Tag: interviews

3D Juggling 613: Secret Service

There’s still time to email the office and book onto our telephone Masterclass on Powerful Questions at 5pm today – for anyone who has done some coach training.  And How to Be Heard at Work on 4th June still has spaces – if money is an issue, make us an offer!

Claire writes: “I have always loved that Monty Python sketch – Why do you want to join the Secret Service?   Which reminds me that why isn’t always a helpful question.  I can remember a friend telling me that he had got stuck in an early interview when they asked him why he wanted a job – and he couldn’t answer!  Often we don’t know why – and in selection – ‘What has happened to…’ or ‘what are the reasons…’ can often allow candidates to answer more easily.

In a coaching approach, we talk about the importance of curiosity – and yet curiosity can lead the questionner to learn a huge amount – and their companion to not learn anything new!  Because a questionning approach is not interrogation in the style of Monty Python, and it’s not problem solving.  A coaching approach needs us to ask questions to help the other learn.  Senge talks about suspending our view – and simply listening – because that is where creativity happens. Takes practice!”

© 2013 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 611: Out Of Body Experience

Welcome to all our new readers this week – we’ve met a whole bunch of lovely people who have signed up in the last few weeks. Hot off the press, there will be a Team Coaching Masterclass in Milton Keynes on 4th July.  Alan and Claire will be unpacking some of the interesting things about working with teams.

Claire writes: “There’s a lot of change going on and we are meeting an increasing number of people who are looking to change jobs and finding the interview process a challenging thing to navigate.  If you have been brought up with humility as a value, an interview can feel like a shameless exercise in self promotion.  The conflict that this creates in people means that some people take their body to the interview and leave the real self outside the door – like an out of body experience.  The same can happen with introverts who are only just arriving as the interview is ending – and who come up with the best answers out of everyone – two days after the decision has been made.

What can be done?  Firstly, it’s a mindset.  It doesn’t have to be self promotion but if you can’t describe how you do what you do, no one else will speak for you.  Secondly, good preparation and identifying stories that demonstrate that can really make a difference.  It’s worth thinking through what evidence the panel is looking for and noting key words that will remind you what story might illustrate that.  If you can answer with an example and then say what happened you will find that it feels less arrogant.  Often people we work with jot down names of people to help them remember their stories.  Then instead of going in alone, you will be going to the interview with a cloud of witnesses who will help you describe how you do what you do.  Because in the end, although the panel are looking to see that you match the person profile, almost every candidate will.  They will probably appoint on what’s different and your stories will help them see what that is.”

© 2013 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

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3D Juggling 588: Vulnerability and Courage

Claire writes: “We got some great feedback on how much you connected to Theodore Roosevelt’s comments about it being OK to fail when we dare greatly.

I’ve been running a couple of sessions this week for people engaging in the application process to find new roles.  The way questions are asked compunded with social pressure may make us feel that we have to be full of great examples of success.  Great evidence also comes from talking about what we learn when we fail.  Guy Stagg writes that in the USA,’ the most enterprising country in the world is built not just on aspiration, but on failing with maximum efficiency.

All that raises a big question: What would be possible if we were more honest about vulnerability as well as success in selection?  And how will that be received by organisations and interviewers?

Over 12 years, Brene Brown took 11000 pieces of data and found that there was not a single example of courage that didn’t include vulnerability.  She says “Vulnerability is not weakness. It is our most accurate measure of courage.”

Are we courageous enough? Think about it…?”  We’d love to hear what you think – please join the discussion on www.3dcoaching.com/blog

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 578: Disfluency

Claire writes:  “When we were writing the Great Appointments book, Su and I invented the word disfluency.  We notice that really good and competent professionals are disfluent when it comes to talking about themselves and their skills and experience in an interview or assesment centre.

If you can’t describe yourself, the interviewers will not have enough information to be able to decid whether you are the right person for the role.

Here are some tips

  • Prepare your data on yourself as much as you research the data on them.  And then make the connections between the two
  • Make sure that you use a voice where you are confident – people are often fluent and articulate in meetings or presentations or in a public arena and inarticulate talking about themselves.
  • Stand in the role you are being interviewed for when you answer so that you are using their language and making the connections from your story into their context so that they can imagine what it will be like to have you in role.

Disfluency, unexplored will mean that they don’t meet the real you.  Think about it…”

If you want some help preparing for interview, give us a call on 01462 483798.

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 532: What They Don’t Tell You

Claire writes: ‘It must be the season for job applications because we have been doing plenty of interview coaching lately. You may have seen the article in last week’s Church Times about just one of the courses we ran this month.

By the time you get to interview, all the candidates will meet the person profile, more or less.  The job of the application form/ CV is to give enough evidence of how you meet the job spec, why you want to work for them and why they want to appoint you – so that you get on the short list.  I am looking over a form this morning which gives great data about ‘why I would like to do a job like that in any organisation’ but fails to address the question – why I want THIS job with YOU.

