Written by Matt Craven, Founder of The CV & Interview Advisors
If you’ve created yourself a good CV, conjured up a decent LinkedIn profile and executed a solid job hunting strategy, you may find yourself being invited to an interview.
Now, many folks think they are good in the interview room, but here’s a question that might be food for thought…
How can you be good at something that you’ve only done a handful of times in your life?
And further food for thought…
Doesn’t becoming good at anything require coaching and practice?
If you’ve not had any coaching, you’ve not practiced, and you’ve only done it a few times in your life, how can you excel in the interview room?!
Assuming a reality check has just bopped you round the ear, here’s some tips around the biggest mistakes that job seekers make in interviews
Answer the question!
One of the biggest mistakes that job seekers make is confusing talking with interviewing. Confused? Let me explain.
Imagine you are asked a question in an interview, you think of a response, and you talk articulately and confidently for 3 – 4 mins. You came across well and sounded reasonably intelligent. Does that mean you score a point for that interview question? The answer is, not necessarily!
Talking confidently and “coming across well” is all well and good, but have you answered the question? Have you demonstrated that you have the skill that the question was designed to explore or have you simply waffled on for a few minutes? In short, you will only score a point if you have proven beyond reasonable doubt that you have the skill that the question is exploring.
Human beings are pack animals and have always thrived in communities. This means we are conditioned to talk about ‘we’ rather than ‘I’, but there’s nothing more frustrating for a hiring manager than a job seeker who spends an entire hour talking about their team and the collective achievements of their team members.
The interviewer wants to know about you; they want to know what you owned, what you did, what you delivered and what you achieved. For goodness sake, please talk about “I” and stop ‘weeing’.
You don’t know yourself
Carrying on with some thought provoking (Ok, slightly controversial) points, you don’t know yourself! Well at least, not many people know themselves professionally.
They know themselves on a personal and emotional level, but let’s be honest, who sits down and thinks about themselves from a professional point of view? The thing is, to be successful in interviews, you need to know the ins and outs of your professional life including your personal brand, your career narrative, your professional title, your value proposition, your strengths and skills, and your career history.
In order to know this, you must learn yourself in the same way that a sales person learns all about the product or service they are selling. This can be achieved by writing what we call a career autobiography.
To find out about career autobiographies and how to master interviews, register for our upcoming webinar on 'How to excel in the interview room – advanced interview technique for Aviation job seekers' on Monday 13th February at 7.15pm here.
You can also request a complimentary mock interview where you get the chance to answer three pre-set interview questions and have your responses evaluated, with 1-2-1 feedback from an interview coach.
If you would like to take advantage of this highly useful service, just email our career enhancement partners quoting ‘SIMPLYMI3’.