The world of personal development is my dream career. Helping people to achieve their goals and secure that all important job is a vindication of the process of personal interview skills coaching. It may well be a cost, but it’s also an investment in the future that will repay itself many times.
There are many highly qualified and talented people searching for that next step on the ladder of employment. You can imagine that in a recession there are even more talented and qualified people out there fighting for every position. Even in the times of a buoyant economy over 30% of people in work are looking for alternative work. What does this mean to you? Quite simply it means that you first of all need a great CV to get your foot in the door and secondly, you will need a first class interviewing technique to secure the job. The pressure on the candidate is more intense now than for many years.
There are a number of consistent themes which explain why lots of very well qualified and highly talented people are not in work.
Talent is great! I wish I had more of it. Academic qualifications are great and I wish I had more of that too. But these attributes alone will not secure the job. The people that are offered the jobs demonstrate the most desire, the best preparation and are the most persuasive. It’s a buyer’s market during a recession and you have possibly thirty to forty-five minutes to make an impact.
I recently worked with a group of graduates from a leading university in the South of England. None of the group actually knew each other (which accounted for why they initially seemed a little timid) and none of them had managed to secure an internship in the holidays. They all brought their CVs along and I managed to have a good look at their achievements, which were academically outstanding. I had never seen so many straight A students in my life. But what very quickly became apparent during the sessions was that they were all totally focussed on themselves, their studies and interests and not really focussed on the nature of the businesses that they were applying too.
A degree in Nordic Mythology is not a good fit in the world of retail management. But a degree in Nordic Mythology is a good fit for being employed in a museum which promotes the history of the Vikings etc. But to work in a museum these days, the requirements are quite staggering.
You need great commercial skills to run exhibitions, you need great communication skills to get sponsors on side; you need excellent client-facing skills to entertain the guests who attend your exhibitions. And it was these types of skills that were lacking. The basic every day business skills that would help the business grow and flourish.
When we discussed this, there was an enormous groan of resentment. The interpersonal skills were lacking and they were almost unemployable. One of them suggested that eye-contact was not a requirement if you planned to spend your career with your head in a book. I was not surprised that he did not get the job after a remark like that.
If you go for a job interview, you must demonstrate that you can add value to that company’s bottom line. You must be confident and sell yourself and your skills. Book knowledge is fantastic, I wish I had more. The question always is: how do I turn academic knowledge into business value? How can I apply it to this business? What can I do to enhance their return on investment in me?
Copyright (c) 2009 The College Of Public Speaking
About the Author: An award winning trainer, Vince Stevenson relishes the world of personal development. A long time supporter of speaking institutions, Vince is one of the country’s leading enthusiasts in Public Speaking and Presentation Skills. He can be contacted via the web site at the College of Public Speaking: => http://www.collegeofpublicspeaking.co.uk/Interview_Skills.html