Friday 20 September 2019

The modern-day job seekers guide to interviewing as a Business-of-One

Business-of-One | Interview Preparation

The market is changing
There’s no doubt that the job market is changing, and the modern job seeker is going to have to transform the way they view themselves and how they participate in the marketplace if they want to experience career success.

Back in the day, you’d get a job and stay at a company as long as you could - the longer the better, ideally a lifetime. And those days are gone. Every job is temporary now. Even if it’s secure for a couple of years, it’s still temporary. And this means that as an active participant in the job market, you’re going to have to look for work over and over again, which means you’re going to be presenting yourself over and over again and therefore you’re going to be going for interviews over and over again.

While companies are going to have to shift their perspective on how they attract and engage talent, so the job seeker too will have to change their approach to how they present themselves in the marketplace.

Presenting yourself as a Business-of-One
The shift the job seeker needs to make is to move from being an employee to seeing themselves as a "business-of-one", someone who has a set of skills and attributes that are exchangeable for compensation, innovation, learning opportunities, association and often a mixture of these.

Our updated range of career services supports job seekers in making the transition in viewing themselves as a “business-of-one” by helping them define their value proposition - what they have to offer and how they position themselves, so that they get the work that they’re good at, and work that they actually want to do.

To be a successful "business-of-one", you have to ensure that you’re taking on the right work so that you are stimulated, growing, expanding your skill set and being productive, as well as increasing your value, through better work exposure and skill development, so that you are able to charge your worth and be compensated accordingly.

Everything in the marketplace is about exchange, so the sooner we can start shifting from an “employee” mentality to one of “exchange”, the less personal it becomes, and you can prepare yourself better without the anxiety and stress about “getting hired” and more focused on the type of work you want to do and how to position yourself to get it.

Get the work that you want
Great businesses have the right product, marketing strategy, target market, talent, financial control and passion. If you can position yourself demonstrating your value (through competencies, skills and attributes), personal presentation, understand the needs of the company you’re engaging and can solve a problem or contribute to their bottom line - all with passion, you’re going to be receiving job offers. It really is that simple.

Great interviews are a combination of confidence, strategy, preparation and practice. Check out our Essential Interview Preparation Guide which covers all facets of the interviewing process so that any person can prepare for any job interview. Doing the practical exercises will significantly boost your confidence - which is what companies are looking for. People have confidence in people who are confident in themselves and the more confident you feel, the more you’re going to attract the right opportunities to you. This will also allow you to relax and engage in the interview process in a more authentic way which encourages open discussion to assess if the role fits both parties.

Chat to us about how you can present yourself as a "business-of-one" and get the work that you really want.

Wednesday 31 July 2019

The ultimate interview checklist

Interview Preparation | Plan to Succeed | Plan to get Hired
Here is the ultimate interview checklist that you can use for your interview preparation, for ANY interview, for ANY position with ANY organization.  

As soon as you are invited for an interview, pull out this checklist to guide you in preparing for the interview.  In setting up a time for your interview try and give yourself a couple of days to prepare - you're looking 3-5 days ideally but the more you practice preparation, the quicker it will go.  

Make the time to prepare 

Allocate and block off time to prepare for your interview as soon as you can, where you can focus and give it your full attention. You want to get the initial prep work done as soon as possible so that you can focus on practicing your answers over a couple of days.  Ideally you want to get to a place that, by 24 hours before the interview, you are ready and only need to review what you have prepared and check your travelling time to make sure you get to the meeting on time.  You don’t want to leave the prep work too late and then get anxious if you realize you need more time to prepare.

Use this checklist for each new stage/engagement of the process to ensure that you cover all areas and highlight those where you may need additional information.  This checklist will  not only help you prepare for the interview but also help you identify questions that you need to ask as well as identify any incongruities in the process that need to be addressed during the process.

