Understand What the Employer Wants

5 Questions that an employer wants to answer: Companies are looking more and more for emotional intelligence:

  • Self-awareness (understanding of your own motives and actions)
  • Self-management (the ability to control your own impulses and urges)
  • Self-motivation (the ability to drive towards goals without waiting to be told all the time)
  • Empathy (The ability to see a situation from another person’s perspective)
  • Social skills (The ability to adjust the way you talk to other people’s personalities and situations)

Preparation for Interview

  • Don’t show desperation:
  • Before a job interview, or date, try to think of yourself as considering the role rather than hoping to get chosen
  • Don’t say “I’m a really hard worker” or” I’m passionate about XYZ” – Instead, tell stories about how you are hard-working, honest or with wit
  • At the interview: In the reception, stand and look busy. On entering the interview room, walk in without hesitation, put bag down and shake hands looking at each person in the room.
  • In an interview – shake hands, then give the interviewer 2-3 seconds to look you up and down Do this by looking down to open a briefcase or folder, turn to hang up clothing and then look up, (Pease, et al., 2008)

Engaging Interview Stories

This is a technique to develop useful anecdotes for interviews or presentations. Think of a goal that you achieved, and what you did with a measurable outcome at the end. The story could be about:

  • Something abnormal or unusual to normal life (e.g. climbing a mountain)
  • Reveals your skills in a public way
  • Is in a field far from work
  •  Is a challenge – something you previously couldn’t do
  • Is something you would like to do in another setting
  • Is something that excited you (because it was something you’d never done, had a risk, needed persistence etc)
  Situation 1 Situation 2
What happened before?    
Who was involved?    
What happened during?    
How did you feel?    
What did you see?    
What did you think?    
What did you do?    
What was the result?    
What skills and attitudes did you display?    

How do you know you’ve succeed in describing a situation and your behaviours?

  • Past. Behaviours are descriptive of a specific situation that took place in the past.
  • Unambiguous. The role of the candidate in the situation is crystal clear.
  • Context. Behaviours include context – the people involved in the situation and its history.
  • Picture. A detailed picture is created through what the candidate did, said, thought, or felt as the situation unfolded

Finding the right job for you