As someone with 8+ years of recruitment experience, I have interviewed hundreds of candidates across different sectors, locations and career level. Yet so many of these applicants do not achieve the job roles they want.
When getting interview feedback from the applicant, it’s not uncommon to hear, “I think it went well, I had researched the company, looked at how to answer competency based questions and I bonded with the panel”. It’s always tough letting that applicant know they have been unsuccessful. Even after all this time it never gets easier.
It’s no longer enough to have the right skill level, wear a suit and show charisma. You need to make yourself really stand out from the crowd. After all, it’s said to takes us 30 seconds to form a first impression.
Here are my tips for landing your next job role.
1. Have a personal brand
Companies spend millions creating their own personal brand and values, so don’t we? Your personal brand is your unique skill set and personality that will set you apart from others. Before attending each interview, make sure you understand who you are, what excites you and what value you want to add. Once you have these questions answered, make sure they are illustrated in your answers. Have examples that demonstrate your personal brand.
Important reminder, be yourself! Do not change who you are for the position. This will not work out in the long run.
2. Align your skillset to the position
Many applicants I speak to are often capable of more than one type of job. But people forget, the interviewing team are busy and probably have more applicants to interview. They are more interested in how you suit their role than other positions.
Start by reading the job description and highlight what you believe to be the key skills. Prepare some examples that showcase these skills. Keep in mind that the soft skills required may not always be highlighted on the job description. Think about what soft skills the company might be looking for. As an example, if the role is a Project Manager, they will very likely need a good communicator. Anticipate what these skill are and try to showcase them throughout the discussion. Company LinkedIn pages can also be a great source of information, with videos from current employees and senior leadership outlining company culture, projects etc.
3. Stay concise
This is where I feel a lot of applicants fall down. Even senior, skilled individuals. People can easily go off topic when discussing past situations and often miss the question entirely. I always refer to the STAR method, an oldie but a goodie! If you are not familiar with this interview method it stands for:
Situation – describe the situation
Task – the task you were responsible for
Action – the action you took
R – what happened as a result of your action.
Try to stick to facts when interviewing and ensure your answer has a start, middle and end. By sticking to the STAR method, you’re really able to showcase your experience, how quickly you think under pressure and hopefully boast the fantastic results you achieved. This method helps you stay concise and relevant.
Once you have figured out your own personal brand, deciding what examples you would like to share and how you’ll share them should be a lot easier. If the example you want to share resulted in a poor outcome, go ahead and share them anyway. As long as you’re able to self-reflect and learn, interviews will not have a problem with that answer. Just ensure it sticks to your brand and showcases the skills needed for the role
Other tips to achieving the job you want include: researching the company and thinking about how you can create positive energy (especially while having to video interview). Another great article to help with this is: The impact of perception in the workplace act of Perception in the Workplace.