Interview confirmation
  • Company
  • Position being interviewed for
  • Time (check the traffic on the day - there is nothing worse than arriving flustered for an interview and then arriving flustered and late!)
  • Address
  • Interview coordinators contact number (in case you need to get hold of the interviewer because you are running late)
  • Interviewer/s name/s and job title/s

  • Company information
  • Industry review, product and/or service knowledge, competitor information, trends and current affairs
  • Interviewer/s background
  • Key people or divisions in the organization that have an impact on the role

Interview preparation
  • Why am I interviewing for this role?  Why do I want this role?
  • What is my unique value proposition (top 5)?
  • I know how to demonstrate and articulate my value proposition by qualifying and quantifying my value proposition
  • Review the job profile or job description
  • What can I do and how have I done it?
  • What can’t I do and how would I learn it?  Where have I previously learnt something that I didn’t know before, and excelled at it?
  • Where can I add value?
  • How can I leverage my previous experience and skills in this role?
  • Identify and list competencies required for the job and practice your answers with STAR practice worksheets
  • Practice “Tell me about yourself” and standard questions.  Get The Essential Interview Guide and learn about types of interview questions and how to answer them here.
  • Copy of salary package breakdown and note any obligations (study loans, bonus and contractual obligations, locked-in conditions).  
  • Consider your next increase, bonus and company perks as well as what that means for you in considering another offer.  
  • What are critical things the organisation needs to know about me that have a direct impact on my employment with them?
  • Be clear about your availability.
  • Get what ever stories you need to get straight, straight - whether it be a gap in employment, a redundancy, or anything that may raise  concern, get your story straight and keep it clear and brief so that you don't waste any unnecessary time on topics that are not relevant.

List  questions to ask

Preparing well thought out questions are beneficial not only because you are demonstrating that you take your career seriously and that you want to make well informed decisions for yourself, but that you know what you are walking into if you accept the position, it's part of your due diligence.   You want to confidently be able to confirm the statements below.  If you can't, you need to be asking questions that will help you get clarity so that you know whether the role is aligned to your career aspirations and what you want for yourself and that you know what you're getting yourself into. 
  • The organisation is doing well financially.
  • The organisation has a good reputation.
  • I know what is expected of the role.
  • I understand what the organisation is looking for and what they want to achieve in this business area.
  • I know what the obstacles are that I will be facing in this role.
  • I have an appetite for the problems they have.
  • The challenges in this role are opportunities for me.
  • I see the opportunity for me in this role and this organisation.
  • I will work well with the team.
  • The organisation knows how to retain and promote people who do well.
  • I will learn additional skills, processes and technologies that will support my growth and experience.
  • This role is line with my career aspirations.
  • I am clear about who I will be working with in the organisation and what their expectations are of the role.
  • I know what the organisations’ recruitment process is.

Post interview review
  • Review and give yourself a debriefing session.
  • Note new insights, how you answered questions and where you could improve. 
  • Understand the process and where you are in the process.
  • Prepare for the next step in the interview process by making a list of questions of additional information you may need, or questions to ask, in the next round of interviews.
  • Remember to redo the checklist each time you engage in the interview process.  The further you go in the process and the more people you meet, you are going to want to gain as many perspectives and understanding of the role and business so that you an anticipate what it would be like to work there, identify opportunities for yourself or, not wast your time on something that is not going to work for you.  
The only way to ace any interview is to be as prepared as you can be so that you can relax into the interview feeling comfortable with your ability to articulate who you are, what you can do, how you can add value and know where you're going (even if you feel you don't really know where you're going), because this is what is going to give you the confidence to be yourself in the interview, and authenticity and confidence is what gets people what they want.

Check out The Essential Interview Preparation Guide and learn how to ace your interviews with confidence so that you get the job that you really want here.  Or send us an email to find out more about one-on-one interview coaching.

