Did your interview go well?

“I was so sure I hadn’t passed the interview that I was a gibbering wreck when my new boss rang to make the offer and congratulate me, so much so that I’m sure it must have crossed his mind to unmake the decision. I never want that to happen again!”

Julia-Anne was still curling up with embarrassment when she recounted her story to me. A bit like exams, some people are able to precisely assess how well they did; others simply can’t do that with any accuracy. So what can you do to avoid being caught in the headlights?

Show the REAL value of your work experience

"I have some work previous work experience from when I was a student, but it's not directly relevant to post-degree jobs I'm applying for. Is this work experience even relevant and, if so, how should I present it?"

Any work experience can be used to show your capability

Captain Hindsight wins again ...

"How did you approach planning your own career? I presume you drew up a master plan and then set about executing it, as you're a massive advocate of research and planning generally?

That question, posed by John in a Q&A session, brought me up short. Did I plan my career? In chronological order, ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘yes, finally’ are the answers. Let me explain.

I killed a man last night ...

"Can you give me any advice on answering the, 'Tell me about yourself,' question? It's a standard question and I feel like I'm giving a standard answer."

Interesting point, Deborah. "Tell me a bit about yourself," is most definitely a stock question, but it's most definitely not a kindly, gift-wrapped, warm-up opportunity. Whether you or the interviewer recognise it or not, it's a 'first-impression' moment. You can let it slip through your fingers, or you can caress its beating heart in your loving hands.

Go on, ask me another ...

"I have another interview coming up tomorrow, have you got any advice on whether there are any questions that you think are really good for me to ask at the end of the interview?"

This question came in from Eleanor via Twitter to @letsfirewalk and it was great to see her concentrating on an aspect of the interview process that many people miss - a last chance to jump up the ranking, relative to the other candidates.


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