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  • Mental Health and Interviews

    Over the course of the last 2 years, we’ve all seen a rise in the cases of mental health issues but also an increasing attention to the topic, helping millions overcome troubling periods. Mental health affects all of us some time or another in our lives and knowing how to self-care and strengthen our resilience is an important skill we can all learn.

    For many, a job interview can be one of the most nerve-racking and anxious events we face, the uncertainty of outcome, the fear of judgement and the doubt of being prepared enough. But by having a mentor or coach working alongside you can help enormously, taking much of the load off your shoulders and guiding you towards your goals.

    This article will give you 5 useful tips to strengthen your resilience and help you fortify your mental health especially around interview time.

    Build a support network around you

    Building your support network is crucial as we are all social creatures, regardless of whether you are an introvert or extrovert, we all need people around us to feel included and part of something bigger than ourselves.

    Scientifically, our brain releases Oxytocin whenever we have an intimate or social encounter with one another, Oxytocin is a hormone which reduces the cortisol levels in the brain and lowers blood pressure. This helps you feel more at ease with the task at hand and opens you up to a “superbrain” of alternative ideas from those within your network.

    You can do this with a partner, sibling, friend or colleague, explain to them what you are aiming for and how you would like them to support you whether that be listening to you practicing your answers or giving you a different perspective or ideas on what you should include in your answers.

    Get prepared

    Leaving things to the last minute is hands-down the worst thing you can do. Get started, now! No matter how little you achieve today, it is the beginning of getting ready and now the ball is rolling. Thinking about the possible answers the interviewer could ask, is a great start. Use models like HCCARR or STAR to structure your answers. Read them aloud and look at the places where you need to add details and clarity or delete the wafting. By getting ready early, you will increase your Serotonin and Dopamine levels.

    Exercise

    Seriously, I know you’re thinking how is a run in the park or a playing a game of tennis (my secret passion) going to help me improve my chances at getting hired. Well, there’s some logic to this madness. Exercise is one of the best forms of selfcare out there, it increases your heart rate which allows for better circulation in the body and brain, increases Endorphins which is a chemical release in the brain, a kind of painkiller for the physical exertion you have spent which makes you feel euphoric and content. It is also an excellent and constructive form of distraction from the stress and anxiety of the interview. During this time, your brain will meditate in the “zone” and allow your subconscious to run free at problem-solving and creating new ideas for those questions.

    Drink water

    It may seem ridiculous that we need to be told to drink water, duhhh obviously we drink water, but really? Think about it! How much water do you actually drink per day? Not coffee, tea, Coca-Cola etc. but a good old glass of tap water? I reckon not enough. Our brains are 80% water, therefore they need a constant supply of nice, fresh, clean water to keep them running optimally. A consequence of not getting enough water can lead to a host of problems but notably headaches, fatigue and slow metabolism which can severely affect your emotional state.

    Experiencing these, irritability and lack of motivation can creep in. So, get into a habit of filling up a water bottle and keep it on your desk, give yourself a task of finishing it that day and you will see the impact in less that a week on your energy levels, mood and productivity.

    Sleep

    Lastly, we have sleep. It is so important to get a good night’s sleep, it helps your body reset, recover and build on from the day before. Having good nighttime habits can increase your chances of having a deep and restful sleep. Use soft lighting after 8pm to allow your body to recognize that the night is here and its time to winddown, have a hot bath or use some essential oils such as lavender to trigger the body’s clock and get you yawning. Staying up all night, the evening before an interview reading your answers is not advisable. Instead, get a good night’s sleep, set the alarm an hour or two earlier the next day and use that time instead to get a head start. This will give you a sense of achievement and advantage rather working off a back foot.

    If you’d like to read further into fortifying your resilience in all areas of your life, I recommend Resilience by Liggy Webb an award-winning and bestselling author, presenter and international consultant specialising in life skills.

    Interview Coaching has helped hundreds of people experiencing nerves and anxiety during their preparation and throughout their course, they have built confidence through controlled practice and rehearsal, getting immediate and critical feedback on their answers and an opportunity to strengthen and improve their responses. If you’d like to have a chat today and see if we’d be a good fit for you, click here to schedule a discovery call.  

  • ANSWERING TOUGH AND WEIRD INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

    Preparing for a career-changing interview is not easy, it takes time, planning and rehearsing to nail down your answers to perfection. I get it, that’s why having a mentor or interview coach offers so much value! Having someone there to push you through the stumbles and forgotten lines, offering a different perspective on the choice of language etc. can massively help you boost confidence and preparedness.

