Succeeding in job interviews is tough. In many ways this should not be a surprise. After all the employer is committing to a major investment in terms of salary and benefits.
When I am working with people there are some common challenges that seem to come up time and time again. Here are 5 of the most common challenges and what you can do to overcome them.
Challenge 1: Nerves
When you go along to a job interview it can feel like a highly pressurised situation. After all there is a lot to remember, you are under scrutiny and want to do your very best.
Nerves impact on people in different ways. Some just lose it while others use it as a catalyst to perform to their potential. Those who do the latter stack the odds in their favour.
Challenge 2: Understating What You Have To Offer
An interview is an opportunity to sell yourself and talk about what you have to offer a potential employer. Many people worry about coming across as too arrogant or as a know it all.
Now let’s be clear, it is a fine line. However, what you don’t want to be doing is leaving the interviewer unclear about what you have to offer.
So make a list of what you have to offer generally and specifically in relation to the role you are applying for.
Challenge 3: Finding The Time To Prepare
Preparation is a big part of being successful in job interviews and many people find it hard to find the time to do it well. That is one reason why I always suggest to people that they focus their job search on a few opportunities that they are genuinely interested in rather than applying for everything.
Challenge 4: Being Over Confident
Employers want people to be self aware. While you don’t want to understate what you have to offer, you want to avoid coming across as a complete know it all.
As well as being ready to speak up about what you do well, be ready to calmly and professionally respond to questions about where you are less effective.
Challenge 5: Answering Those Awkward Questions About A Job That Did Not Work Out As Well You Hoped
You might well have had a job or more than one job that you were in where you did not stay around for very long. This can, rightly or wrongly create an impression that you are someone who struggles in certain environments.
The most important thing to avoid is to blame the organisation, the person you worked for or your colleagues. Instead talk about what you learned in terms of skills, experience and about yourself and why you believed moving on was the best long term decision.
While interviews are challenging being properly prepared can go a long way to effectively dealing with any challenge that you encounter.
Duncan Brodie helps accountants and professional people achieve more career success. Learn more here.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.