So you’ve spotted your dream job and means of escape from a current monotonous, mundane and unfulfilling job role but your barrier to application is the natural insecurity you may feel based on that precise criteria provided in the job description. In relation to securing the desired job, the saying ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it’ couldn’t ring truer and I believe that if you truly want something in life that is within your reach, go after that goal and don’t let it slip away (within reason), otherwise the feeling of regret will sneak in, questioning your own expectations and open up a host of inner conflicts – no bad thing if you’re ready to deal with them. So, if you’ve got your eye on a new role, here are 5 top keys to get the job you want and give you the best possible chance of success!
It can be daunting to examine a job position you’ve got your heart set on and feel restricted if you miss the criteria by one single point. Of course, if the role is for a surgeon or scientist for example, qualifications, proficiency and knowledge of that industry are a must in order to be considered, otherwise there would be some dangerous consequences. On the other hand, the position may specify a degree that you don’t have, do you shy away? If you have years of experience and are confident in your ability, is there any harm in applying? The worst outcome is that you’re told you’ve been ‘unsuccessful on this occasion’ so what have you really got to lose? The answer is only time and some effort, which is actually an investment if you take on the feedback.
Although simple, one thing my parents always said to me as a youngster was ‘how do you know the outcome, if you never ask?’ I have never forgotten that question and it resonates with me throughout life.
The majority of people have dreams of winning the elusive lottery jackpot, this would solve many financial problems, provide financial security and give the freedom to explore multiple opportunities whilst living a life envied by those who prioritise materialistic items in life over wanting to make a positive difference to people less fortunate than themselves, I confess I’m of the latter persuasion.
When researching the job you desire, analysing your strengths and weaknesses is crucial. You need to know what you can bring to the company to benefit them; enabling you to recognise why YOU are the ideal candidate the company has been searching for. Whatever the role may be, divide a piece of paper (with a line down the middle) in two, on the left, write down your strengths and on the right, your weaknesses and then tally up the numbers. If the strengths outweigh the weaknesses for the position, this will give you the clear, positive reinforcement you need to proceed!
2. Cover letter + CV
Once you’ve assessed your capabilities, it’s time to apply! The recruiter is probably receiving hundreds of applications for the role, what makes you stand out from the crowd? Of course, it should be your cover letter and CV! Although obvious, how you introduce yourself in writing could give you the edge over other candidates. Your CV must be clear and concise with all the relevant information related to the role highlighted in bold, you must catch the recruiter’s eye for the ultimate advantage and therefore success. In my opinion, the cover letter is just as important, if not more so. A generic, mediocre letter will NOT grip the attention of the recruiter so expressing why you suit their company and expanding on your passion is more likely to show that you’re willing to go the extra mile, and this will often be repaid by an interview offer. As well as listing your skills, admit to areas you’d like to learn more about (NEVER class them as weaknesses) as this shows your willingness to develop as a professional, embrace new challenges and find your place in their company as a necessary piece of the company’s jigsaw puzzle.
As a side note, if you’re local, why not pop in and introduce yourself? If employers can put a physical face to a CV, automatically you’ll come to mind and if they like your approach and the way you carry yourself, 9 times out of 10, you’ll get your interview!
3. Mental preparation
The interview date is set. What to do now? Research and visualise! This is normally expected but delve deeper and research online about the company, when they began (history), what services they provide etc. (Homework goes further than just help you become teacher’s pet in school!) If you know about the company and are already an expert in your industry, interviewers may still want to throw a few curve balls at you to test your adaptability in the current marketplace with its changing trends. Confident and prepared, you’ll naturally feel more comfortable and confident in answering the majority of their questions, so you can focus on why the job will work for your own career and life goals as well.
Another vital element is visualisation. Even days before the actual interview takes place, firmly imagine yourself in the job role excelling and enjoying your own progress in your field whilst being willing to become first class by rapidly absorbing the extra knowledge needed to remain in the top 5%. As an employee, see this as another opportunity to work in a new setting (place and people) doing what you’re good at appreciating the variation without being arrogant; competence and results are key, remaining humble is the master secret.
4. Punctuality, manners and body language
So, you’ve made it to the interview stage (well done) and today is the day! As you know, anticipation and nerves are natural prior to a big interview, physical exercise will certainly help to alleviate your tension boosting your mood thanks to the flood of endorphins releasing from your brain and into your body after an effective workout!
Whatever you enjoy, whether it’s a short-burst intense weightlifting workout, playing tennis, taking part in a Zumba class or going swimming, do it before your interview takes place – you’ll thank yourself for it later. The exercise will also aid in removing any lingering self-doubt or negative thought patterns and put you in the correct frame of mind to ‘go get em’ tiger! (Remember “Eye of the Tiger”? Here are some themes to get you inspired!) After a good sweat, cleanliness is addressed and dressing ‘up to the nines’ is bound to impress – half the battle has already been won psychologically before you’ve even taken a step into the interview room.
Punctuality is always a good start and arriving 15 minutes early will show the employer they can rely on you as a professional -it also allows you more time to calm your nerves, take some deep breaths, slow your heart rate and focus your approach for the conversation ahead. As the interviewer opens the door, greet him or her with a smile, making solid eye contact and shaking their hand with purpose (there is no doubt I am the person for the job) will build physiological rapport and trust and also gives the impression that you’re a confident person with impeccable integrity.
Contrarily, you’re likely to feel nervous if your head is down and eye contact is missed, the interviewer will sense that you’re questioning your own ability and therefore lack the attributes needed to be a player on their team; the same principle applies when an animal senses fear in you, if prolonged, the outcome isn’t usually a good one.
The bottom line is that if you don’t believe in yourself, you cannot expect the employer to unless they can somehow sense your hidden potential.
When answering questions, take your time and always think before you speak, it will pay dividends. An interview is 50/50 so ask the employer questions to clarify interest and another idea is to ask the interviewer a question about themselves: what their passion is or why they got involved in the industry in the first place etc. This personable approach will help you to firmly establish whether or not you share the same values and if their company is right for you.
As the interview comes to a close, revert back to step one; smile, eye contact and handshake. Thank them for their time, they took time out of their day to consider you over a plenitude of candidates that applied. And they gave you the opportunity to ‘step up to the plate’ to show them that you are the person they need! Good manners, character and conduct still go a long way in this day and age, as does self-respect.
5. Follow up email and thank you message
On the commute or ride home, you may be filled with enthusiasm and a warm buzz of satisfaction (if it went positively of course; we tend to know when it went well and when it did not). Before hopes rise too soon, control those emotions and then send one follow up email to reinforce the commitment you have for the position and to the company. A simple email conveying gratitude for their consideration in the first place, how it was a pleasure to meet them as well as wishing them a pleasant day could be the final ‘cherry on top’ of the interview sundae; let’s hope the company have a sweet tooth!
Sometimes, we are not successful, and it can be disheartening (the same feeling you experience when being turned down by your romantic crush or being put in the ‘friend’ zone), however it’s important not to dwell on it too much as it may not actually be the path you’re destined for, there are better things in store for you! Just keep learning something new every day and searching – don’t worry, the right opportunity will soon reveal itself.
By following these principles, you can always thank yourself knowing that you’ve done everything you can to stack success in your favour; 90% of the time, YOU WILL get that job you want -so good luck and go ahead, create your luck in 2018! Looking forward to a new job, starting a business or making some other change? Let us know below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! (Want more inspiration? We’ve got your back, check these out! )