    But there’s a never-ending list of bizarre and fastidious questions the interviewer could ask that you just didn’t prepare for. For example: “If you had to plan a project in a train station or a swimming pool, which one would you choose and why?”  Seriously, this is a question which was asked to one of my clients!

    First, we need to understand, why are they asking this question, what is the purpose and what are they looking for? Is there a right answer?

    To be blunt, no! There is no wrong or right answer, they just want to see how you handle pressure and create logic and clarity in the face of ambiguity.

    Take a breath and reverse the questioning to the interviewer to take control of the situation and demonstrate your confidence in your own competencies. Start with saying, “that’s a really interesting question, I’d like to give a great answer for this so I would like to narrow down some details if you don’t mind.”

    Use open questions which start with the word WHAT, WHEN, WHO, WHY, WHERE and HOW, these will force the interviewer to give you more information other than just a YES or NO.

    You could ask: What is the project about? (this could determine the importance of the location i.e. it’s a project on city transport)

    After asking a handful of questions and equipped with this new information, try to correlate connections between the data and applying logic to your answer.

    Reply: “After considering the options a swimming pool, does sound a lot quieter and less stressful than a busy train station, but doesn’t offer the inspired environment to plan a city transportation project. I would find a coffee shop inside the station which offers WIFI and a table for me and my team to sit down and start mapping out the main features of the project for example, what does the project intend to achieve, what resources do we have available to us, what deadlines are we working with and who are the stakeholders involved…”

    These questions, as mentioned, do not have a right or wrong answer, so relax, take a breath, and ask clarification questions to give you more time and data to work with. Demonstrate your confidence and assertiveness by taking control of the situation. Even take notes if you have a pen and paper handy.

    If you’d like to start preparing for your job interview, book a discovery call with me today for free to find out how Interview Coaching can increase your chances of getting hired.

    #hiring #newcareeropportunities #interviewskills #interviewcoaching #interviewpreparation #interviewcoach #newjob #newbeginnings

  • Gamify Your Career

    Climbing the corporate ladder may seem like a grueling and tedious endeavor especially if you’re just setting out in the early stages of your career. But it doesn’t have to be so painful if you gamify it!

    We’ve all had a 9-month loading period until the game of our lives begun. Here laid out before us, were the millions of different paths we could have taken, one of which led us to where we are today. For most, during our development we relied exclusively on our parents or caregivers around us to nurture our growth and guide us into being successful and valued adults, our development was influenced by the environment we grew up using the tools and equipment to master the skills we have today.

    Everyone around the world has experienced something different, these experiences have strengthened and increased certain core competencies, soft skills such as public speaking and teamwork spirit, academic abilities such as earning a degree as well as sharpening our creativeness and talent in art. These experiences make up the profile you are today and more importantly the profile you offer to the market.

    So here we are, it’s 2022 and whether you like it or not, we all have a “player” stats table. On it are our strengths and weaknesses that make up our professional profile but just like previous years, this table has been ever-evolving, updating and improving – we’ve all been having “level up” moments ever since we were born.

    Businesses know that all our inner child wants to do is have fun and play, and they capitalised on this! Companies such as Duolingo now a $4.1B giant in the language space has supported millions of people around the world to increase their communication skills and speak second languages. They “gamified” the process which made learning an addiction, fun and rewarding.

    Zombies, Run! brought gaming to the fitness and health space by combining mission based levels and GPS tracking on your phone to encourage you to run faster, longer and with a goal in mind all while satisfying your thirst for challenge and achievement. In fact, last year (2021) OliveX bought the company for $9.5M!

    So, how can we gamify our careers or even our lives?

    Let’s have a look at how a great game is designed, below are seven key features that make games fun and engaging, use these in your own games and gamify your life:

    1. Experience bars – these give us a visual representation of our success and achievements to-date, it’s a medal of status in the game and to the community.
    2. Short- and Long-term goals – each part of the game is broken down into sections and subsections to keep us engaged and focused on short-term reward. If the carrot is too far away, we would lose interest and give up. By giving us small wins on the way, we eventually reach the greater goal.
    3. Rewards on the way – throughout the game, we are rewarded with gold coins, player skins, or weapon upgrades. These give us the extra juice to push harder that day to complete the tasks.
    4. Immediate feedback – throughout a game you are consistently processing feedback, such as needing to restart the level, learning your mistake and thinking of another way to succeed to the next level.
    5. Uncertainty – we keep going because we want to find out what’s next.
    6. Enhanced attention – boosting memory and confidence. We are more willing to take risks and pursue difficult tasks.
    7. Community – games can include more than one person, by creating a peer group that is committed to the same game you are more likely to be consistent with your efforts and encouraging others.

