If you entered a quiz show like Mastermind and your chosen specialist subject was ‘you’, you’d like to think you would get full marks. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else, surely? And yet, how come, when you’re placed in a situation requiring you to sell yourself, you’re so easily lost for words, tongue tied or unable to articulate your strengths?
Take your forthcoming job interview, for example. Being the diligent, keen and focussed person that you are, you’re not cavalier enough to saunter in without preparation. You’ve worked hard to come this far, and you’re tantalisingly close to landing your dream role. Needless to say, when you first saw the job advert and then read more about the role and the company, you felt an instant connection, and that sense that this was tailor-made for you, that it could well be the springboard for a bright future. You’ve researched the company in depth – there is literally nothing in the public domain that you haven’t winkled out. You’ve discreetly researched as much as possible about your interviewer(s), and you’ve possibly even spoken to a few useful contacts for the inside track on the company culture. All that stands between transforming you from prospective candidate to new appointee is approximately an hour or so of two-way conversation about your chosen specialist subject. As a reminder, that’s ‘you’. How well do you know yourself? In the interview setting at least, it suddenly feels like an overwhelmingly massive and complex topic.
We don’t mean to add to the pressure, but let’s assume that you’re unlikely to be the only candidate invited for interview. What you need to make sure of is that you are the knockout candidate. And, in fact, even if you are the only contender, you still have to compete with their very real option of offering nobody the position and continuing the search. Your goal is to land this job – your dream job. And so, by virtue of that, your goal is to present yourself – confidently and authentically – as their dream candidate. And you’ll know as well as us that you can’t wing that sort of thing.
There are so many factors that contribute to making this element of interview preparation so hard. Firstly, there’s a lot that you simply don’t know and can’t predict. What questions will they ask, and what, in their minds, does a great candidate actually look like? Who are you up against, and what are qualities and strengths are they bringing to the table? What structure and format will the interview take? And how much opportunity will you have to talk about the things that matter most to you?
Then there’s the opposite problem; all the things you do know. Too many things, in fact. Now, that brings us back to your chosen specialist subject- you. You’re the only person who has known you all your life, in every context. Your memory bank is packed full of details, ranging from the most trivial to the more serious and important. And, if interviews were composed of quickfire rounds of questions (Pencil or pen? Coffee or tea? Summer sun or winter break?) you’d ace it. But they’re not. Instead they’re full of the sorts of questions that delve a lot deeper into the real you- your core values, your true purpose, your work style preferences and personality traits, strengths and weaknesses. The sorts of questions that require some heavy introspection, soul searching and self-awareness, not to mention some evidence-based qualification.
Here at FindMyWhy, we know that pinpointing your strengths, core purpose and values can be a tricky process, not to mention articulating all of this succinctly in an interview context. We have created FindMyWhy, the personal purpose project, which starts as an online psychometric test and results in tailored reports that are relevant to you and where you are in life right now, both personally and professionally. You’ll find wording, phrases and keywords within the report that highlight your greatest strengths and your core values, in a way that authentically reflects who you are and why you shine. Once you’ve completed the online test, you’ll instantly receive access to bespoke toolkits and professional resources that are all geared to support you in making your career dreams a reality. All the resources are mobile and tablet friendly and are yours to keep forever so you can refer back to them at any point. FindMyWhy will help you to flourish, building your self-awareness as a confident, articulate and well-rounded individual.
At FindMyWhy we believe wholeheartedly in the value of self-reflection and the power of clarity. You are your chosen specialist subject – our goal is to help you answer everything your interviewer needs to know with the ease, confidence and authenticity that will make you stand out from any other candidate.