“I’ve always been a great communicator – if I can get in front of people, I’ll go well.”
“I haven’t had to interview for a long time, but I’ve always done well in them, in the past.”
“I’ve interviewed a lot of candidates – I don’t need interview coaching.”
Do any of these sound familiar? If you answered yes, you are not alone – many people think this way, and 10 years ago, the chances are you would have been right.
But the Human Resources industry has changed. Never before have selection systems been so process-driven. Interviews today are rarely an informal meeting to get a “feel” for the candidate.
In fact modern systems have been specifically designed to ensure that charm, charisma and communication skills don’t sway the interviewer’s decision. Modern Selection Systems are designed to collect evidence of a candidate’s specific behaviours, skills and motivations relevant to the job. This is sought in a very specific way, and information is collected in a very specific format. Then it becomes a numbers game. You will be given a score in each dimension, and compared with other candidates.
Consider this scenario…
Daryl has gone into the interview with brash confidence, backing his interpersonal skills to see him through as they always have done in the past. But the questions are not how Daryl remembers them. He tries to answer as best he can, but the interviewer keeps pulling him up, trying to redirect him to answer in a different way. Daryl sensed the interviewer was getting frustrated.
Dora has done some investigating on interviews on the internet and found some information on “Great Answers to 50 Commonly Asked Interview Questions”. The interview explores precisely none of these, and the questions don’t even sound close in format and structure to what Dora was expecting and her nerves start to show. She would have done well if it was 1985! The internet and business-section bookshelves abound with outdated resources in this field.
Finally, your turn. You invested a small amount of money and a few hours for coaching to gain an understanding of these modern systems. You’re confident and know what to expect. You understand what the interviewer is looking for and how they want your answers. Responding this way makes the interviewer’s job easy. 55 minutes passes quickly and easily, and you feel confident you have done well.
The likely result is pretty obvious.
The take-home messages are clear:
- The more prepared you are, for what you are actually likely to face in an interview, the better you will do; and
- Do your homework in sourcing an interview coach. Find someone that has been involved in selection systems either within your targeted industry, or across a range of industries. Make sure their experience is recent and current.
The good news is that these systems are predictable, and armed with a simple strategy for answering in the right format, you can easily place yourself in the very top handful of candidates. For more help with interview coaching
In the current economic environment, with more candidates lining up for fewer jobs, do yourself a favour, and give yourself an unfair advantage.