What’s the biggest mistake we make in interviews?
Interviewing for the job we’re in, not the job we’re going for.
The easiest way to avoid falling into this trap is to approach the interview as you would any part of the business – strategically. Look for overlaps between your current role and the desired position, then show you’ve the abilities required to adapt to the higher level of responsibilities demanded.
Areas to look out for:
Stakeholder management: Who will your new stakeholders be? Identify who’ll be affected by the outcome of your work – this is important as engaging them will critical to your success. The higher up you go in an organisation, the more important it is to have a well-developed web of relationships. Being an expert in your own field is no longer enough. You need to understand how your unit’s performance impacts on the larger organisation. It’s only by working collaboratively and creatively with stakeholders, that you’ll achieve both departmental and company goals.
Strategic input: Understanding the company’s vision and strategic plan is crucial. Having an appreciation of how you can play your part in achieving its success is powerful. When preparing for your interview, reflect on challenges the sector will face over the next five years. Show your interest in keeping up to date with market trends /disrupters Show your passion for continuous learning and your ability to adapt in a fluid environment.
Emotional Intelligence: Daniel Goleman, American psychologist highlights that emotional intelligence is the key differentiator between good and great leaders. In a rapidly changing world leaders need to be agile, make decisions without full information and develop a test and learn mentality – reframing mistakes as a source of discoveries. Having all 5 pillars in emotional intelligence will position you as a great leader – and the good news is, these can be learnt. https://hbr.org/2004/01/what-makes-a-leader
Leaders need to get work done through other people. When focusing on your achievements in the interview, show how your success was facilitated by working effectively with others. Highlight how you created a vision, encouraged diverse views, solidified relationships through showing empathy and brought people with you on the journey.
Don’t forget, the best interviews are evidence based. Spend time reflecting on what value you’ve brought your current company. Have examples to hand to demonstrate your skills and be able to quantify your achievements. Finally, never underestimate the power of passion. The interview board will feel genuine passion and it’s still a strong deciding factor when making the final appointment.
About the Author
Laura is a qualified executive coach, EMCC Certified with over 20 years’ experience in executive search and recruitment. She’s the owner of Interview Techniques, a leading provider of interview and career coaching services and has been a guest lecturer with Trinity College Dublin and TU Dublin. For a consultation, please call 087 669 1192 or go to www.interviewtechniques.ie.