Many of my clients looking for a new carrier opportunity are worried about the interviews they will have to go through as part of the process.
“Interview” is a word that tends to bring a lot of self-doubt, insecurities and worry. So together, we spend one or two coaching sessions making sure they are ready for this important meeting. (Notice I called it a “meeting”)
If you are in the same situation, here are a few points you may want to take into consideration:
1) You are good enough!
Assuming your CV is reflecting the truth about you and your background, let me stop your self-doubt right here! If you have been called for an interview, your education, your experience and your areas of expertise do meet the requirements of your interviewer. There is no need to wonder whether or not you are good enough for this job. The fact is, your interviewer did their homework, they know the level of skills and experience they are after and they wouldn’t be wasting an hour of their time interviewing someone they believe is not good enough. They do want to validate the fact that your CV was truthful, but as long as you actually worked where you said you worked and did what you said you did, this is the easiest part of the interview!
Do review your CV before the interview so it is fresh in your mind. But most importantly, refresh your memory about each one of your roles, what you loved about them, the challenges you faced, how you overcame them, what made you grow, your successes and why you decided to move on. This will help you feel ready for the questions about your past work experiences.
Once again, if you have been asked to come for an interview, the level of experience and expertise mentioned on your CV meets the requirements of your interviewer. So why second guess yourself!?
2) Let your personality shine
So if your experience is good enough, why do they need to meet you? Well, the whole point of an interview is for your interviewer to find out whether or not you are a good fit for the organization. They want to know if they will enjoy sitting next to you every day for the next few years, if you will get along with the other team members, if you can embody the values of the organization and be a good ambassador of what they stand for.
Now, before you start feeling overwhelmed by this….. I have great news! You don’t have to show or prove anything to win this! ….. All you have to do is be entirely yourself!
A successful interview is one where your interviewer gets a great idea of who you are as an individual. If you leave the interview feeling like you didn’t really get to be yourself, then that’s the true missed opportunity. Let your personality shine! Be happy, kind, funny, curious…. Whatever it is you would like to be remembered for!
Unfortunately, most people let their nervousness and their fear of rejection get the better of them… and they never get to show their true colors. This is a real shame because in most cases, rejection occurs precisely when your interviewer didn’t get to know the real you.
But please, don’t try and be someone you are not…. You don’t need to pretend! Believe me, when someone is acting and is not being genuine, it’s easy to tell….. And that will get you out the door without a job for sure!
All you have to do…. is be yourself…..
And if they don’t like it, then this organization was never a good place for you to start with! Why would you want to work in a place where they don’t appreciate your personality? You see, it works both ways…. Which brings me to my next point: do you want to work for/with them?
3) Do you really want to work for them?
Most people see interviews as this horrible awkward moment where all eyes will be on them and the whole company is conspiring to judge them and trick them to fail and be rejected….
Now come on…. Let’s be realistic here! Most employers are hoping they will find the perfect match just as much as you want to find a job!
Most people go to an interview and put the job and the company on a pedestal even before knowing anything about them, resulting in feeling intimidated, small and insecure…. The people you are going to meet are human beings, just like you, so instead of paralyzing yourself by seeing them as some sort of gods holding your future in their hands, start wondering whether or not they are good enough for you!
You will potentially spend every day in this organization, don’t you think you should worry about whether or not you like their offices, the personality of the people working there, the communication style of your interviewer and everyone you meet?
What are you looking for in your next job opportunity? And can they provide that to you?
You may be looking for a new challenge, for learning and development opportunities, for a better pay, for a good work-life balance….. Maybe you are looking for a fast-paced environment, a leadership style that gives you freedom to create, or maybe you are looking for a boss who will direct you and teach you everything he/she knows…..
Ask yourself what you really want…. And don’t be afraid to observe and ask the right questions to find out if they are the right fit for you.
An interview is a dialogue where 2 parties try to understand whether or not they want to join in a working relationship. Remember that! You can and should interview them as must as they are interviewing you!
If you don’t like the way they treat you during your interview…..You may want to ask yourself if these are the kind of individuals you want to surround yourself with.
4) Research your interviewer(s)
Your interviewer asked for your CV and maybe a few references in order to know a great deal about you and avoid wasting precious time.
So what exactly is stopping you from doing the same thing?
Find out about the company of course, but also find out about your interviewer. You are entitled to know who you will meet, and you are entitled to know more about that person.
Nowadays, a quick search on the internet (LinkedIn) will at least give you all the information you need about their professional background. Find out about something you may have in common, where they come from, where they studied, are they married, do they have children, any hobbies? It is always reassuring to know more about the person you are about to meet, plus it gives you something to talk about! Don’t be afraid to show you have done your homework, they will appreciate it! But of course, keep it professional… you don’t want to sound like a stalker!
You can also get a few references…. YES! If possible, speak to a few people who work or worked there, ask them about their experience, what do they like and/or why did they leave….. Or maybe, you can talk to a few of their clients and their experience. This can give you critical insights on their leadership style as well as their values.
Now, although it is useful to get other people’s feedback and have as much information as possible on the company and your interviewer, make sure you go to your interview with an open mind and ready to make your own opinion.
The whole idea is to feel prepared and confident.
5) Dress for the part
I often get the comment: “I never know what to wear for interviews!”
Here are a few things to consider:
a) What do people wear in this company? Are they walking around in casual or business attire? If you are not sure, my take on this is that you can rarely go wrong by looking professional and well put together. Whereas looking casual for an interview could come across the wrong way, even in a very casual setting. Should you wear a jacket or not? Well, why not take it anyway, you can always remove it if you feel the office atmosphere is more relaxed.
b) What kind of outfit will make you feel confident and powerful? I personally feel the most confident and powerful when I have my best pair of heels on. Think about what works for you.
c) The colors you choose do have an impact on other’s perception. You may not believe in this, but research proves it.
- Black will be associated with leadership, someone who gets the job done
- Grey with someone logical and analytical
- Blue will make you perceived as a team-player, someone calm who can be trusted
- Something red is most likely to help you look like a winner in a competitive environment
- White sends the message that you’re organized and detail-oriented
- Brown will make you look simple and old-fashioned
- Green, Yellow, Orange or Purple can make you look unprofessional, but can work very well if you are going for a very creative job.
6) Don’t wait to be desperate
My last advice would be….. (if possible) Don’t wait for the last minute to look for a job….
Don’t put yourself in a situation of despair! The worst thing you can do is feel like this interview is your only hope! That is simply too much pressure.
Stay open to interviews, even if you are enjoying your current situation, even if you are not necessarily looking for a new opportunity. Always be aware of what is available out there, stay up to date!
Not being desperate for a job gives you the freedom to walk into an interview full of confidence! It also gives you a chance to practice your skills and have some fun! You get to meet new people, expand your network, discover a new environment and the chance to learn something about yourself… And who knows, you may just find an opportunity you cannot refuse!
Would you like some support in identifying and going after your next career move? Do you need help making sure your CV is powerfully convincing? Are you wondering what other avenues you could take to find exciting opportunities? Do you simply need help in finding a new job? ….. I can help! Get in touch with me and I would be happy to schedule a few career coaching sessions…
Emeline Roissetter, Founder / Professional Coach, MomentuM Coaching & Consulting