Isn't it funny how we fail to convey things about ourselves, in a concise, crisp manner, in spite of knowing our own selves the best? Sigh.
Are you fretting about that big, important job interview you have scheduled for this week? We can't blame you; job interviews can be pretty nerve-wracking. Also, in the current pandemic scenario, with job insecurity at its peak, why not brush up some interviewing skills? A productive way to make use of the extra time you got on your hands, I bet.
While a self-introduction might seem to be a cake-walk for many, there are certain aspects of YOU that intrigue a headhunter more than others. A brief but comprehensive introduction not only works well by setting the tone for your interviewer, but also gives you a nudge of confidence for having commenced on a positive note. Since this formal intro impacts both parties, it must certainly be something to look out for the next time you're job hunting, right?
Nailing your interview requires a two-pronged attack - make a stellar first impression to set the tone for the rest of the interview, and finish off on a good note. The trick is to be a cut above the rest. But EXACTLY how?
Lata Verghese, founder and CEO of HR firm Questa Enneagram, weighs in on how to impress your interviewers, by sharing a short story. Take note.
"Imagine yourself walking up for a job interview. You've been having butterflies in your stomach the whole week, ever since you got the interview call. You have spruced up your resume, added almost all aspects of yourself to it, and have pondered to an extent that you are now unable to see the forest for the trees. Finally, the big day arrives and you are all set to get the job done (quite literally). You have carefully thought through all the facts that you would like to mention to your interviewer. You walk in and see that there are a couple of people sitting on the other side of the table. Your anxiety has gone up a notch, sensing their eyes on you as you seek permission and walk into the room."
"You are open, approachable and attentive - a firm handshake and a relaxed pose ensures that you appear confident to your interviewers. Polite chit chat gives way to serious questions about your qualifications and your skills, and there you go- rattling off one fact after another, realising much later that your interviewers seem to have switched off. You mentally kick yourself on what could have gone wrong when they asked this question- 'tell us about yourself'. "
"Could you have done something different? Yes, of course you could have. Why not take a look at things from the interviewers perspective for once. They have been sitting and interviewing a half a dozen people, all talking the same language. What if you started with a short storytelling instead? Researchers around the world talk about a concept called a 'narrative style of describing' important events in our lives. You need to learn the art of balancing the need to get across your qualifications, with the skill of building a rapport with your interviewer. Jennifer Aaker, professor of marketing at the Stanford Graduate school of business explains that stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone. Our brains are just more active when listening to a story. That’s called making a connection."
"Questions such as – “ how do you handle your stress?” can be powerfully explained with the help of a narrative of your life. Practice it well with people around you, make it a part of your personality so that it doesn’t stand out as a one-time activity, and where the interviewer can see through your act. Also, keep in mind to not make any big claims about your skills. Those are a definite no-no."
"Interviewers are keen to know the kind of person you are. Behavioral interview is as important as skills interview. And most employers know that the right attitude is important in a candidate. Skills can be taught as long as the candidate has the right attitude. The 'who am I' story about yourself gives an insight into your inner self - what are your values, what motivates you, what helps you to move forward. These personal traits and virtues need to be thought-through, written down, and rehearsed."
It's all about tweaking your perspective and looking at things from another set of eyes. Now, go ahead and ace it!