    Gamifying your life and career is a fun and incredibly powerful motivational tool, it can help you level up sooner and get promoted, learn new skills to jump into a career that is more satisfying or simply find a way to make going to work a joy rather than a chore.

    I would love to hear about your gamifying experiences please leave a comment below or drop me a DM.

    If you’d like support in learning how to gamify your career and interview, book a free call with me today here or email charlie@interviewcoach.me

  • Should I use Canva for my CV?

    I have always been a fan of Microsoft Word, it’s functional, does the job and easy to edit and update. Over the many years of supporting my clients to improve their chances in getting invited for an interview and winning the offer, I’ve seen hundreds of resumes all looking the same with this “modern” layout of photo on the left, thick column of color, skills bar with a scale out of 5 etc. You know the ones i’m talking about.

    I have for many years encouraged people away from using Canva to make their CVs for one very big reason, don’t let a template dictate how you should present yourself. More often than not, these templates force the writer to leave out information simply because it wont fit or interferes with the design.

    However, and it’s a big HOWEVER, I saw a resume that blew me away. It had design, it was functional and it was perfectly unique. It ticked off all the right boxes!

    So, I decided to revisit Canva with a new set of eyes and a mission to challenge my bias. 

    Here are a few tips in getting the most out of Canva when creating your CV and not falling into the trap of being controlled by the templates. 

    1. The text contained in your resume is the most important component, it is what the company is hiring you for and is what they will base their selection group on. Plan this out first before opening Canva, make sure that your priority is communicating the right information so that this leads your decision making rather than a design. If you’d like to find out more on how to do this, visit our previous article on how to tailor your resume perfectly to the role
    2. Head to Canva and look at many different templates to inspire you on how you can present your Personal and Professional Brand. 
    3. Open a blank Canva page and start copying the text from #1 as body text and start laying it out
    4. Include Name and contact information, personal profile summary, key skills and competences, work experience, education, certifications etc.
    5. Use a maximum of 3 font styles for example. Name – Header – Body Text. Over using different fonts will make it difficult to read and confusing for the recruiter. 
    6. Now start including elements from the inspired design to your document. 
    7. Lastly, get someone to critique your resume and ask for honest feedback. 

    If you’d like to start preparing for a job interview and getting your CV and resume ready, book a discovery call with me today for free to find out how Interview Coaching can increase your chances of getting hired. 

    #hiring #newcareeropportunities #interviewskills #interviewcoaching #interviewpreparation #interviewcoach #newjob #newbeginnings #CV #resumeservice #recruitment

  • Resumes Tailored to Perfection

    Having a CV or resume perfectly tailored to fit the role is crucial in today’s market so that your profile is seen, invited to be interviewed and then hired. 

    According to a Forbes article recruiters spend on average 13 hours a week searching for the right candidate for a single vacancy. Sifting through around 250 applications per position, because of this, recruiters, being only human, are prone to making errors, forgetting information or disqualifying candidates based on their unconscious biases. 

    Consequently, AI and NLP (Natural Language Processing) technologies are making significant shockwaves in the recruitment arena and carrying much of the initial screening legwork.

    So how can a candidate increase their chances of being spotted by this new and evolving technology?

    By understanding some of the basics of what this technology does and how it works can massively increase our chances of being spotted, included in the hiring process and invited for an interview. 

    1. It is designed to save time

    Able to process many more applications at lightning speed, the competition against other candidates is now more fiercer than ever. Standing out from the crowd is becoming more challenging and forcing everyone to “up-their-game”

    1. It is designed to process more detailed information

    This technology looks at a wide range of parameters to measure the quality of the candidate, these will be the keywords used in the resume, the accuracy of the information from other online references and the quality of the language used such as grammar etc. 

    1. It is designed improve the quality of the selected candidate

    By matching the candidate based on a quality scale, this will create a hierarchy of candidates from 100% downward. Instead of leaving the selection process vulnerable to those influenced for or against unconscious biases, the candidates will be measured and qualified by tangible measurement.   

