Let’s face it. Whether you are looking to become the next VP of Marketing at Thecompany.com, or the newest programmer at your dream computer company, interviewing for any new job pretty much stinks. Sure, it can be an exciting time, but the actual interview itself is stressful, awkward and usually something you would rather just avoid.
We all approach looking for work with a weird mix of excitement and anxiety. It is a challenge that leaves us feeling not quite in control of the result. Why, because we’re not in control because ultimately the decision to hire is in the hands of others. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some control as well.
There are certain truths about every interview. First, you will always be the novice in an interview. The person doing the interview may come off as a “good old boy” who isn’t very good at these “interview things”, but rest assured they know more about how to interview you than you do about how to be interviewed.
Second, recent research on over 40,000 workers reveals that you are naturally at a disadvantage in the interview process. According to a 2004-2005 study, the average person is only 59% accurate at assessing their own strengths and weaknesses but is 89% accurate when it comes to understanding the abilities of others.
Finally, a recent poll of 1,300 hiring managers showed that level or preparation for the actual interview is now just as significant as are your history, resume and experience combined. What constitutes preparation, however, has changed. It doesn’t just mean a clean resume and well pressed suit anymore. As companies become more sophisticated in their hiring techniques more emphasis is being placed on qualifying a candidate’s “soft skills” (e.g., thinking styles, natural talents, attitudes, etc.). If today’s employers are paying more attention to your soft skills, you should be too.
Behavioral Interviewing 101
One of those important soft skills is understanding how to communicate with the interviewer. How you present information may completely resonate with certain styles and completely alienate others. The trick is to be able to understand which kind of behavioral style your interviewer has, then tailor your communications to that style.
According to one of the most accepted behavioral theory in the world, created by Harvard researcher William Marston, there are four primary types of behavior: Dominance, Influencing, Steadiness and Compliance. This DISC Behavioral theory argues that each of us has all four of these dimensions, but we also each develop our own unique preference for using them – our own behavioral style.
Here’s a short course on how to identify the behavioral style of your interviewer and how that affects your interview with them.
For the full story go here (Behavioral Interviewing Guide Genius File #6)
Question for you. If three frogs are sitting on a log and one decides to jump off, how many frogs are left? The answer is; three, because deciding to jump and actually jumping are two totally different things. From time to time I run into a client who has taken the first step (in their head) of deciding to change their lives in one way or another, but one of the hardest things for some people to do is actually take real action. It’s one thing to decide to do something, but quite another to actually do it.
In order to unleash your Genius you must take action. You must leave your comfort zone and you must change your role to make it more authentic to your natural talents.
Tom Peters has a great quote that goes something like, “There’s a great strategic plan – it’s called DO SOMETHING.”
Go do something about becoming more authentic!
Previously I’ve talked a lot about the negative effects of a workplace filled with outdated beliefs about how best to manage people. My argument has been that a great deal of these beliefs are legacies left over from the industrial era, where most people were manual workers, not the knowledge workers we find occupying most offices today.
There is a whole host of problems associated with such outdated management beliefs, the most immediate being decreased performance and job satisfaction. The more disconcerting part of being mismanaged like this, however, is what it does to the individual beyond just limiting performance.
The stress caused by these workplaces starts with a lack of performance and on top of that you can add: self-doubt, job insecurity, uncertainty, lack of faith in leadership and reduced passion and enjoyment for the work.
Overall, being mismanaged is stressful, and I don’t mean healthy stress (eustress). I mean harmful stress (distress). And when you look at what modern medicine is just now learning about the impact of stress on the human body (let alone psyche), the effects are startling. Go here to read the whole starling truth (Genius file #8)