Some of them are just dandy and help you through crises in your lives. Sometimes they even help you focus your career thoughts. But some are a bit, er ahem cough cough, a bit nauseating – of course, if you disagree, and think it’s just Margaret being her usual cynical self, let me know. I welcome criticism (I’m going to get struck down for THAT lie).
H-o-w-e-v-e-r, there are nuggets of wisdom and helpful advice in the midst of all that syrup and over-the-top verbiage. Let’s come up with some frinstances for interviewing technique, class. These are headings (well, I adapted a couple of them) I came across while
ploughing throughenjoying a couple of articles from career coaches on how to interview. The headings are theirs, more or less, but the thoughts are mine.
Know the Company
Do your homework. I mentioned in a previous blog how a candidate, not a Merit candidate, thank goodness, asked a private equity company owner (yup, she waited to show her ignorance till she met the hugely rich, successful owner), “So how does a bad day on the stock market affect you?” He lost his temper and showed her the door. Hope she learned something from it…..The Internet means there are no excuses for not being able to do some research. Mr Google deserves a Nobel Prize for Something-or-Other. No-one is asking you to pore over the annual report and ask financial questions about the company’s annual returns – well, unless you’re going in for the CFO job. But there have to be one or two snippets that are worth throwing in to the interview, whether it’s their long-term plans or their shunting the Accounts staff off to Idaho. Having done your homework helps to show you want that particular job and that particular company.
Be prepared to answer the difficult questions
See my blog “Tough questions”. Then you won’t open your mouth and put your foot in it with an answer that will have you go, “Oh no, I can’t believe I said that.” (e.g. “What’s a weakness?” “I have no patience”. Sigh)
My inferiority complex isn’t as interesting as yours
Show confidence, whether it’s real or imagined. I know it’s difficult if you’re shy, and the quietest of all of your friends. But looking at the floor just makes you look shifty. Try practicing on bus drivers, it costs nothing to smile at them and say, “Good night” as you leave the bus. Body language is, as the Brits say, a dead giveaway. Don’t slump, try not to pick nervously at your trousers or skirt, don’t play with your hair, keep your hands folded on your lap if you’re aware of them and can’t think what to do, look interested in the interviewer, smile occasionally for heavens’ sakes, you’re supposed to be enjoying the interview. You don’t have to go to extremes — never taking your eyes off the person will make you look deranged (that’s worse than shifty!). And talking about your fabulous communication skills, your magnificent organizational skills, your exceptional multi-tasking will turn off the interviewer. “I think I have really pretty good ….skills” has to be a better toned-down way to phrase it.
Talking of skills, have examples ready
Good organizational skills? Give examples. Good multi-tasking skills? Give examples. Good communication skills? Give examples. Pretty well all interviewees say they have these skills so you have to be able to prove it or it won’t even register with the person interviewing you.