    So, that said – how do we make sure our CVs get spotted?

    Firstly, let’s address a misconception of what a CV is believed to be for many people. A CV is a document which should reflect how you are perfect for the role you are applying for. It should be customized for the role and should be edited each time you apply for a different position. 

    I see on a daily basis resumes which are being spammed out to hundreds of openings hoping for a bite. With this approach there are just too many misses which have an incredibly negative impact on your mental health, confidence and potential opportunities.

    1. Instead, copy and paste the job description in a word file or google docs, then head to the website of the company and copy and paste their mission, values and anything else you find interesting in that document. 
    1. Highlight the keywords or main points within the requirements that the company is looking for to create a glossary of things you should be including in your resume. 
    1. Click Control/Command F to bring up the finder tool in your resume’s file and look for these words to see how frequently they’re being used or where they’re not. 
    1. Edit your resume include these words where they’re relevant and delete the information that is not adding value to the application.

    Use the technology to your advantage, understand that the CV is a document with its mission to get the interview, period. But be sure not to fabricate or make stuff up where you miss certain criteria. Rather, list out these weaknesses and start thinking about what you will say in the interview to block these from becoming objections later on.  

    If you’d like to start preparing for a job interview and getting your CV and resume ready, book a discovery call with me today for free to find out how Interview Coaching can increase your chances of getting hired. 

    #hiring #newcareeropportunities #interviewskills #interviewcoaching #interviewpreparation #interviewcoach #newjob #newbeginnings #NLP #AI #recruitment

  • It’s not you, it’s me! Turning down a job offer.

    🎉Congratulations! You’ve just been given TWO offers!🎉

    😕 Now you have to let one of them know you’re turning them down How do you do the “it’s not you, it’s me!”

    1. Be Quick, be respectful of the time of others and if you know you won’t be going ahead, let them know in a timely fashion so that they can start reconsidering the other candidates to fill the role

    2. Be Sensitive, remember you are going to be communicating with a person who is committed and invested in getting the position filled. They will be disappointed so be as diplomatic as possible.

    3. Be Sincere, we would all like to have constructive feedback on why we didn’t get positions we applied for in the past so that we could strengthen and improve on these areas. Be honest with the company and tell them why you chose the other position over them, it could help them improve their hiring process and future offers.

    4. Be Thankful, getting an offer is an amazing thing to happen, it is the people within a company indicating that you are the talent and resource they would love to have working alongside them. Maintain good relationships, you never know if your paths may cross again in the future.

    If you’d like to start preparing for a job interview and get multiple offers too, book a discovery call with me today for free to find out how Interview Coaching can increase your chances of getting hired. 


    #hiring #newcareeropportunities #interviewskills #interviewcoaching #interviewpreparation #interviewcoach #newjob #newbeginnings

  • Why you should not use STAR in your Interview

    For years the gold standard for answering behavioral interview questions has been the STAR model and before I jump too deep into this article, I would like to say that yes it is a good model but like everything it can be better. Our HCCARR method is just that! 

    At Interview Coaching, I have trained many professionals at all levels of seniority at some of the world’s top tech companies, consultancies and investment banks and for these STAR just isn’t rich enough for these firms to confirm what they are looking for in their candidates. 

    First let’s have a look at STAR and unwrap the science and strengths behind it.

    STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result, it is the beginning, middle and end of any great story. 

    1. The Situation should outline the Time, People and Place to orient the listener and give them an idea of what the story will be about. 
    2. Next the Task outlines what the target of the story is about, what did you need to do, who directed you, what other people were involved etc. 
    3. Moving on to Action, this is the main part of the story, you should allocate the majority of your time speaking about what you did to actualize the task. 
    4. And finally, the Result – is there a happy ending, what was the outcome?

    What we’ve discovered is that simply telling a great story is not enough for some of the most competitive and in-demand roles. Companies are looking for greater depth, meaning and insight into your answers. More data, variables and learning opportunities to see if you are a good fit for their team. 

    Our HCCARR model delivers just that, taking your stories to another level and outshining your competition’s responses. So let’s dive in and unpack this acronym. 

