Job interviews are hardly anyone’s favourite pastime. In fact many career changers find the interview process boring, nerve wrecking and challenging to say the least. However, with the right attitude job interviews can be a creative and rewarding experience. The following powerful pointers can help you excel at traditional job interviews and make the career changes you desire.
1. Know who you are – It is all too easy to lose one’s individuality in the cut throat corporate world. Before embarking on a job interview, take the time to find out who you really are. Self discovery can be achieved through mental reflection, constructive feedback and specialist guidance. Your identity does not consist of material acquisitions and social status, rather your essence, beliefs and values. Enhance your self awareness and your confidence will shine through at job interviews.
2. Know where you’re from – To get to where you want to be, you must first evaluate where you are coming from. Whilst preparing for your job interview, it is important to reflect on your career history and general life experience. For instance, if you are unhappy at your current job, map out two separate sections on blank paper. In the first section, list the specific things you’re unhappy about and in the second section list what you’re happy about (if any). When you have finished, evaluate the results. Are there more negatives than positives or vice versa? When you find new job openings, don’t get carried away by the thrill of the opportunity. Rather take stock of the positives and negatives of the new role so that you can compare the results with your current work situation. This will help you make good progress career-wise instead of making choices that could potentially worsen your situation.
3. Know your destination – Not many people set goals on a regular basis or take the time to discover their purpose in life. However, the world respects people who know where they are going in life. Get the edge over other interviewees by defining what career success means to you and outlining the specific steps you can take to achieve your career goals. It’s also a good idea to ask yourself how each new job fits in with your life goals. With more focus and clarity, you will advance in your career and achieve inner fulfilment as well.
4. Find the right job – Not all jobs warrant the hassle of interview preparation, so before squandering precious hours, first find job vacancies worth applying for. The ideal job is of course one that will utilise your greatest talents and give you the kind of fulfilment money cannot buy. However, you will also need to consider factors such as pay, commute time, scope for career progression, organisational values, company stability and so on. Instead of attending interviews haphazardly, define your ideal career and seek out job opportunities that complement those career aspirations. When you focus your efforts on suitable job roles, your chances of interview success and career happiness will be significantly improved.
5. Find your talents – Job interviews are a two way process; it’s not just about gaining from the employer but about offering long term value too. Thankfully job ads are filled with clues as to the specific talents and behaviours employers find desirable. It’s a great idea to read the ad at least five times, then to map out three separate columns on blank paper. In the first column, write down all the skills and talents required to perform your ideal job successfully (e.g. computer, supervisory and organisational talents), in the second column write down the typical behaviours required of you (e.g. career minded, self starter and team player) and in the third column list the ethos and values of the organisation (e.g. cutting edge, environmentally concious, family friendly etc.). Next, ask yourself which of the desired attributes you possess and tick those off the list. If in doubt ask family and friends what your greatest talents are and how those talents match the job description. It is wise to take the time to discover and develop hidden talents and assets because they can significantly increase your perceived organisational value.
Well prepared interviewees perform well at job interviews. Keep the above pointers in mind and you too can outshine your competitors, secure your dream job and enjoy lasting career happiness.