Job interviews for many are stressful, demanding and hard work. Just like a business pitching for work, one of things you want to be able to do is to convert job interviews into job offers.
In theory sounds really simple, right? Yet we all know that things that appear simple in theory are not always so simple in practice.
A lot of times when I talk to people about their career and how it is progressing, they tell me that they are struggling either to get or do well in job interviews.
When we probe a little deeper, I often discover that people are just applying for everything without being selective.
Now if, for example you are an accountant you might be able to get in the door on the basis of a qualification. However, unless you understand an industry or sector and the issues and challenges, it is going to be really difficult to come across well in the job interview.
Do Your Research
Information has never been more freely available. These days you can find out so much about an industry or sector, the biggest challenges, the trends and the major players using Google.
You can find out about the people, their interests and expertise using LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
Imagine for example you have discovered during your research that your boss has only been in the job for six months. This gives you an ideal opener to ask him or her a question about their perceptions six months in.
This shows you have down your homework and will also probably provide some valuable insights about the job and organisation.
Identify Potential Questions
Most jobs have a job description and person specification. Using these you should easily be able to come up with a bundle of potential questions. Most want bother doing this because it takes time.
I’m always shocked when I ask people how many potential questions they identify. Most think about 10 is more than enough.
My feeling is that you should be aiming for a minimum of 30+.
Write Out Answers To Questions
In the heat of a job interview it’s easy to start rambling and come across poorly. Yet it’s easy to avoid this. Write out a comprehensive answer to every potential question you might be asked.
Record Yourself Answering Questions
Want to know how you come across verbally. Download a free copy of Audacity, plug in a microphone and record yourself answering questions.
This will help check your pace, voice variation and length of time it is taking to answer each question and allow you to make changes ahead of the interview.
Video Yourself Answering Questions
Most of us have a video camera on a phone or a webcam on a PC or laptop. Rather than simply using it to record your cat playing with a ball why not use it to record yourself answering questions.
What I will highlight to you is where you feel less comfortable answering questions and again allow you to make changes ahead of the real interview.
Always Get and Act On Feedback
Whether successful or not always ask for and then act on feedback.
You might say to yourself that you don’t know how to ask for it. Actually it’s really simple. All you need is two questions:
What did I do well?
Where could I have been more effective?
In reality by making a few easy to implement changes you can make a big difference to your success in job interviews. The big question is are you ready to make those changes.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 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.