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4 Tips to Nail Your next Job Interview before You Even Enter the Room

4 Tips to Nail Your next Job Interview before You Even Enter the Room

Would you like to be able to walk into an interview calmly and confidently?  What If I told you that through practice you can be the type of employee that exudes reliability and impresses all employers?

Having a successful job interview can be a life changing event. To achieve this you need to be properly prepared.

There are plenty of things to keep in mind during an interview. This article will focus on 4 tips for you to execute beforehand in order to make things easier on you. Keep in mind that in order to be successful at anything preparation, practice and hard work are your way to go.

1. Go into the job interview armed with 3 situation specific stories

An interview is actually a platform that gives you a chance to sell yourself to potential employers. If you’re not prepared with your best stats, accolades and stories off hand you’re going to have trouble making a lasting impression.

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It is almost a guaranteed fact that you will get asked the typical “what is your greatest strength and weakness?” question.  Even if you are not asked this question directly there will be an opportunity to go over what you’re good at and what you could improve on.

Greatest Strength

Your story about your greatest strength will deal with a positive attribute of yours. You will show how this attribute relates positivity to the position you’re interviewing for and show how it is only one of many reasons that you’re a valued employee.  Be sure to craft a story that shows off your experiences and wisdom and don’t be afraid to include volunteer work experiences here.

Greatest Weakness

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The second story will be about a weakness of yours or something that you could do better. Whatever weakness you go with make sure you sit down and take time to craft a story that shows how this weakness is actually a strength in disguise. Show how your weakness helps you in other areas of your work, talk about what you are doing to improve it and always end the story with something positive about you.

The Closer

The third story you need to be armed with is the most important: the closer. You’ll lay this one on the interviewer at the end of the interview to make sure that they remember you. This story should summarize the most impressive of your skills and attributes (the ones most relative to the position you’re applying for) and you should touch on what the company will be missing out on if they don’t hire you. Be as compelling and charming as you can at this point.

It is important that you take time to sit down and craft these stories as meticulously as possible. You are the person that knows your skills the best. Study yourself and your experiences so that you know what you have to offer and build a story on it. When you know exactly what you bring to the table you can establish leverage in the job interview or realize when you should take a step back.

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2. Do a trial transportation run the night before

In whatever way you are planning to get to the interview take a test run the night before. Time how long it takes you to get there and always add 10-15 minutes for traffic or unexpected delays. The night before is when you should be looking for potential shortcuts. Take time and look for possible alternate routes if there is a traffic hold up or something during the morning.

3. Research the company’s preferences

Do everything you can to get the scoop on potential employers before heading to an interview. The internet is a powerful source of information that can make your interview go a lot better with proper research. You want to look for things that you can do to make yourself more endearing to potential employers.

When looking up a company always be certain of what it is they do, what they sell and what they stand for. If you can align your skills with these 3 things potential employers will look at you in a better light.

Look up employee reviews to know what to expect going in, try and fish out what will impress the people in charge and the type of things they are looking for in an employee

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Some things to look up are:

  • The company mission statement
  • The dress code
  • The type of awards they give employees

Take the information gathered from the company’s preferences and the position you are applying for and use them to estimate the type of people they want

4. Lay your clothes out the night before

Save yourself trouble and pick out what you are wearing well in advance. Make sure all your clothes are properly ironed and that you don’t have any lint hanging around your clothes. When you wake up in the morning you’ll have one less thing to worry about and you’ll be able to get ready more effectively.

Don’t put your clothes on until you are ready to leave. Eat breakfast, gather your stuff and brush your teeth all before getting dressed – all it takes is one toothpaste stain to throw off your plans. Once you get dressed stay away from all liquids and foods and get a move on.

Job interviews can and will be stressful if you are not properly prepared. Keep these tips in mind and always remember to leave yourself with enough time to get to the interview early. Being early doesn’t only mean getting there ahead of time. You will also need to take all the time you have before an interview to prepare in order to ensure your success. Follow these preparation tips beforehand so that you can enter interviews feeling calm, confident and excited for the opportunity that lays in front of you!

Featured photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor%E2%80%93patient_relationship via en.wikipedia.org

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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