How To Make Sure You Are The Best Candidate In The Job Interview And Not Just On Paper

I’m sure anyone who has ever recruited staff will be familiar with this scenario.

You receive applications.

You go through them and create a shortlist of those you would like to meet for interview.

Within the group you have shortlisted, there might be one or two who you really look like they would be ideal for the job.

It’s the day of the interview.

You interview the candidates.

Those that looked like the ideal candidate on paper, based on their application, fall short of expectations.

The person you end up appointing turns out to be someone who wasn’t the stand out candidate based on the applications.

I think there are several reasons why this might happen including:

  • The candidates CV has been written by a professional CV writer.  The CV looks great but doesn’t necessarily portray the real you.
  • Candidates can’t back up the claims that they make on applications with concrete examples
  • Candidates overstate the role they had in a particular achievement or success.

So how can you make sure that you are the best candidate both on paper and in person?

  • Re- review every document that you have received or created as part of the job application.
  • From this review create a long list of the questions that you might be asked.
  • Make sure that for all of the questions on your long list that you write out fairly detailed answers.
  • Practice answering the questions out loud.
  • Get someone to do a mock interview with you who can help you to improve your answers.
  • For every claim you have on your application, whether knowledge, skills, experience or attributes, make sure that you can back them up with concreate examples.
In truth if you are going to be successful in landing your next job, you have to deliver both on paper at the application stage and in person at the job interview stage.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

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.

Leave a Comment: