Due to feedback I received on my CV article, I have compiled some suggestions regarding interviews also. I will extend this to looking at the role of psychometrics in the hiring process at a future stage.
So the question I will address today is where do you start when preparing for an interview? Every situation is obviously different so what I will do here is attempt to highlight some of the typical areas which present challenges and make some suggestions along the way.
(1) The biggest challenge I have seen people facing is their ability to talk positively and succinctly about themselves, particularly after redundancy.
Rather than focusing too much on explaining what has happened and ‘telling your story’, it may be helpful to focus on your elevator speech and ensure that this is framed in a positive and forward looking manner.
(2) Someone told me once that an interview is all about two things (a) why do you want the job? and (b) why should the company hire you? This is in fact the essence of any interview.
In the current climate, many people feel that the answer to part (a) is obvious i.e. they need a job. When it comes to part (b) many also struggle to convey their strengths and articulate their fit with the role in a confident manner.
In my opinion these are the most important questions to reflect upon and bottom out beforehand. I would strongly suggest talking these through in advance with a coach or a friend as they are critical to the interview process.
(3) For many people at a senior level it may be 10 or more years since you faced an interview, and even then you may have been approached for the role rather than seeking it out yourself. Many feel frustrated and some intimidated by the prospect of facing into a long interview process.
It may be useful to frame each interview as simply a conversation where both parties are trying to understand the level of fit with each other and the balance of power is more or less equal. By doing this you may be able to present confidently and proactively ask questions to understand if this is indeed the right role for you.
Finally more than every before organisations are going to extraordinary lengths to ensure that they hire the best candidate. The market has changed significantly, and preparation is more important than ever. Also, psychometrics are playing a greater part in the hiring process. As mentioned earlier, I will prepare a note on their use in the coming weeks which might shed some light on the context in which they are being used.