Someone commented on my last blog (about how to generate sales leads). He said “You have this down to a fine art Steve, would you follow the same principle in finding a job?” This was my response…..
When finding a job you are effectively marketing yourself, your time, your skills and expertise. However, you are still selling a solution to the potential employer’s problem. They have a skills gap in their company and, due to that gap, they are unable to provide the value to their customers that they require. So the person looking for a job must communicate, to the potential employer, that they can provide that value; that employing them will give a good return on investment.
I would suggest that a person looking for a job should look for one that they will actually enjoy doing (not what they think they should do but ‘deep down’ something they would love). So people will be searching, and applying, for jobs with a job description that would be appropriate to them.
The job description will contain a lot of information that can be utilised to create the marketing message for their written application (CV and covering letter) and interview. For instance, “…the applicant should be self motivated, be able to work part of a team and have a proven track record in….”
The more information contained in the job description the easier the application process can be. This is where a person can use a job interview technique known as the STAR process: Situation, Task, Activities and Result. It is so simple that a person can use it without any preparation. However, having a number of pre-prepared stories from the past will eliminate any concerns about your application or feelings of nervousness before the interview.
What ever the aspect of the job description, or question asked in the interview, the first response is to describe a SITUATION from the past that was similar, then to explain the TASK that needed to be completed or achieved. Having ‘set the scene’, describe the individual ACTIVITIES that were performed, and finally describe the success of the final RESULT.
During the interview most interviewers will feel more comfortable talking to someone who seems confident and at ease. If the interviewee is feeling desperate, that desperation will get in the way of their objective of getting the job. The best thing to do is to create a ‘detachment from outcome’: They know what they want from the interview; they want a job offer, but this interview could be just the right rehearsal for getting their dream job next week.
So it is just a friendly conversation that is enjoyable and will lead to something good.
To make the interviewer comfortable adopt a similar body position to them, keep eye contact, tilt your head to one side when listening to them. Don’t interrupt them, repeat back the relevant things they say ‘word for word’ to prove your understanding. There are some simple language patterns and body language techniques that are very effective but too detailed to include here.
Usually an interview will end with “Do you have any questions?” this is an opportunity for you to help them create a compelling future, imagining how their life will be better by employing you. “How do you imagine benefiting from my working with your company?” (put it in your own words). This will create an enduring image in their mind that will make your interview more memorable that the others.