Having an interview can be an anxiety inducing experience. What will they think of you? Will you say the right things? Are you dressed appropriately? Will they like you? Unfortunately, we forget that an interview is just a conversation. It is a conversation to help people on two sides determine if they make a good fit. There can be lots of pressure to do well on an interview, however, you’ll likely do your best if you’re feeling calm, confident and comfortable in your own skin. Anxiety, fear and self-doubt will only help sabotage a real opportunity to shine.
1) Remember who you are. It’s difficult to remember everything on your resume and even more difficult to remember years worth of accomplishments at the drop of a hat. Review your path of success, whatever it may be, and be ready to speak about your path to success, present and future.
2) Remember what you have to offer. Be confident in yourself. If you don’t believe what you’re saying, why should they? Reviewing your past history and history of accomplishments will help bolster your self-confidence and help them feed off of your confidence. The more naturally you convey your ideas, beliefs and vision to an interviewer, the better the conversation will go. It’s about being natural and familiar with the ideas you wish to share with others.
3) Practice makes perfect. Practice answering the “Why?” and the “What?”. If you can answer “Why should we consider you?” and “What can you bring to the table?” then you’re ready for every question they can ask. Use every interview as an opportunity to get better at interviewing.
4) Practice good observation skills. It’s a conversation. Listen. Watch. Get a sense for the people interviewing you. Don’t be afraid about your ability to “Wow” them. Instead, get a sense about whether they are a good fit for you. You don’t know them and they don’t know you. They are also people, so be present like you would during any conversation.
5) Interviews serve a mutual purpose. It is just as important for you to determine if the organization fits you as it is to figure out if you’re good for them. A good match will lead to chemistry, harmony and the benefits of great compatibility. To be successful, you’re going to want to make sure that you enjoy rubbing elbows with the people across the table from you.
Remember to focus on the “big picture”. No matter the purpose for your interview, all you need is one person to say “yes”. You’ll get that if you keep trying, are preparing as best as you can, and continue learning from each opportunity. Each interview will bring you closer to your ultimate goal. Enjoy the process and remember the many things you bring to the table. Whether you’re a teenager or a 60-year-old recently laid off by the company you served for thirty years, interviews are an opportunity to highlight your strengths and build professional relationships.
September 10, 2012 30 Second Success Strategies: Opportunity through rapport, trust and communication.
Let’s face it. Most people enjoy challenges that keep them moving, growing and having worthwhile experiences. People who perform at a high level have a great appetite to learn, perform and meet the next challenge. So what to do if you feel your movement is stalling?
Every job should have a job description or a Key Results Areas (KRA) description that pins down what is expected of you. From that, you can challenge yourself to go above and beyond what is expected. You can work on providing successful daily results. However, there comes a point where the job description has become stale. Maybe you’ve grown and are no longer challenged by what is expected but now do not know HOW to take the next step in your development. When you get to this point, it is time to talk to your employer about the next challenge ahead.
Every employer wants their team to lead and do well. Employers want people to fulfill their obligations and make significant contributions to the organization. Unfortunately, it does not imply that we are always encouraged or capable of getting a promotion. During tough economic times, people hold on to jobs longer and longer. Organizations are also equally unable to expand because resources are tight and the particular market you serve may not be experiencing much growth. However, don’t let that discourage you. There is tremendous opportunity and the following 30 Second Success Strategies may give you the right approach to clue your employer into your needs while keeping an eye on the organization’s welfare.
1) Document, track and compile and convey information that demonstrates how you are contributing to the organization. Ask for face time. Build the relationship and trust. Come to the table prepared to talk about your success and leadership. Don’t always assume your supervisor has a finger on your pulse. In fact, your awareness of your supervisor’s personality and workplace tendencies should influence your approach. Do they like a lot of detail? Would they prefer you leaving information for them to review? Will they force you to speak on the way to the elevator? Whatever it is you have to share, learn to adapt and meet their needs.
