Interviewing for a new job can be scary even for experienced professionals and public speakers. Here are a few tips.
The first thing you need to do when you schedule an interview is start preparing. You need to research the organization to include the history and the current leadership. Spend time reviewing the position requirements and be prepared to address how you will be a good fit and support the goals and objectives.
Use your social media network and leverage your personal network to find out more about the hiring official. I once found out that I had multiple connections who were first degree with the hiring official. At the end of the interview when I was asked about questions, I was able to bring up a few of our common contacts, it opened up the conversation and I was offered the job shortly after the interview.
Practice your interviewing skills. Toastmasters International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public speaking. Toastmasters practice “Table Topics” at every meeting, where speakers practice their impromptu speaking. If you aren’t ready for Toastmasters, try practicing with a friend or even in front of the mirror.
- Do your homework
- Use your network
Confidence is all important at the interview. This is a time where you need to balance modesty with boasting about your accomplishments. This is when you need to speak clearly, slowly, and with charisma. Use those speaking skills you have been practicing.
There is a lot of interview advice on how to be a clone, but few organizations want droids, they want independent thought and talent. Express or demonstrate how your are different and what sets you apart.
Be yourself and don’t try to fit into an organization where you don’t belong. After one interview, both the interviewer and I knew that I was a bad fit for the organization. You don’t want to fake it to get the job, you will only regret working somewhere you don’t belong.
- Be Original
- Be Authentic
Use the STAR technique to shine. When asked a question answer giving the situation, task, action, and result.
Provide the context or situation. Where you the project lead? A project member? Where you against a tight deadline? Was there an external catalyst?
What were you required to do? Deliver a product? What was the scope? Develop a new training program?
What did you do? Did you rally a team? Come up with a new idea? Roll up your sleeves? Inspire others?
What was the end state? Did the project get accomplished? On time? Within budget?
Use STAR to provide glowing examples of your accomplishments at your next interview.
Life is a Project!
Put your best foot forward and walk away from your next interview knowing that you have the job! Do your homework, embrace your personal style, and shine like a star!
Teaser: First few days on the job!
This video focuses on interview tips for project managers!