Leverage the 3C’s to increase your job candidacy
Interviews: love them or hate them – every job seeker must learn how to interview for impact. A great first impression will only last a few minutes if you don’t have what it takes to be a savvy interviewee. It is vital to ensure that you are prepared and clearly communicate your value with three techniques to guarantee a huge leap forward in your interviewing skills.
Interview for Impact with The Three C’s: Confident, Competent, and Committed.
Job Seekers engaging in the interview process have been historically held at a disadvantage by dinosaur-like interrogation methods. There’s a cultural hangover from those antique interviews which can be serious confidence killers. Fortunately, the days of ‘interrogation’ are passing with a positive focus on conversation and culture. In order to perform your best and project confidence, here’s a few things to remember:
Confidence Concept 1: Body Posture Matters. Amy Cuddy, Harvard Business School professor and social psychologist, studies show how nonverbal behavior influence people. Cuddy is a proponent of ‘Power Postures’ in which impacts how we interact with others. Demonstrating an open posture and sitting up straight, for example, will lower stress and increase confidence. Closed postures, slouching or hugging your arms close to your body can inhibit our nervous system and send us into fight-or-flight mode.
Confidence Concept 2: Learn to Relax. Anxiety is normal if you have put a lot of significance on the interview. However, in order to think clearly we must train ourselves to relax. Do mock interviews with mentors or trusted friends. Have them tell you what nervous habits you exhibit. Some people use meditation with success, mindfulness, deep breathing or other mind-clearing exercises before an interview in order to achieve calm.
Confidence Concept 3: Speak Clearly. I am a soft-spoken person by nature and have gradually come to understand that others may struggle to hear what I say. Enunciation is also critical. Avoid mumbling or muddling words together. Speaking too fast can also show insecurity or nerves. Speak succinctly and allow your interviewer to respond. Practice clear, measured, natural speech patterns in order to communicate effectively.
Competency comes with being prepared for the interview. Part of that preparation includes understanding your own professional value. Most people aren’t fully aware of their accomplishments or how to articulate them. We are taught not to brag or boast. There’s nothing wrong with being humble but please understand that no one else is going to explain your value to a hiring manager but YOU.
Competent Concept 1: Do your Homework! It’s not just about understanding the job description and having your key questions ready. It is also important to have a solid understanding of the company culture and what they do. I have been asked specifics in interviews that I couldn’t have answered if I hadn’t researched the company extensively online and made notes!
Competent Concept 2: Understand your Accomplishments. This is the most undervalued and overlooked part of a professional’s career. If you want to hook a hiring manager’s attention in your resume or put the ‘wow’ factor in your interviews: you MUST be able to communicate your accomplishments. An accomplishment is not just an award. Accomplishments are anything that positively impacted the organizations you worked for.
Your work doesn’t speak for itself. You do! – Rick Gillis
Competent Concept 3: Tell your Impact Stories! I have never been to an interview where I wasn’t asked “…tell me about a time when…” Develop your Impact Stories to clearly communicate your value to hiring managers. They want to know more about how you handle situations so specific examples are critical. An impact story has three parts: the issue or roadblock that caused you to act, what you did to solve it, and what the positive impact was on the business.
Companies want to know that you intend to hold a role in the organization and justify their investment in you. The days of 20 year tenures are gone but it still takes time and money to properly onboard new employees. Hence the ridiculous interview questions like: “Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years.”
“Most people spend more time planning the details of buying a car than their professional career” – Anonymous
If there is one thing I know, it is that life has a tendency to be somewhat unpredictable. However, an employer is investing in you. A lack of career focus will hinder your growth potential and your chances of landing a job.
Committed Concept 1: Have a Career Focus. Labeling yourself as a generalist will NOT help you move forward in your career. If you want to see positive progress, you must have a target. Many job seekers mistakenly think that branding themselves as a generalist will help them be more flexible in the job market. In actuality: no one wants to someone that is indecisive. Clearly communicate your intent during the interview.
Committed Concept 2: Know Where You’re Headed. You cannot predict the future but it is vital to have some sort of career compass. By understanding your strengths, you can pick a focus that works for you and develop a career action plan. Most importantly, you can communicate your intent in an interview with your plan in mind. This will let your interviewers know you are a savvy professional with a clear path in front of them.
Committed Concept 3: Know the Company Culture. Most professionals will stay in a role because they enjoy where they work or the people they work with. By asking specific questions about the culture of an organization, where it is headed, and how the interviewers like their workplace – you are demonstrating that you intend to invest your time with that organization.
Interview for Impact
Today’s job market is highly competitive and it is important that you can stand out from the crowd. If you follow the three C’s to Interview for Impact by being Confident, Competent, and Committed: you will make significant leaps forward in your chances of being hired!