Phew! I’ve got an interview…
So I’ll be right now!
As a careers counsellor I sometimes hear people say,
‘Once I get to the interview, I’ll be right!’
‘I have the gift of the gab. I can talk to anyone about anything so it’ll be sweet!
This makes me want to cry!! An opportunity could be missed simply because you have not prepared.
It is never a good idea to speak ‘off the cuff’.
Even for politicians who believe they have the gift! They come unstuck. Regularly.
It is true you do not know what will be asked, so what can you do?
1. Be prepared, and you might have a chance to land the job.
2. Allow plenty of time. Seriously, it takes a lot of effort to think through what you might say.
Doing your research is essential. Research the organisation: online or through contacts, observations, talking to others, ringing to ask relevant thoughtful questions.
Find out as much as you can about who they are, what they do, plans for the future, what they value, what the culture of the place is?
- You can prepare some responses. Take a punt on other questions and prepare responses.
- Keep these responses brief. Dot points only.
- Use examples that demonstrate what you have done. Sum up by ensuring that it is clear how past training, volunteering or work has equipped you for this new role.
- Have a practice asking and answering.
- Transfer this information to prompt cards or notes with even briefer words that remind you of what you have been practicing.
- Practice your responses in front of the mirror, or family & friends.
Handy hint: As you go in you can ask if you can have your notes on the table.
If it is OK make sure you DO NOT READ the notes as you respond. Glance down to remind yourself, if stress has made your mind a vacuum.
These notes are a prompt resource only, to allow you to consider whether you have covered what you wanted to say and address it if not.
If they do not want you to bring these notes in, at least you have prepared yourself by practicing and you may in fact remember this information as you relax and enjoy the process of having a chat with the interviewer(s)!
It is a chat! Enjoy meeting with new people and relax a bit. Smile. Look at the interviewer or interviewers.
They want to know if you have the skills and experience. So you have to be specific. You do have to talk about yourself and why you would be a good addition to the team. Don’t forget you are also trying to gauge whether you want to work for them. So listen carefully to their language.
You can do it. But only if you really prepare!
Written by our resident interview champion, Robyn. If you would like to find out more about preparing for an interview, come along to Robyn’s interview workshop at our Festival of Change.