Enhancing interview performance by digging deep

Some of my clients come to me after a series of disappointing interviews. They may have applied for jobs that they could have got, but somehow their interview performance kept letting them down. So it is my job to act as a detective, and to try and work out what has been going wrong.

In many cases, I find that I can pinpoint their weak point by exploring the narratives of their CV. This involves me working in depth with my clients – just as a qualitative researcher would draw out the underlying perceptions and motivations of their respondents. I used to be a qualitative researcher before I turned career coach!

Here are examples of some weak points that I have detected recently:

  • An accountancy candidate who had all the academic cred to apply to the top four, but hadn’t worked out why he wanted to be an accountant.
  • An operations candidate who had a dubious academic record (switched degrees and failed a year) but had all the talent to shine in the workplace.
  • A marketing candidate who had been swanning around the ski slopes for a year after graduation, but who obviously had the flair and drive to succeed.
  • A property candidate who had worked so hard to get her RICS endorsed Masters, but had no ambition beyond getting her foot in the door.

So once I have found the weak point I need to explore how the narrative can be given a positive spin. And as an ex-advertiser (that’s where I started my career), I have no qualms about using my talents in salesmanship to the full!! Above all, this means giving my clients a new narrative that has integrity. Not only do I need to change the storyline, but I also need to change the way they feel about themselves.

Which is what being an effective spin-doctor is all about!