We all know that job searching is all about getting to the interview stage and, at that time, demonstrating you have the skills knowledge and expertise to do the job you are applying for.
Job searching is a skill in itself but having been successful in achieving an interview, how do you ensure that you show yourself to be the best and right candidate for the job.
The three fundamental tips that successful job seekers use are the three P’s:
Good preparation is essential in the job seeking process and never more so when an interview is scheduled. Candidates that think that the research they have completed for their application to be successful is sufficient are sadly mistaken. That was just the beginning. Yes, the research is important and indeed essential for the interview itself but there are more things to consider. The most important ones are that the interviewers will be asking you, the candidate, a myriad of questions which you can prepare for. [pullquote]If you fail to prepare you are setting yourself up to fail.[/pullquote]
You will be asked questions of course around the job itself; your competences and ability to manage and perform in the role and your personal motivation and self-awareness. The interviewer needs to discover if you provide evidence that you can do the job and the reasons why you want the job.
The responses you give their questions will be important, but at the same time the interviewers will be looking at how you handle yourself under pressure of the interview and how you actively listen and answer fluently as well as your compatibility for the job. It is important that you prepare yourself for this interrogation so you come across as confident and that you assertively respond to questions. How you manage the challenging questions will be key to how the interviewer evaluates you.
You will also need to prepare thought-provoking and engaging question to ask the interview panel.
Practise is critical to a successful interview. You will need to rehearse possible interview questions, scenarios and different behavioural questions as well as the questions you pose.[pullquote]Practise, practise and practise again. Then practise some more[/pullquote] Role play with a consultant, friends or family. Begin to recognise which questions cause you the most pain and work through answers that clearly demonstrate that you answer the question in a positive manner. Using the PAR formula [or Star stories] make sure you match your stories to competencies and job responsibilities. Successful achievements need to flow off your tongue.
You might also want to practise how to travel to the interview, what you will wear and what you will take with you. Remember to include pen and paper, your CV/resume and the application itself. When travelling to the interview you will need to factor in public transport and parking, so leave in good time. It is a well known fact that part of the recruitment and interview process starts when you arrive at reception. The first people you talk to could well be asked about your demeanour and their impression of you.
Practise smiling through adversity.
A strong performance is all about confidence and strategy; with the preparation and practice you will be able to perform at your best. Dress well, smart and professional but comfortable. Pay attention to details; polishing your shoes, your hair well groomed and making sure your hands are prepared. Remember that first impressions are very important. Smile and engage with those you meet on the way to the interview room as well as the panel of interviewers. Use eye contact and a firm hand-shake. Confident performers’ non-verbal body language are aligned to presenting as an assertive candidate.