2) Review what is expected of you. Sit down with your supervisor and demonstrate how you have already surpassed what is expected and that you are ready for a fresh, more ambitious perspective on what responsibilities and opportunities your position requires. They may rely upon your insight and feedback to connect the pieces of the puzzle and brainstorm great ideas for you to continue growing and learning. You’ve most likely already created a vision of where you would like to go with your position, so ask to share it. Share how you see your position evolving. Again, come prepared to discuss your ideas with the organization’s welfare being front of mind. If something you pitch is good for the organization, then there will be fewer obstacles in your way. If your proposal is critical in meeting the organization’s goals, then you may find a lot of support for your ideas.
3) Share your observations of what tools and leadership would make your position more effective. You may possibly be better acquainted with the day-to-day needs and demands of your position than your supervisor. Sharing information about what is needed to make your position most effective may help organizational leaders who are stretched thin or busy putting out fires. In fact, the light you help shed on what NEEDS to be done WILL result in several benefits for you and the organization. Your insight is extremely valuable and can make the job of others around you better, so don’t be shy.
4) Share your observations of how learning and professional development opportunities would enhance your ability to contribute. Smart organizations and intelligent leaders value good personnel and want to gain their loyalty and keep them happy. If you have good rapport with your supervisor, inform them of opportunities you believe are critical in helping advance your skills to the next level. Brainstorm with them how continued investment in you, whether it take the form of money, flexibility or something else would heighten your skill level and contribution.
5) Ask about their “no limits” vision for you and the position. Give them the opportunity to collect their thoughts and think about the goals and hopes they see for your position, you and even themselves. If you’re a leader and good team worker, they will likely associate how your success translates into their own accomplishment. There is nothing wrong in sharing commitment to winning. This exercise may get them to think out of the box, or at least without the limitations that guide the day-to-day work. While putting these ideas into practice may not all work out, some things will stick and become very real.
I hope you enjoyed the 30 Second Success Strategies to help you open the discussion about what else you can do to benefit your organization and help you continue moving forward. Remember that you have great value and a lot to offer. Go for what you believe is just and with an open mind to discuss, collaborate and lead. Good luck! I’d love to hear about your stories related to this blog!
Ever found yourself sitting at your desk not knowing if you’re in the right position for you? I think most people do find themselves in such a dilemma and it can be quite uncomfortable. On the one hand, you are weighing the risk of leaving your position. On the other hand, the promise of unknown opportunity is difficult to pass up. As you create the endless checklist of “pros” and “cons”, let’s think about what’s really happening.
Identify what issue, problem, experience and moment in time first led you to contemplate leaving your position.
I believe the internal struggle is about a need to satisfy certain desires, such as having greater influence or control. Wanting greater power or control is never a bad thing. Such a desire conveys a desire for greater leadership, influence and accountability. However, while you may be struggling between a difficult decision to stay or leave, the answer may be far more simple. It is of critical importance that you first make sure you have the right attitude. What are your beliefs about the position? Are you “too good” for it? Is the position not quite where you imagined you’d be at this point in your career? At this point in your life?
Explore the internal beliefs or automatic thoughts that guide the uncomfortable struggle to leave or do something impulsive.
If your employer has provided you with a thorough job description and desired outcomes, then you should know from day one whether you and the job are a good match. If that’s not the case, then plan on when to walk away. It’s sometimes hard to do that when you need a job or are looking for stability, but your compatibility with your job is just as important as your compatibility with your mate. After all, you’re going to spend a great portion of your life there and your dissatisfaction will become increasingly more difficult to hide. If you’re uncertain about whether you should stay or go, consider the following Key Attitude Evaluation Areas:
1. If I like what I see in my job description and what is expected of me, then am I doing my best to meet my employer’s expectations? Am I earning my compensation and benefits?
2. If I am comfortable working with my particular colleagues and serving our particular clientele, then am I providing the best internal and external customer service possible? Am I making the organization better for everyone around me?
3. If I believe that this job is only a short-term proposition, how do I believe it will contribute to my personal and professional development? Am I making the most of the intangible benefits of working in this position or within this organization?
