Like many in the northern hemisphere, I was glued to my television watching as much of the Olympics as possible. Listening to the athletes’ incredible stories about dedication, hard work, and preparation, the way they leave nothing to chance got me to thinking, why don’t people prepare more for interviews?
I have participated in many interviews where you know the candidate’s “plan” was to wing it. You aren’t training to go to the Olympics, but you are working towards your own personal gold medal, whatever that goal may be. Why would you leave to chance the potential of achieving more job satisfaction, more money or better title? You wouldn’t go Ski Jumping without knowing how to land, why go into an interview without serious planning?
Calm your interview nerves by training for the event and trust that your years of experience from the field are your world cup steppingstones. Here’s a secret, you have a hometown crowd. If you are being interviewed it is because the hiring team wants you to win gold! Everyone is cheering for you, or you wouldn’t have qualified for the start gate.
Make your Olympic moment a good one and be prepared. Here are a few “training tips” for your next career Olympic moment:
• You will never be judged for being overdressed for an interview.
• Ask your mentor, partner, or fellow association members to practice with you. Google has many sample questions for guidance.
• Interviews are not closed book tests; have speaking points prepared on a variety of topics you expect to be explored (leadership, difficult situations, problem-solving, etc.)
• Listen to the question and respond to IT! Bonus points if you use specific and honest examples that demonstrate your experience and ability to successfully manage the situation being discussed in the question.
• Think Situation, Task, Action, Results “STAR”. Your responses to questions should walk the panel through each one of these.
Brad McMorris, Senior Recruitor