How to succeed at interviews

How to succeed at interviews

How are you? Me too. How are you? Please have a seat. So in this section, we’re going
to talk about interviewing… how to ace the interview. So there’s really only
one question people have in an interview, which
is, do I want to work with you? And everything else is
going to flow from that. With all aspects
of the job search, it’s worth thinking
about, what are they looking for from
their position to work out if they want to work with you. How will they assess if
they want to work with you? And if you knew that,
how would you show them? But first things first,
you’re in the room because you deserve to be and
because they think on paper that you can do the job. It’s not an excuse. You’re not a make
weight or a wild card. They genuinely think that
you could do the job. So this video will show you
how to ace the interview. I will also be
hearing some top tips. So when you’re going
to an interview, part of the preparation I
would suggest is, what are the, let’s say, three
things – we can all remember three – three things I
want to get over to this panel. Depending on the
job, it might be, I really deliver projects
on time, I keep to budget, and I’ve worked in this industry
before, or something like that. So you’ve got your three things. And you’re going to make
sure that in every answer, you’re going to weave one or
two or three of those aspects into the answer. So they’re coming away with the
message you want to deliver. The first question we always
ask, which you need to answer, is, what attracts
you to the job? And it’s the most
obvious first question, and you’ll be amazed the number
of people who haven’t prepared the answer for that. We want to know, what are you
going to bring to the job? That’s a great open question
where you can immediately talk about the three things. I’ve got these three skills,
and I’m going to apply them. I would also encourage
you to think of the worst question that could come up. And it might be, explain
this gap on your CV. Or it might be, why did you
leave this organisation? That way, at least
you’re ready for it. You can hope that
it doesn’t come up, but you want to plan
for it to come up. And make sure you’ve
got a story that fits. Good afternoon. So obviously, this
is an interview. But I’d love to get to know
you and understand how you got to this point of applying. So would you mind telling
me what your motivation to apply for a role within
the financial industry is? Yeah. So I think one of the
most important things are the people that work
within this industry. So when I look at
all my friends who work as bankers or
in wealth management, they all come from very
diverse backgrounds. And because I myself am doing
two degrees – psychology and business management
– at the same time, I am hoping to find that
diversity within the people that I work with, too. So I’m looking for a
role in consulting, and particularly what I’d
like to do most is find out about each industry. So whether it’s banking,
whether it’s wealth and asset management, whether it’s
capital markets, whether it’s challenger banks, I
think the broad range of industry knowledge that
you get from consulting is something that
I’d really value. Can you talk about what
your personal strengths have been when you’ve been faced
with a team environment before? Yeah. So recently actually
at university, we had to build up a firm
that is a consultancy. And we were put
together in a group, and I really wanted to do an
entrepreneurship consultancy. Found some research
and tried to convince the group with
evidence that I think this would be a great idea. One of my biggest
achievements was actually going from that place
where the project looked like it was going to
fall apart to a place where it was actually
very sustainable and is now a sustainable
project that’s been passed on. Great. Thank you very
much for coming in. That was brilliant. So just in terms of feedback on
the interviews, from my mind, the key thing is
to remember whoever you’re walking into
the room to see is just another human being. Yes, they want to
test some things, but really, they want to get
to know you and understand why you’ve come to apply
for the role in their firm. So the more you can
make it personal, and the more you can
almost disarm them with your personality,
the better. Clearly, being
eloquent and having the content prepared
beforehand will always hold you in good stead. But the more
personal you can be, the more it’s going to
stick in someone’s mind. For a lot of us, when
we’re interviewing, it could be part of a day
where we’re seeing maybe eight to 10 candidates. And the ones that will
really stick in your mind are the ones where you’ve
had a proper dialogue. It hasn’t just been a Q&A,
I’ve asked the questions that I have to on
the piece of paper. To that point, when
you do have time at the end of the interview,
without just being so relieved to rush out the door, try and
have an interesting question to ask. And the easiest thing
is to ask someone about what they do, because
people love to talk about what they do, especially if
they’ve been doing it a while and they are clearly
fulfilled by it. It’s an easy one to show
that you have interest, but also that you’ll
get a proper answer and get some real
insight into the career that you’re interviewing for. So what can you do to make that
first impression really good? Let me just stop you there. We’re here today at RADA
business for some one to one coaching in
personal impact. Hi. Lovely to meet you. John. Nice to meet you. I’m Janina from the FT. Lovely. If we can become more
aware of what we give off and how people
receive us, then we can become better at
flexing our style, being sure that in an interview
setting, we show up in the way that we want to. The key is going to
be self-awareness. Grounding is really
important because it means that we have a strong,
solid base to work from. We talk about people being
down to earth, so make sure you’re well rooted and
solid on the ground. This is about taking
responsibility for ourselves, for our own presence. As soon as we give
into the chair… if you lean back in the chair…
if I took the chair away from you, what would happen now? I’ll just fall on the floor. But if you start
to lean forward, you’ll find that
your weight starts to transfer onto your feet. If you took the chair… Just get up. You could just get up. So the range of
