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.