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So JUST SHUT UP!

Everyone wants to feel confident in an interview. Even if they can’t actually feel confident they want to appear  confident. And one of the ways you can do that is by shutting up!
You’re probably thinking.. ‘but I need to talk, purchase  to tell them my ideas and my experiences.. why would I shut up?’
You need to say your piece and then shut up. One of the things that confident people can do is cope with a bit of silence in a  conversation. Nervous people keep talking and keep repeating themselves and saying the same thing and go on and on and on. If you truly knew that you had given a spectacular answer you would stop, view pause to let the impact sink in, no rx sit back confidently and wait for the next question.
Many coaching clients come to me and tell me that they waffle in interviews and we work on techniques to help them stop the waffle.. so what’s the trick?

  • Be prepared to stop talking and allow a little silence.
  • Check when you have finished that the interviewer has heard enough and you have
    covered all the bases: ‘was that enough? .. does that cover it?’
  • Know exactly what your story is and then when you have said it shut up. If you are well prepared and know what you want to tell them before the interview you will feel more confident to stop talking, you will know that you have said it!
  • Watch the body language of the interviewer, that will help you know when they have heard enough and want to move on. If they start interrupting you.. that’s a dead give away.

It is not a case of ‘less is more’ in the interview, but it is a case of ‘enough is enough’. Just know when to stop!

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Navigating through the application

I often get asked about all the different bits of paperwork: “Yes, ambulance I know I need cover letter, pill  all the advice is that hiring managers  hate getting just a CV and nothing else  but what should it say?  And is it the same as a supporting statement and why do they need two things? And why if I have done a  CV do I any of that?”  Or if the adverts says “Please explain why you are applying for this vacancy and you feel your transferrable skills, order relevant experience and achievements match the competencies for this role. Please make reference to the job description. What do I do then?”  Recently I came across another  requirement: a two page autobiography saying what had driven you career and what you are proud of”

Yes, it’s a minefield and very confusing. And what should I send and if I am applying on line where do I put it?

Ok let’s think about it. What does the future employer want to know and how are they going to find it out? They want to do three main things:

  1. What experience have you got? And the more senior you are the more likely they will be looking for experience and someone who has already been successful in that sector and that sort of role. And they are going to find that out in a CV that is rich in achievements and examples of your success in just the things that they want you to do.
  2. What motivation have you got for this role? That is where your ‘cover letter’ comes into play. Your cover letter will tell them what interests you about the organisation, about the role, what the challenges are of the role and what makes you think that you can solve those challenges. The fact that you have thought about who they are, what challenges they face, what the job involves, all demonstrate that you are interested.
  3. What skills and competencies do you have that would make you suitable for them in this role? And here we are at the supporting statement, of the statement of suitability or whatever they have chosen to call it the ‘How I meet the person spec’ bit. But you may argue, surely that is all in the CV? They know I can lead, they know I can sell, they know I can open up new avenues of business… as my bullet points of achievements tell them that, my list of key skills (or motherhood words as I call them) tell them that. Well yes they may be able to infer your skills  form the Cv but not the style. They can’t tell how you achieved those things. And saying that you have financial skills is assertion not evidence. And in many sectors evidence is king and assertion is the fool outside the castle gate.

 

cover letter

So your Cv is a summary of your achievements and your cover letter is your demonstration of your  motivation and  statement demonstrates your competence. It is longer. It is the flesh on the bones of those achievements. It is the evidence of the skills and your style of achieving. It is the demonstration that you understand the processes that go into achieving those things and that your approach and style matches theirs.

So if you are asked for a CV… send a CV and a cover letter

If you are asked for a CV and cover letter, I think you should merge your cover letter and supporting statement into one document and send them that

If you are asked for a CV and supporting statement, I think you should send them the CV, the cover letter and the supporting statement

And if you are asked for an autobiography… get your thinking cap on… refer to my article on answering the interview question on ‘give us an overview of your career’ and tell them exactly what you need them to hear!

You need to answer those questions.  Once you know what they need to hear worry less about the format and get cracking on the superb content!.

 

pen

 

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