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Interview Skills by Rowan Manahan

Interview Skills by Rowan Manahan

From a lecture at the Career Zoo in Dublin, February 2013.

A job interview needn't feel like the Spanish Inquisition - some simple thoughts that will help you avoid the costly mistakes that most candidates make.

From a lecture at the Career Zoo in Dublin, February 2013.

A job interview needn't feel like the Spanish Inquisition - some simple thoughts that will help you avoid the costly mistakes that most candidates make.

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Interview Skills by Rowan Manahan

  1. 1. Surviving at job INTERVIEWS @Rowan_Manahan
  2. 2. Nothing has really changed in the world of job interviews ... for a long long time
  3. 3. And that’s because we haven’t really changed very much since we came down from the trees
  4. 4. Your interviewer
  5. 5. Your interviewer, who will make his mind up on you in a matter of seconds
  6. 6. A highly-sensitive decision switch is sitting at ‘Neutral’ when you walk into the room From a blog post, way back when ...
  7. 7. The trembler switch drops to “No” very easily and very quickly - a lot like dating. It takes much longer for the switch to click over to “Yes.”
  8. 8. EDGE And for that to happen, you need an edge - not in the job skills per se, but in the skill of job-hunting.
  9. 9. Job-hunting is simple, but then again, so is tennis. It takes a lot more work than most people realise in order to be great.
  10. 10. Yourself Enemy Terrain To be great in an interview, you need to be good at the job in question - but you also need to know these three things.
  11. 11. Yourself Enemy Terrain
  12. 12. 4 SECONDS Because your interviewer(s) are 98.5% chimpanzee
  13. 13. There are people who believe that they can tell a lot about you from a handshake. It doesn’t matter that they’re wrong, you need a good handshake.
  14. 14. You also need to be turned out appropriately for the industry / company / role - this is easy for men ...
  15. 15. Not so easy for women!
  16. 16. 1. Professional 2. Presentable 3. Fashionable For both sexes - build your interview wardrobe on these priorities and you won’t go far wrong.
  17. 17. Suit is invisible Accessories! No clutter Colour under your chin For both sexes - pay attention to the details
  18. 18. Dark hair roots Revealing clothes Visible labels Perfume / After-shave Piercings? Too much jewellery
  19. 19. 3 MINUTES Then, you open your mouth for the first time ...
  20. 20. “ Tell us a bit about yourself ... Walk us through your CV ... Take us through your last two jobs ... Only about 10% of the audience had a response for this prepped and ready to go.
  21. 21. 2-3 minutes 150 wpm 50% on last job / 2 years News headlines This is how to answer that question without sending your interviewer(s) to sleep.
  22. 22. CHESTNUTS
  23. 23. Nature of the role? Weaknesses / Strengths? Team / Leadership style? Communication approach? Task / Problem approach (+examples!) Sectoral / Company issues? Best moment? You’ll be asked these at most interviews - Why you? they are the chestnut questions. Any questions?
  24. 24. Five magic WORDS You need a specialised vocabulary to deal with interview questions
  25. 25. Best friend Impressive colleague Amazing boss Total asshole Describe each of these people in 5 words/phrases. Then think about how they would describe you.
  26. 26. Five magic NUGGETS Condense the lists down to your NUGGETS
  27. 27. And map them out against the predictable stuff that’s going to be discussed in the interview room.
  28. 28. More details on this (and coping with the ‘Nightmare Interview from Hell’) is in Where’s My Oasis?
  29. 29. COMPETENCY Cavemen rarely had to deal with competency interviews
  30. 30. Screening/HR Interview Cascade Line manager Psychometric testing Structured / CBI Social / Informal
  31. 31. “Give me an example of a time when you had to …” “If you saw XXX taking place, what would you do?” These are the giveaway phrases “Have you ever had to YYY?” “How would you solve ZZZ?”
  32. 32. Situation Process Outcome WPM? 140-160 2 minutes = 300 words And this is how you should structure up your (prepared) responses. Keep it tight and focus on your approach/process.
  33. 33. Yourself Enemy Terrain
  34. 34. Able? Willing? Fit in? This is what all interviewers want to know - they ask lots of variations around these three questions.
  35. 35. ‘Fit’ - John Collison from Stripe wants to know if he will enjoy having coffee with you on Sunday morning, having worked through straight from Friday morning!
  36. 36. “ If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my words. To be great in an interview, you really need to get into the heads of your interviewers ...
  37. 37. It’s a form of stalking!
  38. 38. Supply chain Widgets Inc. Suss out the company from all angles - what’s really going on there? X Compe Macro titors Customer channel
  39. 39. www.widgets.com If they are a PLC, their website will be a mine of information
  40. 40. But don’t just stop at their website ...
  41. 41. Who are the players, what are their backgrounds?
  42. 42. You may find stuff about the company, or promotions here
  43. 43. Start following the players in the company, and in the wider sector, on Twitter - what is occupying their minds?
  44. 44. And keep digging ...
  45. 45. ... and digging ...
  46. 46. ... and digging ...
  47. 47. Yourself Enemy Terrain Until you really know your enemy
  48. 48. Yourself Enemy Terrain Then you need to know the ground you’ll be fighting on.
  49. 49. This really distinguishes you from the herd Meh
  50. 50. “ The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated And taps in to the deepest need in the human psyche
  51. 51. “Please sir, may I have some more?” You must move away from a delivery that essentially says, “I’m a jobseeker, I need a job, please give me a job”
  52. 52. “ I noticed that your company / division / department is XXX ... How can I help? To something akin to this.
  53. 53. “ I noticed that your company / division / department is XXX ... I can help because I .... Or this.
  54. 54. Supply chain Show them you understand how their company fits into the landscape. X Compe Macro titors Customer channel
  55. 55. Informational interviewing Conferences Competitors Journalists Politicians Use the approach of ‘informational interviewing’ to flesh out your picture of the sector, and of how you can contribute.
  56. 56. SYMBIOTIC Make these conversations symbiotic - not parasitic.
  57. 57. “ I noticed that your company / division / department is XXX ... I can help because I .... And be careful about your language - ensure that you don’t sound too much like a stalker.
  58. 58. “ I noticed that you ... Softly ...
  59. 59. “ I understand that you ... ... softly ...
  60. 60. “ One thing that has really struck me as I’ve researched your company is ... ... catchee ...
  61. 61. ... monkey.
  62. 62. Yourself Enemy Terrain When was the last time you went into a job interview knowing all three of these? Why do so few people do this? It’s obvious! (But it’s not easy - it needs a lot of slog)
  63. 63. EDGE Do all that, and there’s your edge - and it’s a big one.
  64. 64. TONE One last thing - the tone you strike
  65. 65. In case you hadn’t realised, it has somehow become uncool to sound like you know what you’re talking about? Or believe strongly in what you’re ... like ... saying? (Taylor Mali)
  66. 66. TONE Declarative. Emphatic. Fact-based. Unapologetic. Unequivocal. Clear. Concise. Articulate. Logical.
  67. 67. M’ KAY? www.RowanManahan.com
  68. 68. @Rowan_Manahan gy ew ve rramuch Tha

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