Monday 15 July 2019

Expressing our true potential

Align your career with what you love
If we want to reach our true potential in life, it’s important our business or careers are in line with our deepest values.  
It’s the only way to achieve our fullest potential and feel a deep sense of fulfilment.  
So many of us don’t realize this and it’s a shame.  
We go to jobs we hate or run businesses that don’t spark any passion inside of us. We are mostly drawn to the stability of receiving a pay-check or the stability of having something that creates the illusion of stability and will stay comfortable at the expense of our own growth and happiness. 
Don’t let that be you. Make it a priority to live authentically …  
If you want to start a business or transition into a new career, make sure you take inventory of what you value most, and then make sure you let that dictate what to do.  
For example, if you want to empower others to lead better, richer lives, then maybe becoming a coach is your calling.  
Or if you are really passionate about being fit and healthy, maybe you can start a business that helps others implement strategies to improve their health. Health is one of the three biggest niches people spend their money on. And lots of money.
You may be super conscious of the environment, and perhaps building a business that makes a difference is the way to go, while creating a lifestyle brand for yourself.  
If you are exploring the job market and attending interviews, make sure you are asking the right questions to ensure that you set yourself up in the right organisation that is in alignment with your values and career aspirations. Perhaps the shift is to start presenting your CV as a business proposal. There has to be a mind shift change here if you are prepared to work for someone else and be happy.  
We all have something that fires us up. We all have something that we’re really good at and we all have something that somebody else doesn’t have. Turn that something into some form of financial income stream for yourself. Understand what your values are and what is important to you, regardless of whether you are employed or a business owner. When we’re doing the things we love, we tend to expand and opportunity comes to us, our creativity is boosted and we definitely feel happier.  
Get a coach or a mentor to help you put a plan together. Do some research as to the different avenues you can take in creating a business for yourself, there are so many free high-quality resources out there, you just have to dedicate the time to put action into it.  
Approaching our “financial” life from this point of view is absolutely critical to our long term fulfillment, happiness, and sense of success and purpose.  
And, it’s the only way we'll ever reach our fullest potential.
Align your career to what you love. Contact me to discuss our career coaching solutions.  

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Confidence - The key to overcoming interview nerves and anxiety

Interviews can be stressful.  Many people get anxious at the thought of “selling” themselves in an interview.  Sometimes people are so desperate for a job that they’re so focused on the outcome of getting the job that they fail to take a step back and look at what they’re really good at, know what they want or how they can get it and this reflects in the interview, resulting in poor interview performance.

Some people look good on paper, with great experience and skills, but just don’t know how to articulate or present themselves in an interview, unclear of where they are going wrong.  And others have not had an interview in years and find the thought of an interview just plain daunting.

There are many reasons, but the reality is that we only feel anxious and nervous when we’re unprepared for the unknown – we’re afraid as we don’t have any control over a situation we’re about to enter.  Fear causes anxiety.  Fear of not being good enough, fear of not having enough experience, or not having the right experience.  Fear of saying the wrong thing.  

Many job seekers, despite having the right mix of skills and experience perform poorly in interviews due to being over-stressed, lacking in self-confidence, have a negative attitude  as they approach the interview process.  When you come from a fear-base mentality with limiting beliefs about yourself or your situation, it almost guarantees poor interview performance.

A new perspective
In order to overcome any interview nerves and anxiety, you will need to reframe both the interview process and your role in the interview process.    Accept that you can’t control the process.  You have no influence over who is interviewing you and that you have no idea or can do anything about other candidates that are also been interviewed for the role.  The real secret to overcoming interview nerves and anxiety is to shift your perspective to yourself.  Realise that the only thing you can control in the interview is you.  The only thing you have total control over is yourself and your attitude toward the process.

Think about it.  Yes, you want the job.  But really, the object of any interview is that you want to feel that you have presented yourself confidently to an organisation that you are interested in working for.  You want the interviewer to know exactly what value you bring to the table and whether there is a good fit from a cultural perspective.  You also want to feel that you were able to be your authentic self and that your attitude was a true reflection of the type of person you are. 

You want to leave an interview knowing whether there is a good match between what you want in your career and the role you’ve been interviewed for.   The trick is, really, to release the attachment to the outcome of getting the job and shift your perspective to understanding whether the role is right for you and if you want to explore it further. 

Know what you have to offer
We all have unique gifts, experience and skills to offer the work place.  When these are aligned to our goals and we can position them successfully in an interview, we position ourselves with confidence and, often, that makes the difference in taking us to the next level in our careers.  In the interview you need to know your value and be able to demonstrate it, as well as your potential.  

Once you are clear on your value proposition, answering questions like (even to yourself!) “why should we hire you?”, “what do you bring to an organisation?”, “why do you think you are the best person for the job?”, “what is your greatest strength?” or “what is your greatest asset?”  is going to be easy to respond to, because you’ve taken the time to understand your own value and what that means for an organisation.    The premise is that the more value you see in yourself, the more others will too.

Coming from a solid foundation of feeling confident in yourself first, allows you to prepare for an interview from a place of strength and automatically reduces interview nerves and anxiety.

  The interview process and what to expect
  How to overcome interview nerves and anxiety
  How to determine your unique value proposition
  Types of interview questions and how to answer them
  How to deal with difficult and sensitive interview questions
  How to negotiate the best salary package in an interview

Or contact us for one-on-one interview coaching to fine tune your interview skills.

