Typically, when it comes to interviews, you will be asked to talk through your CV. This is a simple technique to try and put you at ease and get you comfortable speaking about content you are familiar with.
This should be the easy part, you know what you have been doing in your previous positions and explaining it should be simple, but for some reason a lot of people can fall down here or do not maximise the opportunity.
You want to be strategic in your approach to take advantage of this situation.
Here are some tips to help:
- Prepare by reviewing the job description and any other information you have on the role and company
- job specification, about us, value, culture and mission statements, consider the terminology used, current affairs etc. This will provide you with a holistic view of the company rather than just the position.
- Create a skills matrix
- reference the company and position you were in; for the experience you are listing (i.e. 2 years, ABC Ltd, System Admin – followed by the relevant experience…. )
- don’t forget to outline supporting soft skills as they relate to the ‘fit and culture’ of the company
- the matrix now provides you with your relevant working examples that you want to discuss and draw attention to in the interview
- I think where most people fall down is communicating what they have done in a concise and fluid manner, so practice talking through these examples out loud!
- it is common for us to whittle through the explanation of our previous positions to put the ball back in the interviewers court, but take a deep breath and start providing the working examples based on your experience in each position.
- “In this position I did x, y and z” – this is where you can lead the conversation rather than assuming the interviewer will know what to ask. People can come out of an interview and realise they didn’t discuss certain aspects of their experience because it wasn’t directly questioned…. again, this is where you can ensure the appropriate relevant work experience is discussed.
- in turn, this will prompt the interviewer(s) to probe further, and when you know whats coming you can prepare for those responses too!
Believe it or not, you are now essentially leading the conversation and directing the questions based on the information you are providing. You are in control which will hopefully result in a more relaxed and less anxious interview.
It is all about the preparation folks, so put the work in to ensure more productive interviews.