Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Job Interview Strategies That Work - Post Interview Reviews Will Improve Your Performance


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For many any job interview is a traumatic experience. You are a contestant in a competition conducted on unfamiliar territory where the winner takes all. To succeed you must impress people you have never met. You must deal with brain paralyzing stress to present unrehearsed convincing responses to every question. Interviews can be unpredictable and you are in constant risk of making an embarrassing mistake.
In a world that values perfection, it is a common human survival trait to either completely dismiss a disastrous experience such as an interview from the mind, or to rationalize that there were circumstances beyond your control that lead to your failure. Some individuals are expert at forgetting everything within minutes of leaving the interview room.

There is merit in this strategy, because individuals must move forward, otherwise they risk becoming stuck in an endless loop of negative emotions arising from the contemplation of past interview failures.
Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister during World War II once said "Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it."

Do you know that some of the most successful entrepreneurs have experienced more failure than success? They have made an art of treating mistakes or even failure as an opportunity to recognize risk, and take evasive action to minimize, avoid or prevent them from having to go through a similar experience in the future.
Interview performance can only change when individuals choose to learn from their past experience.
Each interview experience is a gold mine for learning and self development.
This three-step strategy is simple - capture, analyze and strategize.

CAPTURE
Preferably within an hour of completing your interview, go to a place close by such as a cafe, where you can quickly and comfortably write down EVERYTHING you remember hearing, spoken, experienced and observed.
Do not worry about replicating the exact order of the interview. The primary aim without indulging in excessive self-judgment is to record as much as you can remember.
Listed below are suggestions for this recording task:
- Honestly describe the range of your feelings at any point, even in the days leading up to the interview, for example, how nervous or confident you were feeling
- List all questions asked including your own to the interviewer
- Add your responses include the structure, organisation, and the confidence of your delivery, as well as any stories used to illustrate you possess the desired skills, experience and knowledge
- Note down the reactions of the interviewer(s): interested, smiling, impatient, indifferent, rejecting, or that they looked bored.
The stress and overwhelm of an interview experience often prevents individuals from remembering ALL details in this initial session. There will be some parts that will stand out - and it is often the worst experiences or the best. You will remember more over the days that follow the interview. It is very important and productive to capture these observations as well.

ANALYZE
As soon as possible after you finish the initial information capture session of your review, rewrite and arrange all information to make it easy to analyze and/or add additional observations. It is important to connect context, what was happening or being said, with your reactions as well as those of the interviewer.
The following framework is recommended:
A. COMPANY: Opening, Introductions, Information about the Company along with a description of the role and responsibilities of the position given by the Interviewer along your reactions, impressions and feelings.
B. QUESTIONS: List each question asked by the interviewer at the top of its own page.
Write underneath detailed descriptions of
- Your response
- Your feelings
- What you noticed in the reactions of the interviewer, both verbal and nonverbal at any point
- Any discussions, include jokes, different points of view, and
- What recommendations could you make to improve your impact on the interviewers.
STRATEGIZE
Reviewing your interview experience allows you to develop your own recommendations for behaving and responding to similar situations at future interviews.
Create a check list about what you could do before to prepare better or would do if the same situation arose again. For example, an outcome of your review maybe identifying a need to
- improve your research of the hiring company to also include its clients and products
- rehearse a response on why you want the job
- make a great response to explain why you are the best candidate
- create a profile on your communication skills with examples from your past
- make a list of your weakness as well as your strengths
- list the best clothes to wear, or
- remind yourself to calculate total travelling time so that you arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled interview time.
Over time you will build a profile of companies and the interview experience you had with each of them. You will begin to know what to expect in the initial stages of an interview. Your prior experience and knowledge will give you a strategic advantage in interviews. It will help you formulate questions if the interviewer does not cover the topic areas that interest you the most, either at the beginning or at the close when an interviewer often asks if you have any questions.
This strategy allows you to build your own personal resource tool box based on your own background of interview questions asked, and your recommendations for how to organize and present your responses to favorably influence an interviewer.
Successful job applicants are individuals who
- Are willing to examine each interview experience, their mistakes and failures without excessive self-judgment
- Know their own areas of weakness and have developed countermeasure strategies
- Treat their mistakes or even failures as an opportunity to raise their awareness to identify potential risks, thereby being able to avoid or prevent a similar disastrous situation from happening in the future
- Initiate strategies such as an Interview Checklist to remind them of key resources they have available to improve future performance
- Demonstrate a willingness to unlearn ineffective behavior patterns such as monosyllabic (yes/no), or defensive responses, and
- Can always look past failure, and keep striving to succeed with their goal to efficiently engage the mind of interviewers on the benefits of hiring them.

For the last 10-years as Director of Moving Horizons Pty Ltd, Melody Braithwaite has mentored clients to access inner resources and present themselves confidently in job interviews. As an active member, participant and contributor in Australia to Toastmasters International clubs for over 22 years, she has facilitated workshops and delivered presentations to diverse audiences - corporate, business, community, school and special interest groups equipping individuals with tools, strategies and resources to be confident public speakers.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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