Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Being good at your job is not enough.

I speak to different people every day who are looking for their next career move. Many of them are good at their job but feel that it is time to move on to their next challenge. Having found the opportunity they go into the interview full of confidence . The next conversation I have with them is often about what went wrong in the interview.

Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to them. They are already successful at doing the job so they are confident they could do it. They feel like they got on with the person they were being interviewed by and yet they still didn’t get the job. They have the background and experience being requested by the employer and still didn’t get chosen.

Getting a job is not just about being good at doing your job, it is also about being good at interviews. Of course you have to be good at the job, get on with the interviewer and have the right background but did the interviewer think you ticked all these boxes?

Interviewing is a bit of a game and you need to understand the rules. The most important rule to remember is this. Being good at your job is not the same as being good at getting a job. They are two different things. Being good at your job is only part of what you need to get the job. So what else is important?

1/. They have to like you. It doesn’t matter how good you are at your job, they will not employ you if they don’t like you, so smile, be pleasant, be professional.

2/. You have to look the part. Dress to win. First impression is everything.

3/. Be aware of time. This includes being on time and not wasting time in the interview. You only have a certain amount of time so don’t waste it with waffle or let them talk too much.

4/. They need to feel the same way about what you can bring to them as you do. Simply telling them is not enough. You have to engage them. Make it interesting. Help them to see what they get out of employing you. It’s not about what you get out of working for them.

5/. Ask some really good probing questions about the job and/or company. It’s shows them your level of interest and understanding. There is nothing worse for an interviewer than the silent candidate who can only answer questions.

6/. Be open to their ideas and ways. They want someone who is ready to embrace a new company and its people, not someone who lives in the past within their old employer.

7/. Be enthusiastic about the company, the people and the opportunity. If they don’t think you are enthusiastic, they will not pursue you.

8/. Be open and affordable. Don’t inflate your own self value. The time to negotiate is if they offer you the job but if they think you are too expensive, they might not bother. It is better to turn down a job offer than not get one.

Understanding the difference between doing the job and getting the job is probably the most important factor to consider when you next go to an interview. Don’t go there to just read them your CV, go there to get the job.


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