Most interview panels i have been on usually begin with ‘tell us about yourself’ after all the pleasantries to help the candidate feel comfortable. As interviews are typically an assessment by the buyer (the employer/organisation) who is seeking to buy the services of the seller (in this case a potential employee), and the seller who is also willing to sell his skills, and experience at a fixed or negotiable price, it should be expected to be a simple straightforward ‘show off’ conversation.
It baffles me that people go into interviews feeling extremely nervous or anxious with sweaty palms, to the extent they cannot perform at the interviews. Reasons for this could include the fear of the interview panel – whether they think they are good enough for the job, lack of confidence in their skills and abilities or trying hard to prove they are good enough to get the job. When such thoughts of desperation or lack of confidence is present in the mind of the individual, it is no wonder the performance of the individual turns out poorly or below their normal performance levels. I was once a part of an interview panel of a candidate i knew so well with consistent stellar performance history. I was however surprised when he flunked the interview for a job i knew he would effortlessly exceed the expectations of the role in no time. I guess he spent most of time preparing his resume, and practising how to present himself in a confident, charismatic and professional manner.
There is no doubt about the reality of the tension, anxiety and panic attacks at interviews. One of the best solutions to manage this is to present yourself for who you really are – your personal qualities and traits, skills and experiences that make you stand out. That way, you will ultimately be speaking from your soul, from the fire in your belly by expressing your passion in a moderately animated, humble and calm manner, and sharing your experience and expertise for the role with subtle pride.
Take the time and shine, and use your bragging rights in an endearing way. Think about a time when you have being massively successful in your life to diffuse any tension you might feel and boost your confidence as you speak.
Many times, people spend a great deal of time preparing their resume, and sometimes seek professional assistance from consultants to make their resume look like a perfect fit for a job or role they are applying for. It is an undisputed fact that resumes are the first impression of a person, therefore needs to be look as close to the individual’s true image, experience and expertise as possible, or in some cases exaggerated profile. This mirroring or exaggerated image and profile also serve as a deterrent in some cases where candidates are unable to match the expectation of the interviewers to the well documented manuscript presented as a resume that got them through the door.
It is the allure in your tone, the confidence in which you talk about your expertise and experience explained by your personal stories related to work will more than likely land you the job, faster than your resume. Study and improve your knowledge in the industry and emerging current trends. Know the industry challenges, offer possible solutions in a sauve manner, no matter what level you are being interviewed for. The interviewer is likely to be spell-bound of your eloquence and intelligence. This is the real deal, and an additional bonus that cannot be staged managed like some references in your resume.
Be 100% engaged and present at an interview. Speak with the credence of who you are and what you bring to the table. Your confidence, charisma and creativity displayed in a mesmerising manner is another formidable strategy to landing the job better than a William Shakespeare edited resume.
Beyond your resume, leave the interviewers with something brilliant and interesting to remember, and do not forget to smile politely as you exit the room.