After a year of instability in the job market, I’m now seeing companies increase their recruitment efforts with even more professionals now seeking to change their careers entirely. As a career coach, one of the biggest concerns job seekers share with me is their lack of confidence in their interview technique. Many people haven’t attended an interview in a while, especially in the virtual world, and are therefore apprehensive about the process and not sure how to pitch themselves effectively.
Having spent 15 years of my own career as a corporate executive and culture change consultant, I know how difficult it can be to make a great first impression and build credibility in an interview with clients and potential employers. I led global teams, travelled the world, designing change programmes and have found myself on many occasions as the only bi-racial women on executive boards. So, it’s safe to say, I navigated every career barrier you can think of.
It was extremely hard work cutting through the politics and building my reputation, but I was lucky enough to have some fantastic mentors that taught me what it takes to be a credible leader. I now bring all my experience together as a career development expert to help professionals overcome their limiting beliefs, free up their untapped potential and design a career they love.
I learnt that the secret to winning at an interview is in your PITCH; how you tell your career story; how you highlight your strengths; and how you show the interviewer that you have what it takes to solve their problems.
‘Focus on the problem the employer has and the skills you have that can solve it’
It’s critical you make your pitch rock solid before the interview while leaving room for your authenticity to thrive during your conversation. With this in mind, here are three questions I recommend you work through as part of your preparation:
- How do you want to come across in the interview?
- What are the positive points that you want to weave into every answer?
- What narrative do you want to avoid?
Once you’ve worked through these questions, create a brief summary statement about why you think you’re the right candidate for this particular role. Focus on the problem the employer has and the skills you have that can solve it. Your pitch should be about 20-30 seconds long and weaved into your discussion subtly at the start and end of the interview.
My other piece of advice is to SEE each interview as an opportunity for you to share your expertise with another person, so that they can learn something new. That’s the mindset I personally adopted as I moved around different companies and industries during my career.
If you are currently preparing for an interview then investing in interview coaching is well worth the money. With the right coach you will get objective and constructive feedback to help you enhance your interview techniques. You will also build a strong elevator pitch, craft your answers and increase your confidence, so you can pitch yourself as a credible leader. Good luck!