We Are All a Virtual Pandoras Box of Knowledge, Expertise and Useful Information
When preparing to do an interview many people often spend a lot of time looking to external sources of information for the help they feel they need. They google loads of stuff ranging from company web-sites to typical interview questions and how to answer them. They then talk to friends or colleagues, learn off policies, procedures and mission statements and ask friends of friends for their help, advice and opinions. While all of these things can definitely help us, to me however it leaves out the most important place we should all learn to look at much more closely…..ourselves, call it an internal google search if you like!! We really need to try and tap into what’s going on inside us, as it is here that our skills, experiences, opinions and expertise are already stored. We are all a virtual Pandoras Box of knowledge, expertise and useful information just waiting to be opened.
The analogy that I sometimes use when working with clients to try and explain what I mean by good interview preparation involves talking about a small pond of water. Bear with me and I’ll do my best to explain where I’m going with this!!! There is a small pond and the water is just lying there undisturbed and motionless with not much happening. Now, go get a big stick and give the water a big stir. You will see the pond suddenly spring to life with lots of silt, sand, sediment, leaves, bits of moss and loads of other bits of debris swirling around that have been lying dormant at the bottom of the pond up to now. Stop stirring the water and everything returns to normal again.
The simple analogy is this….The pond represents our brain where everything you have ever learned, done or experienced is stored.
It is the most complex piece of equipment we have. It actually forgets nothing that we have done but stores it in order of importance and level of daily use and it is as unique to us as our fingerprint. Doing an interview is generally not an everyday occurrence for us so the brain stores that information right out of the way and sometimes in a hard to reach place.
The stick in the analogy represents the process of really questioning and understanding yourself and trying to get at the information that can be stored in that sometimes hard to reach place. What work do you already do? How do you do it? Why do you do it that way? Who you are as a person? Do you have examples that can help you to demonstrate the skills or competencies required for the role?
The silt, sand and debris in the pond represents the many pieces of relevant information, experience, knowledge and memories that are already lying undisturbed in your brain that can help you to answer the questions posed above. When it has been loosened up from its resting place and is swirling around it is much more accessible and easy to see than when it is resting at the bottom of the pond!!
That is why I don’t believe that people need to make up or learn off answers for interviews.
To be an authentic candidate, and I think the word authentic is really important here, we just need to tap into the existing knowledge and information that is in us all along. We have often heard the saying that sometimes we can’t see the wood for the trees. That is so true for many people when preparing for job interviews – the information and experience we already have is what we need to get across. The issue can be that we often spend so much time learning off policies and procedures and googling stuff we then haven’t got enough time to look at where the really important information is stored.
What can really help us to do a really good interview is to clearly know what we have to offer the role that we are applying for. So think about the following 3 things when you’re preparing for your next job interview.
- Clearly know the job you are applying for – use your knowledge, contacts or job specs.
- Clearly know yourself – your experiences and your key attributes/qualities.
- Have examples – demonstrate where you have already used the relevant skills and how you can match the requirements of the role.
We, here at Maher Consulting are happy to help you anytime you need to chat to an expert. We can help you to unlock that Pandoras Box of knowledge, skills and experience you already have and to be confident in what you have to offer any potential employer. We can also tailor your CV and application forms so that you stand out from the crowd.