals who provide generic and vague answers in interview; they don’t live up to their carefully crafted CV and leave me disappointed.

Don’t be that person, get really clear on your talents and skills and make sure you can concisely and confidently express to the employer who you are and how you will fit in.

Would love to hear how this technique will help you be a confident candidate in your next interview!

hello@studentnannies.com

 

 

Clara Wilcox is a straight talking, practical and experienced coach helping clients navigate the tricky waters of returning to work, career changes and professional development. The Balance Collective is a social enterprise focused on improving the lives of parents, by working together to build inner confidence and promote a healthy work/life balance.

The original version of this blog appeared on
www.thebalancecollective.co.uk/blog

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