    1. H – stands for Headline, write this at the end of developing your answers, consisting of a short but laser pointed summary of what the story is about. If you have data from your results, include them here. Imagine a Headline in a newspaper, it gives you a taster of what is to come and hooks your interest on the topic. Many behavioral answers nowadays take anywhere between 3-8 minutes depending on the complexity of the task. In that time it is easy for the interviewer to slip in and out of attention, hey we’re all human, especially when the answer runs over the 5 minute barrier. Including some key landmark features in your Headline will help the interviewer stay oriented and know when to pay extra attention to your main points. Lastly, it’s highly unlikely they will be making detailed notes of every single word you say throughout the answer, but they will write down the first thing that comes out of your mouth, this is your golden opportunity to ensure that what they write down is exactly what you want them to remember. Example: Question “What project have you worked on recently that you are very proud of?” Answer “Last year, I supported a team spread across 6 countries to develop a communication tool which increased the supply chain productivity by 200%” 
    2. C – stands for Context, much like the STAR structure, there is a beginning which starts to paint the picture. In this you want to give as much context to the interviewer as possible so that they can understand the background of your story, Time, Place and People is essential, who are the main actors in the story, when did this occur etc?
    3. C – stands for Challenge. Here you want to illustrate the task set and what were the obstacles you had to overcome in achieving your goal. The pain point of any story is critical so that the listener is emotionally involved in the outcome, they not only hear what you’re talking about but also feel the struggles and join you on your journey to success.
    4. A – stands for Action, just like the STAR model the majority of your answer should be spent here. Be sure to dive into the details, the secret is to focus your attention on the hows and the whys of what you did. The whats will be pretty much the same for anyone in your role, they will have done similar things, carried out similar steps but what differentiates you from the rest were the whys behind your actions and how you approached each task. 
    5. R – stands for Result, again like the STAR model we want to highlight the success of the story. Be detailed and proud of your work, be sure to qualify and quantify the outcome using as much data as possible. This communicates the value you had in the team and company, it shows that you have a wider insight of your impact from a commercial viewpoint 
    6. R – stands for Reflection. Finally, companies are geared towards working with Lean, Agile and Continuous Improvement processes. Finishing off your story with a retrospective evaluation of your performance, what could have been done differently or what you learnt which directly benefited future projects shows that you share the same values and spirit of the business you’re interviewing for. It demonstrates that you are open to criticism and aware of room for improvement. Think about what happened in this story, how did this experience improve you as a professional, the team or the way you approached future projects?

    The HCCARR model created by Charles Webb at Interview Coaching has been tried and tested by dozens of clients applying at Fortune 500s, FAANG and the Big Four with great success. 


    If you’d like to find out more on how you can apply this model or would like some support in building your own answers for an upcoming interview, book a free consultation with me today at https://interviewcoach.me/discovery-call/ or contact me via email at charlie@interviewcoach.me

  • Set up Your Home Office for Interview Success

    Over the last few years, the world has seen some major shifts in the way we all work. Many companies throughout the globe have embraced these changes as being positive and progressive steps toward a more balanced and productive work environment. Offering an opportunity for employees to do more in the day, balancing work and personal life commitments and for the businesses, expanding their talent pool outside of the cities to national levels. 

    However, for some working from home may seem like a dream but for others the temptation of playing daytime TV in the background or distracting themselves away from their tasks is just a sofa away. One way to boost your productivity at home is having a planned and dedicated space for you to get into the flow. This article will help you turn your home office area into a zen-like oasis for improved productivity and make the right impression when having an online interview.  

    So, let’s get started, there are 5 key areas for you to consider when setting up your office space these are: 

    1. The Desk
    2. The Chair
    3. The Camera
    4. The Lighting 
    5. The Productivity Tools

    The Desk

    Having a desk that works ascetically  for your environment as well as being great for your back will allow you to become less fatigued during the day and more in the zone when you are immersed in your tasks. Adjustable standing desks are a great investment if you’re working from home frequently, the SHW 55-Inch Large Electric Height Adjustable L-Shaped Standing Desk offers 4 preset heights which can be programmed for different uses or people in the household. At Interview Coaching, we have found that interviewees using Standing Desks when having their interviews feel more alert, relaxed and have freedom of movement when answering questions. These desks also allow the user to change their body positions throughout the day, allowing for good blood flow throughout the body and reducing the risk of developing lower back pain over long periods of use. 

    The Chair

    Your chair is where you spend the majority of your time and balancing the benefits from comfortability, style and price can be tricky as there are so many different options available on the market. We recommend looking for a chair which is made from a breathable material, this will allow you to sit for longer periods of time without feeling hot or sticky. Secondly, make sure that they have plenty of adjustable options for you to set it perfectly to your body especially in the lower back Lumbar region. 

