Tagged: interview prep

How To Frame Your Experience: An Article By Alan Carniol

Correct Way To Talk About Your Experience  Carniol

“I have 20 years of experience in…”
This is a phrase that means so much to you, your friends, your colleagues, and anyone else who understands the value of what you have to offer.
And it should — because 20 years is a long time.
Frankly, if you’relike many of the folks who read my Daily Success Boost newsletters, then, during those 20 years, you have amassed an incalculable amount of knowledge, specialist know-how, and hard-earned wisdom.
So, the words “20 years of experience” ought to have gravity.
Here’s the thing, though:
For an interviewer, or anyone else who doesn’t know you and doesn’t
understand thekind of conscientiousness your pour into your work, these words simply don’t mean a hoot. They have become meaningless.
Why?
Because they are thrown around by just about every mature candidate.
You need to give these words meaning, by spelling out in concrete terms why your experience makes you a superior candidate.
And there are three steps to doing this right:
First — You need to understand what the hiring manager is looking for in their dream candidate. What will he or she be expected to bring to the table?
Second — You need to sit down with a pen and paper, and make a list of all the tangible and intangible wins, achievements, and learning experiences that you racked up during all these years. Why is your experience
valuable?
Third — You need to put these two things together, and find specific wins, achievements, and learning experiences that demonstrate why hiring managers should see your experience as the valuable asset it is.
When you take the time to do this, then rather than saying, “I have 20 years of experience”, you can say something like the following instead:
“During the last 20 years, I have led teams through three separate mergers. While it is often a difficult time for everyone involved, I know from experience how to deal with many of the ‘people’ problems that are often overlooked, and make the transition as smooth as humanly possible for everyone.”
* * *
Now, if this seems like a difficult idea to apply in your particular field or career circumstances, don’t be dismayed. It’s probably easier than you think.
If you need help implementing Alan’s suggestions, lets take an hour to
go through the steps together. Be prepared the first time and every time you interview for a new job, a new role or a promotion.
Contact me at stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679

Tell Me About Yourself: Say This, Not That

One of the most frequently used opening questions in an interview is “Tell me about interview-panelyourself”?  It may sound like an invitation to explain how the nuns wacked your left hand so you would learn to write with your right one, but the interviewer has  a more limited objective in asking.

“Tell me” is an invitation to jump right in and explain how you are the perfect person for the job.  Since you have already researched the company, interviewer and the particulars of the position, you will be able to pair the requirements with your experience, knowledge and accomplishments for the most important items on the company’s list.

Focus on illustrating how you will add value in this role.   Use numbers whenever possible:

-Managed an office serving 200 customers per day

-Controlled a budget of $1million

-Cut costs by 20%

-Reduced time from concept to product by 15% by removing redundancies

-Increased output by 10% by cross-training workers

Next, mention your strengths such as motivating the team, time and resource management, or attention to detail.

Then add your knowledge of software, specific programs, or certifications pertinent to this job.

It sounds like a lot of information to get across but keep your answer as brief as possible and to the point.  Your response should take 2-3 minutes.

But isn’t this info on your resume?  Yes, it is but in back-to-back interviews its possible that your resume won’t be reviewed just before you walk in the door.  The written document will have detail and expand on your oral statement.

Craft your response before the interview and practice so that you look polished and professional in the interview.

For College Interviews

Practice is still your best asset in an interview.  Focus on what attracts you to this college and how the college will help you reach a goal.  Talk about something that isn’t on the application or isn’t detailed.  Do you take dance classes, practice yoga, are you becoming certified to teach martial arts?  College admissions folks love to hear about your passions, hobbies and interests!

interview-recording-717291_640Interview prep can make the difference between a so-so experience and a great, over-the-top interview.  I’d love to brainstorm answers to interview questions, practice with you and provide feedback.  stephanie@accessguidance.com or 610-212-6679