Based on your answers, you have a choice to make. If you can’t change or are unwilling to try, then you will have to leave, which will be good for you and your current organization. Your employer cannot be a mind reader and is not responsible for motivating you. Before you believe the job has failed you, make sure you have done everything to serve your employer and honor the opportunity you have available. If you realize that you could still do more to make the most of the opportunity, then give it a shot and be aware of how the rewards and benefits reveal themselves.
Reflect on the emotions and physical cues you experience during this time of stress and uncertainty. Let them guide you in understanding what is happening and what you need to do.
If you are confident that you are doing your very best and fulfilling your role, then that requires a different step which involves talking to your employer. We will look into that on the next 30 Second Success Strategies. However, first look at yourself and pay attention to the connection between the events of your life, the automatic thoughts and beliefs you hold and the resulting feelings and emotions. The greater awareness you develop, the more grounded you will feel and the more confidence you will gain in deciding how to navigate your career.
Do yourself a favor and answer the following questions…
Would learning how to take better care of yourself help you feel better and be more successful? How would your team benefit from improved focus and communication?
Have you put off major goals for “tomorrow’ that would contribute to your success? How about the success of the team you lead?
Are you a young adult, or young professional, looking to improve upon your leadership skills?
Would you like to begin living a life filled with gratitude and learn how to ride the wave of team leadership successfully?
I am a genuine, intelligent and compassionate coach dedicated to building positive communities by working with motivated individuals interested in living their purpose, giving back to those around them, leading at high levels and living a high quality of life. I focus on helping leaders within organizations learn new skills and make the most of existing organizational strengths.
My name is Aurelio, a Life Skills, Leadership and Professional Performance Coach, and I have launched Core Positive Coaching & Consulting, LLC. I do not provide counseling or therapy. What I do is help professionals learn how to make the most of their strengths, their team and current circumstances. While I am not taking clients at this time, please do check my blog and let me know if there is anything that seems particularly interesting.
Interested in learning more? If so, follow my website, blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds to learn what I have to offer.
Looking forward to the journey!
Aurelio Duarte-Encinas, MC
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Tags: Aurelio Duarte-Encinas, Coaching, Facebook, Health, Leadership, Life Coaching, Organizational Leadership, Personal development, Personal Leadership, Quality of life, Resources, Twitter, Wellness, Winston Churchill, Work-life balance
Everything we do for one reason or another.
Nothing we do is in a vacuum. The reasons vary, but there are several factors that drive our actions and decisions. The relationships in our life can be among the most influential factors, both for good and for bad. In addition, we can play quite the antagonist in our very own starring
role and keep ourselves from taking action towards the goals we desire
The messages we receive from others, whether intentional or not, can affect us in many ways. In fact, they can also prove challenging as we become adults and begin to develop our own path. Relationships can be highly positive, constructive and rewarding, but even still, we have to separate what we want out of life from what others want for us.
Sometimes we can even catch ourselves casting doubt on our abilities. There are other times when we don’t have any idea about the antagonist taking control.
Given the fact that this is your life, a life you may share with others but are wholly responsible for, here are a few strategies in helping you make the most of it!
1. Imagine that you had a conversation with the bravest and most courageous version of yourself. What would this version of you tell you? What questions would you be curious to ask? What do you notice in common between the two of you?
2. Be kind to yourself. We make mistakes. We disappoint people, including ourselves. Recognize and appreciate your true self–faults and all. You are far from perfect, but you are you! There are people who care and appreciate you because of the entire package you represent. Most importantly, you must think of all the things you love about yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. Learn and grow.
3. Be fair to yourself. No one ever reaches their destination without taking a turn somewhere along the way. We all come up short somewhere, somehow and with someone. However, there is always time and opportunity to correct our course. Your shortcomings now could lay the path for growth. Think about how the twists and turns of your life have benefited you?
4. What makes up the foundation for your goals and dreams? Write down the words, images, and emotions that come up in your mind. Imagine yourself living your dreams as if you were there or had accomplished the major task.
5. Hold strong to your convictions. When you feel good about what you are doing, you will feel it. Begin going against the things that are most important to you and you will soon regret it. Listen to that feeling or little voice and feed as much as possible. The more you hold strong to your conviction, the easier the path will become and the further ahead you’ll get.
