Well, the pop interview course ** went live last week (thank you to all the participants!) and one of the exercises the participants found most helpful was the importance of picking 3 words you’d like an interviewer to use to describe you prior to your interview. Given their enthusiasm, I thought I’d share the exercise with you. Here goes:
Prior to every coaching session, I ask clients to complete a short questionnaire. Among those questions:
• What three words would you use to describe yourself?
• Has anyone ever commented on these qualities, positively or negatively?
• What three words would you like your interviewer to use to describe you when you are finished meeting?
The purpose of this is to help me understand how my clients perceive themselves, to clear up any misconceptions they may have about these qualities, and to give them a focus for what will help them achieve their goals.
For example, a word I gave myself when I did this exercise was talkative. When I checked that perception against my friends’ perception of me, I was shocked. Over and over I was told that their first impression of me was reserved and/or quiet. That is was only after getting to know me that they discovered how much I had to say.
When I applied this information to an interview situation, I had an ‘aha’ moment. As most companies are looking for confident, outgoing, interactive-types– and I initially come across as reserved— it was no wonder I wasn’t getting the second interview.
Armed with this information, I made the decision to step outside my personal-interaction comfort zone in my next interview. I ‘opened’ with outgoing, interactive and engaging.
Was this easy? No. It took practice. But this practice paid off in spades for me—and it can for you, too. So, choose three words you want your interviewer to use about you when you leave the room. Do you want them to say you are confident? Informed? Reliable? Tenacious? Flexible? A team player? Leadership material?
Once you have these in-hand, ask some reliable friends: are these words you would use to describe me? And, if not, what words do? If the words your friends offer you don’t describe qualities that would serve you in an interview situation, challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone—to practice embodying attributes that will allow you to present your best self in your next interview situation.
** If you didn’t have a chance to participate in the course last week, you can still enroll here: https://www.popexpert.com/francescolejones
*** For more information on job interviews, check out my new e-book “Wow Your Way into the Job of Your Dreams” available here: http://www.francescolejones.com/resources/wow-your-way-ebook/
Frances Cole Jones