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Financial year-end got you stressed out?

It doesn't matter how well you plan in advance, financial year-end always brings on an element of stress.  It seems to have a ripple effect through the organization, from the top to the bottom.  It's that "Murphy's-Law" time of the year where there is always a surprise along the way - a resignation, system issues, a backlog and let's not forget that it is, after all, business as usual - sales and the day-to-day operations still go on, regardless of reporting pressures and requirements.

An interim manager may be just what you need to get you through this crazy period of chasing deadlines and maintaining your sanity.

Interim managers are:

  • Hands-on
  • Easy to bring on board
  • Results driven
  • Experienced and qualified
  • Are able to hit the ground running
  • Project orientated
  • Do not affect head-count
  • Alleviate stress on the team and support business objectives

Whether it be a financial manager, CFO or another financial specialist you need on a project basis, we may just have the interim manager for you.  Contact us to assist you over this busy period.

Monday 25 February 2019

How to get the talent you want on board - quickly!

Successful | On-Boarding | Partnership

Through our experience, it’s been proven time and time again that the lack of a clear talent attraction strategy and an inefficient hiring process can cost you the talent you want, particularly when it comes to senior and specialist recruitment.  This is important, not only in hiring specialist skills but also top performers where competition is tough.  These individuals also know their worth and are not going to waste their time on lengthy processes where companies can’t make decisions quickly.

Here are our top tips for getting the talent you really want on board – quickly!

Have a clear business strategy – with clear objectives and deliverables.  Top talent want to know that there is a clear vision and strategy in place and that it is executable.

Know the skills required to deliver on your business strategy and define key roles.  Do you need people on a permanent basis or do you need specialist skills on an interim basis or a mixture of both?

Stop chasing the "perfect person" and hire the "right person"?  The perfect candidate is a myth. Look at essential requirements versus nice-to-haves and be willing to flex on requirements for the right attitude and potential.  Gems are often lost due to lengthy searches for the "perfect candidate".  These individuals are keen to prove themselves, want to learn, have something to prove and generally give more.  The “perfect” candidate is often harder to retain, is going to want “more” sooner than later and creates all sorts of expectations that could lead to disappointment. Aim for 75% fit – this allows for growth and opportunity for both parties and know that there's got to be something in it for them.

Define your resourcing strategy to attract the talent you want by ensuring you have a strong value proposition, that you can afford the talent you want, are realistic around market conditions and have an efficient engagement process in place.  

Create a sense of urgency with all stakeholders involved in the process.  Top talent is not attracted to lengthy processes and they can lose interest quickly.  Having to salvage or constantly keep somebody interested in your business takes time and energy and you may lose them based purely on that.

Whether you’re doing permanent recruitment or needing an interim manager, work with a trusted recruitment partner – in true partnership.  In essence, your recruitment partner is representing your organization in the market place.  Be prepared to spend time with them to understand your business – business drivers, business objectives, key players, the role and culture.  Give your recruitment partner, whether internally or externally, access to decision makers.  There is nothing worse than engaging with the market and you haven’t even met the decision makers.  By doing this, it shows that your organization is serious about hiring and everybody is on the same page.

In a partnership, your recruitment partner will provide you with better service, advise you on market insights that can assist you in attracting the right talent for your business and most importantly, prioritize you as a client.   Should you work with recruiters based on fees and speed, I can almost guarantee that the quality hires you make are more luck based.  And your company will be prioritized accordingly. Taking a gun-shot approach by working with many recruiters can impact your brand, especially when it comes to senior and specialist recruitment.

Be transparent and realistic with all involved in the process – stakeholders, recruitment partners and candidates.  Be prepared to give the good, the bad and the ugly.  Business is constantly changing, and change is an opportunity for growth and learning.  The cost of losing great candidates is not worth withholding or not being straight up with people in the interview process, specifically when it comes to challenging aspects of the role.  If there’s restructuring or downscaling on the cards – share that.  If systems are having an impact on business performance, let them know.  Share how you are dealing with or plan to deal with these challenges so that they feel some level of comfort that they are not walking into a s*&^* storm, no matter how temporary.  Tell them about some of the exciting things happening in the business - it doesn't have to be all covert. Candidates don’t want to feel that they’ve taken on something that wasn’t fully disclosed in the interview process.  This will just leave a bad taste in their mouth - and mouths talk, which will have a direct impact on your brand. People want challenges and perform better when they can anticipate challenges ahead of them as well as know there are good things on the cards that they can be part of.  