    Lastly is style, we want to give the right impression to our interviewers/clients when on our business calls, and even though gaming chairs are fantastic for comfortability they are a statement of lifestyle and can work for or against you. For example, imagine you are applying for a Senior Business Strategist position at one of the top consultancies, what is the chair saying about you and what impression will you give to their clients if successful in the role? 

    Your first impression is usually made on a subconscious level, they don’t know why but they just felt you were a great fit. Thinking consciously about what you are subconsciously communicating with when on a video call will help you build better rapport with the interviewer or client, feel like you are already part of their team and increase your chances of success. Therefore we recommend The ErgoRo Ergonomic Chair as a great option at around $320. It is stylish, simple and offers all the adjustability and support features needed to sit well.

    The Camera

    Nowadays, video calling is the norm and we’ve seen some amazing videos on Zoom and YouTube and some less so, looking up someone’s nostrils for a whole hour being too polite to say anything, the tip of their forehead maybe or even a blacked out silhouette with a window behind. (See Lighting for more on this) We have some great tips on getting a better image with your own inbuilt camera as well as a couple of options for upgrading your devices to expert levels. 

    Firstly, be aware that when you are on a video call you should be conscious of the composition of your frame, what are they looking at, what is in your background etc.? We’ve found that moving objects such as a ceiling fan or television which are visible in the background can dramatically reduce your internet connection by sending too much data in the video resulting in a poor call quality, pixelated images or even dropping your call temporarily. Be sure to remove these from your background, shifting them aside out of the frame. 

    Additionally, the height of the camera needs to be around eye level, this will give you a more favorable appearance, seeing that most of us are using laptops nowadays, getting a Adjustable Laptop Stand to raise your screen is an easy fix.

    However, if you’re looking for that next-level professional look which will certainly impress your colleagues, clients or interviewer we recommend investing in a DSLR Camera for your webcam such as a Canon, the webcam driver is free to download from the Canon website and is a simple set up process. 

    Maybe you already have one of these cameras tucked away in a cupboard which you bought for that photography hobby you never really did? At Interview Coaching we use a Canon Rebel as our webcam choice. I admit it is not a cheap option (around $500), but the results are incredible and really give a great impression unmatched by inbuilt options. Using a DSLR allows you to get that professional looking depth of field (blurry background) and crystal clear image, so if you’re looking for the best, we strongly recommend this option.

    The Lighting

    Now your office is kitted with the fundamentals, it can all be ruined with bad lighting. The sun is the brightest light source there is, so don’t fight it, instead find ways to use it to your advantage. By having a natural light source in front of you will brighten your face and the objects behind you, as mentioned before, having it behind you will have the appearance of a blacked-out anonymous witness testimony Finding a place to place your desk or workstation in front of a window is a great start. 

    The sun however, is at times too strong so placing a neutral colored blind on your window will help diffuse the light and soften the tones on your skin, Julie Schiro an Assistant Professor of Marketing at University College Dublin, has an excellent video on lighting as well as others on cameras and microphones on her YouTube channel. 

    Finally, as many of us are working into the evenings, therefore the sun is at times not always there to lighten the room, instead we need to turn to artificial lights. We use two Wireless Charging Desk Lamps with adjustable brightness and tone settings to get the balance just right, plus they charge your phone at the same time, bonus! Finally, having a warm floor lamp placed behind adds depth and warmth to the image. Be sure to illuminate both sides of your face and have the lamps with either side and behind your camera to avoid glare and not shining directly onto your face.

    The Productivity Tools

    Finally, I go through paper like there’s no tomorrow and having a pen and paper handy can massively increase the speed of note taking and mapping out ideas, perfect when planning your interview answers. I spend hours, rewriting my notes in word for later recall or having pages upon pages of disorganized papers hiding in and around my desk. reMarkable is a digital note pad which has the touch and feel of real paper but as a digital tablet converting notes effortlessly to word or saved as PDF files on your computer. This is a game changer! Now, it is not a cheap option and granted, remarkable is a higher end product, but for the practicality, versatility and time saved is well worth the investment.

  • How to Sell Yourself during a Job Interview

    You are a salesperson! In fact, we all are! 

     Whether your selling for your career or trying to convince a friend or family member about a new restaurant or movie they should go to, you are selling! The reason I see so many people fall short in the interview is that they don’t know how to sell themselves, how to highlight their strengths and block objections.