What the interviewers want to know on the day is whether their hunch that you fit the profile is correct and then what else you bring? What will you bring to the role that the other candidates don’t?  You need to know your added value and to be able to clearly communicate it – even if – or especially when – you are an internal candidate.  What’s your added value? Think about it…’

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

Top Interview Tips

1 Give evidence
2 Give evidence
3 Give evidence

Eg This is how I do that. Here is an example and this was the outcome…

Evidence means there is no spin.  And it can be easier to talk about something that has happened than simply to talk about yourself.  Being interviewed well has no spin.  But it means that the interviewers will know why you are the right person to appoint.  Or why not!

You only get one chance at an interview.  Talk to us about interview coaching if you would value some good preparation.

3D Juggling 483: The Hand of Clod

Jane writes: ‘Whether you love football, hate it or just don’t care about it, you must have heard about England’s performance at the World Cup last week. Robert Green became the most talked about footballer in England – for all the wrong reasons. He made what has been described as a ‘calamitous’ error in the 40th minute of the World Cup match that left England to settle for a 1-1 draw with the USA.

Have you noticed how easy it is to focus on the negative?  I see this happening all the time in organisations, and it often happens in families as well. How often do you hear people saying things like ‘he made a real mess of that’, or ‘they tried this before and it didn’t work’?  How differently might people feel if they heard statements like ‘that didn’t go well but he had a really good idea there, and with a bit of help would be able to develop a powerful message’, or ‘we tried doing this before and it didn’t work, how can we make it work this time?’

The most helpful quote I read in response to Robert’s calamity was from Sandra Wheatley, a psychologist. She said ‘There is a big difference between those of us who succeed in life and those of us who don’t. Those who thrive are good at coming to terms with failure and changing their behaviour.’
When we acknowledge mistakes and failures we acknowledge that we are human, and not perfect. When we focus on the future, and how we can change our behaviour so that we get different results, we feel better about ourselves and the world we live in.

This is worth remembering when you attend a job interview. Wouldn’t it be useful to your prospective employer to know that you can cope with mistakes because they hear you describe how you recovered, what you learned and how you are applying this learning to new situations? This tells the story about someone who is honest, understands the impact of their behaviour, and is continually improving their performance.

Robert shouldn’t feel too despondent.  Brand experts have said that his future could be bright if he follows in the path of Gareth Southgate, Chris Waddle and Stuart Pearce by capitalising on his misfortune. They all missed crucial penalty goals in international tournament clashes and appeared together in a Pizza Hut advert where Southgate takes a bite of his pizza while hiding under a paper bag with holes cut out for the eyes. Anyone who has experienced a Career Makeover with will recognise this as an excellent example of recognising core skills and developing new options around them!

Who can you help to come to terms with failure and change their behaviour? How can we help you to help them?’

Love this? If you need some help in your organisation to help people bring about behavioural change, come out for a cup of coffee with us to talk about how we can help you.  We’ll pay!

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 478: Finding the right story

Jane writes: “Imagine that you’ve done all the hard work needed to present a winning job application, and you’re getting ready for that all important interview. What are you thinking about? Maybe what to wear, how to get there on time, what they might ask, and what your answers could be.

Maybe you could think about the stories you will tell. Not lies, or exaggerated truths, but stories about real things you have done. When we talk about things that have meaning for us and that we own we are authentic, and this is visible to others. And as it will be the real you that goes to work for them, it makes sense to offer this to them from the start. When you offer them something else, maybe what you think they are looking for, you may end up in a job that you can’t do or a place where you don’t fit very comfortably, and either of these things can make you unhappy, or even ill.

So, how do you find your stories?

Start by looking at the information you have about the job – the job description, person specification, competency framework. Look at what you have found out about the organisation – its values, activities, contribution. What do these tell you that they are looking for? Make a list of the five or six most critical things you find. If you’re not sure what these are ask someone else to help you to identify them, or put all the information to one side and listen to yourself – you probably know.

Then ask yourself ‘What is my best evidence for each of these?’ The answers will be your stories, the things you have done that demonstrate that you have the skills and experience that they are looking for.

One of my clients identified that her interviewers would be looking for evidence that she could deal with conflict. At first she didn’t think she had a story, so we explored what conflict might look like and times when she had witnessed or experienced something that looked like this and done something about it. Start your story with a brief description of the situation. What was happening?

Then we explored what she could have done in that situation – her options. The next step was to describe what she actually did – the action she took. We followed this up by clarifying what happened next, and what the final outcome was. And that provides the structure for your stories: situation, options, action, response and result. And use lots of ‘I’, not ‘we’. This will happen comfortably when you are telling your own story.

Through this approach my client found a powerful story that she hadn’t realised she had. You may need to find several stories before you’re happy that you have one that is relevant, safe and powerful for each critical thing the interviewer may be looking for. Choose your best one for each, then practice telling them until you can tell each one with confidence in a few minutes. You don’t want to tell stories so long that the interviewer falls asleep.

And don’t forget that a job interview works both ways – you are assessing them as well. What are you going to ask them?

We’d be happy to help you find your stories, and your questions.”

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who has an interview coming up.

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com