6. Positive affirmations. Remind yourself of the many good things you do, the success you’ve had and the many other things you are thankful for. Remember that it is important to see the world as it is, with many options and possibilities. There may not ever be just one, singular best path, but many, instead. In combining you as a variable, along with the ride life provides, there is no telling the many great places it will take you.
7. Are the goals alive or dead? Things change with time, including people and their wants and desires. How about your goals? Did you once really want to be a doctor, but learned in college that it was really your parents who wanted you to be a doctor and you who wanted to make them happy? Did you really want to learn Chinese last year, but have since realized that you’ll likely never practice it and there are better things you can do with your time and money? It’s okay for goals to come and go. What’s not okay is for you to stop having goals altogether and for them to reflect who you are today.
What lessons have you learned about life and the mastery of allowing goals to evolve along with you? How have you learned to push for YOUR goals?
The Failure of Merely Following Rules
All too often people are commended for following the rules. However, there are times when merely following the rules is not good enough. Frankly, sometimes just following the rules leads to failure.
Rules and laws guide people in understanding the minimal standard required to maintain order and preserve peace. However, I would argue that the case at Penn St. University illustrates the profound gap between exercising high standards in following policies and procedures and that of being a highly ethical leader.
- The ethical leader is the one who will go above and beyond the call of duty, even if inconvenient, for what is right.
- The ethical leader is the one who will put the organization and others first when a void exists between doing what is best and what is merely acceptable.
I do not seek to debate the actions of what happened at Penn St. Instead, I pose the questions:
What things of little or great significance slip between the cracks in your organization? How many times have people in your organization failed to seize the true opportunity of applying the highest level of ethics in doing what is right, choosing instead to do what is required? What is the consequence of this to you and your clients?
These questions are meant to open your eyes to the opportunities you face every day to set yourself, your team and your organization apart from the rest. This is the opportunity to instill in others the desire to do what is RIGHT, instead of what is ASKED. So how do we close that gap?
1. Be transparent. Communicate. Live and breathe the organization’s values and principles. Help them realize that their job is important. Help them see why their job matters and how it affects the people you serve. Even though you may not be dealing with life or death issues, your team has been intentionally selected to contribute to the success of a shared family and those they serve.
2. Be firm. Make it clear that you expect excellence from them. Demand excellence in character and work ethic. Nothing is greater than the organization’s vision, mission and values. The more you demand excellence, the more they will benefit from being in a positive environment. They not only produce for the organization, but they represent the organization in every point of contact. It’s not excellence for the sake of it. It’s not excellence for the purpose of making you look good or inflating your ego. Demand excellence because you know that they are capable of producing excellence and your clients deserve it!
3. Be present with them. Be visible. Have your team leaders be present. The way you treat them is how your team will treat others. Rapport works magic with your clients and equally goes a long way with your staff. Exude the organization’s values in your work and your team will believe that it can be done.
4. Be consistent. Excellence has the ability to take place at any given moment. In the broader scheme, excellence occurs after the successful execution of tens, hundreds and thousands of miniscule, intentional and purposeful actions. Live it and exemplify it in your own actions. Realize the gain from it in your own life and they will follow.
5. Be generous and accountable. Give praise. Give feedback. Give the opportunity for others to be accountable. Give the opportunity for people to save face, get back up and find a way to succeed. Build them up along the way and they will value your contribution to their personal and professional development. You’re not just keeping people busy, you’re on a mission to help people learn how to live and be successful.
Following high standards is as much about the quality of the people you hire, as it is about the organization’s culture. Be aware and guide your organization into the path you choose your employees to follow.
It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.
Tags: Aurelio Duarte-Encinas, Business Ethics, Core Positive Coaching & Consulting, Employment, Ethics, Excellence, Organization, Personal development, Rules in business, Value (personal and cultural)
You possess many gifts and blessings.
You are a gift to the world around you.
You are capable of doing many great things in this world if you allow yourself.
You already do many wonderful things for people without knowing it.
You should believe in the best of world around you.
You should allow yourself to see the light within you.
Remember that you are just like the world around you; flawed, imperfect and capable of numerous wonders on a daily basis.