By Liam Horan, Career Coach & Managing Director, Sli Nua Careers
Q: I turned up an hour early for the second interview. I sat in the car park and, lo and behold, I saw a man I know on the way out. He was going for it too: and he’s good. It threw me, I have to say. Rattled my confidence. I didn’t do myself justice in the interview. I didn’t get the job. Neither did he,as it happens. (DD, email)
A: That’s fascinating. You need to be bullet proof on the day of the interview. I tell clients to prepare for all sorts of eventualities, and, indeed, I have heard similar stories from candidates who got knocked out of their stride by spotting the opposition. My approach would be always presume the opposition will be top class. Expect them to be totally on top of their brief and to have long records of success.
This approach will force you to go to the highest point you can. It will make you do more preparation beforehand, and it will give you the push you need to really hammer home the key points you wish to make in the interview.
Expecting the opposition to be top-class is not tantamount to accepting defeat before you even start – quite the opposite. You should be equally confident that while others are bringing a lot to the table, you can bring more. If you don’t have that level of belief in yourself, why should the company put their faith in you? Don’t be the boxer who complained that he was “doing grand until the other fellow hit me”. The‘other fellow’ will hit you: what matters is your capacity to impose your knowledge, experience and desire on the interview.
The fact that the candidate you spied in the car park didn’t get the job must have been a real blow to you. You got distracted, plain and simple: if you were bullet-proof, as I said above, you would have simply reminded yourself that “yes, I knew the opposition would be top class, so this doesn’t surprise me” and gone in there undiminished.
Liam Horan is Managing Director of Sli Nua Careers Ltd. You can read more blogs from Sli Nua Careers coaches HERE, and make a booking for CV Preparation and Interview Training.