Job Seekers: Interview Tips to Market your Confidence
Content that Connects: Impress your Future Boss with Interview Responses Rich with Content
Confidence is Key to Achieving the Role you Want
Graduating and entering the workforce, looking for new challenges and opportunities, or re-entering the workforce are life transitions with something in common. In most cases, they all require two things: summarizing your skills and experiences in a resume plus sharpening your interview skills.
A well-crafted resume may grab the initial attention of a recruiter, but that is just the beginning of marketing yourself as the ideal candidate for the job that you want.
The content that is reflected in your resume and interview responses are equally critical. One gets you noticed and the second leaves a lasting impression.
What kind of impression do you want to make?
Resumes are summaries of your actual experience, shortened into a page or two. Your extensive experience remains hidden and lies behind the words reflected on a piece of paper or computer screen.
When the contents of your resume has landed you a spot sitting across from anyone from Human Resources to your potential boss (or both of them), impressing them shifts from what exists theoretically on paper to what actually exists through your responses. You need to convey your expertise by providing content that showcases why you are the right candidate for the job.
A well-crafted self-marketing plan can include what actions to take before, during and after the interview. Tips on that process can be found here.
Think about the last time you were in an interview...
- How did you answer the questions?
- Did you have a process for structuring your responses?
- Did your responses convey your knowledge, skill and behavior applied in a given situation? If not, which of these three elements were missing?
How you answer your interview questions sets you apart from the potential large, and deep pool of candidates being interviewed. Being able to get your interviewer to envision you in the role you want requires you to construct a very clear picture of how you will perform in the role. Crystal-clear pictures are created by sharing details and specific examples of your knowledge, skill and behavior.
Theoretical experience, or “I would do this …” responses are general. General examples leaves the door wide open for interviewers to make their own assumptions and perceptions. You want your interviewers to have a clear picture of how you are able to help them or the company when a problem arises.
By incorporating the following 4-steps into your interview responses, you are providing interviewers with a more vivid picture of who you are and what you can do for them. The content in your responses should clearly communicate your skills and experiences in areas such as regarding adaptability, self-awareness, collaboration, and leadership (or those skills and experiences communicated in the job posting).
Step 1 - Describe the situation.
Create a high-level picture of the situation you are using as an example to answer a question (e.g. When I was employed by Company “X” performing Job “Y”, I was involved in “Z”). Follow through on your response by providing details regarding why and how you were in the situation “Z”.
Step 2 – What were your actions?
Provide focus and more specific details. Make it clear to your interviewer what role you played in the situation or what your specific contributions were. Were you leading multiple large projects simultaneously? Were you the catalyst to solving a problem? Were you on a project team that improved customer service or decreased waste?
Step 3 – What were the results?
Share the outcome of the situation – positive or negative. There is as much to learn from opportunities as there are from successes. Results can include how they impacted your personal or professional growth or how they impacted the company.
Step 4 - Would you do anything differently? What did you learn?
Whenever possible, reflect and share on what you learned from the situation. If you could change one thing you did, what would it be? Did you acquire a new skill? Your learning lesson could be related to making more efficient decisions, displaying leadership potential, discovering something that you do not like, or identifying that you have a skill gap that you needed to address.
Being able to reflect on the situation and identify something you would do differently shows that you are open to growth and development; that you are humble and self-aware. Reflecting on situations allows you to learn what not to do if similar situations were to appear. A reflective answer shows interviewers that you are adaptable and open to learning from your experiences.
Remember that the interview process is about you continuing to shape yourself as the ideal candidate. You started to reveal this through the words on your resume and now have to grow this perception in the interview. Be clear. Be precise. Be confident. THRIVE in the job that you want.
More about Danielle Joworski: With 15+ years’ experience, I have reviewed over 1000 resumes and completed hundreds of interviews across many different industries, from entry-level to leadership positions. Feeling that your resume and interviewing skills need to be re-energized? Contact me for a free 30-minute session to discuss if I can help to add some zip to your resume and some zing to your interview confidence.
Connect with Danielle at http://www.daniellejoworski.com