Before I start the concluding part of this discussion, I would like to say A BIG THANK YOU!!! to everyone who has given me one feedback or another regarding these postings, most especially these series on Job interview Success. You have given me the strength & encouragement to push on.
I would like to highlight few more nuggets as I conclude on this topic. Point 6 in the last posting was about “knowing your stuff“.
I will be dedicating the remaining four points to things you should know before & after the interview.
Here we go:
7. Know yourself (strengths & weaknesses): In this modern age, the word “emotional intelligence” has been thrown around a lot.
What is emotional intelligence? According to www.helpguide.org, “Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict. Emotional intelligence impacts many different aspects of your daily life, such as the way you behave and the way you interact with others. If you have high emotional intelligence you are able to recognize your own emotional state and the emotional states of others, and engage with people in a way that draws them to you. You can use this understanding of emotions to relate better to other people, form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life”.
There are 4 aspects of EQ:
D. Relationship management
The first aspect relates to you knowing your strengths & weaknesses. (Please refer to my post on Personal Developmental Plan for more details). In relation to a job interview, knowing your strengths & weaknesses highlights the fact that you are emotionally intelligent to a large extent & this will score you more points with the panelist.
In a previous interview, I was asked “What is your weakness?” My answer was “I have a tendency to be a traditionalist in the sense that I love things to be the way they are”, I explained further that I have worked on a solution which has allowed me to deliberately think out of the box & challenge the norm, thus turning that weakness into a strength”. The panelist that asked the question was interested in my solution, I simply said “I started playing chess“. Chess is a strategic game which explores different ways of capturing the opponents King, playing this on a regular basis has trained my mind to be revolutionary.
The panel couldn’t hold back their applause, then they asked about my strength. I talked about my ability to be resourceful, very coordinated/meticulous in the way I do things etc.
You must know & use these things to your advantage in an interview.
8. Know your worth: The interview at this stage gets to the reward & remuneration part & a lot of people are not prepared for this. The HR representative on the panel will essentially ask “What do you currently earn?” & “What do you expect from us?” People readily answer the first question, but find it difficult to answer the second. I’ve heard people say “Well this is a big organization & you have properly defined salary scales & grades.” Personally, that is the wrong answer. You must know how much you will be asking for the new role. There should be a moment early in the day that you would have looked at yourself in the mirror & decide on what you are aiming for. Obviously, you must be asking for a reasonable amount, you can’t jump from a $2,000/month pay to $20,000/month. There is no cast-in-stone rule to determine the percentage increase, but being reasonable & moderate helps a lot & always mention that you are open to further discussions & negotiations. The most important point here is to know your worth, how much can you take to ensure that you really don’t have to worry about money, but be focused on doing your job excellently well.
9. Know about the company: Doing a bit of research about the company you intend to join gives you an advantage. For starters, it helps you in point 8 above as you would have known what they pay for your level & grade. I usually just check out the company on Google, try to know a bit of their history, check them out on the news strip, know about the Chairman/CEO/MD/Shareholders, etc. I remember a recent interview I had, during the discussion I mentioned a policy paper that was released by the government that puts the company in a very strategic position going forward & how I feel they can take advantage of that new policy. To my surprise, everyone on the panel didn’t know about it, so i went on to propose some strategies they could adopt. This was just at the first stage of the interview, to my surprise I was called the next day to come meet the CEO (skipping the other stages) & their HR was already putting some numbers together. Unfortunately the CEO had to travel on the appointed day & rescheduled, but i wasn’t feeling the numbers from HR & they were not willing to pay for my relocation. So I turned it down & just spoke with the CEO on the phone instead, I politely explained my reason(s) for turning it down & still ensured that there was the opportunity to open up the conversation anytime.
10. Know that it’s not the end: I would finally want to point out that in case the interview doesn’t turn out as you expect & you don’t the job, do know that it’s not the end.
I know there is always another chance & things will turn out for good at the end. If you take these 10 nuggets & work on them, you will do better the next time.
I would love to hear how these posts have helped you or someone currently preparing for an interview. My aim is to ensure that you succeed in that interview & hear that fantastic phrase “YOU’RE HIRED!!!”
This is my snippet, I am SHALOMESQ!!!