movement that we need is so little because we’re
already taking responsibility for our physical presence. The breath is
fundamentally important to calm us down – to keep the
system easy, loose, and relaxed – and most
importantly, to feed us with that really important
oxygen rich blood to power our brains. The reason this is important
is that when we get stressed, we tend to hold our breath. It means we hold our tummy. Contract our bits. Nothing moves, and we can’t get
a lot of oxygen into our body. When I ask you the question
that you aren’t expecting or the question that’s
really difficult or the one that you
didn’t prepare for, the body will go huup! Then actually, the thing
that we need to do then most is breathe, because we need
all of that lovely oxygen rich blood in our head. When we hold onto the breath,
the first thing we need to do is breathe out. Breath behind the voice is
important to give your voice energy. And energy in your
articulation is important to give
your thoughts clarity. Make sure you energise both. Brum-a-ning-aah. Lovely. Good. OK. Very nice. So we get that
sense of movement, that sense of freedom,
which releases the sound. Emotion is carried on the vowel. We express emotion
through open vowel sounds. And the clearest
way to explain this is, when a baby is
unhappy, what do they do? They cry. And what’s the sound of the cry? Like wah. Wah! Open sound! Feed me! Change my nappy! And parents come running,
and go, what’s wrong? So it’s really important when
we’re speaking with someone that we remember to use
this balance of vowels and consonants that we match. I’m really, really
excited by that. So there’s a sense
of this space, so someone can see that we care. Very different from, I’m really,
really excited about that. Make sure that you take
time to open your window. As you’re sitting in the
waiting room outside, open up that window, extend
your peripheral vision, become aware of the
environment that you’re in. Going to work with a closed
window and an open window. Walk around the
room, and just notice what changes for
you about how it feels to negotiate the
furniture and the other person in the room. I think that we spent too
long at work in closed window. Sometimes, for very good reason. I’m stressed out, I got a lot
of work to do, don’t bother me, I’m at my desk. But I also think that
when we go to that meeting or that interview, we
are nervous obviously. So we go saying, oh, I hope
I think I’m good enough and have I done all the
thinking I need to and did they like the presentation
I sent through and have I included
all of that and have I done all of the things
and, and, and, and, and. And what happens is,
we come to the door, and we put our hand
on the door handle, and we walk through when we
are in our closed window mode. And it’s really,
really important that we open ourselves
up into open window, so the first thing that
people experience of us is someone who is curious. Good to meet you. Hello. Use eye contact to
find your thoughts. Avoid wandering around
as you try and think about what you want to say. As much as you can, stay
connected to the people that you’re speaking to. There’s bags of research
that tells us that trust comes through the eyes. So if the first thing I
see of you are low lids, then I don’t get
to see who you are. So remembering that when
we come into the room, that we are entering in
and taking our space… not in an aggressive
way, but in a way which says that we are confident. One thought, one breath. Deliver each thought
with its own breath. The literal meaning
of inspiration is to breathe in, so inspire
each thought as a new idea. Our deepest fear is not
that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we
are powerful beyond measure. It is our light,
not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be
brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God… Very good. Yeah. We get the idea. How much sense did that make? None. None. So there is a direct link
between breath and sense. One breath per thought. Works the other way. One thought per breath. It is our verbal punctuation. If, in an interview setting, you
can shift the focus away from, what are they going
to think of me, to get the nerves away from
ourselves, off ourselves… off am I good enough, am I smart
enough, am I clever enough, all of that stuff… to thinking, well, how can
I help them understand more? How can I help them
understand more about me? Because then what you’re
doing is an act of generosity. We’re giving someone
something, and we don’t have to perform so amazingly. STAR is an excellent
technique to use. So this is where you’re going
to describe the situation. I was brought in. The play wasn’t going on time. It was going to run over,
we were over budget, and it was going to be late. The task I took on
was to pick this up, to divide the team into
four, and get people to focus on their own particular area. The actions I took… I took, not we took… were
to set out a project plan, to meet weekly, et
cetera, et cetera. And as a result, we actually
came in just over budget, but dead on time. If I were to think about it
again on reflection, actually what I would have
done differently would have been maybe to
start quicker and divide it into three teams, not five,
because then we have fewer and to meet slightly more often. And you can even
use those words, and people will be
happy with that. If you say, well, the
situation was ta, da, da. The tasks I took on were this. These were the actions we took
X, Y, and Z. And as a result, we did this. Bang. So interviews, all
in the preparation. Think about the stories
you’re going to tell, the key skills and
the experiences you want to get over. Think about using the STAR
answers and having those ready. And do your homework and
prepare on the organisation and the industry that you’re
going to interview with. So the key message
is don’t wing it. Prepare and practice all the
questions so that on the day, you’re well-prepared.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Am honestly not being sarcastic here
    Last week I applied for a role at a global bank. Pretty senior (low 6 figures). Under the question (online process) for what attracts you about the role, I put "You need an X. I am an X looking for a job."
    I have an interview.

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