    In sales, there is a simple 3 stage life cycle: Connect, Present and Close, similarly applying for a job you follow an identical route Apply, Interview and Signing your Contract.

    Thinking like a salesperson with your approach, pitch and negotiation style will offer you an enhanced set of skills in winning the deal and working for a role you want to work in. After years of me working in sales-oriented roles, the greatest lesson I learnt which allowed me to close deals time after time, was putting myself into the shoes of the buyer and really getting to know what makes them tick, what are their pain points and how is my product or service going to benefit them.

    When Interviewing for a job, you are the product, the service that is going to solve their problems. So think about what it is that you are solving, how does your experience, knowledge, skills and connection going to bring value to the business? Most people are egocentric and that normal, but more often than not, I hear my clients answer questions highlighting how this role, business or product they will represent will benefit them. Instead, flip the role around and think like the interviewer, be prepared to ask questions to them too and find out exactly what they’re looking for then match that with the content of your answers.

    I strongly believe in applying for the role you actually want to work in, a Gallup Poll found that 85% of people interviewed, dislike their jobs! That’s a scary number of wasted talent. Playing the numbers game and applying for 50 jobs openings at a time is a way of getting a job quickly, but be careful, are you falling into the same trap as the other 85% of the population?

    Instead, I believe in focusing your sights on roles which really inspire you, jobs you would love to do and that every morning you wake up excited and eager to get to work

    Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius

    Filter your jobs down to just 5 Top Jobs and spend the time you would have spent on sending the other 45 applications to doing research and planning in detail your application and CV. Focus on getting the highest return on investment for your efforts and be in that top 15%.

    Think like a salesperson! 

    http://www.interviewcoach.me

  • 9 Insightful Job Interview Tips for you

    Do you have an interview coming up? Here are some tips that can get you started to map out your success.

    1. Be direct.

    Why beat around the bush and be cryptic with your answers? Be direct and get straight to the point. Make it easier for your interviewer to fully understand your response by framing the question as an answer. Remember they will most likely be writing your answers down to discuss how you answered the interview questions with their colleagues. By giving them a clear and direct answer, you will guarantee that what you say is what they will repeat back later on.

    2. Support your answer with evidence.

    I can not stress, how important this is. Do not just state your answer, prove it. Demonstrate to your interviewer that you are not just telling them what you think they would like to hear, but that you actually have the relevant experience and the necessary skills to back up your statement, if you need help preparing a persuasive and compelling answer, get in touch with an interview trainer that can help you to map out your answers and provide the best evidence of your success.

    3. Be organized and dress to impress.

    Start planning ahead of time and pick out today what would you like to wear for the interview. Have everything ready beforehand and avoid the hassle of running around trying to iron your shirt finding the right accessories when you only have 5 minutes before leaving. Keep your cortisol levels under control.

    4. Power pose.

    There is plenty of scientific research that shows that power-posing has been proven to increase your confidence and decrease stress hormones. So, before heading to the interview, get up from your desk and take a moment. Stand up straight, chin up, raise your hands up above your head and take as much space as possible, celebrate your victory. When you walk in, you will have a great posture and appear more confident.

    5. S.T.A.R.

    When answering any competency-based question follow the S.T.A.R model. Situation, Task, Action and Results. Paint the picture, explain the goal, then describe how you did it and what was the final outcome. Picture yourself as the hero of the story, practice storytelling.

    6. Plan your answers.

    Start thinking now, how you would answer the simplest as well as the more complex questions, evaluate your mental blockages, analyze critically your answers and start thinking where do you need to add more relevant information.

    7. Do your research.

    Check out the company’s history, understand their vision and read any recent articles, news and relevant social media updates. Demonstrate your knowledge in an answer. Also, do not worry about checking out their LinkedIn profiles before the interview, they will be checking out yours. By them seeing that you have seen theirs they will consider you as a determined individual making that extra effort.

    8. Find the perfect space.

    Nowadays, most interviews are being held using platforms such as Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts. Find a quiet and neutral spot in your house with as little going on behind you as possible. Position natural light in front of you and remember to tell your family or housemates to stay away and keep the noise down.

    9. Get Support – Practice makes perfect.

    The more you do something, the better you will become. Find ways of practising again and again and again. Pay close attention to your facial expressions and voice tone. Write down your answers and remember the key points to each answer.