Interview and Communication Skills

Published on 1 October 2014 at 12:34 pm #assertivenesstraining #businessskillscourses #communicationskills #creativestrategicthinking #personalimpactcourse

Oh dear. How people do let themselves down.

For the past two weeks Impact Factory's Leadership Team has been conducting interviews to fill a vacant post. Some of the candidates have interviewed very well and those are the ones who have made the short-list.

But, oh dear, the rest. I want to send them all to get Interview Skills coaching before they come along to meet us so they know how to present themselves more effectively.

I used to do a lot of career counselling, prepping people for job interviews, revamping CVs and helping people identify the careers that would most suit their skills and desires. Because of that I've seen and worked with a lot of people over the past 30 years and know what makes a good candidate (aside from having the requisite skills).

Not only that, as a business owner (and previously head of a variety of departments with other organisations) I have interviewed hundreds and hundreds of people over the years and I know what I want to see and experience when someone walks through the door.

I've also written about job hunting and offered loads of hints and tips over the years. In light of this recent experience, I'm going to offer a few more to anyone out there going for a job:

Be on time! Even if you have to get there an hour early, go to a café and have a cup of soothing, calming tea so you don't end up rushing in sweating buckets and in a stressed-out state.

Do your research. Read the company's website from top to bottom. Make notes, have an opinion, find something that you like about it and mention it. Check out the industry so you know about any trends.

Rehearse how you're going to present yourself. If you aren't inclined to get any coaching before you go job hunting, then practising ahead of time is essential. Typical questions are:

Why are you suitable for this role?
Tell us about your relevant experience.
Why do you want to work for our company?
Why are you leaving your current job?
How will you add value to our company?

Don't just answer these questions in your head - say them out loud, say them to a friend or family member, say them in front of a mirror.

Make it relevant; bring it to life; give examples. The number of times candidates just say, yes, they can do whatever it is they've been asked. They don't offer any examples or link work they've done in the past to the current role they're being interviewed for. They make we interviewers do all the work of probing and digging. It's your job to help bring the interview to life so that we want to know more and can visualise you working for us. Put some energy into it!

Do you have any questions for us? This is usually asked towards the end of the interview and is an invitation to display your thoughtfulness and interest in the organisation. Having done the research prior to the interview you should have a good list of questions to get those on the receiving end thinking and being reflective.

Send a follow-up email. As soon as you are near a tablet, phone, laptop, send a follow-up email thanking the company for their time and offer any more information. Even if you have gone through an agency, they'll be happy to forward an email - they want you to get the job, too!

We've finished our interviews now; we had a short -ist of three and have all agreed on the final choice. It's possible our short-list could have been a lot longer if each of those other candidates had followed the above advice!

Check out Impact Factory's one-to-one Interview Skills Coaching and Communication Skills Courses

Interview and Communication Skills By Jo Ellen Grzyb