A job interview ia a bit like sitting an oral exam. You need to go into the exam with the content top of mind. Once it’s there, then you can focus on your audience and really appreciate how best to answer the depth and scope of a question.
The thing is most people don’t go into interviews with their content TOP OF MIND! Because we all know what we’ve done and what we’d like to do (most of us), so we go into interviews more or less blindly! Then when we’re asked a question, we dive into our minds searching for an appropriate answer!
This “diving technique” comes across as a bit of a scramble, no matter how eloquent we are. And worse, we’re relying on the questions to promote our credentials! Many interviewers do not warrant this degree of trust! Instead it’s much better to prepare by doing these 3 things
1. Answer the question “Tell me about yourself” in whatever way it’s asked by focusing on three aspects of yourself: personal, professional and aspirational. Keep each to a brief soundbyte so that you can complete your answer inside 2 minutes. Then you can extend each point with three dot points if asked for further info.
2. Create 3 soundbytes for each of 3-4 key strengths (keep these balanced in terms of AQ, IQ, EQ and SQ eg business acumen, strategic, leadership, turnarounds and functional expertise), one each from each of your last 3 substantive roles to establish a track record, based on Situation you were in, Action you took and Results you achieved. If you have 10-12 of these, each around 3 minutes long, you will have all the content you need to match your strengths and capabilities to the questions asked. To do this well you will need to reorder your thinking to absolutely focus on the point you want to make and rehearse what you write, to provide a clear, articulate soundbyte. Otherwise you may end up telling stories that wander.
3. Watch this video which offers some latest research findings on the power of body language for interviewees. Essential viewing http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are
Best of luck in your interview!!
NB If you’d like some specific Coaching Support, and especially the Super Successful Interview Crunch, use the Contact page to send me an email.