Make them want to work for you.  When they have made up their minds to work for you the risk of counter offers is significantly reduced, resignations are handled more easily and they're on board before they've even started.

We are a people business and therefore connecting people and building relationships is critical to the success or our business. We strive to deliver exceptional services and make a difference in the lives of both our clients and candidates.  We would welcome the opportunity to connect with you to assess whether we’re the right recruitment partner for you.

Monday 18 February 2019

7 REAL ways you could be messing up your own interview

Are you struggling in the interview process?  Does the thought of an interview stress you out?  Do you feel that you possess all the skills and knowledge to perform in a role, however, you bomb out in the interview process?  You never get called back for a second interview and nobody tells you why? 
Here are 7 ways you could be getting in your own way.

1.  Yoput yourself in a lower position to the interviewer

      Know your worth!  As much as you are looking for a new position, the company you are interviewing with is also looking for the right person. You are looking and so are they.  Equal the playing fields by presenting yourself in a confident manner that shows you know what value you bring to an organisation.  If you don’t see it, neither will they.

2.  You oversell yourself

You may not even be conscious that you do this, and often it's because you are nervous. This often comes with endless talking about yourself and how good you are.   You hardly take the time to listen to what is actually being asked of you or fail to ask relevant questions that show a genuine interest in understanding the role or the business objectives.  You can be viewed as either arrogant or desperate – neither leave a positive impression.  Here interview coaching can really pay off, as you will get constructive feedback, from an objective point of view, on how to handle yourself in the interview.

3.  You are vague in demonstrating your capabilities and achievements

The biggest mistake you can make is to assume that people know how you do what you do.  If you can’t provide context and make it relevant to the role you are being interviewed for, you are not going to be shortlisted to go to the next level.  Here your interviewing skills are critical in making sure your interviewer understands your abilities and your value.

4.  You fail to ask the right questions

The interview process swings between being interviewed and you doing the interviewing – after all, you are also looking to see if the role and organisation is a good fit for you, right?  Know your worth, know strengths, know your not-so-good skills, know where you add value and know your "deal-breakers".  Work on your own interviewing skills.  If you are not asking questions that address all of these key aspects, you are potentially setting yourself up for unpleasant surprises.  You have to take responsibility for your participation in the interview process.

5.  You lack self-awareness

You have gone for a number of interviews and are failing to get the role you want or are just not being called back after the first interview.  Consider that there may be a problem in how you are presenting yourself.  Is there alignment with your CV and your personal presentation?  If you are being called for an interview, something in your CV has caught the interviewers attention.  If you are failing in the interview, there is a misalignment in some way or form.  You either need to improve your interview skills or you are misrepresenting yourself in your CV.  You need to get honest feedback and be open to changing how you present yourself, both on paper and in person.

6.  You have difficulty answering sensitive questions

Here’s a couple of scenarios: You have a jumpy work history, you have been dismissed, you have been retrenched, or you have left an organisation on not-so-good terms.  You may have an issue with an organisation that is in direct conflict with your values and ethics.  You have to be clear in your mind about what it is and what strategy you will take in addressing these questions. These discussions cannot dominate the interview.  You need to nip it in the bud and focus on your value proposition.

7.  You focus on negative work experience or have negative reasons for your unemployment

No matter how negative a work or no-work experience is, you need to demonstrate that you gained something positive out of the experience.  Good organisations will not want any negativity in their organisation.  These people are known as blamers, shamers and complainers – it would be wise to avoid portraying any negativity in the interview.  People tend to remember the negative aspects more than the positive, so be conscious of how people may be perceiving you.

The bottom line is that it is a very competitive market out there.  If you want to get to the next level in your career and find a meaningful and fulfilling job, you have to take responsibility for yourself and how you are positioning yourself to get it.  This is where interview preparation really pays off.  If you don’t, it is guaranteed that somebody else will. 

At TDT & Associates we offer personalised interview coaching services that will help you get clarity on your value proposition and how to position yourself with confidence.  Check out our interview coaching services here. We look forward to working with you.

Get out of your own way and stand out!